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  1. #1
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    Best f/r tire combination

    I'm always on the quest for the holly grail. With an SS, the front should be cushy, at least if you run rigid, and the rear grippy for those loose over hard climbs where you give all that torque out.

    On my 29er, with front suspension, riding both NE and SW, that's what I've tried so far:

    (1)
    Ardent 2.25 (f) and Ignitor 2.1 (r).
    It was a good combo, but the ignitor lacked some volume and both tires were not terribly fast. Traction was good, though.

    (2)
    Nobby Nic 2.25 (f) and RaRa 2.25 (r).
    Faster and more supple combo, but the RaRa doesn't hook as well as the Ignitor.

    School me! What do you use, under which conditions?
    Last edited by Climber999; 11-10-2012 at 05:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    I really like a 2.25 Ardent on the rear and the 2.4 Ardent on the front of my rigid SS.

  3. #3
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    I've felt that the Ignitor lacked volume and compliance, and doesn't roll particularly well. I don't really like that tire. I currently have 2.2 Slant6 tires set up tubeless on my bike, rigid. Roll super fast, good volume, but not a lot of bite for a rear tire and not very confidence inspiring as a front. I ride a Nevegal front/Slant6 rear on my full suspension geared bike, and might try that combo on the single speed next.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    I really like a 2.25 Ardent on the rear and the 2.4 Ardent on the front of my rigid SS.
    This combo seems pretty popular in New England as well, and one I've been considering. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, how would you rate the rolling speed of that combo? I'd put a Nevegal front/rear combo at a 2 and the Slant6 front/rear combo at an 8. Nevegal front/Slant6 rear is around a 6.

  5. #5
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    I've been running a 2.1 nanoraptor on the back and a 2.3 fr4 on the front. Fully rigid singlespeed. Rolls like a champ and the front has an all-you-can-eat kind of apatite for rough terrain. Loving this combo.
    Calmer'n you are.

  6. #6
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    Watching with interest.

    I started with XKings on both ends of my hardtail single speed and was pushing the front bad. Went to 2.35 Nobby Nic up front and Ra Ra in the back. I'm still understeering but not as bad. I don't really wish for more traction from the back.
    Last edited by bugshield; 11-09-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  7. #7
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    As long as we're talking about mix/match front/rear tires, allow me to question the advisability of doing so.

    I prefer reduced rolling resistance in the back and increased grip up front BUT different tires grip differently in different conditions. Running different tires therefore arguably makes the balance of the bike more dynamic according to conditions.

    I am possibly more interested in consistent balance than ultimate grip as I approach the edge.

    PS. I lowsided hard last week when I washed the front out and the rear slid NOT A BIT. I am therefore, of course, looking for a way to blame my equipment rather than myself.
    Last edited by bugshield; 11-09-2012 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    This combo seems pretty popular in New England as well, and one I've been considering. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, how would you rate the rolling speed of that combo? I'd put a Nevegal front/rear combo at a 2 and the Slant6 front/rear combo at an 8. Nevegal front/Slant6 rear is around a 6.
    I'm in Western Mass.....so I know New England riding. I'd rate this combo about 8 for rolling resistance. Another combo I like that's a bit lighter and rolls a little better is a Specialized Captain 2.0 out back with the Captain 2.2 up front.

  9. #9
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    I'm currently running Ardent 2.4 up front and RaRa 2.25 in rear for everyday riding in SoCal. I can washout any front tire with my sloppy riding style, but, i do like the knobs on the 29er Ardent. I also like the Ikon for overall riding. Not as cushy as the Ardent, but, rolls a bit better and is lighter. Both have EXO. Rear tire only needs to bite through loose over hard and i like many tires equally for that. Current favorite is the Jones XDX, but, its a bit heavy. Mutano Raptor 2.4 works well for a rear. QuasiMoto rolls well, but, wears out FAST. Hate the Wolverines (just can't get them to hook up as well). Might just pick up an Ikon for the rear too.

    BTW, i'm running tubes. Usually around 28-32 front and 30-34 rear according to my squeeze meter.

    I find i need less knobs in the rear on my SS due to gearing. Granny gears put out more torque than what i run, so, bite is more necessary on those than my single. SS is more technique imo. So, if i'm slipping on a climb... its probably my fault and not the tire.

  10. #10
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    RaRa is OK, but definitely not worth the price tag, IMO. They wore pretty fast as well. I really like Geax Saguaro's for the rear. Little bit of weight penalty, but grippy grippy. Heard not that great in the wet, but I live in the desert.

    I like big volumes up front, so Ardent 2.4 and Rampage 2.35 get my vote for now. Although I'm looking to build up a Rabbit Hole/Knard front wheel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboy23 View Post
    I can washout any front tire with my sloppy riding style, but, i do like the knobs on the 29er Ardent.
    Hey! I resemble that remark!

  12. #12
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    Weirwolf lt fatty front with a rampage 2.3 on the rear. I've only been let down once with the front tire -- deep dust. Other than that, it provides plenty of grip for where I ride (California bay area and auburn). I prefer a rear tire with some bite and the rampage delivers in this regard. It's really similar to a nevegal, which I like but have had a tough time doing tubeless. I may switch to a rampage on the front for the winter b/c I have to wonder about the LT in the mud.
    -- let's ride

  13. #13
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    Not suitable for your area but for around here (central Kentucky, where we have nice hardpack trails) I've been using Bontrager 29-0 29X2.1. So fast!

    I spent a summer/fall in Colorado and was digging my Captain Control/Ignitor combo.

  14. #14
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    For rigid cush, I like the Nev 2.2 with a tube and 26#-30# up front. A Captain 2.0 tubed with 30#-32# spools up nicely out back and provides decent grip here in the PNWet.
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  15. #15
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    I usually run a suspension fork and a light/fast tire setup. My favorite setup is 2.0 tires with a specialized Fast Track up front and a Renegade in the back. I always run tubeless at around 25 psi in the back and 22 psi up front.

    A good pressure gauge makes a big difference.
    Fatbikes.com - Solutions for low tire pressures Meiser Presta-Valve Dial Gauge with Pressure Relief: 30psi

  16. #16
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    I run the same setup as febikes, it is light and fast and here on hardpack with some loose over it, it works great.

    I run more like 30 psi up front and 35 rear though cause I'm over 200# and not highly skilled.

  17. #17
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    I'm a huge fan of running a 2.35 Small Block 8 in the rear and a 2.35 Nevegal up front. I've got mine set up tubeless and usually run about 30-35 psi (I weigh about 220 geared up). This is the fourth season I've been running this setup and it works great just about everywhere except mud in the back. I just got another set of these for the end of this season and I will probably keep buying them.

  18. #18
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    I run nobby nic 2,25 snakeskin front and rear - wanted good allaround combo and got it. Grips really well in allmost any conditions, rolling is good enough for me.

  19. #19
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    Interesting thread, interesting ideas. For the record, rigid SS, I run a 2.1 nano on the back and a 2.3 exiwolf on the front. The bike came with 2.1 nanos front and rear, but they washed out really badly on the front, plus I wanted more cush there.

    Question: Who is avoiding answering this thread because they're simply running the cheapest tires they can find? Fess up. For that matter, who that's responded is running what they posted because they were cheap?

    I've felt for a while like MTB tires (esp. 29ers) are way over priced, and I've given serious consideration to a "cheap tire review" - I'm particularly biased against expensive tires that wear out fast.

  20. #20
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    I like a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 or 2.25 front (rigid vs. suspension) and a Crossmark in the rear. I turn the Crossmark around backwards for a little extra bite.
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  21. #21
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    Currently on 2.4 RaRa front and Crossmark 2.1 rear on full rigid, ss 29er. Tubeless with about 28 psi rear and 24 psi front.

    Had a 2.25 RaRa rear but once it wore out I slapped on the CMark b/c it's what I had in stock and didn't want to pony up the $$ for a new RaRa

    Have run the crossmark before and have always been impressed.

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  22. #22
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    New question here.

    I'm running a 2.4 RaRa up front and a 2.25 RoRo out back. No complaints so far. I have not had any problems hooking up on anything Florida has to offer. That includes some ridiculous sugar sand climbs.
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  23. #23
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    I run bontrager 29.4's front and rear. They are not incredibly fast rollers but they do admirably in loose rocky stuff so I keep em around. They are listed as 2.3's but feel fatter than other 2.3's I've ridden. Lots of cush - great for rigid riding.

    Want to try the 2.2 / 2.4 ardent setup a few mentioned, but these tires just won't wear out.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  24. #24
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    I run a sus fork up front 90% of the time.

    In the last year I've tried

    1. Maxxis Ignitor (F) Crossmark (R)

    2. Maxxis Ignitor (F) Specialized Fast Track (R)

    3. Maxxis Ikon (F) Specialized Fast Trak (R)

    4. Maxxis Ikon (F) and (R)

    My favorite tire is definitely the Ikon (both front and rear) but I might try something higher volume in the front since I run my fork semi locked out. The Ikons are expensive but that's what you pay for light weight grippyness... For the money the Fast Trak was almost as light and almost as grippy. I'm not a big fan of the crossmark.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    I like a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 or 2.25 front (rigid vs. suspension) and a Crossmark in the rear. I turn the Crossmark around backwards for a little extra bite.
    That's what I run, minus putting the crossmark backwards. Been happy with it, but don't have much to compare it to.

  26. #26
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    Rigid in rocky desert conditions:

    Front - Ardent 2.4 hands down
    Rear - Ikon 2.2 (was a long-time Crossmark user)
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Rigid in rocky desert conditions:

    Front - Ardent 2.4 hands down
    Rear - Ikon 2.2 (was a long-time Crossmark user)
    How does the Ikon compare to the crossmark?

  28. #28
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    My tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Interesting thread, interesting ideas. For the record, rigid SS, I run a 2.1 nano on the back and a 2.3 exiwolf on the front. The bike came with 2.1 nanos front and rear, but they washed out really badly on the front, plus I wanted more cush there.

    Question: Who is avoiding answering this thread because they're simply running the cheapest tires they can find? Fess up. For that matter, who that's responded is running what they posted because they were cheap?

    I've felt for a while like MTB tires (esp. 29ers) are way over priced, and I've given serious consideration to a "cheap tire review" - I'm particularly biased against expensive tires that wear out fast.
    I absolutely do this. 29er tires ARE way too expensive so I fiddle around with what I can find online at decent prices and buy/try/cycle/recycle.

    I own: 2 Bonty XR3's 2.1, 2 WTB Stout OE 2.3, WTB Bronson 2.2, Kenda Slant 6 2.20. I have tried f/r combos with these tires in all of the trails/conditions listed below.

    What I ride (in FLA): Alafia State Park, Santos, Chuck Lennon, Soldiers Creek

    Most trails (90% riding) are combo of quick/technical single track switchbacks, 30-40" quick climbs (some very rocky 50/50) followed by immidiate down hill, long roller coaster single track, limestone beded hardpacked single track and some "long rocky 3 mile hilly swithchback technical singletrack". One trial, 1.65 mile loop, is XC "style" riding, but not real XC, which I ride to get some miles: (A little sandy, med-pack, no climbing, some obstacles (log rides, jumps, root + rock garden).


    Bonty XR3 2.1's:
    Had these as a f/r combo and they were aweful in all trails/conditions. Front never felt as though it was gripping the trail, and in the rear the tire slipped uphill and even gave out occasionally while cornering. I should be a little nicer b/c afterall these are Bonty's XC tires and maybe I am riding them harder than I should, but I feel even a basic XC tire should hadle better than this set. Rolling speed 7.5/10.

    Slant 6:
    This was by far the smoothest/fastest tire of any I have tested. The knobs roll very easily over the various terrain (-light sand/hardpack, sandy), and on hardpack it railed in the front. That was until I hit the switchbacks. The tire was not happy with me driving it deep into the turns, nor did it feel comfortable with early turn preps. I have read others (including pros) rate this tire as sturdy/reliable in corners but I never felt comfortable. Maybe it is true if you are not a heavier guy like me but I am 230 (no pack). I tried this tire for 3 weeks and at least 150 miles (most of my trails are 2-4 miles long) using 40psi to start, and adjusting up (to 50psi) and down (to 35psi) accordingly to get it to hook up. It never really did for me. To top it all off, this tire took 2 simultaneous puncture holes from thorns, small ones too. Lucky for me I get to send it back and get it replaced, (with something else). Rolling speed 8.5/10

    WTB Bronson 2.2:
    This is my current front. This tire is not giving off the same speed as the Slant 6, but it does roll smooth. This tire eats/hooks up with everything it faces. I have become so confident on this tire that I try to intentionally wash out, with NO success. I do have issues with this tire, but NONE of them are in the performance category.

    WTB Stout OE 2.3:
    I used this tire as a rear with Slant 6 (100 miles) and Bronson (250miles): beefy and grippy. There is no power loss during climbs (though can be a little sluggish), cornering is tight and comfortable, but the comfort comes with a big penalty. The Stout, very appropriately named, comes in at 1050g's. I feel like this would be a super DH tire. There is a little rolling resistance but I feel it comes mostly from the weight not the tread. The pattern on the tire has served me well in all weather/trail conditions ranging from perfect to 3" mud. I rate the rolling speed 6/10.

    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1:
    I added this tire as a rear with the Slant 6 (45 miles) and Bronson 2.2 (75 miles), mainly to shed the weight of the Stout OE to see if I could feel a difference, and to test the tire in general. The ignitor flies around corners and never seems to give way. It has also been a trooper on the climbs as I have never felt it slip. Given the 2.1 width I expected to lose some of comfort I had with the Stout in the rear but that was not the case at all. I actually feel more nimble at the same level of calpability. This tire rocks! I rate the rolling speed as a 7.5/10.

    I am still searching for a front tire. While I mentioned the love I have for the Bronson 2.2, it's GMS external tread width rating is @ the max of what my RockShox Fork will handle. I have rubbing inside the post (only on the left oddly enough) and occasionally it causes some severe resistance and enough to possibly cause a crash. I may end up sucking it up and buying a better fork, but if anyone has tire ideas please let me know.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best f/r tire combination-thornpuncture.jpg  


  29. #29
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Either Geax Saguaros 2.2 front and rear or....... Specialized Purgatory 2.2 front and Captain 2.2 rear.

    Wow, just found folding bead Saguaros for $27 each at REI: Geax Saguaro Rigid Tire - 29 x 2.2 at REI.com Performance used to have the best deal on these.



    EDIT: I bought these tires because I thought they would work well not because they were the cheapest, but we do get reamed on 29er tire prices. Bought my Purgatory used (only a couple rides on it) for $20, Captain for $45 at LBS guy gave me the bro deal and Saguaros from Performance Bike on sale for $34 each.
    Last edited by Natedogz; 11-13-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogz View Post
    Either Geax Saguaros 2.2 front and rear or....... Specialized Purgatory 2.2 front and Captain 2.2 rear.

    Wow, just found folding bead Saguaros for $27 each at REI: Geax Saguaro Rigid Tire - 29 x 2.2 at REI.com Performance used to have the best deal on these.

    Really? I personally find the Captain to be garbage for traction of any kind of terrain except on flat, dry, hard pack trails. A handful of guys I ride with all replaced that tire with something else. I actually cut every other center tread lug to increase traction because I was slipping on climbs, logs, roots and rocks...wet or dry. The mod of snipping center lugs did well, however if I didn't sell the bike when I did I would have replaced that tire.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    How does the Ikon compare to the crossmark?
    Lighter, grippier, stronger, more expensive, slightly bigger, worse at shedding mud.

  32. #32
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    Conti X King front and Race King rear.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    How does the Ikon compare to the crossmark?
    The Ikon is lighter but tears/rips easier. A touch more volume. Pricier. Two versions (I've used four with EXO sidewall and 120tpi). Traction and handling are comprable but I prefer Ikon. Both roll great. I've never ridden in mud. Considering I had much better durability w/the Crossmark, it's a close call but lighter AND more volume is hard to resist.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogz View Post
    ...Wow, just found folding bead Saguaros for $27 each at REI: Geax Saguaro Rigid Tire - 29 x 2.2 at REI.com Performance used to have the best deal on these.
    Duuuuuude. Thanks for posting this. I'm cashing in on this deal. Got my last one from Performance ($34), so this is a way better deal. I love the Saguaros. Seals up tubeless very well, too.

  35. #35
    SS in CO
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    I just moved from an Ignitor (f) x Race King (r) to a Rampage 2.35 (f) x Cedric Garcia (r).

    I have to say that the Garcia is one of the best rear tires I've ever ridden. I live in TX and it's all rocks and roots w/lots of loose dry stuff and the Garcia grips like no other. it's pretty big too at 2.25. the center blocks make it roll real fast and the compound is super grippy. I'm pretty obsessed and might buy a few just to keep on hand.



    tight fit on my Bianchi, though...

    the rampage is ok so far. I need to dial in the pressure better. I washed out pretty hard on a turn where the tire folded a little bit. I was running about 26lbs and using a lot of english on the bike. might have been me going to fast into the turn, but I'll have to see. I don't feel like the Rampage grips as much as my old Nevegals did, but again, I need to dial it in.

    crazy super excited about the Garcia though.

    J.
    Last edited by Jayson44; 11-14-2012 at 12:36 PM. Reason: added pic
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  36. #36
    The need for singlespeed
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    I run an Ignitor 1.9 up front and a Larsen TT 1.8 out back. Fast, fast, fast. And skinnies are cheap these days--$17 each!

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