Tire Setup -Pisgah 111- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tire Setup -Pisgah 111

    My son (18) and I are doing the Pisgah 111.

    Ok, he's doing the 111 and i'm doing the mini-me version.

    He's been beating me up about getting some new tires for his bike, but would like to get a few opinions about what I should spend the money on.

    -He's 6'-2" about 190 lbs.
    -Rides a 4-5" travel 29er; SC Tallboy3
    -Rides mostly trail stuff; fast climber
    -Want the tires to be good for racing but be used for trail thereafter
    -Rocks, root and wet friendly

    we're kinda maxxis homers, I guess.

    I had a 2.35 Forekaster in front of my TB3 and an 2.35 ikon in the back (wore out). I just put on 2.4 Continental Trail Kings front and rear.

    Local shop guy pretty high on the 29 x 2.6 rekon. Son is currently running 2.4 ardent race up front and a 2.35 ardent in the rear. His tires aren't smoked but come March they will be gone.

    Any thoughts on a good, light, tuff trail tire for Pisgah would be appreciated. thanks!
    Maah Daah Hey

  2. #2
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    I can't speak to specific Pisgah experience much, but have a lot of miles in rock northeastern stuff (PA, NY, NJ, et. al.) and have usually had good experiences with the durability of the Maxxis Exo tires.

    I've put the Rekon 27.5 through a real beat-down both there and in CO, and UT and found them to be pretty good sneakers.

    I currently have the Rekon 2.9x2.6 on my Canfield hardtail which I ride when in Raleigh ... lots of home-2-trail stuff after work ... so rolling efficiency was factor and I'm not disappointed. I'm no skinny XC guy but in 130 minutes I can get 20 miles of riding (5 miles pave, 6 miles singletrack, remainder doubletrack).

    So, I'd say, get him the Rekon 29 2.6 EXO and turn him loose if they'll fit. They will have better behavior than the Ardent IMO (which I have fair miles on), a bit better traction, more volume.

    FWI, I have the Rekon 2.6 on 29mm ID rims and they're more like a 2.5 ish tire. Would be that or less for him, I'm hovering about 192# myself before camelback and run 23-25 psi front and rear, tubeless.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    DHF is a REALLY popular front tire around here. So many people run that one.

    Wife's bike has DHF/Ardent Race combo. If it was me, I'd probably put at least a Rekon on the back, but my wife is fine with the Ardent Race so I've left it alone.

    I'll eventually be shopping for tires for my hardtail and I'm looking in the 2.5-2.6 ish size range. Rekon, Forekaster, Aggressor, DHR/DHF, and similar from other brands are on my radar.

  4. #4
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    I have really enjoyed my Michelin WildAM tire for a ligter weight/less aggressive setup. 800gs, rolls fast, and still has nice corner lugs to stay shreddy on the descents.

    For general riding the DHF/Agressor combo is really hard to beat. It stays on both bikes all year long unless I'm racing, then I swap to the Michelins.
    On your left!

  5. #5
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    I was out last year riding around during the 111 and saw just about everything, folks on XC bikes with Ikons/Ardents and folks on enduro bikes with Minion front and rear. I'd say unless he's trying to actually be competitive to aim more for tires that give control and grip than those that will be light and fast, especially if they are going to be all around tires for him after the race and you can't swap. I feel like riding around here, you need a bit more on the tires than you do in other areas with more XC like terrain, especially on trails that tend to be wet and narrow.

    My tire choice balance around here is always more heavily favored towards keeping me upright and I never really got along with the Ardent or Forekaster, but better/more skilled riders can. I also don't see a lot of people running those types of tires around here, but if you look at folks racing PSR, 111k, etc, it does seem like the leaders tend to be running Ikons and the like. Personally, I'd be worried about running anything thinner than EXO on some of the trails the 111k route rides, so keep that in mind too, along with trails that tend to have a lot of wet, narrow bits.

    I've always had good luck with the DHF, both in 2.3 and 2.5 form. They seem to last a while and grip reasonably well, but the size of the 2.3 is a bit underwhelming. The 2.5 is higher volume but considerably heavier, it'd be a pretty big weight increase from a Forekaster.

    There are other options out there, but I feel like Maxxis has the weight/protection/grip thing pretty well in the middle. There are faster, lighter tires, but you sacrifice a lot of traction for them (Nobby Nic, Purgatory, Ground Control, etc). There are grippier tires (WTB, e13, etc), but they are a lot heavier.

    You might consider a DHRII 2.4 for the front, it's higher volume than the 2.3 DHF and will give up some cornering grip but is lighter than the 2.5 by a little over 100gr. The Ikon 2.35 in the rear might be a good option, it's got pretty good volume and seems to hold up pretty well if you are looking for something faster with decent casing strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    DHF is a REALLY popular front tire around here. So many people run that one.

    Wife's bike has DHF/Ardent Race combo. If it was me, I'd probably put at least a Rekon on the back, but my wife is fine with the Ardent Race so I've left it alone.

    I'll eventually be shopping for tires for my hardtail and I'm looking in the 2.5-2.6 ish size range. Rekon, Forekaster, Aggressor, DHR/DHF, and similar from other brands are on my radar.
    I've been having really good luck with the new WTB Vigilante 2.5 compared to the DHF 2.5WT. It's a much higher volume tire, but the knobs seem to bite better on the wet surfaces too.

    Not sure it fits OPs goal, though, as it's a heavy 1100+gr tire.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I've been having really good luck with the new WTB Vigilante 2.5 compared to the DHF 2.5WT. It's a much higher volume tire, but the knobs seem to bite better on the wet surfaces too.

    Not sure it fits OPs goal, though, as it's a heavy 1100+gr tire.
    I want a decent amount of grip, but I'm a bit less aggressive rider than a lot of people around here. That Vigilante tire looks burly. Maybe a bit more than I need.

  7. #7
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    I've been happy on Nobby Nics (2.35F, 2.25R) riding and racing in the PNF over the past 3 years. In March, I'll be back up there on Bonty XR2 (2.6F, 2.35R), and most likely will ride all of the trails from the 111K (we'll see what Eric Wever pulls out of the ammo locker...), so hopefully I'll have something positive to report.

  8. #8
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    appreciate all the thoughts everyone; thanks; keep 'em coming!

    i've been riding the Forekaster 2.35x29 up front and while it doesn't look terribly meaty, it's treated me well down here in AVL. I haven't tore my rear 2.35 ikon exo either. I just wanted something more aggressive and sure footed so I'm trying the continental trail kings till it gets warmer and (dryer?) Prior to the forecasters, I ran a 2.35 Knobby Nic and the side knobs (shoulder) got tore up pretty good. Center knobs still ok, but they where sketchy laying down much in a corner. I'm to the point where I have more of the trails memorized and can start to push things a bit harder now (here locally).

    yes, my son will be weight conscious. I'm guessing he'll be leery to go over 850 grams.

    Michelin made great tires years ago, i didn't realize they were back in the game....will need to take a look.

    What is the most challenging portion of this race? We are planning to preride (almost) all the course, but if there is an area to focus on, what area would you look at? thx!
    Maah Daah Hey

  9. #9
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    It seems to be a love/hate thing with people on MTBR but I'm one of those that loves the Ardent 2.4 up front and have ran it on 29er hardtails, 29er FS and 27.5 FS. The only bike I haven't run it on is my long travel Intense Tracer which is set up full time with 2.5 DHF/2.5 Aggressor. I've used that 2.4 Ardent in SoCal, Sedona, Phoenix, Durango and Oregon with great success. I don't think I've ever flatted one and I definitely haven't torn a sidewall. I'm currently running it on my Yeti SB5 with a Nobby Nic on the back and will be headed out to PHX next week. If the combo can handle PHX under my 220 lbs, your son should be fine on it.

    The Aggressor is usually my go-to rear tire nowadays and I'll go back to it on my Yeti when the NN wear out. The Aggressor literally works in seemingly all conditions and wears and wears and wears. It may not be exciting but it may be Maxxis' best designed tire yet. That being said, it's 900g in 29er format.
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  10. #10
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    I am doing PMBAR this year and also trying to figure out what tires to go with. Normally I run Aggressor 2.3 R and DHF 2.5 front ( on two 29er bikes) but it is a lot of weight and RR for such a long day in the woods.

    I just threw a set of Ardent race 2.3 on front and rear on my Tallboy (which is the bike I will use for PMBAR) but will mainly be grinding long fireroad, etc with them right now. They are SKIMPY compared to what I am used to but very fast rolling.

  11. #11
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    Maxxis Minion DHR/DHF all the way.

  12. #12
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    If I'm going to be spending 8 plus hours mountain biking I'm a heck of a lot more focussed on control, comfort and durability than weight or rolling resistance.

    DHF/ Aggressor is definitely a confidence inspiring enjoyable combo can't argue with that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom View Post

    What is the most challenging portion of this race? We are planning to preride (almost) all the course, but if there is an area to focus on, what area would you look at? thx!
    Hard to say. Pilot Rock is definitely a challenge for most non-locals. That and the hike-a-bike on Black Mtn. For me the hard part of the P111k was just staying focused. It’s a long day on very tough trails.

    I would pre-ride the P55K course. That will give you a good idea of what to expect. If that doesn’t hurt ya too bad then you should be able to handle the P111.
    On your left!

  14. #14
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    If he is a good technical rider he will be able to get by on smaller/thinner cased tires. I'm a hack and jump off anything I can find even in long races (this year will be my 6th pmbar) so usually run minions or aggressor or Specialized grid.

    This year I'd like to try and finish a bit stronger so am considering some lighter/faster options...#subscribed

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