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  1. #1
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    CST Roly Poly 4.8: The $40 Giant Killer

    I've always had a soft spot for trying cheap tyres. A belief that eventually, someone would get it right. And that faith has always led to disappointment. Chao Yang 4.9... Fat b Nimble... Origin8 Devist8r... Vee Snowshoe... the list goes on. Heavy, not compliant, poor traction. So here we are again. Same story... but would it be the same result??

    Let's get right to it. I've been on this tyre for a minute now, in a range of conditions from frozen dirt to 10" powder. High pressure, low pressure, and everywhere between.

    The tread is interesting, and kinda looks gimmicky. I couldn't help but wonder if that paddle style wouldn't work well out back.



    It's not *really* a paddle though. It has some fairly normal but narrow, mid-height knobs, which are connected by a lower line of rubber. The side knobs are pretty standard, and the tread wraps low on the sidewalls on an 80mm rim. These would look great on a 100mm rim. Knob to knob, these came in at ~112mm. Not especially wide, but notably tall. These fill up my frame pretty nicely, without need to move dropouts.



    These set up pretty tight on my rims, and have minimal runout. They seem well constructed. I put one on the front first, paired with a minion fbf 4.0 rear, mostly because I was dissatisfied with my minions up front. Too prone to washing.

    My initial rides were frozen dirt and a light blanket of snow. I was blown away by the cornering traction immediately, and found my cornering limits were mental. I needed a few rides to adjust my previous expectations.





    These tires flat out work in dirt.



    And in light snow over dirt. It's the best I've ever ridden for steering traction and control in those conditions.

    But it's not all good news. These tyres appear to only be available in 60 tpi and wire bead. And they're heavy, at around 1800 grams. On paper, these tyres are unimpressive. But that doesn't translate to the real world. These heavy, low tpi tyres are some of the fastest fat tyres I've ever ridden. The continuous tread design rolls smoothly, without noticeable lope. The first time I put them on pavement, at 7.5psi, I noticed some self steer. Also on frozen cupped tread at that pressure. Bumping up to 9-12psi solved this, but might be bumpy for rigid setups? I speculate.

    I dropped almost forty miles on frozen flow trail, and these tyres performed well. They rolled noticeably faster than my GF's Vanhelgas.



    But let's be real. These are fat tyres, and their worth is only as good as their snow performance. Here in the middle of the mitten state, we've had unseasonably cold weather, and two major snows, both with large accumulations of dry, non packing snow. Baby powder.

    Nobody is riding, at least not outdoors, on trails. Groomers are failing. But I'm not fazed. I've been breaking trail on the local. A few laps a day.



    And I'm winning the battle. Yesterday I claimed the last two uncleaned climbs. I've run 2 to 3psi for most of it. The tyres flatten out to over 5" at that pressure.



    The tires mush well. The rear digs and the front keeps me on the straight and narrow. It's the best powder setup I've ever used. I have to qualify this part. I've spent much time on minion 4.8's. I've run Nate, and snowshoes and fat b, and others. But I've only run Bud and Lou on borrowed bikes, in limited conditions. Only run snowshoe 2xl as a front(great for powder; useless otherwise). No dunders. No Johnny 5.

    I can break trail in 6 to 8 inches of challenging powder. I've ridden in the flats on ten inches. It's doable, but it's work. Here's a minute video testing at low psi in roughly 8" powder.

    https://youtu.be/z0UDUGVP4zA

    The tyres leave around 3" under foot in these conditions.

    Most of my friends(and others around here) run compromised snow setups. Jumbo Jim is common. Barbegazi, minions, Vanhelga(awesome for it's size), etc. I haven't yet felt outmatched. The closest competitors have worn Lou on clown shoes. And that's where I'd expect they slot in terms of deep snow capability. Not enough volume to challenge a 2xl type tyre.

    I haven't tried, but I think this would be a poor candidate for studs. The knobs are just too thin.

    In summary, if you're looking for an all around dirt and snow tyre, or just a snow tyre that won't break the budget, give these a try. It's hard to believe, but the roly poly 4.8 is the best all around fat tyre I've ever ridden, and it costs under $50.





    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by AllMountin'; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:47 AM.

  2. #2
    This place needs an enema
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    Thanks for providing quality content. This site needs 1000x moar of this.

  3. #3
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    Love these threads. Great read

  4. #4
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    Hey, I have those tires.

    Posted pictures a while back and was told that they'd be ok for sand but not much else.

    Personally I've been very happy with them particularly as a snow tire and yes, they are very affordable. I prefer them over Minions for winter riding.

    I think I have 60 tpi tires but I saw some on ebay that were claimed to be 120.

  5. #5
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    Some people really only ride on the internet.

    What's interesting to me is that I've not tried a maxxis tyre that I've loved in the snow, even though maxxis is the premium brand. They should've used the prime tech on this tyre, with folding bead, high tpi, and lightened it up, and sold it as maxxis.

    I like that it's dirt cheap, but this would've been a clear winner with competitive specs and maxxis marketing.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    Some people really only ride on the internet.

    What's interesting to me is that I've not tried a maxxis tyre that I've loved in the snow, even though maxxis is the premium brand. They should've used the prime tech on this tyre, with folding bead, high tpi, and lightened it up, and sold it as maxxis.

    I like that it's dirt cheap, but this would've been a clear winner with competitive specs and maxxis marketing.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    For sure, they are just an obscure tire that I ran across on ebay when I was looking for cheap tires for a spare wheelset. I think I paid $25/tire and didn't expect too much out of them. Turns out that I liked them enough to replace these on both of my rear winter wheels.

    ....funny, the assortment of cheapo tires on your list. I've used everyone of those tires as well. I wouldn't say that any of them are awful, but wouldn't say that any of them were particularly impressive either.

    The Minions are great for dirt and mud, but I'm not a fan of them on the snow. The big lugs rip through the crust too easily and it's my opinion that a less aggressive tread such as the roly poly works best for that kind of riding.

    They're low tpi and wire bead, so I'm not sure how much they'd ever catch on in a world where tubless weight weenieness has become standard, but for someone not so concerned about that, they are pretty awesome.


    The only other place that I've actually seen them RW was on a PB report on a fatbike trail in Quebec. The bikeshop owner featured in it had his bike shod with them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Thanks for providing quality content. This site needs 1000x moar of this.
    agreed, but where's the fun then?

  8. #8
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    RSD Mayor with CST Roly Polys on the rear. Mounted on 100 mm rims.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CST Roly Poly 4.8: The  Giant Killer[emoji769]-51080267_2001822036603595_572300191713984512_n.jpg  


  9. #9
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    A few days of fifty degrees had us riding paved paths last night. Twenty some miles at 8psi rear and 10 psi up front. No self steer. Rolled well.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Might be a nice summer commuting tire (for cheap!).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Horse View Post
    RSD Mayor with CST Roly Polys on the rear. Mounted on 100 mm rims.

    Why does the rear tire say “Poly Poly” instead of “Roly Poly”?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    Why does the rear tire say “Poly Poly” instead of “Roly Poly”?
    Not sure, the tire came that way. They must of run out of white pigment or something.

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