Tire Setup/Make Recommendations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Tire Setup/Make Recommendations

    Greetings, fellow Intermountain folk. Though I've a question regarding choice of tires, I'm posting within the regional forum because I'm guessing the types and conditions of trails we ride are similar.

    First, a little background info:

    I ride a 2008 Raleigh hardtail that came with 26x2.25 Geax Saguaros, which I replaced in fall 2009 with 26x2.1 Panaracer FireXC Pros (cheaper 66 TPI version). The Panaracers have been very good to me but their knobs are wearing flat. It's time to replace them, so I thought I might check here to see what y'all would recommend.

    Aside from reversing the tread rotation for the rear tire, I've never used an asymmetric setup (not sure what you call it--different front and rear tires), but that is something I'd be willing to consider.

    Most of what I ride varies between hard pack, moondust, and loose gravel and rock. Other than the occasional crossing, I try to stay off the trails when they're wet, so mud grip and clearance are secondary concerns.

    I also ride on asphalt, but that's out of necessity for errands and such, so I'm not overly concerned with noise or roll resistance.

    I'm not a racer, and I descend a little faster than most of those with whom I ride but my climbing speed is average.

    Basically, I mostly care about price, longevity, and traction climbing and descending these dry mountain trails we have here.

    Based on this data, do y'all have any recommendations? Should I stick with the 66 TPI Panas or swap out a fatter tire for better rear traction? Are the 127 TPI Panas worth paying nearly twice as much?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.

    Happy Trails,

    -- HP

  2. #2
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Fire XC pros were the tire of choice (as far as I am concerned) about 10 years ago in Boise. There are far better tires out there these days. Seems like most people prefer Kendas, particularly the Nevegal up front and the Small Block 8 in the back. (I'm not a fan of either, FWIW. I seem to be in the decided minority.) Whatever you end up with, go with a higher volume tire than the Fires.

    Lots and lots of threads on this issue.

  3. #3
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    I switched to the Specialized Purgatory, and I really like them, plus I'm tubeless (Stan's).
    Going tubeless was one of the best things I did- lowers the rotational weight plus I can run lower PSI.
    I've used tires that are twice the cost but weren't any better.
    Talk to people when you're out riding and see what they think of the tire they're using. That's how I ended up trying the Purgatory's.

  4. #4
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Ritchey Speedmax Cross Pro 32x700 is all you'll need. Ever.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  5. #5
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Thanks for the responses. I realize there are countless threads on this topic (I've even read several of them, plus many product reviews/ratings) and apologize if mine is redundant. There's just so much data here, much of it contradictory and overwhelming, so I figured I'd run my query up the "local" flagpole.

    I considered Nevegals when I last bought tires 18 months ago, but I ultimately settled on the Panas because some of the folks I ride with complained about the Nevegals having weak sidewalls and poor durability, even with the DTC.

    I definitely wouldn't mind using a tire with more volume--the Panas grip well, but I have to run them at 40-45 psi to avoid pinches, and that can make for a tough ride on a hardtail.

    I've only been riding since 2006, so my product exposure is limited. On that note, I welcome further suggestions.

    Thanks again and happy trails,

    -- HP

  6. #6
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    You've never actually noted where you are and do most of your riding. Idaho? Wyoming? Montana? In my experience, tires that work well for hardpack in the Boise foothills can be worthless in other areas in the region.

    For Boise, I know a fair number of people have moved to Schwalbe tires recently. Nobby Nics, Racing Ralphs and Rocket Rons mostly. Not cheap.

    http://smtp.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/off-road_tires

  7. #7
    Barneys Unite!
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    Wow. Those are some seriously expensive tires!

  8. #8
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    No, not cheap. But, tires are not a place to skimp since they are the only thing that connects your bike to the ground. A $3000 bike with cheap tires is going to ride like a cheap bike. Granted, it's always good to find deals on tires, but don't buy a cheap tire just because it's cheap.

  9. #9
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Last time I changed my tire I lost a vital digit because I forgot to stop the wheel. I was going to put some seriouly expensive rubber on. I should have stuck with the cheap stuff.

    Good thing I found that digit. The spinning wheel sent it flying into the used cars I keep up on blocks in the back yard - back with the pit bulls. I found it in the Ford Fairlane's passenger seat.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tire Setup/Make Recommendations-thumb.jpg  

    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  10. #10
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    That's the most disgusting pic I've seen in a while ... and I just saw the Kardashians!

    Anyhoo, my current bike came with Nevegals, so that's what I'm running and they're ok. I probably would try something different in the future. When I'm on the hardtail I run IRC Mythos. They are old, they are heavy, but I loves them. And they are cheap. When I have the pressure dialed, no probs.

  11. #11
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    You've never actually noted where you are and do most of your riding.
    Hmmm. I sorta had a blonde moment and forgot to mention that. Odd thing is, I'm bald.

    I live in Pocatello. The trails around here are probably similar to what you ride in Boise--hardpack, moondust, rocks and gravel.

    I'm an avid recreational rider, not a racer. Basically, I'm just a guy who tries to ride every day for exercise and sanity, so I'm more concerned with traction over the loose stuff than I am with roll resistance over the fast stuff. Anything you can recommend based on that would be appreciated.

    -----------

    That is one sick pic, TwistedCrank. I'm glad my food is well digested.

    I've heard of bike mechs losing their digits to disc rotors, but I'd never seen an example. I was willing to take their word for it, damnit!

  12. #12
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    Uhhhh finger!!!!

  13. #13
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Ah, Poky. I've ridden there once, and I would say that your trails may be a bit rockier than Boise, so yes, you'd want a tad bit more bite from your tires than what we can run here in Boise. Even though I don't run them, I would recommend the Nevegals for your trails, or the Panaracer Rampage if you want to stick to Panaracers.

  14. #14
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Update

    Spent $71.76, including shipping, on a 26x2.1 Kenda ExCavator for the rear and a 26x2.35 Panaracer Rampage for the front. They arrived yesterday, and I had them weighed today.

    The Rampage weighed 1 pound, 8.8 ounces, which translates to ~704 grams--pretty much exactly the same as the claimed weight of 700 grams.

    The ExCavator weighed 1 pound, 4.6 ounces, which translates to ~585 grams--25 grams less than the claimed weight of 610 grams.

    I've a biking buddy who also owns a scale, so I'll get a "second opinion" from him this weekend.

    It's doubtful I'll get to ride this new rubber for at least a couple of weeks. But once the lower trails have thawed and dried, I'll be on them. Until then, I'm rolling pavement on some worn-down, wire-beaded, 26x2.2 Saguaros.

  15. #15
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    I love the smell of new bike tires in the morning....

  16. #16
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    I agree. It is a good smell. But let's leave Lt. Col. Kilgore out of this, damnit.

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