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  1. #1
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    your tire choice for sw idaho

    I know it depends on weight, braking style, riding style and a slew of other factors, but when the weather is dry what tires do you like for southwest idaho?

    I have had great success with wtb mutanoraptor 2.4 for the last year or so but was thinking of something with less sidewall flex. What do you run?

  2. #2
    King of the Barneys
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    Well, on the SS,

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    I know it depends on weight, braking style, riding style and a slew of other factors, but when the weather is dry what tires do you like for southwest idaho?

    I have had great success with wtb mutanoraptor 2.4 for the last year or so but was thinking of something with less sidewall flex. What do you run?
    I have the big 2.35 Kenda Kinetics, and love them.

    On my red geared bike, I have 2.4 motoraptor on front and Mythos on back.

    On my other red geared bike, I have Mythos fr & rr.

    But I have some buddies who are running the Blue Groove Nevegal by Kenda. Kinda pricey, but they love em.

    my 2 cents
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  3. #3
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    Python Air Lites

    But I like to climb a lot so I don't mind paying a little penalty on the downhills... (I don't lose all that much time when the trails point down)...
    Winter tires.... I have Nokian studded tires when it's icy... otherwise, any tire will do when it's frozen solid...

  4. #4
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Mutano's here too

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    I have had great success with wtb mutanoraptor 2.4 for the last year or so but was thinking of something with less sidewall flex. What do you run?
    Ah, one of the subjects near and dear to my heart - what tires to run in SW Idaho? In the beginning, there was the Bontrager Jones. Nice tire, came stock on the Trek 8000 in 1998. Ran one front and rear for a year or two. Then, I began experimenting with other tires - a 1.8 Specialized something or another, and the Mythos, used in both the 2.1 and the 1.95 sizes. Then, I discovered what became my long-time favorite local tire, the Panaracer Fire XC. Ran that one for a couple- three years, both in the 2.1 and 1.8 versions. (I even rode Moab in 2001 on an aluminum hardtail with a 1.8 Fire XC pumped up to 60 psi as the back tire - can you say "kidney pain?") I then opted for the Panaracer Trailblaster K 2.1 as a rear tire for a while, but went back to the Fire XC 2.1 both front and rear on my geared bike until this past spring. I once tried the IRC Mythos 1.9 semi-slicks on a hardtail race bike, but I might as well have been using road bike tires for all the grip they gave! I have the same feelings about a set of the celeste green Michelins (Hot S?) I used briefly on my first singlespeed frankenbike.

    2004 was my tire experimentation year. I tried several tires and tire combos on both the gearie and the 1x1, including: the Conti Vertical Pro "2.3", which really is a high-volume 2.1 or 2.2 (first as a front tire on the gearie, and then swapped it to the rear until it wore out after 500 miles), a WTB Mutano Raptor 2.1 (tried it rear and then moved it to the front on the gearie, and also ran it briefly as a front tire with a Stan's No-tubes set-up), the Mutanoraptor 2.4, which is also a high volume 2.1 or 2.15 (both front and rear on the 1x1, and front on the gearie), Kenda Nevegal 2.1 (first as a rear tire on the gearie, then as a front tire on the 1x1, and back to the rear of the gearie), Kenda Nevegal 2.35 (first as a rear tire on the 1x1, then tried it on the front of the 1x1, and then as a front tire on the gearie), Kenda Blue Groove 2.35 (used front on both gearie and 1x1), and a Panaracer Fire FR 2.4 (which really measures closer to 2.5; I used it briefly as a front tire on the 1x1).

    After all that, here's what I currently run:

    On my current gearie (Superlight), I run the Mutanoraptor 2.4 front and the Kenda Nevegal 2.1 rear, both at 40 psi. I find the Kendas (both the Nevegal and the Blue Groove) with the "Stick-E" compound WAAAAAY too heavy, sticky and slow rolling, but the 2.1 Nevegal, when pumped up to at least 40 psi, gives decent traction in the dry, sandy conditions around here without too much of a rolling resistance penalty. The downside to the Nevegal's design is that the center knobbies are ramped so that if you get out of the saddle and climb the Nevegal as a rear tire can break loose on sand covered hardpack pretty easily. Also, beware that the "Stick-E" compound Kendas also wear very quickly, especially if you are doing any pavement riding to your rides, which, at $45 a pop, make them too expensive in my book. (Actually, Larry at mtnhighcyclery.com can get the Kendas for about $25 apiece if you buy in bulk....)

    On the singlespeed (1x1), in the summer I run the MutanoRaptor 2.4 both front and rear. Having tried several other tires for SS'ing, I keep coming back to the Mutanos. However, right now, with the softer soil conditions and with my short travel front fork swapped over to the Superlight (while the TALAS was at Fox for rebuilding), I'm running a rigid front fork and the Fire FR 2.4 as a front tire. The Fire FR has HUGE knobbies and works great in looser soil conditions, but gives no grip on the summertime hardpack around here.

    In sum, I think that the 2.4 Mutanos have the best combination of low rolling resistance, light weight, high volume, decent dry conditions grip, and affordable price of any tire I've used around SW Idaho. Having used them for 2 years in several "local" conditions, I have to say that they're the all-around SW Idaho champ, for me at least. I've never had a problem with sidewall flex from the 2.4 Mutano, even when I weighed 210 lbs and was using them on a fully rigid SS at 30 psi. Three thumbs up for the Mutano!
    Last edited by Earthpig; 01-18-2005 at 09:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    Brilliant writeup.
    I was thinking of going Blue Groove Lite 2.0 in the front and Karma in the rear but do not know if I am stuck with the DTC/fast wearing center since I ride the road about a mile to the trails.

    If all else fails I'll stick with the 2.4 Mutanoraptors (all my friends are converts). Maybe I had the psi too low and felt the flex, but even at 35 psi I can make them squirm hard under intense cornering; must be my motocross background.

    FYI, I helped Keith Bontrager test the Jones line back in the 90s. I still have a huge front tire they never released. Something about the way it totally slid out from under me at any psi, any speed, any angle, any type of dirt... But it's got his handwriting inside the tire so I kept it. Loved the Jones!

  6. #6
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    Kenda

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    Brilliant writeup.
    I was thinking of going Blue Groove Lite 2.0 in the front and Karma in the rear but do not know if I am stuck with the DTC/fast wearing center since I ride the road about a mile to the trails.

    If all else fails I'll stick with the 2.4 Mutanoraptors (all my friends are converts). Maybe I had the psi too low and felt the flex, but even at 35 psi I can make them squirm hard under intense cornering; must be my motocross background.
    Oh, how I wanted to love the Kendas. My wife got them for me for my birthday this past August, but I never could warm up to them. Every ride on either bike with the bigger (2.35) Kendas on felt slow and sluggish, a feeling that went away after putting the Mutano's back on. I hear you on the lower PSI squirminess - I found that the Mutanos hooked up better with more PSI than you'd typically run. I gradually increased the PSI from 30 to 40 until the squirm went away.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Oh, how I wanted to love the Kendas. My wife got them for me for my birthday this past August, but I never could warm up to them. Every ride on either bike with the bigger (2.35) Kendas on felt slow and sluggish, a feeling that went away after putting the Mutano's back on. I hear you on the lower PSI squirminess - I found that the Mutanos hooked up better with more PSI than you'd typically run. I gradually increased the PSI from 30 to 40 until the squirm went away.
    Maybe I'll go with 2.4 Mutano up front and 1.9 Epic Wolf in back and see how that goes. Can alway put 2.4 back on.

  8. #8
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    Kenda and Nokian

    Quote Originally Posted by CBro
    I have the big 2.35 Kenda Kinetics, and love them.

    On my red geared bike, I have 2.4 motoraptor on front and Mythos on back.

    On my other red geared bike, I have Mythos fr & rr.

    But I have some buddies who are running the Blue Groove Nevegal by Kenda. Kinda pricey, but they love em.

    my 2 cents
    I will second the Kenda Kinetics, I run a 2.2 kinetic on the titus and like the extra hookup on the bike. I don't think you would ever see me race on a set but they are predicatable traction in most conditions. I found the mutano raptor to be unpredicatble at high speeds in the corner and have not run them in while.

    I also have a lot of love for the nokian gazzaloddis which are on the VT1 and AC1. The tires are a set of 2.3s and they hook up on everything. A little slow on the climbs, but in my opionion they are some of the best tires on the market. I have been dieing to try some Nokian NBX tires but they have been hard to get. They don't sell the gazzis in a 2.3 tubeless but with stans then work just fine on tubeless rims. So mount them up and have a blast. Plus I like the extra sidewall protection on the 2.3s.

    Chris
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  9. #9
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    At first here

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    I will second the Kenda Kinetics, I run a 2.2 kinetic on the titus and like the extra hookup on the bike. I don't think you would ever see me race on a set but they are predicatable traction in most conditions. I found the mutano raptor to be unpredicatble at high speeds in the corner and have not run them in while.

    I also have a lot of love for the nokian gazzaloddis which are on the VT1 and AC1. The tires are a set of 2.3s and they hook up on everything. A little slow on the climbs, but in my opionion they are some of the best tires on the market. I have been dieing to try some Nokian NBX tires but they have been hard to get. They don't sell the gazzis in a 2.3 tubeless but with stans then work just fine on tubeless rims. So mount them up and have a blast. Plus I like the extra sidewall protection on the 2.3s.

    Chris
    I was running the specialized Enduros that came on my Enduro, those were way too hard compound, slippery, and came off real quick.
    Then, I went to Hutchinson Pythons, which were actually not too bad, except on loose fast conditions like the fireroads coming down around upper Rocky Canyon.

    I then tried the IRC Mythos but found I didn't like them here.
    Then a combination of Kenda Blue Groove front and Nevegal rear. I like them a lot, very sticky, but wear very quickly, and tend to get torn up.

    I know am running an older set of Factory XC 1.9's, which are wide for 1.9's and hook up really really really well.

  10. #10
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    Kendas also....

    Ran Conti 2.3 Vert Pros until last Summer (they got smaller in 2003). Switched to a Kenda Blue Groove 2.1 on the front of my Hammerhead with a Nevegal 2.1 on the back.

    On my Quasi I'm running a 2.35 Blue Groove up front and a Panracer 2.25 Cinder on the back. The Cinder is a great front tire too.....

    Bought my last batch of Kendas from Larry....best prices and customer service.

    At my weight (200 lbs with gear) I have to run 40 psi in the Kendas......with their thin sidewalls they get squirmy with less air pressure.

  11. #11
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    Price of Kendas from Larry??

  12. #12
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    OK I'll play

    Been running Conti Vertical Pros in the rear and Hutchinson Mosquito Air Lights in front on both my dualie and my SS since October. The combo works great in typical fall & winter tacky to soft conditions around BOI (verts hook up well, squitos have low rolling resistance and seem to float through the soft without picking stuff up). I'm running them because the squitos came stock on my NRS and they suck as a rear tire in sandy conditions so I moved around the verts that were on my hardtail.

    It remains to be seen how well this combo rides in dry conditions but I know I'll at least need to replace em on the SS and you boys have given be some things to think about.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  13. #13
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    Larry's prices....

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    Price of Kendas from Larry??
    I bought six Kenda tires from High Mountain Cyclery a week ago......$26 for the 2.1s and $28 for the 2.35.

  14. #14
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    $25

    Quote Originally Posted by danK
    Price of Kendas from Larry??
    He sold the BG and the 2 Nevegals to me last July for $25 a tire.

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