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Thread: Tire help

  1. #1
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    Tire help

    I'm 240lbs riding a bone stock 2012 Spec Carve 29 hardtail with the factory 2.1" Ground Control tires. Been running them at 20psi with tubes and have never had any type of flat in the 2 seasons I've owned it. They have been decent tires, but I'm guessing there are better options for Western WI. Most of my riding will be around Eau Claire/Menomonie area, with semi-frequent day trips to Levis, Hickory Ridge, and occasionally the CAMBA trails.

    I've been casually shopping around for new tires all summer, and I am OVERWHELMED!. Not only are there so many options that people seem to like, many of the tires seems to have different options within each model. For example the Maxxis Ardent has 5 different options in the 29x2.25 width alone!

    I've heard good things about Maxxis Ardent, Minion DHR II, Ignitor, & High Roller II. This article makes me want to consider the Ardent 2.4 out front and an Ikon 2.2 in the rear: Team Tested: Maxxis Ardent and Maxxis Ikon Review | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

    This article really has me thinking about the new Ground Control 2.3 on the back and a Butcher 2.3 on the front: 2013 Specialized 2.3" 29"er Tires: Quick Review

    The problem is it seems like every article you read is always telling you how good something is. Then local conditions come in to play. One person will rave about a certain tire, and somebody else from a different part of the country will tell you how terrible it is....So what do you guys like for our part of the world?


    Thanks for the help!
    - Korey
    Last edited by koreytm; 10-08-2015 at 08:53 AM.
    2012 Carve Expert

  2. #2
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    Gonna try Spec's Purg & GC Grids 2.3's soon (just for a change)... EXO :FTW: w/ Maxxis single/dual are fine...
    I also like Conti's... but, they're made from unobtainium!! Similar to Schwalbe's (although I own 2x Snakeskin tires, they're great for most riding except for really rocky - durability issues)

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  3. #3
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    WI conditions? Bontragers are designed and tested here. Over time their tires have become much improved. XR3 back is fast and doesn't pack as fast as Ardents that I love. XR4 front lets me hang on in loose stuff. Together they roll well compared to other favorite combos.

    They also have the not so common SE models with more exotic rubber.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    WI conditions? Bontragers are designed and tested here. Over time their tires have become much improved. XR3 back is fast and doesn't pack as fast as Ardents that I love. XR4 front lets me hang on in loose stuff. Together they roll well compared to other favorite combos.

    They also have the not so common SE models with more exotic rubber.
    +1

    I have been running XR3 in back and XR4 out front for the past 2 seasons and couldn't be happier with the combo (tubeless, Team Issue 2.3s). They handle everything this state (and the Michigan's UP) has to offer admirably. Depending on how aggresive of a rider you are, XR3s front and back may work for you as well. The extra bite of the XR4s gives me a bit more confidence in loose stuff, berms, and higher speed turns.

    Team and Expert level XR3/XR4s have the same rubber durometer, just differ in TPI, which I never am able to feel the difference between (60 vs 120tpi)

    Another great thing about these tires is that they are readily available at a ton of shops in WI, at relatively reasonable costs.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses so far. I'm still interested in hearing everyone's thoughts, but I did go a little crazy yesterday. I ordered a 2.5" Minion DHF for the front and a 2.3" HighRoller II for the rear. They should be here in a week or so, so I will get a chance to try them out in the dirt, but the main reason I got them was to try and do a little winter single-tracking this year (since the wife put the ky-bosh on me getting a fat bike).

    I'm assuming I'm not really going to like them much in the dirt since they are so wide and so heavy. I'll probably be looking for a 2.3-2.4 for the front next spring and a 2.2-2.3 for the back, so still interested in hearing what people like around here
    2012 Carve Expert

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by koreytm View Post
    Thanks for the responses so far. I'm still interested in hearing everyone's thoughts, but I did go a little crazy yesterday. I ordered a 2.5" Minion DHF for the front and a 2.3" HighRoller II for the rear. They should be here in a week or so, so I will get a chance to try them out in the dirt, but the main reason I got them was to try and do a little winter single-tracking this year (since the wife put the ky-bosh on me getting a fat bike).

    I'm assuming I'm not really going to like them much in the dirt since they are so wide and so heavy. I'll probably be looking for a 2.3-2.4 for the front next spring and a 2.2-2.3 for the back, so still interested in hearing what people like around here
    Those are popular tires. Be careful about tires too big for the rims. I have put 2.5s on in the past and know some who've had burp or blow off the rim problems if your mounting huge tires on narrow rims. It's been a while since I had Minions on a bike but recall they were super confidence inspiring tires.

    On fatties, tell you wife Vinsons are only $500-$600 at MC Sports or Dick's and then both of you have bikes.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    Those are popular tires. Be careful about tires too big for the rims. I have put 2.5s on in the past and know some who've had burp or blow off the rim problems if your mounting huge tires on narrow rims. It's been a while since I had Minions on a bike but recall they were super confidence inspiring tires.

    On fatties, tell you wife Vinsons are only $500-$600 at MC Sports or Dick's and then both of you have bikes.

    My rims say they are 23mm, but I'm guessing that's an outside dia. I get what you're saying, but I've been running tubes so I'm not too worried about the tires coming off. The rear rim had gotten bent a little, but straightened out almost perfectly. I decided not to convert them to tubeless, thinking that since they were bent once they might fail soon (especially hauling my fat ass around). Then I would buy 30mm tubeless rims....so far these have held up. :/

    The wife doesn't mind going for an occasional rail-trail ride in the summer, but she has no desire to ride a bike in the cold!
    2012 Carve Expert

  8. #8
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    I'm not from your area but I've ridden in just about every type of terrain there is. There is one trail about an hour from me that's 19 miles of mostly downhill and it starts off as soft dirt in a forest, a usually muddy section near a stream, miles of hardpack, and the last 4 miles or so of sharp, loose rocky terrain.

    If there was one tire that has almost zero downsides that I'm comfortable recommending without hesitation for everything except for pavement it would be the Schwalbe Magic Mary in the Trailstar compound up front. Very durable even on rocky areas. They grip on everything, mud, rock, hardpack, everything. I'm 240lbs before gear and I'm hard on my equipment and these have never lost a knob and wear very, very well for a Schwalbe and good even for "normal" tires. The only downside is a little more rolling resistance than some others I've tried but not bad, just not good. I also really like the fact that if you manage to break traction, there's plenty of warning and it won't just wash out on you, it's usually recoverable. Even in sand it's amazing.

    The Hans Dampf in the Pacestar compound makes a great rear tire. You won't lose knobs but they will wear fairly quickly if you do a lot of downhill in sketchy, rocky terrain. I've heard from a good source who has run both that the softer Trailstar compound actually holds up better and that's what I'm going to try next time on the rear.

    Sorry for jumping in on a regional thread but the Magic Mary really works great on everything you can throw at it. It's not like an all season car tire where it's not good at anything, it's average at best on everything. The MM excels at pretty much every type of terrain.
    '08 Hardrock HRXC
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  9. #9
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    For WI, on a HT go with the Ardent 2.4 front and Ikon 2.2 or 2.35 rear. For the Ikon get the 120 TPI Foldable with EXO casing. For the Ardent, get the 60 TPI, foldable, dual compound, EXO. Probably will want to run a little higher PSI with the bigger tire, I can't believe you haven't pinch flatted already. The Minion and Highroller will be heavy and won't roll as well as what I'd think you'd want. You don't need/want that much tire in WI.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2m2hs View Post
    The Minion and Highroller will be heavy and won't roll as well as what I'd think you'd want. You don't need/want that much tire in WI.
    Yeah, I figured for the winter I would want a wider tire with deeper tread.

    I've also been surprised I never got a pinch flat. The last couple weeks I started running the pressure up a bit. I'm now at 30 front and 35 rear. It still seems to give me enough cush in the back, but rolls A LOT better. I'm curious to see how these new tires will feel compared to running my current tires so low.

    I was about to pull the trigger on the Ardent 2.4 front and the Ikon 2.35 rear, but I doubt the Ikon will do very well in the snow. I'll probably end up with that combo (or something very similar) in the spring.

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  12. #12
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    New tires came yesterday!...Except they came about 3 hours after I did this, so I haven't got a chance to try them out:

    Tire help-img_7738.jpg



    Here are the tubes that I somehow managed to never pinch flat. I deliberately rode them as low as 20 psi (with me being 240lbs), and I'm pretty sure I was down to 10 or 15 one day when I didn't check them before heading out quick.

    Front:

    Tire help-img_7740.jpg



    Rear:

    Tire help-img_7741.jpg



    I'm assuming this is just to protect the tube from the nipples, and it's not tubeless tape, correct? Also, I was surprised to see that the inside width of the rim was in fact 23mm. When it said 23mm on the side of the rim I just assumed that was the outside width, and it would be more like 19 inside.

    Tire help-img_7739.jpg



    I did some rough measuring before I ordered and figured they'd fit, but there was still that feeling of relief to actually see them on the bike and not rubbing anything.

    Got about 6mm clearance at the arch, and 3mm clearance at the side knob on the Minion DHF 2.5 up front.

    Tire help-img_7743.jpg



    Roughly 8mm clearance at the chainstays with the HRII 2.3

    Tire help-img_7744.jpg



    And about 3mm clearance at the seatstays

    Tire help-img_7745.jpg
    2012 Carve Expert

  13. #13
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    Minion DHF 2.5 front, High Roller II 2.3 rear. IMPRESSED

    I fixed the hanger and got a quick ride in this morning before the rain...and by quick I mean I PRed every segment I rode! (2 new and one tied). I gotta say I am really surprised, these tires rolled much faster than I expected. I'm sure some of it was excitement, and also knowing that I only had a short amount of time to ride and I really wanted to push them. However, I was able to ride in the middle cog 75% of the time or more, where I used to only be in it 50% of the time or less. Half the trails were fairly tacky hard pack, and half wet/damp leaf covered. I had no issue on the leaves at all. I did wash the front tire out once coming out of a switchback into a sand patch. Other than that I only felt it slipping a couple times on some loose over hard, but it was never enough to cause me to stop leaning or pedaling through the corner.

    I knew I was going to be able to push through corners much harder than with the worn down GC 2.1s, but I was really surprised how much better I climbed today. There were no big long hills here, but there are some pretty steep (and sometimes loose/rocky) punchy sections. I found myself able to go up them in higher gears (where I usually use the easiest of the easy on by 3x10) and on the sections I normally walk I was able to do 95% of in the easiest gear....Only hopped off to walk a couple very short little spots.

    You would think a wider tire with waaay more aggressive knobs would feel slower, but I think was made the difference was the sidewall (EXO, 60tpi each). I ran the front at 30 and the rear at 35, which is what I had done on my last few rides on the old tires. These felt a lot more firm while pedaling. I didn't notice any bouncing in my pedal stroke as I sometimes had on my old tires, yet they didn't feel like they hammered me at all over the roots. They are a touch taller than my old tires, which may be a factor, or may be a complete mind game. As the pictures show in the above post I do have a decent amount of clearance, however I did hear the front tire rub twice when the front got really compressed.

    All in all, I'm a huge fan...more so than I thought I would be of these things on dirt, and I still may try something different next spring, but I can't wait to see what they do in the snow!
    2012 Carve Expert

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