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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    She hasn't rejected them, although she hasn't ridden them as much as Bud/Lou or J5.

    She's never, ever been interested in 'go fast' tires like JJ's or Knard's, because she realized quickly that although they may be light and with low rolling resistance, they don't dig in when things are unconsolidated, so you might as well run CX tires because you're walking either way. Whenever I suggest trying something like that (whether on fat, plus, or 29") she always sort of wrinkles her nose in disgust. She knows what she likes, and why.

    Because I outweigh her by ~65#, we're pretty evenly matched with her on J5 and me on 2XL. If we were to head to AK to ride some big/wild/remote objective, my guess is that she would opt for 2XL's as she's now seen how important it is to have as much float as you can muster to offset a heavily loaded bike.

    And if she did, she'd be kicking my ass because with the added mass that I carry subcutaneously I wouldn't be able to come close to keeping up. Can't really keep up as is.
    Was that her thoughts on the 2XL tires from the iditarod? I've been surprised when going through the bikes at the amount of people running even D4s, but with bikes so heavily loaded, I have to wonder how much a 4 vs. 5" tire really helps, as both are going to be pretty bad with a 70lb bike on any kind of soft surface? There were lots of wide rims at 90-105mm, but 2XL tires were pretty rare, Jenny may have been the only person on them from what I recall. If she she did it again would she choose something smaller/lighter or were the 2XL worth it for the float? There was one race I opted for D4s simply because I knew there'd be a lot of pushing and they were easier to push.
    "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

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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill View Post
    This is what Iím running too - J5 rear and bud front. It makes sense on paper for my conditions. I havenít had a ride with the J5 in the rear yet as Iím recovering from surgery. Hopefully in a few weeks I can get ou5 there. So how do you like the combo? What are you comparing it to? And lastly what area and snow conditions? Thanks!
    Weíve had an icy November, very snowy December, and an icy January around here. My other tires are the snowshoe 2XL, the new huge Cake Eater (which Iím selling), and Dillinger 4. Itís been mostly Dillinger 4 conditions as of late. Oh, and by bud and Lou have a bunch grip studs in them.

  3. #103
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    Science.


    We took advantage of continued high pressure in the alpine to sneak in a Friday afternoon ride, then camped up high so that we could ride again first thing Saturday morning.









    Riding at sunset and into the evening was, is, delightful. A lack of wind and a dearth of humanity lent a special sort of feeling: Private yet welcoming. Silent yet alive.



    Conditions the next morning were still firm but the clear skies had been replaced by scud that the forecasters told us was bringing feet of snow. We also knew that because it was the weekend, the trails would be busy by mid-day. So we motivated early to get some science done.




    The test that I devised to compare these two tires was pretty simple. We have identical bikes with identical widths of rim. We, however, are not identical -- not in size, nor weight, nor wind resistance, nor reaction time, nor power, nor skill. Completing an XC loop didn't make much sense, because we couldn't control for power output, nor braking points on hills, nor ability to carve corners, nor changing conditions over time. In an effort to control for every variable possible, we determined that Jeny and I would coast down a short, sorta steep hill and out into the flats beyond, starting from a precise point each time, never touching the brakes, never pedaling. Your basic "rolldown test".

    We kept things consistent by always riding with our seats at the same height, never tucking, always keeping pedals level. When we rolled to a stop we'd lay the bike down, then precisely measure the distance rolled. To facilitate ease of measuring we chose a baseline distance that coincided with a trail marker, then measured to that marker.

    We started at 4psi in all 4 tires -- a pressure higher than we ever use in any given snow year -- and figured that since the trail was groomed 30' wide we'd just move over onto an unused part of the corduroy for each lap. We quickly learned, courtesy of wildly varying distances rolled, that the snow was far less uniform than it appeared to the eye. Snowmachine ruts, chunks of ice left from the groomer, invisible soft spots and tiny wind drifts could slow or deflect our tires in seemingly small ways but that accounted for relatively big differences in speed. We even had a few moments of tailwind that could have affected things by a few feet.

    Even though we were neither pedaling nor braking, our distances rolled varied by as much as 40' from lap to lap. After a brief discussion, and considering how firm the trail was, we decided to throw out those first several laps, and do several more laps *each on the same identical part of the packed track*, until the numbers started to be consistent again. Basically we packed our own track, and then stayed within that track from then on. Every few laps I'd stop and scratch at the surface in various places, as a means for determining whether the track was changing in any meaningful way. I can't definitively say that it wasn't, but I couldn't see where it was.



    Once we were certain that the trail was consistent we started measuring the distance rolled for each of us. Then we switched bikes and did several laps that way, marking the precise distance of each lap.

    Then we dropped the pressure to 2psi, and did 6 laps that way.

    Then we dropped to .6psi and did 6 laps there.

    We both noted as the test progressed that the seemingly unusual amount of high atmospheric pressure we've had this season is the factor that allowed the 4psi and 2psi variants to happen. It follows and was noted that the .6psi felt the most at home to us -- it's closer to the range of pressures we most often ride.

    There were a few times when one of us would 'catch an edge', or a rut, or a hunk of ice, and be deflected so substantially that we'd throw out that lap. We were testing rolling resistance at a range of pressures -- not riding skill in difficult conditions. So although we both recorded 21 laps in the test, we each rode 40+ in total.

    We started at 18*f and finished at 29*f.

    Here's a very unexciting and flat light time lapse of our hours out there, condensed to 24 seconds to give an idea of the consistent "lap" we rode.



    Conclusions?

    I think it's important to recognize from the outset that snow is a dynamic medium. Even controlling for every variable that we could our distances rolled never completely normalized: On the last set of laps, with pressures very low, our distances rolled still varied by as much as 37' over a ~350' span. That dynamism has always been one of the more compelling aspects to riding snow, for us. I don't think it invalidates the numbers we collected, it just means we need to focus on the big picture and the overall averages instead of individual values.

    And those values? They show consistently and conclusively that the 2XL has less rolling resistance at any reasonable pressure and regardless of rider weight. It consistently out-rolled the Johnny 5 for both of us.

    Below is the spreadsheet of our results. The distances are all in feet, and they are measured not from the start point but from a trail marker ~300' into our rollout. Thus a positive value recorded represents 300' plus that number. A negative value recorded is 300' minus that number.



    Clearly there are endless permutations possible, based on varying snow conditions, temperature ranges, rider weights, pressures, rim widths, tread patterns, and so many other variables. Astute observers will note that I started this project with the desire to ride more -- more feet per mile -- in difficult conditions. This little test doesn't prove anything it that direction, but it reinforces that the tire that gives me the most float and control when conditions are worst, also rolls better when conditions are good. For me, where I live and ride, the 2XL is the better tire everywhere.

    Now we move on to phase two. I've removed the Kuroshiro/2XL combo from the bike and replaced it with a set of ENVE M685 hoops shod with Terrene Cake Eater tires in 27.5 x 4.5". These are the widest 27.5" rims in existence shod with the tallest and fattest 27.5" tires currently made.



    Now that the high pressure has gone and the storm cycles have begun -- two feet have already fallen up high in the last three days -- we'll have consistently soft, unconsolidated snow to ride them in for at least a month. Much riding will happen, and more science too.

    I'll check back in with progress as things develop.

    Thanks for checkin' in.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Was that her thoughts on the 2XL tires from the iditarod? I've been surprised when going through the bikes at the amount of people running even D4s, but with bikes so heavily loaded, I have to wonder how much a 4 vs. 5" tire really helps, as both are going to be pretty bad with a 70lb bike on any kind of soft surface? There were lots of wide rims at 90-105mm, but 2XL tires were pretty rare, Jenny may have been the only person on them from what I recall. If she she did it again would she choose something smaller/lighter or were the 2XL worth it for the float? There was one race I opted for D4s simply because I knew there'd be a lot of pushing and they were easier to push.

    She was on Bud/Bud when she did the Idita.

  5. #105
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    Thanks for the new data, Mike. Did the 2XLs that you used for the coastdown tests have the "half-height shaved" middle three rows of knobs, or were they exactly as shipped from Vee?

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitmanNJ View Post
    Thanks for the new data, Mike. Did the 2XLs that you used for the coastdown tests have the "half-height shaved" middle three rows of knobs, or were they exactly as shipped from Vee?

    Stock tires, not snipped. Swapped them a week+ ago, partially for objectivity in the test, partially because our storm season is here and full height tread is needed.

  7. #107
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    Thanks for the great insight and data !
    Awesome photos, very inspiring
    Do you have any comparisons on grip climbing and off camber between the two tires ?
    Last edited by Sir Surly; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:49 PM. Reason: Add text

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Surly View Post
    Thanks for the great insight and data !
    Awesome photos, very inspiring
    Do you have any comparisons on grip climbing and off camber between the two tires ?

    So subjective it's hard to say, especially since we spend 90% of our time on our own bike, and only 10% on the other bike/other set of tires.

    I'd say the biggest difference is the ability to run lots of quality studs and ride ice with the J5's. In the soft snow we get traction seems to be a wash.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Surly View Post
    Thanks for the great insight and data !
    Awesome photos, very inspiring
    Do you have any comparisons on grip climbing and off camber between the two tires ?
    Those tires might have a float advantage but to climb nothing beats a Lou.
    In the front nothing beats the Bud.
    For ice 100 GripStuds/tire is plenty for me but some use 125 or 150.
    I am in Montreal, Quebec and days i cannot ride are very few.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    Those tires might have a float advantage but to climb nothing beats a Lou.
    In the front nothing beats the Bud.
    For ice 100 GripStuds/tire is plenty for me but some use 125 or 150.
    I am in Montreal, Quebec and days i cannot ride are very few.

    How much time have you spent on J5?

    And how much on 2XL?

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    She was on Bud/Bud when she did the Idita.
    Ooops, I see that now from my photos.
    "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

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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Was that her thoughts on the 2XL tires from the iditarod? I've been surprised when going through the bikes at the amount of people running even D4s, but with bikes so heavily loaded, I have to wonder how much a 4 vs. 5" tire really helps, as both are going to be pretty bad with a 70lb bike on any kind of soft surface? There were lots of wide rims at 90-105mm, but 2XL tires were pretty rare, Jenny may have been the only person on them from what I recall. If she she did it again would she choose something smaller/lighter or were the 2XL worth it for the float? There was one race I opted for D4s simply because I knew there'd be a lot of pushing and they were easier to push.
    I think in 2017 Pete Basinger was on the 2XLs, there might have been others. In 2018 I think there was one person on white v tires, not sure if they were 2xls or not and I can't find a photo of them so my memory could be faulty.

    I don't think Pete was happy with those tires for the ITI. I can't speak for him obviously, but I expect he found the additional riding allowed by the extra float didn't make up for their pretty significantly higher rolling resistance on the firm and fast cold trail.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I think in 2017 Pete Basinger was on the 2XLs, there might have been others. In 2018 I think there was one person on white v tires, not sure if they were 2xls or not and I can't find a photo of them so my memory could be faulty.

    I don't think Pete was happy with those tires for the ITI. I can't speak for him obviously, but I expect he found the additional riding allowed by the extra float didn't make up for their pretty significantly higher rolling resistance on the firm and fast cold trail.
    No idea if they were 2XL
    Testing one, two.-g0215594.jpg

    Testing one, two.-gopr5509.jpg
    "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.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No idea if they were 2XL
    Those are 2XLs (Pure Silica version)

  15. #115
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    Those Cake Eaters on Enve rims look huge...wonder which frames they will fit

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    Those Cake Eaters on Enve rims look huge...wonder which frames they will fit
    All 3 tires have a limited fitment range. But all 3 tires are pretty awesome...and work well in different conditions.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    Those Cake Eaters on Enve rims look huge...wonder which frames they will fit
    Someone had a set on a Gen 1 Surly ICT. He was using the sliding rear MDS dropout. I've looked and tried to find the post but cannot now...

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post
    Someone had a set on a Gen 1 Surly ICT. He was using the sliding rear MDS dropout. I've looked and tried to find the post but cannot now...
    It will fit on both gens of ICT...and a Farley and a RSD Mayor.
    It will fit in a Mastodon fork.
    It won't fit in a Borealis Echo....rubs on the chainstay bridge at base of seat tube( but fits inside the chainstays, which the XXL does not).
    I have this tire on a Mulefut wheel set...but haven't had the chance to really use it because of weird snow....or lack of snow in northern MA
    .

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    All 3 tires have a limited fitment range. But all 3 tires are pretty awesome...and work well in different conditions.
    Yeah, I'm pretty limited right now, but I cut through a bunch of chunk-mush from snow-plows on the way to/from work today and they went through like it was nothing, I could see where people with the smaller tires turned back or didn't attempt. Not fast, but so far so good.
    "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.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    It will fit on both gens of ICT...and a Farley and a RSD Mayor.
    It will fit in a Mastodon fork.
    It won't fit in a Borealis Echo....rubs on the chainstay bridge at base of seat tube( but fits inside the chainstays, which the XXL does not).
    I have this tire on a Mulefut wheel set...but haven't had the chance to really use it because of weird snow....or lack of snow in northern MA
    .
    +1

    27.5 x 4.5 Cake Eaters on Jackalopes also fit on a 2017 Aluminium Mukluk and Bearpaw fork with plenty of clearance.

    Testing one, two.-20190208_174942.jpg

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post
    Someone had a set on a Gen 1 Surly ICT. He was using the sliding rear MDS dropout. I've looked and tried to find the post but cannot now...
    I wonder if I'm the one you've seen? I don't think I've posted here, but have a few pics posted on FB. I switched to the sliding MDS drop outs to run eagle. Coincidentally, it gave me tons more clearance for height too.

    Overall I've loved the 27.5 x 4.5 Cake Eaters, they continue to impress. I own them in 29 x 2.8 and 27.5 x 4.0 too, but I ride the 4.5 the most.

    Testing one, two.-20190125_145943.jpg
    Testing one, two.-20190203_121710.jpg

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrduford View Post
    I wonder if I'm the one you've seen? I don't think I've posted here, but have a few pics posted on FB. I switched to the sliding MDS drop outs to run eagle. Coincidentally, it gave me tons more clearance for height too.

    Overall I've loved the 27.5 x 4.5 Cake Eaters, they continue to impress. I own them in 29 x 2.8 and 27.5 x 4.0 too, but I ride the 4.5 the most.
    Yes Jerry...it was you! I've got the same bike and run 27.5 Studded Gnarwhals.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No idea if they were 2XL
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, they are definitely 2XLs.

    To answer (or rather, to give my answer to it ) your question if a big tire like that is worth it or not: the Iditarod trail invitational /iti is sort of a special situation - generally it has some sections of soft trail, but lots of firm fast trail that can be very cold. I think the problem with the 2XLs is they roll really slow on the cold hard trail we have in interior Alaska.. of which there is ~130 miles of the 300+ miles. I don't know if it is the tread pattern or the rubber, but they roll slow. To make it worth while it would need to be warm, and really soft for most of the course, but firm enough that it is ridable with those tires at an effort level that is sustainable for ~4 days - which is pretty unlikely.

    I think most of the "fast" folks are going in with the idea that walking more on the bad sections but riding faster on the firm sections will give a faster time overall.

    These new johnny 5s are probably an improvement, but the other terrene tires have rubber that roll slow on cold firm snow that we have in interior Alaska so I think there might be a similar problem. I would expect they would be great in the warmer Anchorage area snow.

    (before someone says I am full of cr*p, I have ridden to Nome D5s, surly buds, and surly buds with the tread trimmed down to half the height, so while I am not an expert, I do know something )

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I don't think Pete was happy with those tires for the conditions that year.
    fixed.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    fixed.
    Now you are just trolling me

    I believe what he told me was:
    " I think the conditions that really favor them would be few and far between in that trail. "

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Now you are just trolling me

    I'm actually not. I'm just sort of scratching my head at how you seem to find your way into any/every thread discussing the 2XL tires, and speak from a negative perspective as though you have experience with them. Do you? Have you owned or extensively ridden them?

    I've never claimed that they're suitable nor ideal for every situation or person or trail or ____. No one tire is. But you might notice that I've done some empirical data collection here, and have actually already learned that they *are* quantifiably better than their nearest competitor. Your recent comments suggest that maybe you missed that.

    Our backyard mountain has received over 280" of snow this season, as of this afternoon. Too deep, soft, and unconsolidated to ride regardless of rim and tire right now. Hope to get up there with the ENVE/CE B Fat combo later this week.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Our backyard mountain has received over 280" of snow this season...
    DAYAMN!!! we currently have no snow on the ground, and some random patches of ice here/there. but there is 3-7" forcast for today, starting at 11am. Schools have already closed, and I just read New Jersey declared a state of emergency already...

    i want a bike with 2XL/J5, but in reality it will just be a waste of $$... guess i will have to live vicariously through you guys...

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    DAYAMN!!! we currently have no snow on the ground, and some random patches of ice here/there. but there is 3-7" forcast for today, starting at 11am. Schools have already closed, and I just read New Jersey declared a state of emergency already...

    i want a bike with 2XL/J5, but in reality it will just be a waste of $$... guess i will have to live vicariously through you guys...
    I'm with you Rodney! I really want a bike that fits those huge tires, but I have absolutely no need for one being in NY, although I do ride in VT sometimes. I still love reading about these tires and what they can and can't do.

    So when that time comes that I retire and get the OK from the family to go ride the ITI, I'll at lest have some knowledge or what works!

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    DAYAMN!!!
    i want a bike with 2XL/J5, but in reality it will just be a waste of $$... guess i will have to live vicariously through you guys...
    I hear you.
    I live just north of Boston....and we have not had much snow this year.
    I built up a RSD Mayor as a 2nd bike just so I could run 2XLs....and have only used that set up a few times ( which was kind of the plan anyways).

    But....the J5s have gotten plenty of use because they are great on ice...and are really great on frozen fat/skinny tire rutted/footprinted ice/snow mix...which we've had a lot of the past few weeks. Much better than the D5 in this stuff(but the D5s still have a place ). Allows me to ride every day.

    Which makes the big tires a niche market...depending on where you live.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I'm actually not. I'm just sort of scratching my head at how you seem to find your way into any/every thread discussing the 2XL tires, and speak from a negative perspective as though you have experience with them. Do you? Have you owned or extensively ridden them?

    I've never claimed that they're suitable nor ideal for every situation or person or trail or ____. No one tire is. But you might notice that I've done some empirical data collection here, and have actually already learned that they *are* quantifiably better than their nearest competitor. Your recent comments suggest that maybe you missed that.

    Our backyard mountain has received over 280" of snow this season, as of this afternoon. Too deep, soft, and unconsolidated to ride regardless of rim and tire right now. Hope to get up there with the ENVE/CE B Fat combo later this week.
    I haven't said they are bad tire in every situation, or that they are even a bad tire for your local riding conditions.

    What I am saying in answer to the Jayem person's question is that for the snow and trail conditions in the ITI, those tires are not a "good" option, and I am trying to point out the only "competitive" person who has run these tires thought the window when they were a "good" option is pretty small. Maybe his opinion has changed, I don't know. You ride with the guy, I assume you guys have discussed it?

    Why do I have this opinion? I have a snow bike that those tires would fit on, and in 2017, I was very interested in riding them to Nome. I couldn't find a set of the 2xl at the beginning of the winter, and ending up with a set of the smaller cream colored xl tires, and rode them for most of the winter, figuring it would be a good test of how well they would actually work. There was a lot to like about those tires - they had studs, were nice and wide, the tread isn't super deep, etc, etc, so I was very motivated to get them to work, and if they worked, move up to the 2xls ( assuming I could actually find some to buy). However, I eventually gave up because in my local conditions they were always rolled slower than some of the other options like the buds. Their thickish casing and funky rubber just doesn't work well in the cold dry snow + cold temperatures I have were I live. I can't see how an even bigger version of the same tire is going to be any better for my use - it is just going to be worse. Since roughly half ITI course is in conditions really similar to my back yard, I think my opinion is perfectly reasonable.

    That isn't to say they don't work great for you - where you ride, and the snow conditions were you live.

    I have been enjoying your posts about the testing and comparison - but from my POV it looks like your testing those tires in the conditions in which they work the best. Which is great, and it is the conditions which you have and ride in, which is even better. It is just not everyone lives were you do, and I was trying to give my opinion about how they would work for something like the ITI, which isn't in your backyard.

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