Tire ideas for PA riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tire ideas for PA riding?

    I am in the market for new tires on my GF superfly. I was wondering if anyone has opinions on what works for them in PA. I am located about 2 hours east of Pittsburgh in the Boones.

    Also any recommendation for Ergon grips and a pair of shorts would be nice as well. I have a few ideas, but sometimes my ideas just blow up in my face. I have been leaning towards some bib shorts. Anyone have any experience with them?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    nevegals are always good
    i have been riding bibs for years now and i love em everything stays just where it should all the time i had asked a guy i saw wearing them long ago and he said if you try em you'll never where anything else he was right at least for me

  3. #3
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    I've had very good luck with Maxxis Ignitors this year.

  4. #4

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    Loving the Conti Mountain King 29x2.2

    I am also riding the GX-2 now and rode the small GC-2 on my previous bike. I like them both and haven't noticed much difference between the two.

  5. #5
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    geez it all depends on what trails u are riding. PA has a lot of diverse terrain so tires can vary alot depending on where u are using them. as a general observation though i have found that just about anything from Maxxis usually works well. just try and match the tread design / intended purpose with your style / locale.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, well to thicken the plot I usually work east of the Mississippi so I ride lots of places. I have the Maxxis CrossMark. they are ok, I think if I use the CrossMark for the rear and picked up a different front tire that might work. I guess there is no easy answer.

  7. #7
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    I have 29ers, don't know if that matters.

    My issue in PA is rocks. I like Ignitors, but tore two sidewalls. I am using Panaracer Rampages now with good luck. A little slower in the back, but worth the durability.

  8. #8
    Prez NMBA
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    id put my vote in for conti mountain kings, but the 2.2 are really narrow, if you can fit the 2.4 id go that route, more tread on them too. but all i have run are 26" UST version, great sidewalls, really hold up to the rocks in central PA

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by glahnb
    I have 29ers, don't know if that matters.

    My issue in PA is rocks. I like Ignitors, but tore two sidewalls. I am using Panaracer Rampages now with good luck. A little slower in the back, but worth the durability.
    I like my Panaracer Rampage on the front (in PA rocks). And I got a killer deal on Amazon.com ($20 each IIRC). I can't use one in the back because it's too wide and rubs the chain when I'm in a low gear. I'm looking forward to more posts here about a good rear tire.

  10. #10
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    if conditions are dry i think your crossmarks will be okay, but if things are damp I don't think they have aggressive enough tread.

    +1 on the nevegals, I have the 2.2 on my 29er and they work fab here ( Wilkes-Barre area ).

  11. #11
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    If you are going to be riding a lot of rocky terrain do not use Kenda Nevegal DTC 2.1 The side wall on this specific tire width is real thin and tears easy! I am in the market for new tires with thicker side walls. If you do not ride on a lot of rocks they are great tires. They grip well.

  12. #12
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    thats the irony of the neve product line, the non UST have too thin of side walls and the UST versions have too thin of tread wall. plus the tread wears really fast. but the side wall wear like iron. if only they could find a happy medium

  13. #13
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    those are the reasons I eschew the smaller tires, I like the 2.2+ size tires (i'm new in this region, but I think the 2.2-2.3-ish sizes will be the right stuff for here).

    more meat on the tires == longer treadwear and usually better sidewalls

    keep the narrow stuff ( <=2.1 ) for racing, IMO.

  14. #14
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    Nevegals shed knobs pretty easily and tear sidewalls pretty easily, too. And wiegh more than Rampages, I believe. Very similar tread patterns.

    Rampages in 2.3 are a very good all-around tire, roll kinda slow, though. Tougher and longer-wearing than the Nevegals.

    Conti Mtn Kings, in 2.4, depending on rider size, are great for loose and wet traction. Tough sidewalls, too. My wife runs 2.2s and loves them.

    I have a Kenda Karma 2.2 on the back of my SS that's pretty nice for a lower profile tire. Faster than the Rampage and Nevegal and still with decent traction and size. The front tire is a Mtn King 2.4 for cornering traction.

    Tried a Maxxis Ardent 2.25 on the back of my full-suspension--nice tire but I cut the sidewall after about 5-6 rides. I plan to fix it and keep running it.

    Oh yeah--the above are all 29er tire sizes. Mostly run tubeless, except on the SS.

    What size wheels are you riding? How big are you?

    And bibs rule. Yards of chub-hugging lycra, as a friend of mine said once.
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  15. #15
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    I see you're from Northern Cambria. I'm from Johnstown so I assume we are probably riding the same trails. I've found the Kenda Nevegals are great for when you absolutely have to have the best traction. But they roll very slowly, and wear quickly. I use them as front tires for my big bike and nothing else anymore. For my hardtail I usually use some moto style knobby in the front, and a michelin xc dry 2 in the rear. The rear tire actually works very well in the conditions around here and in the Eastern US in general. It's light and rolls very quickly. Right now I'm using a IRC trailbear in the front and its working great. Wears like irons, reasonably light, rolls fast and grips very well. The WTB moto raptor is a very similar tire.

  16. #16
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    I always use to have good luck with Panaracer Fire XCs on my hard tail in eastern PA. Im out here from CO for a month or so and i have some tire choices. I Brought a set of fire XCs, racing Ralfs, and some simi slicks that worked well at blue marsh when its dry.

  17. #17
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    I've been using WTB Exiwolf tires here in the Reading area. They work well roll fast and seem to give me decent traction. The down side is that they are a bit soft and somewhat thin. I've had a some flats because of that, but they are light so I can't complain.

    These here in 2.1

  18. #18
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    I have been running Specialized The Captain S-Works with great luck in and around Pittsburgh. I been running them since winter and have been loving them since I got them. They offer a great cross between fast rolling, like the Specialized Fast Track, and also hook up really well in a lot of terrain like the Specialized Purgatory. This tire was designed by Ned Overend, who has a lot of tire experience in his super long career in the MTB world, and has ridden in PA quite a bit.

    The S-Works version that I have, both of my tires were 520g. Before going with both tires S-Works, I had an S-Works up front and a Control in back. The control was 620g.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser
    I always use to have good luck with Panaracer Fire XCs on my hard tail in eastern PA. Im out here from CO for a month or so and i have some tire choices. I Brought a set of fire XCs, racing Ralfs, and some simi slicks that worked well at blue marsh when its dry.
    I run these tubeless on the rear of both my bikes. Great tire could be alittle bit better on wet rocks but at 23 psi they do ok. If I am doing alot of rocks I switch to a 2.1 Blue groove rear.

    For the front I run the the massive 2.4 Panaracer Fire freeride. This tire is faster than just about anything else I have ever ridden and doesnt ever not have grip. I run it tubeless at 20 psi. Race it SS open and expert gears and place mid pack(mostly due to lack of riding).

    grips rocks great I could literally come to a stop on this thing if I wanted to even with it slightly wet.


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by amillmtb
    I have been running Specialized The Captain S-Works with great luck in and around Pittsburgh. I been running them since winter and have been loving them since I got them. They offer a great cross between fast rolling, like the Specialized Fast Track, and also hook up really well in a lot of terrain like the Specialized Purgatory. This tire was designed by Ned Overend, who has a lot of tire experience in his super long career in the MTB world, and has ridden in PA quite a bit.

    The S-Works version that I have, both of my tires were 520g. Before going with both tires S-Works, I had an S-Works up front and a Control in back. The control was 620g.
    Forgot about those. Great tires for Western PA!!!

  21. #21
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    I'm currently running a nevegal in the front and a captain on the back. awesome combo IMO.

  22. #22
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    Another Cambria County rider here. Running Maxxis Ignitors on my 29. I like 'em at 38 psi and they run fine over the rocky goodness of Laurel Mountain. Always treated me well down in the Monongahela National Forest of WV as well.
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  23. #23
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    Conti Mountain Kings work great in the rocks at Michaux!

  24. #24
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    Thanks guys, One of the biggest problems I had on my 26" bike was flat tires. The 29er still gets flat tires but not that bad.

    FTR (For The Record) I am 5'11" 215lbs I usually run 32-35 PSI,

  25. #25
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    I'm running a 2.1 nevegal front and 2.1 small block 8 rear this summer. I don't reccomend the small block since it mud packs quickly, doesn't shed well and before I adjusted my climbing style it spun out regularly on uphill roots. On the plus side when it's dry they fly and do grip to rock surfaces nicely and have been reliable on ladders and log crossings. Think i'll deal the rest of the season but go back to 2 nevegals next year.

  26. #26
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    for how good the nevegals are fore and aft tractions wise they are quite possiable the worst tires ever for cornering. you probably wont believe me but then you might not corner with tons of bike lean. I have never seen a guy/girl on nevegals who can rail a decent turn, due to the nevegals sketchy and quick break away.

  27. #27
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    Cornering is my weakness.

  28. #28
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    Stick a Conti Mtn King 2.4 on the front...
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  29. #29
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    Hutchinson Toro

    I had good luck w/ a 2.15 Toro (26") on the back for SE PA riding.

    I was running a tube, but was able to lower the pressure to about 29-30 psi w/o any pinch issues.

    It rolls well, hooks up, but ironically, it packs up quickly and completely anywhere near 'peanut butter' mud. It is supposed to preform well in mud, which it does to a point...anything but thick, sticky.

    It's not too common, and you can find them cheap.
    I picked mine up at performance for $24. It also seems quite durable.

    (I switched to a Racing Ralph, once the June rainy season ended to do some races.)

  30. #30
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    Conti Mountain King 2.4's with Stan's tubeless conversion are my personal favorite

  31. #31
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    to those of you running tubes, you do realize that almost noone on the Pro XC circuit runs tubes or pressures over 25 psi?

    just saying tubeless is faster rolling, grippier, more reliable, easier on your body, and you get less flats and eventually even cost less especailly if you do the ghetto way and make your own rim strips and use non UST tires. tubes are like running threaded stem, or a car with carbs. outdated and they are making you slower.

  32. #32
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    Are you talking 26" or 29"? Pro XC riders also usually weigh a helluvalot less than 215.

    It's a trade off in 29" because UST and TNT/TLR tires are few and far between. The trade off is usually trading pinch flats for sidewall cuts, at least in my experience. True, though, pinch flats can happen every ride while sidewall cuts are usually less prevalent--but a PITA when they happen.

    That being said, I run tubeless on my full-sus rig and tubes on the SS, basically because of rims. I still like the advantages tubeless gives me, however, tubes on a set of Salsa Gordos are pretty OK, too. I can get down to around 27-28 pounds in the front.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
    to those of you running tubes, you do realize that almost noone on the Pro XC circuit runs tubes or pressures over 25 psi?

    just saying tubeless is faster rolling, grippier, more reliable, easier on your body, and you get less flats and eventually even cost less especailly if you do the ghetto way and make your own rim strips and use non UST tires. tubes are like running threaded stem, or a car with carbs. outdated and they are making you slower.
    I hear what you're saying, but you do realize that pro xc riders are faster than the rest of us because they are pros, not because of any tire set up, right? A pro on the same wheel set as me is still going to drop me like an 8:00 AM latin class. And I'm not sure that a UST at 25 psi is necessarily faster than a tubed set at 38 psi. The lower pressures bring many benefits but also a larger contact patch and therefore, more resistance. Just saying.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis
    I hear what you're saying, but you do realize that pro xc riders are faster than the rest of us because they are pros, not because of any tire set up, right? A pro on the same wheel set as me is still going to drop me like an 8:00 AM latin class. And I'm not sure that a UST at 25 psi is necessarily faster than a tubed set at 38 psi. The lower pressures bring many benefits but also a larger contact patch and therefore, more resistance. Just saying.
    the pros are fast because well they are pros. but skinny tires and high pressure are slow. Pros do not run skinny tires/at high pressures any more. This has been tested multiple ways now including with a power meter. Opinions dont matter any more just the facts.

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/wider_faster_page

    deflection slows the tire down, the skinnier and higher the pressure the slow it will go.

    taken from an article on rolling resistance

    "Over inflating tires (such a bicycle tires) may not lower the overall rolling resistance as the tire may skip and hop over the road surface. Traction is sacrificed, and overall rolling friction may not be reduced as the wheel rotational speed changes and slippage increases"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
    for how good the nevegals are fore and aft tractions wise they are quite possiable the worst tires ever for cornering. you probably wont believe me but then you might not corner with tons of bike lean. I have never seen a guy/girl on nevegals who can rail a decent turn, due to the nevegals sketchy and quick break away.
    I have had really good luck with the Nevegal on the front, even in corners. Plenty of grip for "railing" corners, although I do run a 2.35 in the front and that may help.

    As Lugboot stated, sharp rocky terrain can tear the knobs off, from what I have observed, this is more likey when run as a rear tire IMO due to a greater % of body weight being supported by the rear. I have somewhere close to 300 miles on the front Nevegal and so far so good. My 2.35 Nevegal Stick-E weighs 789 grams. Pretty heavy, but as it is on the front, I live with it. My 2.35 DTC (Dual Tread Compound) weighed in @ 710. I have not had a chance to test it yet to see if that rubber compound is better or worse than the Stick-E.

    I have run a 2.3 WTB Exiwolf on the rear, and although a decent tire, it was nothing exceptional. The tightly spaced knobs would pack up quickly with muck. I purchased two 2.3's, one was 815 grams, the other was 858 grams. WAY too heavy for a kevlar(IIRC) 2.3.

    I ran Maxxis Larsen TT MaxxPro 2.35's front and rear for about 400 miles and they did a decent job, although the closely spaced knobs would also pack up with muck, and they did not have alot of cornering knobs. Avg weight of my 4 Larsen TT's= ~605 grams. It should be noted these tires are closer to 2.2 in width. I will probably toss a new one back on my rear wheel when my current tire wears out.

    I am currently running a Maxxis High Roller MaxxPro 60a 2.35 Kevlar on the rear, it seems to be the best so far, although I am not getting alot of mileage out of it as I have done some road riding with it. Weight = 660 grams.
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  36. #36
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    I'm waiting for you to finally get something like a Lenz Lunchbox or Niner WFO.
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  37. #37
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    Been thinking about it for awhile!

    As you know, I just picked up a freeride bike, so the Niner will probably have to wait til next year. No room for 6 bikes right now. Lol.
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  38. #38
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    here in the ADK's a lot of guys an gals are running Nevegals or Fire Xc's (which I use). Also Bib-Shorts are the way to go....
    From the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains

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  39. #39
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    I'll pass on the bib shorts, but Nevegals are on my short list after I retire the Exiwolfs. They work well, but as was mentioned they load up with 'peanut butter' mud. I remember hitting a ton of that at Blue Marsh one weekend after I couldn't stand waiting for the weather and rode anyway. (my mistake) Otherwise I'd say they're a good hard/loose/moist tire. I haven't had issues with them other than the mud. They're a bit soft and thus prone to puncture flats also.

    I always wanted to try Maxxis Minions also but they're a bit on the heavy side for my XC hard tail. If I got an AM/FR bike and didnt like the Nevegals I might try them.

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