Firebird and tire recomendations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Firebird and tire recomendations

    Hey ya'll,
    I got my firebird a couple of months ago and have had good results with the stock tire set up (Nev front, small 8 rear). But I was wondering if anyone has had better results with other tire setups? I just mounted up a Dissent 2.5 front, with a Bronson 2.3 rear, but I haven't tried it out yet. Anyone else running a Dissent 2.5 on the front with good results. It feels like it added 5lbs to the weight of the bike, so I'd probably only use it for freeride/dh(ish) territory.

    Anyways, just curious what other's are running on their birds.

    -Nate

  2. #2
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    You put a small block 8 on your bird?

  3. #3
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    What I said was, my FB came stock with a small block 8, but I took it off, replaced it with the WTB Bronson 2.3. It actually worked well in lots of conditions, but I agree, it's appearances lead to a less than optimal impression.

  4. #4
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    Good choice on removing that tire.

    I run Specialized Chunders, 2.3 Front/Rear.

  5. #5
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    I went with nobby nic 2.4 to start with, they were quite light and good rollers. Then fat albert 2.4, those were probably more grippy and a bit larger. This summer I got a pair of hans dampf, and immediately destroyed the rear in moab - not the best moab tire in retrospect. But the front survived and is super grippy, and to replace the rear I'm running a specialized purgatory 2.4 which is a faster roller than the HD. This combo is pretty great so far.

    So if you like a faster roller in the back I'd recommend the purgatory 2.4, or nobby nic if you want a 650g tire. The hans dampf is my current all time favorite front tire now, great for dry colorado conditions at least. It might be great in the wet too, haven't tried it though. It is a slower roller than the NN or the alberts, but that's not such a big deal as a front tire.

  6. #6
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    Right on, I like the idea of a light tire with big gnobs, so maybe I'll check out the nobby nicks. I wish that WTB made their bronson and weirwolf in larger than 2.3, because those tires ran tubeless are perfect for the conditions around where I live.

  7. #7
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    I've been running a 2.35 Excavator up front and a Small Block 8 in the 2.35 DH casing on back. Fast rolling with surprising grip and I can still plow thru the chunky stuff without worrying. My normal setup has just been Excavators for the last couple of years though; I really like how that tire performs
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  8. #8
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    I have a nearly worn flat Muddy Mary out back with a Rubber Queen 2.4 up front. I'll probably put a Hans Dampf out back when the Mary finally wears to the casing

    I hated the Dissent - horrible traction in all conditions IMO.
    "It looks flexy"

  9. #9
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    Conti Rubber Queens, 2.4" front, 2.2" rear.

  10. #10
    rfp
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    Fat Albert 2.4 with this years triple compound. They have worked very well so far.

  11. #11
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    I've been running the Specialzed Clutch XL up front & the Eskar 2 in the rear.
    Like the Clutch so far, Eskar 2 not so much. Going to try something different, maybe another Clutch or something from Maxxis.
    Clutch corners nice & holds a line in the chunk. Rolls well for a FR tire & so far has taken a beating.
    Eskar 2 after 3 months isn't holding up at all & the traction is ok going up steeps, but nothing special.
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  12. #12
    Big Test Icycles
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    Rubber Queen 2.4 front and old Cinder 2.25 rear. Anyone ever run a Slant Six? There is a FB on PinkBike with them and it caught my interest.


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  13. #13
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    I tried a Slant 6 but the sidewall was too thin for me. I cut it pretty quickly and just swapped back to my normal setup. They do roll super fast though...
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  14. #14
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    +1 for the excavators...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  15. #15
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    Ardent 2.4 F/R

  16. #16
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    ritchey zmax 1.9s
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  17. #17
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    I second the ardent 2.4 as a front tire. I haven't tried it as a rear tire. The non-UST sets up really easy on a Flow rim with stans. Relatively cheap too. I jus stuck with the nevegal for the rear. Everything else has burped or the sidewalls are done in a month.

  18. #18
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    I blew my Nevegals out in Sedona badly. New tires are the Fat Albert 2.4s. I love these tires. the sidewalls handle our rocky terrain and my 200lbs. I run about 32lbs tubeless.
    Ill try the Hans Dampfs on my Mojo when the Nobby Nics give out. those tires are too thin for SW terrain.

  19. #19
    HardyNutz
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    have u ran the excavators in the ust?

  20. #20
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    Last time I checked they didn't make a UST version of the Excavator yet. I run mine tubeless all the time though, both on Mavic 823's (UST rim) and on Stan's Flow rims. The kevlar bead is pretty hard to get sealed up (too porous) but the wire version works fine. Of course the sealant voids any warranty on the tire but I've never had an issue.
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  21. #21
    HardyNutz
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    oooohh thats where I went wrong.. I tried excavators for my outlaws and they wouldnt seal on stans strips, must be the kevlar bead. Im gonna run the outlaws when I go to the bike park. I have trail kings 2.4 ust on order for the bird now, hope they aren't too big /:

  22. #22
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    The Dissent 2.5 I was using up front was so heavy that I replaced it with the Nevgal 2.35 up front. I'm also finding that the Bronson is slow as puk for a back tire. Perhaps it's time to get on the Excavator.

  23. #23
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    Getting a good seal with any conversion is kinda hit and miss. Some rim/tire combos just don't work without a lot of frustration. I do like to add some latex mold builder to my sealant to help with the sealing though. That's also the only way I can get kevlar tires to hold air. Of course by the time they absorb all that sealant I may as well have used a wired bead anyway
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  24. #24
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    This might be off topic, but why are these tires so heavy? We've got aluminum frames and components that are light as can be and carbon's come so far in the last 5 years with carbon frames, rims, cranks. For example the Dissent 2.5 tire I got weighs over 3 lbs (to give you perspective my firebird is an anorexic 28lbs, so putting the Diss 2.5 was kind of a shock). I'm sure it's the Dissent's wire bead and heavy duty side walls and it's meant to take a lickin' and keep on tickin', but it's just too heavy. It's just kind of shocking that a tire can weight 2 pounds short of the new Carbon Mach5.7.

    So any recommendations for light tires that work well with the bird? Ansible recommended the Specialized purgatory 2.4 and a nobby nic.

  25. #25
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    I haven't had luck with light tires and the bird, I destroyed the first set of lightish tires I put on in less than month.

    I had a 2.4 Rubber Queen UST laying around, which is a beefy 1100g and slapped that on the front and have never looked back. I have a 2.4 UST trail king on the back. Depending on your terrain (mine being front range CO, rocky and dry) and your riding style (i ride like a gorilla on crank) and your weight (185 w/o gear), this will guide you to a few tires that you might consider. The benefit being that I can point that beautiful 20mm thru axle fox 36 at just about any rock garden, let off the brakes and CRUSH, without a thought that I might get a flat or shred a tire. This is the point where others brake check and attempt to tip toe through the line. I would say the tires have saved me more times than I could count.

    put as big of a tire as you can on the front and a faster rolling 2.2 on the back, which it looks like a few people here are doing for your most efficient set up. Stop looking at the scale. The suspension magic of DW, negates a lot of the weight penalty IMO. I am typically near the front of the pack within the crew of 15 or so that I normally ride with (when in shape) through the season and I am carrying at least 6lbs more of bike than any one of them, except the other Firebird.

    I could give 2 turds who gets to the top first, its all about who gets down first with the biggest smile.
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  26. #26
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    That's great feedback; I know I gotta keep my eyes off the scale.

    The way my bird is set up, it's really meant to be an all-day all mnt and many miles up and down kind of bike...I run a 100m stem if that gives you any indication. It just doesn't feel right to put a 3 lbs tire on the front. I'm west coast, so we have a lot of loamy Redwood trails. We also have plenty of tough rocky tech trails here where I ride, and no matter what tire I'm running I get to the bottom fastest of my group.

    Anyways, I guess I'm looking for something in the 2.4(ish) range for the front, and something fast rolling for the back. The Bronson 2.3 I put on the rear is even too much rolling resistance, especially when I compare it to the way the bike showed up stock with the small block 8's. Frankly, I'm tempted to the put the 8's back on since they are the fastest rear tire I have right now.

    My other point is that why isn't there a high volume (2.4 or 2.5) tough tire that is sub 1000grams?

    It sounds like I gotta suck it up and deal with the heavy weight tires, but I'd love to keep things feather weight as much as possible. Ken's setup sounds like it might fit the bill too.

    I better stop before some calls me a weight wiener/whiner/weenie.

  27. #27
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by natedawg0420 View Post
    That's great feedback; I know I gotta keep my eyes off the scale.

    The way my bird is set up, it's really meant to be an all-day all mnt and many miles up and down kind of bike...I run a 100m stem if that gives you any indication. It just doesn't feel right to put a 3 lbs tire on the front. I'm west coast, so we have a lot of loamy Redwood trails. We also have plenty of tough rocky tech trails here where I ride, and no matter what tire I'm running I get to the bottom fastest of my group.

    Anyways, I guess I'm looking for something in the 2.4(ish) range for the front, and something fast rolling for the back. The Bronson 2.3 I put on the rear is even too much rolling resistance, especially when I compare it to the way the bike showed up stock with the small block 8's. Frankly, I'm tempted to the put the 8's back on since they are the fastest rear tire I have right now.

    My other point is that why isn't there a high volume (2.4 or 2.5) tough tire that is sub 1000grams?

    It sounds like I gotta suck it up and deal with the heavy weight tires, but I'd love to keep things feather weight as much as possible. Ken's setup sounds like it might fit the bill too.

    I better stop before some calls me a weight wiener/whiner/weenie.
    Weight weenie!! :> ;>

    Dh casing tires are just gonna be heavy. It's the nature of the beast.
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  28. #28
    crash and burn at 45
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    you just got to man up and climb it mine is no shuttle queen, every ride around here usually starts with at least a 1k climb, sunday I did a 2k climb to 9700ft at Bergen. Sucked getting up there, as I am out of bike shape right now, but boy oh boy was the descent $$$.

    check out the Wheel and Tire forum, might get some better search results or answers there, but lots of opinions. For sub 1k gram tire in the 2.4, the Schwalbe and Maxxis are probably good places to start. I want to try the Ardent, I have heard good things.
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  29. #29
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    The Hans Dampf is very large volume for a 2.4 and rolls well, and is well under 1000g. Personally, I love the Rubber Queen 2.4 UST up front - it just digs in and is great on NW dirts.

    Anyone tried the Nevegal mod where you cut the middle/side knobs out? It's supposed to create a superb front tire with mega traction.
    "It looks flexy"

  30. #30
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    Natedawg keep in mind I only weigh 142 or so, I'm not as hard on tires as some. That nobby nic I found to be a pretty good tire for trail (considering its weight), but I'm betting it wouldn't survive resort style riding so well. I didn't have any problems with the sidewall or anything though. Compared to the hans dampf you give up some grip with the nobby nic too, so its a tradeoff.

  31. #31
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    If you're wanting to keep the weight low I would totally recommend a high volume kevlar bead tire up front since your weight is mainly on the rear tire. You could try something like a lower volume but thicker casing tire on back to minimize pinch flats (or cuts if running tubeless). I'm running a 2.1 Karma UST on my DJ and while that tire isn't exactly "meaty" the knobs do provide a surprising amount of control without sacrificing rolling resistance. I'd prefer a 2.35 version but you can't have everything right?
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  32. #32
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    I like the Schwable Big Betty tires in the TrailStar (UST) compound. Big volume, reasonably light at 1100 gr, and fairly low rolling resistance. They also hold up well to hard landings as I haven't had them show any signs of burping even at pressures as low as 20 psi. I have seen several of the Rubber Queen 2.4 's delaminate from the casing on hard landings and have stopped using them as a consequence.

  33. #33
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    Just my .$02. I live on Colorado's Front Range where the terrain in rocky, sandy/loamy and usually dry. I ride my FB harder that I rode my last bike (A Maverick ML8) and have tried several tires this summer trying to find the right balance between an aggressive tire and one that is too heavy to do the big climbs that are part of most of my rides. I had a set of Hutchinson Barracuda 2.35 MRC UST that were so amazing I felt like a hero, but they weighed in at 1500 grams each. They were too much weight on the climbs, so began my swappage...

    Currently, I'm running a Geax Lobo mas Loco 2.5 on the front (about 950 grams) and a 2.5 Minion DHF EXO on the rear (about 850 grams), both tubeless. Tires feel great. The Geax hold loose corners very well and the DHF digs in to grip the climbs and brakes (without sliding out) better than anything else I've tried (except the heavy Hutchinsons mentioned above). I tried the Nevegal 2.35 that came on the FB and while they were really light and okay overall, they did not inspire much confidence to push the abilities of the bike on the loose stuff around here. I also have ridden a 2.3 Specialized Clutch SX on the front and 2.2 Purgatory on the rear. The Specialized setup felt pretty fast, but wouldn't float above the sandy stuff very well without dropping the pressure so low that it felt like I was risking damaging the rims on rocks. Tried a Minion DHF 2.5 EXO in the front also, but the Geax has a much bigger volume (the Minions are closer to everybody else's 2.3) and just seems to do better on my local trails. However, the DHF rocks on the front when the terrain is more hard-packed than here.

    I hope this helps.

  34. #34
    HardyNutz
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    first ride on the conti trail kings 2.4(ust) in sedona, they worked really well and sealed on non tubeless rims with stans and stans tape

  35. #35
    HardyNutz
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandalay711 View Post
    Ardent 2.4 F/R
    are you running those tubeless? has anyone had luck running a 2.4 ardent tubeless?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hardy View Post
    are you running those tubeless? has anyone had luck running a 2.4 ardent tubeless?
    Bent-it was running them when Kevin T and he came through 3 years ago (was it that long ago?). He killed all our trails when it was really dry and rode them on Whistler's trails as well.

    I'm running a 2.4 rubber queen on the front and a really worn down Muddy Mary - more like a dried up crusty Mary at this point and it's killing the trails. Probably worth getting a Muddy Mary and clipping the knobs down or maybe their DH tire... what was that called again?
    Last edited by gticlay; 08-30-2011 at 07:34 AM.
    "It looks flexy"

  37. #37
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    Wow, over 3 years already! Time really does fly...
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  38. #38
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    I run my non-ust 2.4 ardent tubeless in the front on a flow rim. 6 months and no issues other than the odd stans booger.

  39. #39
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    Nevegal 2.5 in front and Minion DHFr 2.5 in back

    Tried a Minion on the front, but I didn't like it as much as the Nevegal

    Tried a Nevegal in the back (years ago) and it wore out in NTF
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  40. #40
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    Just picked up a Trail King 2.2 for the back. My LBS had a good deal going on them so I got two. I swapped out the RQ UST 2.4 up front to see if I'd like the matched set and it rolls great. It blows up to 55mm as stated which makes it a true 2.2 tire. (I've had Maxxis 2.5 tires that were this size). It weighed in at 651g compared to the 1100g 2.4 i'm no weight watcher but the loss of almost a pound in tire weight makes the bike much more responsive. More trail time required to see if it stays up front.



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  41. #41
    ZEN RIDER!
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    My impression of the Clutch Control initially was it was a great front tire, especially after the Purgatory. After riding it for a few months I'm at odds with it. Running low pressure the side wall is flexy and not in a good way, ramp the pressure up & its bouncy, skips off of everything, and looses its traction, especially on the rear. If the conditions are dry its a decent tire that rolls great for the aggressive tread, on the wet or greasy days it is not confidence inspiring at all.
    My buddy rides the Clutch SX & loves them, although he's not running tubeless & likes a bouncier setup in general. My guess is the sx has a thicker sidewall & softer rubber closer to the eskar i had been running on for 5 or so years.
    The Clutch I will say so far has taken a beating with in the last few months & the sidewall looks new still & the tread has worn well.
    I am riding harder & pushing my Firebird more than my last bike, so take my review with a grain of salt, because i'm thinking i just need a more aggressive tire in general & something slightly bigger.
    I to have been kicking around the idea of going Big Betty, Trail Queen, or Muddy Mary for the winter.
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