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Thread: PA Tire thread

  1. #1
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    PA Tire thread

    I read a lot of tire reviews and most of the riding is done out west, I would like some tire recommendations from people that ride on the east. Our trails seem to me more rocky and rooty and much more dirt vs sandy conditions.

    Its been very wet around here and im having trouble finding a rear tire that can handle these conditions and once the weather finally breaks and we do get some dry dirt that the tire can handle that to.

    I recently put a Bontrager XR3 on the rear on my bike and to say the least I really do not like it, rolling resistance was down over the HR2 3C it replaced but overall grip is way down.

    My bike is a 2018 Spot Mayhem and my rims have an internal width of 30mm. 2.35 is about as big as I can go in the rear, maybe a 2.4 depending on the tire.

    So what do you guys run in PA?
    2018 Canyon Spectral
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  2. #2
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    What kind of riding are you doing?

    Iím running 2.3 minion dhf front and rear. I just do general trail riding.

    My setup provides lots of traction but the dhf in the back isnít the fastest rolling. I needed a new rear tire so I figured Iíd just move my current front tire to the back and then buy a new minion dhf for the front because it was on sale.

    Iíve heard good things about the maxis aggressor for the rear.

  3. #3
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    Right now I run 2.4 HR2 front and rear. When it dries up more I might switch back to a 2.4 Ardent rear. The HR2 rear gives me plenty of traction. I rode my bike all winter in occational mud, snow, and even sheets of ice I wouldn't walk on and the hr2 gave me all the traction I needed. I thought about trying the aggressor, shorty or minions next but I really like the HR2 so far. I'm not a fan of Ardent in the front because I face-planted twice in loose dirt going fast with it and that did it for me. I ride trails around Bucks and Lehigh county. Lots of rocks and soft/hardpack dirt.

  4. #4
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    Depends on the part of PA.

    The rocky, well drained ridges of the Appalachians with little dirt. Low profile, fast rolling tire, with some volume and a burlier casing.

    The plateau-like Alleghenys have much more soil and mud to deal with. So something with deeper knobs.

    The south east of the state, or far west, not so sure on those parts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post
    Right now I run 2.4 HR2 front and rear. When it dries up more I might switch back to a 2.4 Ardent rear. The HR2 rear gives me plenty of traction. I rode my bike all winter in occational mud, snow, and even sheets of ice I wouldn't walk on and the hr2 gave me all the traction I needed. I thought about trying the aggressor, shorty or minions next but I really like the HR2 so far. I'm not a fan of Ardent in the front because I face-planted twice in loose dirt going fast with it and that did it for me. I ride trails around Bucks and Lehigh county. Lots of rocks and soft/hardpack dirt.
    I used to run HR2 front and ardent rear back in New England. Good combo. It would probably work well here too.

  6. #6
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    On my prev 29er I got good miles out of the Maxxis Ikon 2.35 in more-dry conditions, they were better than expected in the wet but are really short-knob tires and it shows in some conditions. I always used the 3c eXc front and 2c rear, run tubeless. Rode that all over eastern PA, some central PA (Rothrock, Raystown), and adjacent areas of NJ/NY/MD/DE.

    For more burly tires that weren't in the slow-rolling league of the HR/Minion stuff, I got good use out of the On-One Smorgasboard and Chunky Monkey, the former on the back wheel and the latter on the front. Don't know if they're still available honestly but a great value in a tire and AFAIK they were made by Maxxis and shared the Exo casing tech (On-One called it Ekso IIRC).

    I found the Continental Trail King 2.4 to roll very nicely BUT even the their Protection casing didn't seem enough for me for the rear tire - worked great in the front; I ended up using their Apex series in that size for the rear tire and while it surely wasn't the lightest it held up great, worked well, and proved durable (and I still have those on my backup hardtail 29er).

    If it's available I'd consider looking into a properly sized Maxxis Rekon. I have found them super effective and and nice blend of characteristics on my 27.5+ wheelset, if they're in a smaller width to fit your bike they may be that "tweener" thing you are looking for.

    {shrug}

    Lately I've been rolling the Schwalby Nobby Nic 2.6 on my current 29er, the current Addix version, and it's my current all-conditions favorite. I would never waste money on non-Addix versions of Schwalbe tires, but these in your size may also be worth a shot. I've only had them on the bike since last Sept though so don't have a full year on them, so take this with a grain of salt, eh?

  7. #7
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    for me there are summer tires and winter tires. and living in philly my choices are probably less burly than you folks livin out in the country. for the winter treads with proper knobs work well. for summer i like something almost semi-slick to maximize traction on hardpack and minimize the rolling resistance.

    while developing a taste for what works for you i'd err on the side of more aggressive heavier duty tires. they always work pretty well. you can just sometimes go faster with lighter tires once you know what you can get away with.

    i'd also say go for the widest tires that can fit your bike. wider tires let you play with tire pressure more which is also key to how a tire feels and handles. and finally tubeless! if you still run tubes switch that first.

  8. #8
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    For aggressive riding my choice of tire for nearly all conditions is a DHRII 3C front and rear. However, there are plenty of places around here that I'd consider smooth single track, so you need something faster rolling; even an Ardent works for a lot of places. So really anything between these two can work pretty well depending where and how you are riding. Once everything dries out its usually just hard pack dirt around here mixed with plenty or rocks and roots.

  9. #9
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    Maxxis DHF and DHRII, 2.3 F/R. Both are 3c maxterra exo. I'm also running them on my 26" stumpjumper. On the hardtail running a Maxxis Ardent race 2.35 3c exo up front and a crossmark II 2.25 3c exo out back.
    Last edited by MikeBurnsie; 05-01-2018 at 08:37 AM.
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  10. #10
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    just got my first crossmark 2 (hopefully mounting it tonight). I am hoping it is as good as the old crossmark. that was my favorite summer rear tire for years... SO FAST!!!!!

    Great PA summer rear tire!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    just got my first crossmark 2 (hopefully mounting it tonight). I am hoping it is as good as the old crossmark. that was my favorite summer rear tire for years... SO FAST!!!!!

    Great PA summer rear tire!

    The crossmarkII paired with the ardent are really fast rolling tires, but still provide some grip. They are no minions, that's for sure. I run them on my hardtail which is primarily used for putting down some miles. I ride the heritage trail along the Lackawanna river frequently and also the O&W rail bed in Susquehanna county.
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  12. #12
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    I run a 2.2 ikon 3c tubeless in the rear and a 2.35 forekaster 2c tubless outfront. I live in southeastern PA. The ikon is super fast and running it at 15-20 psi gives it just enough grab. The forekaster was a game changer for our rocky/muddy/rooty to hardpack and back trails. Really, really confidence inspiring and no washout issues yet! The 2.35 forekaster measures about 2.75" on my bontrager mustang rims fwiw.

  13. #13
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    My bike came with Nevegals which, to me, were super slow rolling to point where they seemed to sap my energy. I was looking for a good, all-around tire for SE PA and read good things about the Bontrager XR4. I just installed a set of Bontrager XR4 Team Issue in 27.5x2.4 and they are noticeably faster rolling than the Nevegals. They seem to bite better as well. I haven't had them out in the wet stuff yet so I can't comment on that.
    Last edited by Rockadile; 05-29-2018 at 11:52 AM.

  14. #14
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    if you wanna roll even faster maybe try the xr2 on the back of your bike. surprising traction for the amount of tiny knobs it has. keep the xr4 for when the leaves start to fall and you need some real knobs to punch through.

  15. #15
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    Okay after some time on the XR3 on dry trails the bike just flys now, im still a little hesitant to really lean it over in the corners though.

    I read that a lot of people like the Minion DHF in the rear, so I bought one to try it out.
    2018 Canyon Spectral
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    2016 Salsa Bucksaw

  16. #16
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    XR3 is a great tire for dry terrain.
    Wet, not so much.

    On my bikes right now, I have XR4s. I never liked the old XR4 tread on the rear, but I do on the new tread.

    I use XR2s on my race bike, unless it's wet out. Then the XR4s go back on!

  17. #17
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    I chose the Vittoria cross country line for Mid-Pa trails. For winter I started with the Gato on the front and Barzo on the rear. For four months been riding mixed terrain at Swatera, Micheaux, Rattling Creak and the Hburg Green\Brown belt. Traction, cornering and rolling resistance all seem very good to me. The Barzo sheds mud faster then the Gato. Both shed mud much faster then big knobs.

    My original plan was to put the Barzo on the front and a Mezcal on the rear but I've been enjoying the winter combo in dry conditions so have yet to order the Mexcal.

    It may be more important to pick a brand with 2-4 mid weight tires and rotate around as season change rather than one tire. The brands seam very competative each with tires that cover the conditions. The Vittorias are very easy to mount.

    I've riden many of the Jersey, Philly area trails which are less rocky than Micheaux or Rattling Creak. Camdon is the only one with sand that I recall so maybe lighter tires will work for those trails.

    Outside of some downhill parks I don't see where heavy weight tires are needed. Some guys use them but I've seen them packed with mud. They may help protect agains punctures on sharper rocks. So far so good with mid weights on rocks.

  18. #18
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    The odd couple I'm currently using and in love with.
    R - Ikon 2.35 3c/exo/tr
    F - Hans Dampf 2.35 Addix soft

    Both chosen for their high volume, it's also a very fast combo. The Addix compound Hans rolls way faster than a tire with knobs that big should, and has incredible grip. The ikon is just the best rear tire for hardpack and loose over hardpack ever made.

    *I try really hard not to ride wet trails so I don't consider that need when I buy tires.

  19. #19
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    DHF/DHR2, maybe throw on an SS in the summer.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    Okay after some time on the XR3 on dry trails the bike just flys now, im still a little hesitant to really lean it over in the corners though.
    Cornering grip is more about the front tire than the rear. If youíre railing corners, look for a front tire with prominent side knobs, like HRII or Minion. Rear traction on rocks and roots is more about volume and suppleness. Ikon 2.35 in the rear surprised me how well it hooks up on rocks and roots, wet or dry. I have it paired with Ardent 2.4 front on a hardtail (27.5). If you havenít already, check and play with your rear suspension settings. That can greatly effect your rear traction on rocks and roots.

  21. #21
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    Ardent race/ikon for fast and dry, forekaster/ikon for leafy and fast, forekaster/ardent race for loamy, Ardent/ikon for everything else. I usually run 2.35/2.2 or thereabouts

  22. #22
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    Slick trails in PA this weekend. Wet weather tires did well.

  23. #23
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    Second time to rattling creek. I hesitated to go there due to reports it's difficult and rocky. I did the rough, smith and rattling creek tails plus some dirt road for 15 miles. It rained a lot last night so the trails were rocks and some roots but mostly wet leaves on hard pack . The bike and I did well, not as difficult as I expected. The winter tires are holding up great on these trails. This one was slower for me, I mostly ran gears 2-4.

    There are 10-15 rock gardens 10-50 foot long. I cleared most but lost momentum some times. never spinning, I need to work on low speed skills.

  24. #24
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    Dhr 2.2 on back
    Ardent 2.4 on front
    Love them.


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  25. #25
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    I just got a Canyon Spectral and the stock tire set up is pretty sweet Minion DHF 2.6 up front and Recon 2.6 on the back, even in this wet weather they held up really well.
    2018 Canyon Spectral
    2016 Ibis Ripley OG
    2016 Salsa Bucksaw

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    I just got a Canyon Spectral and the stock tire set up is pretty sweet Minion DHF 2.6 up front and Recon 2.6 on the back, even in this wet weather they held up really well.
    where are you riding most of the time? I'm in SE PA
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  27. #27
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    I ran the Bontrager XR4s at Dirt Fest where it was quite muddy. They performed very well...much better than expected.

  28. #28
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    It sure is raining a lot this year, just when the trails start to dry out we get more rain. I might be forced to buy a Maxxis Shorty or Beaver for the wet conditions.

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