Need Tire advice for Pisgah Endurance racing (Swank!)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need Tire advice for Pisgah Endurance racing (Swank!)

    So I stupidly signed up for the Swank 65 in November. While I have ridden most of the trails in the course at one point or another, I've never tied that many of them together much less raced for that kind of distance and elevation gain!

    Typically when I ride in the forest I choose large, heavy, and grippy tires like the specialized butcher, bontrager XR4, on Schwalbe Hans dampf. I usually trundle along on the climbs at a very steady pace with somewhat frequent stops then blast the downhills as fast as I am able. Anyway, this is not the style of riding I will employ for this race and big heavy tires will probably wear me out even faster.

    So, since my current tires are almost worn out anyway I figured I'd get a new set tailored to this race. I'll need something that rolls pretty well for all the fire road climbing, is relatively light, but also provides just enough braking and cornering grip to get by and is tough enough to survive abuse and protect my rims from the baby heads of farlow gap. That's a lot to ask of a tire but I figured veterans of the race might have some knowledge to share on the subject.

    I'll be riding a canfield yelli screamy (ideal race bike I know) if that helps.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    I would worry more about the mud on Butter Gap and the rocks on Farlow than the fire roads. I'm no expert on tire choice, but something that handles mud and can take a beating would be a good thing.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I would worry more about the mud on Butter Gap and the rocks on Farlow than the fire roads. I'm no expert on tire choice, but something that handles mud and can take a beating would be a good thing.
    This. Unless you are planning on challenging for a top spot, I wouldn't worry about lightweight tires for climbing the fire roads. I "raced" (completed) the Swank 65 the last two years and I used a Butcher front and Purgatory rear on a Stumpy FSR. Good luck, it's a fun but tough race!

  4. #4
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    Like Leadfoot I raced/completed it last year as well. I used an Igniter on the front and a Crossmark on the rear set up tubeless and was very happy with it. I was riding my Anthem x29 for that race. I hope this helps. It's a blast and once you're done with Farlow it's all down hill. Good luck.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    It's a blast and once you're done with Farlow it's all down hill. Good luck.
    NOT!!! You still have to climb 475, which takes slow fat boys like me 45 minutes or so.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    NOT!!! You still have to climb 475, which takes slow fat boys like me 45 minutes or so.
    475 is waaaayyyy better than the death march up 229 to Farlow. The other legs of the race are fairly mundane in comparison to the 3rd one.

  7. #7
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    True, but it is uphill.
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  8. #8
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    Ha! Indeed it is, but it's totally worth it to bomb cove creek to the finish.

  9. #9
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    I'll be riding Swank also this year for the first time. Which do you guys think would do better: Maxxis Ikons (29er) front and rear or Ikon frt/Ground Control rear?
    Also wondering if I should ride my Canfield Nimble 1x10 or Stumpy FSR 2x10. I rode the Nimble for Jerdon and liked it because of how many miles were on gravel and pavement,. I did some walking tho on Star Gap and Kitsuma, but don't know how that compares to Swank.
    I don't personally know anybody that's riding this race so any help is much appreciated.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
    I'll be riding Swank also this year for the first time. Which do you guys think would do better: Maxxis Ikons (29er) front and rear or Ikon frt/Ground Control rear?
    Also wondering if I should ride my Canfield Nimble 1x10 or Stumpy FSR 2x10. I rode the Nimble for Jerdon and liked it because of how many miles were on gravel and pavement,. I did some walking tho on Star Gap and Kitsuma, but don't know how that compares to Swank.
    I don't personally know anybody that's riding this race so any help is much appreciated.
    Much of the descending in Swank is more technical than anything on Jerdon. Steeper, rockier, wetter. There are maybe no miles on pavement. There is some gravel.

  11. #11
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    Swank is some serious riding. I say Ikon rear/Ardent front.

  12. #12
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    Thanks guys. I have a Purgatory that I think I'll put up front and run the Ikon in the rear. I like the Ardent but don't want to buy another tire right now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Much of the descending in Swank is more technical than anything on Jerdon. Steeper, rockier, wetter. There are maybe no miles on pavement. There is some gravel.
    Only about 1/3 mile on pavement between Davidson river trail and climb up 475b. Well after the rougher stuff. And it's mostly a slight decline.

  14. #14
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    And if you're walking sections of Kitsuma or Star Gap, bring some really comfortable shoes for Swank.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Much of the descending in Swank is more technical than anything on Jerdon. Steeper, rockier, wetter. There are maybe no miles on pavement. There is some gravel.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusSommers View Post
    And if you're walking sections of Kitsuma or Star Gap, bring some really comfortable shoes for Swank.
    Do you imply the climbs will be steeper or the descents?
    I walked 'up' sections on Kitsuma and the trail that cuts off of Jarret creek cuz my rear derailleur messed up and left me with 1x8 and no granny gear.
    Think I'm gonna take the Stumpjumper with 2x for Swank.
    Purgatory front and Ikon or Ground Control in the back depending on the weather.

  16. #16
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    It's been like years since I've done the Swank and the course has changed a bit, but I believe the single track climbing is, generally, easier, with the exception of one big push up long branch and one section of Farlow. The gravel road climbing is harder in Swank than Jerdon. The descending is where the real difference lies; Butter Gap is a test of handling skills, can be very muddy, and then gets high speed with a high penalty for error on Cat Gap. Farlow Gap is the hardest descent on the Pisgah district map. For most people, it's faster and infinitely safer to get off the bike and run as soon as you start to bobble. That said, every section of trail can be ridden except the creek crossings (unless your name is Sam and you've won the event several times). Daniel is also quite rocky and sometimes challenging, especially when wet.

  17. #17
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    I rode ikons with exo casing 2.35 front and 2.2 rear all week at the PMBSR and I didn't think once about my tires. Same combo I'll run for couch/swank.
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  18. #18
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    Well, I managed to hit a tree and break my nose during a training ride so I guess I won't be needing any tires at all! I partially blame my worn Icons for the very hard washout in "greasy" conditions. Mostly my own stupidity but that was the fastest loss of grip I have ever experienced. Like switching from velcro to teflon coated Ice!

    It happened 12 days ago and I was hoping it might have enough time to heal after surgery for the race. Doc says absolutely not though. My entry is available if you are anyone you know wants to save a little money on all the fees.

  19. #19
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    I see your stupidity and raise it a notch.

    I bet you never ran into a tree that was just hanging across the trail in plain view like I did a week ago Saturday at South Side. Smacked that sucker right in the lip.

    Need Tire advice for Pisgah Endurance racing (Swank!)-mikeys-busted-lip.jpg

    Hope you recover soon!
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  20. #20
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    Yup I have but fortunately I managed to hit them with my helmet. Rang my bell but no stitches.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    Fargin hell, I can't unsee that. Yikes.

    Hope you feel better dude, that's got to smart...
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