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  1. #1
    the half breed devil
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    what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    yeah, i know there might be a thread about this elsewhere but i don't feel like looking for it.

    never mind all that. when i finished my SS ride last night, i was just marvelling at how much i liked the tires on my bike. i just want to see your opinions on what's the best tire you've ever used. you can tell me why, where you live and all that. or maybe not. just tell me what your favorite tire is.

    so far, my favorite MTB tire to date has to be the panaracer 29x 2.35 rampage. i've run them on both my geared hardtail and currently on my rigid SS. this tire has worked wonderfully for everything i've ever encountered here in northern california.

    let's hear what you all think.

  2. #2
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    Maxis ardent 2.4 up front. Dry, SW singletrack

  3. #3
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    Rocket Ron

  4. #4
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Bontrager 29-3 Team Issue 29x2.25". I'm pissed it is no longer produced...
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  5. #5
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    Minion dhf for grip, Specialized Fast Trak for speed.

  6. #6
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    My list is pretty short as only been doing it for 12-13 months...

    Best I've used so far ^^ FT Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35 Trailstar- except for loose gravel, it eats up everything. Still looking for ultimate RT, Conti Trail King 2.2 - arriving 25/12/14 might fit the bill
    Last edited by targnik; 11-28-2014 at 01:42 AM.
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  7. #7
    wannabee
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    2.2 Captain 2bliss rear, all conditions in the SW US and a Wild Grippr 2.25 up front. On a rail...
    .....

  8. #8
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    Dhf & dhr2

  9. #9
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    It depends on what bike i'm on and terrain obviously, but a couple combinations I really like. I ride in So-Cal, mostly loose over hard-pack. Seldom to no Mud riding here. I like to climb as much as descend.

    Spesh Ground Control rear, Purgatory front. Both Control casing. Used this on my old 26" Stumpy, and it was an amazing combo for an all-around fairly aggressive pair.

    Spesh Fast Trak front and back on my Epic. 2.2 X 29 front in control casing, 2.0 X 29 rear also in Control version. Better flat protection than the S-Works version of the same tires. This is my current tire setup. Light and fast with fair flat protection. I run Stan's almost always unless I am in a situation where it's easier to go with a tube.

    Also like the WTB Bronson quite a bit on a trail bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Rocket Ron
    Second that!
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 10:40 PM.

  11. #11
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    WTB Moto Raptor that I had on my old 26" mtb. They worked well in everything and lasted forever. Still have them in my garage, maybe i'll make some homemade studded tires out of them.

  12. #12
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    I reckon it's completely terrain and riding style dependent, But FWIW here is my 2 pennies :
    I like Conti Trail Kings on my Nomad, they grip well in all our trail conditions, fine in the park and on bermed stuff and not too heavy / high rolling resistance.

    The KM I run either RaRa's (2.25) or a 2.35 Nobby Nic upfront which works really well for bike packing and adventuring. I use the Evo, Snakeskin tubeless ready versions (although they have now changed this to Tubeless Easy whatever that means? just got a new one yesterday). I tried Rocket Rons and ripped a sidewall out pretty quickly - They are fast and Uber light but I would only use them as a race tire.

    Road bike Conti GP4000s clinchers all the way

  13. #13
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    WTB bronson race 2.2 have been awesome in all conditions, dry, wet, roots and rocks. Plus turn in and corner grip is much better than the conti mtn kings/ x king

  14. #14
    the half breed devil
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    the moto raptor would be number two for me. i was running a big one on my superlight before i sold it. i actually had to trim the rear one for clearance...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-dscn4338.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Maxxis Ardent 2.4 in 29er and also Spec Butcher 2.3 in 26er are high on my list of favorites.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Bontrager 29-3 Team Issue 29x2.25". I'm pissed it is no longer produced...
    the new XR3 is damn good in 2.20 or 2.30

  17. #17
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    Re: what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Dhf & dhr2
    Heard a lot of good about the DHF DHR tires but haven't got to try them yet; or the XR3 which I heard good things about too.

    For now, I love these Ardents 2.4 front 2.25 rear on my 29er.


  18. #18
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Maxxis Minion DHF, DHR on the back ain't bad too, but the DHF is a better rear tire than the DHR is a front.

    You can take these at crazy angles on rocks and just "stick" to the rocks/trail.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  19. #19
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    DHR2 is my current favorite I'd even take it over the DHF unless I was looking for the bigger 2.5 that you can get in the DHF. I'm also like the Laresen when I'm looking for something lighter. I've also tried Schwalbe racing ralphs, nobby nic's and hans damph's but find my person preference is for Maxxis.

    AL

  20. #20
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Spec Purgatory

    - not the best for any one thing, but if I had only one tire to use for all trails, front and back, that would be it.

  21. #21
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    Bontrager Team Issue XR4 2.35/2.2 for me.

  22. #22
    The White Jeff W
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    Dry summer months - Racing Ralph 2.35 Pacestar - Snakeskin - TLR.

    Good grip - reasonable weight - rolls easy - durable - painless tubeless set-up

    Winter/wet season - Still looking. Last year I used a Nobby Nic rear - Hans Dampf front - Both Pacestar - Snakeskin - TLR

    They worked great in the snow but are sketchy on wet rocks/roots. Durable - good grip - painless tubeless set-up - Good summer combo also but overkill on dry hardpack.

    Just got a fatbike yesterday so Ill revise my winter tire thoughts in the spring
    No moss...

  23. #23
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    Kenda Nevagal/WTB Velociraptor

    Seriously, I admit I started riding before the invention of the wheel but I'm still surprised it took until now to mention these two. The Velociraptor practically started the All Mountain/Enduro concept twenty years ago and its still around.

  24. #24
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    So far, It's been the 2.4 Ardent up front, (26" and 29") and in 26" the 2.1 Nevegal, 29" the 2.2 Saguaro.

    I like them because they work on the kind of trail I ride, they wear really slow, and they offer low rolling resistance on pavement.

  25. #25
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    Ardent 29 x 2.4 front. Ikon 2.35 rear. Both EXO.

  26. #26
    Brackish
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    Re: what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    For trail, Kenda Nevegal 26x2.35 folding beads, for The Shore and parks 2.5 wire bead Nevie up front, 2.5 wire bead Excavator out back, both DH casing and Stick-E compound.

  27. #27
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    Oh, I can appreciate the Ardent, the Nevegal, the Velociraptor, the Fire XC Pro, Minions, Hi-Rollers, Karmas, etc., but for some reason - maybe it was the terrain, or my bike set-up, or my elementary riding style at the time - The Tioga Farmer John is still my favorite tire.
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    This thing hooked up when I wanted it to on all kinds of surfaces, and broke free real gradually so that I could pedal out of a turn without losing the rear end completely. I'm sure it's heavy by any standard, but it worked!

    The Farmer John's Cousin may have even been a better tire, but I never rode one.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  28. #28
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    And please stop posting close-ups of your tires with poop on them.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  29. #29
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyJ7 View Post
    the new XR3 is damn good in 2.20 or 2.30
    ^^ This right here!

  30. #30
    From my cold, dead hands
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    Dang, I was hoping some of you guys would say the Maxxis High Roller 2 as that is what is coming stock on my new bike. Never ridden them but I guess I'll find out for myself when my bike gets here.

  31. #31
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTee View Post
    Dang, I was hoping some of you guys would say the Maxxis High Roller 2 as that is what is coming stock on my new bike. Never ridden them but I guess I'll find out for myself when my bike gets here.
    Those are an old staple, they seem to have a pretty steady following. Not great, but usually doesn't disappoint either. I used some at Trestle this season and they were ok. The traction of soft minions is in a league of it's own, but the HR can be good when you don't want to buy tires as frequently, as they are generally harder rubber.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  32. #32
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    Its my first time posting on here. I haven't ridden too many tires but my fav dh tires have been high roller2 front and dhr2 rear. Dhf is a great tire but the other tires are better for more techical terrain.

    My hardtail wears specialised chunders front and ardents rears. And I ride on the north shore.

    Quote Originally Posted by JayTee View Post
    Dang, I was hoping some of you guys would say the Maxxis High Roller 2 as that is what is coming stock on my new bike. Never ridden them but I guess I'll find out for myself when my bike gets here.

  33. #33
    Sneaker man
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    For me Panaracer Smoke, still use them today. Especially Smoke on the front and Smoke Lite on the rear.

    Also IRC Mythos XC front and Michilin Lite S on the rear.
    All the gear and no idea.

  34. #34
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    First choice: Schalwbe Rocket Ron Evo
    Second choice: Kenda Nevegal. 2nd because it's heavy. But man! That Grip!

  35. #35
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    Thanks Fleas and mik_git for the trip down memory lane! I loved Onza's Porcupines and the Panaracer Smoke. I was a poor kid back then, all I could afford were the Panaracer Khartoum's at $12 a tire. They were a GREAT tire and you could buy a six pack of em for what one of today's tires costs.
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  36. #36
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    Depends on what I am looking for out of a tire. Typically I favor an aggressive tread that hooks up great over varied conditions but unfortunately have a good amount of rolling resistance.

    For the front I liked Rampages but graduated to On One Chunky Monkey, can't say enough good things about this tire. This was before the Minions were available in 29er. Rear I like ignitors or conti black chili mountain kings.

    Switching to 650b in the near future which closes some doors and opens others. The Highroller II as a rear I like a lot, very predicable. For the front I like the Minion DHF but the Conti Kaiser 2.4 seems like it would be a great front tire. Haven't ridden one but have had one in hand.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  37. #37
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    Original Klein Death Grips SL in 26X2.35. light fast tons of grip. Also the early Specialized ground controls in Umma Gumma compound, they wore fast but stuck like glue

  38. #38
    Just Ride !
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    Hans Damph (Orc) f / Nobby Nic 2.25 (pacestar) r, have served me very well this season , not perfect but can't complain really .

    I want to try some WTB Team Issue Vigilante's next go around .
    Hit the trails with your bike and get freaky. :cornut:

  39. #39
    Dream it, Do it.
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    I've got high praise for the Hans Dampf and the 2015 Nobby Nic. The Hans Dampf has a great blend of cornering traction, reasonable rolling resistance and excellent communication about available grip. The 2015 Nobby Nic has better rolling resistance in trade for slightly lower grip. The High Roller II in the soft 3C compound also had great traction, but felt super slow rolling. I've posted the summary report from our first tire comparison test at:

    Pacific Northwest Winter Tire Comparison Test: 2015 Nobby Nic, High Roller II, Neo-Moto & Hans Dampf — DIRT MERCHANT BIKES

    Four tire combinations were tested in Seattle winter conditions by product testers riding either a Turner Flux (120mm rear travel) or a Turner Burner (140mm rear travel). The tires tested were:

    Maxxis High Roller 27.5" x 2.3 Front & Rear, 3C compound/EXO - Front & Rear
    Panaracer Neo-Moto 27.5" x 2.3 - Front & Rear
    Schwalbe Hans Dampf: 27.5" x 2.25 Front & Rear, Pacestar/Snakeskin - Front & Rear
    Schwalbe Nobby Nic: 27.5" x 2.35 Front, 2.25 Rear, Pacestar/Snakeskin

    I'll be doing a follow-up to the tire comparison test in the next several weeks with the lineup of tires for the next test consisting of the following:

    1. Hans Dampf 2.25 (front)/Nobby Nic 2.25 (rear) – This combination balances the traction of the Hans Dampf as a front tire with a faster rolling Nobby Nic as the rear tire.
    2. Magic Mary 2.35 (front)/Hans Dampf 2.25(rear) – The Magic Mary is the highest traction tire in the Schwalbe lineup short of a full-on downhill tire.
    3. WTB Vigilante 2.3 (front)/ WTB Trail Boss 2.3 (rear)
    4. Continental Trail King 2.2 Protection Apex - front & rear – The Trail King is similar in concept to the Hans Dampf.
    5. Continental Mountain King II 2.2 Protection - front & rear: The Mountain King is similar in concept to the Nobby Nic.

    I'll be posting the next tire comparison test report in mid to late-December on my bike shop's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dirtmerchantbikes
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba View Post
    The Velociraptor was practically copied from the Panaracer Dart twenty years ago and its still around.
    Fixored

    Two best tires for an excellent cardiovascular workout are the Sticky Nevegal and the DHEA.
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  41. #41
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    Best setup I've ever ridden with:
    Front: Maxxis Ikon 29x2.35
    Rear: Maxxis Ardent 29x2.25
    -------------
    Kona HeiHei, heavy Mongoose fat bike & some cheap Fuji road bike...

  42. #42
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    I picked up a set of Stan's Crows 29 x 2.00 off a clearence table a few years back for dirt cheap. Mounted them up and have loved them, what shocked me the most about these tires are there versitility. Quite possibly the best mud tire I've ever used they never clogged and are self cleaning to boot. On dry stuff I love the way they can be drifted at will, along with being very trail advocate friendly if you got to lock them up.

  43. #43
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    WTB Wolverine Race 2.2
    Have them on my Heckler, roll nice and decent traction. Not the greatest in wet weather, but overall the best so far!
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  44. #44
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    Back in the day (90's) -
    Front - Specialized Team Control
    what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-teamcontrol.jpg
    Rear - IRC Mythos XC
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    Currently -
    Front - Bontrager XR4 (oddly enough, very, very simillar in tread style to the old Team Control!)
    what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-img_9415-600x350.jpg
    Rear - still working on it, but the Bontrager XR3 seems to be my running favorite in the rear.
    what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-177043943_2_644x461_opony-bontrager-xr3-team-issue-tlr-29-230-dodaj-zdjecia.jpg


    My brother has loved the Minions, but now is not too happy with them after trying my XR4/XR3 combo.

  45. #45
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    i am wondering as well, i ride nobby nics as they came with my giant trance 27.5. they seem great but i bet there is better. My terrain is rocky, dry dusty trails. (san diego)

  46. #46
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    On-One Chunky Monkey (hate the name) 26x2.40/29x2.40. Does everything I designed it to do, and more.
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  47. #47
    heaven help me
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    I've ridden the front range, the western slope, hurricane and the north coast and nevegals have never let me down. I ride a Knolly Endo.

  48. #48
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    You guys must ride a lot different terrain than I do. Seems a fair number of the tires mentioned are pretty "chunky". Stuck here in the middle of Illinois with tight hardpack and some rock and a little shale scattered in I prefer smaller knobs.

    My favorites are maxxis ikon 2.2 exo 3c front and rear. In winter I'll run an ignitor or a nevegal on the back and a crossmark up front.

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  49. #49
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    Wtb mutano raptor. The old ones. They looked like if the nano and trailblazer had a round rubber baby.
    I rode them for years. On 26 and 29. Before I knew about Internet forums and blended traction.

    Right now I have a nobbynic (not 2015) front and a maxxis crossmark rear. I'm not sold on the rear, but the nn certainly points me in the right direction.

  50. #50
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    Wet/cold season Super tacky DHF up front and a Specialized Clutch dual compound in back.

    As it dry's out to hard pack and rocks WTB Weirwolf's front and back.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb:skep:

  51. #51
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    i am wondering as well, i ride nobby nics as they came with my giant trance 27.5. they seem great but i bet there is better. My terrain is rocky, dry dusty trails. (san diego)
    The 2015 Nobby Nics are some of the best tires I've ever ridden. They have a great balance of rolling resistance and traction, at least in the wet Pacific Northwest.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Oh, I can appreciate the Ardent, the Nevegal, the Velociraptor, the Fire XC Pro, Minions, Hi-Rollers, Karmas, etc., but for some reason - maybe it was the terrain, or my bike set-up, or my elementary riding style at the time - The Tioga Farmer John is still my favorite tire.
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    This thing hooked up when I wanted it to on all kinds of surfaces, and broke free real gradually so that I could pedal out of a turn without losing the rear end completely. I'm sure it's heavy by any standard, but it worked!

    The Farmer John's Cousin may have even been a better tire, but I never rode one.

    -F
    That's funny you mention that , I had the tioga farmer john rear tire and farmer john cousin on the front , the rear was the one pictured. I had a red Raleigh 18 speed mtb , my first mtb ever..My Brother rode a Giant Iguana with the same tires. Had to be the late 80's if I remember correctly.

    Those tires would plow thru mud like nobody's business...funny how things come full circle.
    Last edited by johnD; 12-02-2014 at 09:22 AM.

  53. #53
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    The best tire i've ever used, and still use on my 26ers, is the WTB 2.4 MutanoRaptor Race. They dont have this tire in the 27.5" size, which is my preferred wheelsize. I run Schwalbe 2.25 Racing Ralph's, which ride similar to the WTB's.
    The worst tire I think i've ever used, and this goes back to 1982, so my memory might be a bit skewed, but the Kenda Nevegals, I just could not come to terms with those tires.

  54. #54
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    I don't think the Kenda Nevegals were around in 1982.

    Disregard this. I see you meant you have ridden since1982 and didn't mean the Nevegal was around then. My mistake.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    The 2015 Nobby Nics are some of the best tires I've ever ridden. They have a great balance of rolling resistance and traction, at least in the wet Pacific Northwest.
    are those the same as 2014? I bought a 2014 Trance 3. They seem great, but they appear to be wearing out fast on the terrain i ride.

  56. #56
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    what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    No, the Nobby Nics have been redesigned for 2015. From the photos, that looks like a good thing.

  57. #57
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    I had 26" Knobby Nics in 2014 and they did seem to wear out quickly and when used with Stan's, had a tendency to leak sealant through the casing. I have the same leakage problem with the Racing Ralphs.

    I'm sure this is caused by the lighter weight sidewalls as I have not had a similar problem with the Specialized Ground Control and Purgatory I currently use.

    However, the Nics were a very good tire performance wise.

  58. #58
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    The worst tire I think i've ever used, and this goes back to 1982, so my memory might be a bit skewed, but the Kenda Nevegals, I just could not come to terms with those tires.
    I came in to post that Nevegals are my favorite, as did a few others I see... I wonder why the polar experiences?

    I ride rocks, rocks and more rocks... Nevegals came highly recommended to me by many locals and they didn't disappoint. My only complaint is that they don't come bigger than 2.25" for 29s. I remedied this by putting a Maxxis Ardent 2.4" up front. It's not as aggressive as the Nevegal (which I still run on the back, in reverse) but it's a great tire still.

  60. #60
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    Panaracer Rampage & WTB Bronson Race.

    These are both great all rounder tires with ramped blocks for great lower rolling resistance. Neither one of these are good for wet conditions, but my local singletracks are never open when it is wet anyways. I ride mostly in Iowa and Illinois...

    The new Nevegal X Pro are supposed to be very similar too but I have not tried them out yet.
    Last edited by blundar; 12-02-2014 at 02:07 PM.

  61. #61
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    butchers in the front. the back is still undecided. horses for courses..

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.M.S View Post
    Hans Damph (Orc) f / Nobby Nic 2.25 (pacestar) r, have served me very well this season , not perfect but can't complain really .

    I want to try some WTB Team Issue Vigilante's next go around .
    I have a WTB Team Issue Vigilante. The side and intermediate knobs are coming off. It's less than a year old and not that many miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    i am wondering as well, i ride nobby nics as they came with my giant trance 27.5. they seem great but i bet there is better. My terrain is rocky, dry dusty trails. (san diego)
    I have a Trance as well. The side knobs on the Nic are very flexy so I took it off the front and replaced it with a Purgatory GRID. The knobs on the Purg are much stiffer, stickier, and feel like they will last longer (less likely to get ripped off).

    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    You guys must ride a lot different terrain than I do. Seems a fair number of the tires mentioned are pretty "chunky". Stuck here in the middle of Illinois with tight hardpack and some rock and a little shale scattered in I prefer smaller knobs.

    My favorites are maxxis ikon 2.2 exo 3c front and rear. In winter I'll run an ignitor or a nevegal on the back and a crossmark up front.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
    I'm from the Midwest and ran Fast Traks no problem. Now I'm out west and see the need for the chunkier tires (more speed, sand, gravel, rocks, goatheads, etc)
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  63. #63
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    Specy Fast Trak 29x2.0 (r) and Ground Control 29x2.1 (f).

    Edit. For a lightweight XC HT riding XC-type trails i.e. no jumps, gnar, etc. Just fast on-the-ground riding.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  64. #64
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    Been riding off road since 1982, weren't many tire choices back then. The reason I didn't like the Nevegals were that they felt really slow and I didn't like the cornering grip on the terrain we have where I ride mostly

  65. #65
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    what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    You guys must ride a lot different terrain than I do. Seems a fair number of the tires mentioned are pretty "chunky". Stuck here in the middle of Illinois with tight hardpack and some rock and a little shale scattered in I prefer smaller knobs.

    My favorites are maxxis ikon 2.2 exo 3c front and rear. In winter I'll run an ignitor or a nevegal on the back and a crossmark up front.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
    I hear ya, I'm in Michigan and most people run xc racey tires. My favorites are the maxis aspen, racing Ralph and specialized fast trak.

  66. #66
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    I'll put in another vote for the DHF.

    I used to really like Maxxis Mobsters but I think Minions are probably better.

  67. #67
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    Michelin Wild Racer 2.25 up front and Bontrager XR3 team issue on the back.

  68. #68
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    currently running maxxis ignitors f & r and i gotta say best tires yet.
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  69. #69
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    Tioga Venture 2.4 - unreal grip, wears like iron, super strong sidewalls, affordable.

  70. #70
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    Specialized Captian 2.2 up front and the Fast Trak 2.0 on the rear.

  71. #71
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    My Conti TK 2.2, turned into a 2.4 (Protection variety). Still dialing in the pressure. It rolls quicker than my Hans Dampf 2.35, but I don't feel it's as forgiving. Ardent Race has been my go to RT this summer. Michelin Wild Grip'R 2.25, arriving soon to help out back on damp trails.

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  72. #72
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Bontrager XR-3 Expert TLR In 27.5 X 2.35 for my front tire.
    Has the most predictable traction I have ever experienced, I cannot Imagine better.

    $55 and will last twice as long as most $90 tires.

    Rolls great.

    Trek puts it on their $5,000 plus bikes and I can see why.....
    “I seek only the Flow”,
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  73. #73
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    Wow! Lots of different responses. I was hoping for a more universal opinion to help decide what to get for an upgrade. It's gonna take forever to Google all these.

    The SJ I demoed a couple weeks ago had the best tires I've ridden: Ground Control 27.5 X 2.3* (*I think) on the rear and Butcher 27.5 X 2.4 on the front. They gripped the climbs and cornered very well.

    I like the Fast Trak 29 X 2.0 tires I have on my hardtail for low rolling resistance XC riding.

    I have Maxxis Ardents 27.5 X 2.4 on the Mach 6. They're alright, but they have slipped in a few circumstances where I think those Specialized tires on the SJ would've held on.
    Live like there's no tomorrow. But pay your bills just in case there is.

  74. #74
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    Panaracer Smoke in the back and Dart in the front, from the 90s. I was living in So Cal and riding the dry, loose, crumbly, deep, chunky stuff that on the Smoke could paddle through.

    Today, I love my Schwalbe Nobby Nics as a lightweight, all around tire. I'm also a bit fan of WTB Wolverines.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Oh, I can appreciate the Ardent, the Nevegal, the Velociraptor, the Fire XC Pro, Minions, Hi-Rollers, Karmas, etc., but for some reason - maybe it was the terrain, or my bike set-up, or my elementary riding style at the time - The Tioga Farmer John is still my favorite tire.
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    This thing hooked up when I wanted it to on all kinds of surfaces, and broke free real gradually so that I could pedal out of a turn without losing the rear end completely. I'm sure it's heavy by any standard, but it worked!

    The Farmer John's Cousin may have even been a better tire, but I never rode one.

    -F
    Rode those tires for a bit. NO traction on the sides of ruts. I can't tell you how many times I had the rear end wash out sideways into the rut I was *just* avoiding.

    Favorite tires ever? Specialized Ground Controls. The first ones designed by WTB. Too bad they don't make em any more.

    After that, it has to be the Ritchey Z-Max tire lineup. I've had several of them now. On the bike now are the WCS Z-Max Evolutions. Good all-round tire.

    Closely after the Z-Max are a Fire XC in the back and a Velociraptor in the front. Those side knobs have saved my bacon more'n once over the years as the tire hooks up after drifting sideways.

    Worst tires I've ever ridden? Khartoums from way back when. Ugh did those things suck out loud.

    M

  76. #76
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    what is the best MTB tire you've ever used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saladin View Post
    Wow! Lots of different responses. I was hoping for a more universal opinion to help decide what to get for an upgrade. It's gonna take forever to Google all these.

    The SJ I demoed a couple weeks ago had the best tires I've ridden: Ground Control 27.5 X 2.3* (*I think) on the rear and Butcher 27.5 X 2.4 on the front. They gripped the climbs and cornered very well.

    I like the Fast Trak 29 X 2.0 tires I have on my hardtail for low rolling resistance XC riding.

    I have Maxxis Ardents 27.5 X 2.4 on the Mach 6. They're alright, but they have slipped in a few circumstances where I think those Specialized tires on the SJ would've held on.
    Think there are a lot of reasonable tyres out there. Goal is to find great tyres for you and the trails you ride ^^

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  77. #77
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    +1 on the 29 X 2.4 (not 2.3) Specialized Purgatory control. I run one on my Stumpy and it is just amazing! I also am partial to the original Mountain King 29 X 2.4 with the triangle tread. I did run the 29 X 2.3 Purgatory control on my Enduro, I really dislike it. It doesn't perform nearly as well as its predecessor here in the clay strewn, moss covered, rooty areas of Southern Japan.

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  78. #78
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    Kenda Nevegal Pro! Just got these this weekend. Love them. Way better than my stock Maxxis Sphinx.

  79. #79
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    i just put a conti X king on the front of my hardtail. it's supposed to be a 2.24 but they look more like 2.2's. i have to say i'm pretty impressed with them, though.

  80. #80
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    on my rip 9 , front butcher 29 x 2.3 back ground control 29 x 2.1

  81. #81
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    Late fall/winter/early spring(in MO.) Spec Butcher 2.3 up front, Spec Storm 2.0 rear.
    Summer Spec Fast Tracks 2.3-2.1 F/R or Spec Renegades 2.3-1.9 F/R or any combo of.
    And sometimes a Spec Ground Control 2.3 on rear of HT. Also if gonna ride in fluffy snow I'll run 2.0 Storms F/R.

  82. #82
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    Still looking for a tire with side lugs that hold up. The nevregal they just tear right out of the tire. The knoby nick they hook over so badly in a matter of weeks as to be worst than useless. The trail kings aren't much better. There has to be somthing out there with side lugs that hold up for at least half a season!

  83. #83
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    Just ordered some Ikon Dual compound 2.2, Ardent 2.25 and RaRa 2.25. Got a descent deal. Will try different configurations.
    First time changing from same tire F & R.

  84. #84
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    Another Illinois rider here. I prefer the 2.2 Conti Race King supersonics. They have a huge casing and short knobs. Gives me good cushy traction for the local terrain.

    I really liked the grey colored Ground Controls from back in the 90s, and the Ritchey wcs tires.

  85. #85
    the half breed devil
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    when it comes to knobby tires in general, one of the two best 'cross tires i've had was the 42 mm ritchey zed. the ritchey speedmax treads are a bit iffy, though.

    then there are the panaracer fire 'cross tires in a 45. awesome!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-dscf2033.jpg  

    what is the best MTB  tire you've ever used?-img_20130525_165209.jpg  


  86. #86
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    Onza Ibex-DH 26" Tire!!!!!

    Read my review here

    Highlights:
    Superlight, all conditions Downhill/Freeride tire with fast rolling, open tread
    FRC120: lightweight, heavy duty 120tpi casing
    RC255a dual compound rubber: firm 65a for low rolling resistance and long-life on the inside and medium 55a on the outside for improved grip
    Compound: RC255a
    Bead: folding
    Casing: FRC120
    Color: black
    Weight: 750g

  87. #87
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    I used to love Conti's until the knobs just starting shearing right off. Not wearing down, but shearing right off.

    Has this problem been resolved?

  88. #88
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    I used to love Conti's until the knobs just starting shearing right off. Not wearing down, but shearing right off.

    Has this problem been resolved?
    i didn't have any problems with the race kings my bike came equipped with.

    i HOPE they've corrected the issue 'cause i just installed an X king up front

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    I used to love Conti's until the knobs just starting shearing right off. Not wearing down, but shearing right off.

    Has this problem been resolved?
    I've heard of this happening, but never seen it myself, so it must've been an issue with the rubber compound they were using. I had a set of Contis that were ridden until near baldness. The only downside with the lightweight race versions, is the extra thin sidewalls. Definitely a race day tire.

    I've seen the knobs sheared off Schwalbe evolution tires as well, but it isn't a typical thing. It's most likely a narrow manufacturing tolerance trying to keep the tire light as possible.

  90. #90
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    My Hans Dampf 2.35 doesn't like rocky trails (the wear acceleration was notable). Also, rather ironically - the Rock Razor doesn’t like rocks either!?

    Maxxis Ardent Race seems indestructible on rocky terrain. But, it's a little undersized imo for this trail type. Now running a Conti Trail King 2.4 up front, hopefully the lugz remain firmly attached when I get back to/from the Rockies ^^

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    Last edited by targnik; 02-21-2015 at 03:54 PM.
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  91. #91
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    My Giant NRS Air

  92. #92
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    I'm not a MTB racer and nor do I ride aggressive anymore with being 66 years old and lower back fusion it's simply not a good idea to get aggressive! I also don't see a point of spending $60 or more for a tire!

    So the best tires I've used for my needs is the Panaracer Fire XC which comes in at around $30, it has really good traction and long tread life and no cuts or flats yet. I use a different Panaracer tire on a commuter bike and it's been a really good tire, so I thought I would try their MTB version and so far I like it.

    Anyway so now this thread is updated with a one new tire from the 2019 season of tires.

  93. #93
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    panaracer fire XC is from 2004, doncha know
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  94. #94
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    Front tire: DH-F
    Rear tire:
    • DH-R for better braking traction, but slightly slower rolling
    • Nobby Nic for faster rolling, but braking traction that is not quite as good


    We're planning to test some other front tires in the next several months to see if anything is better than the DH-F, but the DH-F has great grip and is predictable in its behavior.

    Our last test of all-mountain/enduro tires: https://www.dirtmerchantbikes.com/sp...tcherpurgatory
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    panaracer fire XC is from 2004, doncha know
    they still sell them doncha know?

    https://www.amazon.com/panaracer-Fir.../dp/B001CJVBIS

  96. #96
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    panaracer fire XC is from 2004, doncha know
    this thread is six years old, doncha know?

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    this thread is six years old, doncha know?
    doncha ya know I mentioned that I updated it?

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    doncha ya know I mentioned that I updated it?
    now i see it, thank you.

    BTW, a company i used to work for built trade show booths for panaracer and their marketing guy still hooks me up with tires from time to time.

  99. #99
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    i ran fire xc back in the day of my 26'ers....there is zero wrong with the tread for what I tend to ride
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    now i see it, thank you.

    BTW, a company i used to work for built trade show booths for panaracer and their marketing guy still hooks me up with tires from time to time.
    over the years I've tried a lot of tires, and now I've settled on 3 brands, Specialized, Schwalbe, and Panaracer, they seem to hold up as well if not better than other tire brands costing twice as much. I don't race bikes, so I don't need expensive lightweight short lasting high traction tires, I just need tires that will last and work for what I need it to do.

  101. #101
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    Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 29x3.0

  102. #102
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    A few favorites over the years:

    Tioga Farmer Johns- actually fairly fast rolling, but heavy. Traction was mediocre, but they lasted FOREVER and I never got a single flat running them.

    Specialized original Ground Control S tires. Light, great traction, supple ride.

    Geax Sedonas in the big size. Odd-looking tread that just flat-out worked here in Southern California. The size they called 2.25" was huge for the day (It measured closer to 2 1/2" wide on then-current skinny rims), and had an amazing ride quality.

    Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. Fast, fast, fast. Smooth ride, too.
    It's 7:09 California time

  103. #103
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    Front - the old Magic Mary Evo SS TL 27x2.35...

    Tried the newer version in 29" guise :meh:

    Rear tire..??

    Probably the 2.4 DHRII Exo 3C Maxx Terra WT.

    O/C these are for All Mountain riding.

    For less technical trails, I really liked the Ardent Race 2.2 Exo 3C Maxx Terra out back.

    Up front the Schwalbe Hans Dampf (old version) 29x2.35 Evo SS TL was my fav.

    On my 29+ mule, I'm running 3.0 XR4 tires.

    I can't decide if I need more grip up front... or, more speed out back!? o_0

    PS - running a 27.5 Maxxis Assegai Exo 3C Maxx Terra WT up front on my new 2018 Giant Reign Adv 0...

    So far it seems like a solid tire... Will have to see how it copes in the mud.

    Have a 29" version coming for my AM 29er also.

    Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
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  104. #104
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    I’ll qualify this by stating that it was on a Trek Superfly SS in the AZ desert,so very little riding over wet stuff and no crazy tech stuff.

    Rocket Ron 29x2.4. I thought for sure, looking at it for the first time, it would be sketchy as hell in the AZ loose-over-hardback, but it rapidly became a favorite. It was super lightweight but ran at 19 psi no problem.

    Too bad Schwalbe doesn’t make that 2.4” size any more.


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  105. #105
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    Currently use a DHF "2.5" (2.5 was aspirational... more like a 2.3) on the front of my 26er, and it is my favorite one out there now that I have tried.

    I really liked the Big Betty in the front as an all-round trail tire when it came in Gooey Gluey compound and folding bead, but the subsequent versions never had the tread compound/bead/casing combo I was looking for.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  106. #106
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    I loves my Magic Mary, especially during Spring and Fall.
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

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