Rear tyre for loose over hardpack climbing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rear tyre for loose over hardpack climbing

    I'm finding the Ikon 2.2/2.35 and Ardent 2.25/2.4 are too ramped on the leading edge of the centre knobs and break traction too easily.
    The Conti X-King was a lot better, but difficult to get locally.
    Easy to get Schwable and Maxxis here.

    Even tempted to attack the ramps on the Ikon 2.35 with a razorblade. Actually that wouldn't be a bad idea. It's not going to make it worse...

  2. #2
    Downcountry AF
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    a lot of people run their rear tire flipped around backwards to get better traction climbing. i would probably try that before taking a razor to it.

    i had good luck with the Maxxis Ignitor but it's only available in a 2.1. i've since moved on to a Conti Mtn King 2.2 and like it. honestly i would run a Surly Dirt Wizard if i had room for it... maybe it's time for a new frame.
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  3. #3
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    The Ikon with some siping wouldn't be a downgrade, but the tread depth and face of the knob means you can't keep the good braking traction along with getting a ton more bite.
    I make mine work for me (admittedly not SS, but fat kid making power on uphill loose-over-hard) primarily through being on the low edge of pressures in order to make grip - I'm basically just getting more knobs in contact with the ground by lowering pressure and making the contact patch bigger, but I quickly hit a critical point in terms of rim strikes over rough stuff with this approach.

    I'd actually look at the Trail Boss, as that would actually be a pretty impressive hardpack rear tire, if that won't work.

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I recently put a Crossmark 2.25 on the back of my SS. So far, so good. Of course, most of the loose in our loose over hard pack around here is hibernating for the winter, but the edges are square.

  5. #5
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    On the 29er, I've been running the 2.35 Ikon down to 18psi, but even then, once it hits 15-18% gradient and you're down to 38-45rpm you've still got to keep balancing the weight over the rear at different parts of the pedal stroke.

    That may be par for the course for most tyres though.

    I'd like to try a Minion SS, but haven't seen any in the shops.

  6. #6
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    Rear tyre for loose over hardpack climbing

    Like BENKD29, I too like the Conti Mtn King II 2.2 for a rear tire. It grabs hard in most conditions and even more important clears mud very well. The only downside is that it is a bit draggy on hard pack, but to be expected as a trade off for excelling in most conditions.


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  7. #7
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    Vittoria Barzo 2.25's are really good was well as Vittoria Saguaro 2.2's....As others have said, running ramped tires in the reverse direction will usually give them noticeably more bite.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I recently put a Crossmark 2.25 on the back of my SS. So far, so good. Of course, most of the loose in our loose over hard pack around here is hibernating for the winter, but the edges are square.
    I have the Maxxis Crossmark 2.25 on the rear on my 29er and I was getting a lot of slipping when I was using a tube. When I converted it to tubeless and was able to run it with a lower pressure, I got a lot better grip and better performance all around from the Crossmark.
    Everything is better on 2 wheels!
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  9. #9
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    Got a 2.3" Ground Control to try out. Look like it'll have traction to burn, but won't roll as well as the Ikon or Ardent.

  10. #10
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    GC's are pretty solid tires in my limited experience. I run 2.1 rear, 2.3 front for all around riding. Hit some REALLY slick, muddy stuff and they still held their own. I never have issues loose/hardpack with them. Report back and let us know what you think.

  11. #11
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    I've had the same issue on my rigid singlespeed. With only 1 gear, finesse isn't always an option so a tire with more traction is nice.

    This last year I've tried the 2.2 Ikon, 2.35 Ikon, 2.2 Ardent Race, and a 2.1 Ground Control. The Ground Control was by far the best, but I stopped using it due to the thin sidewalls on the GC version.

    On the same bike I've also used a 2.3 DHRII and a 2.3 Minion SS. The DHR II was great, but heavy and slow compared to the others. The Minion SS was interesting and a lot of fun in corners, but gripped less when climbing than most of the tires I listed above.

  12. #12
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    Depending on rim width, I like the Ikon 2.35. I'm 150 geared up and run my rear at around 19-23 psi depending on terrain (AZ desert) and found that with the right technique they grip like mad. A lot of that depends on technique though.

    I tend to ride with momentum, pedal smoothly even on slow grinder climbs and love the predictability they give.
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  13. #13
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    Took the Ground Control back and swapped it for a GRID version.
    Wasn't willing to risk it with the unflattering interweb comments about the sidewall.

    Weighed the 2.3" Ground Control GRID at about 740g.
    Weighed the 2.35" Ikon 3C EXO TR that came off with half worn tread and some Caffelatex residue at about 740g.

    Aired it up to 20psi and went for a burl.
    Climbing on the kitty litter was a lot better. You could stand and power without having to lean over and move forward and back to balance the traction like with the Ardent 2.25 and Ikon 2.2 and 2.35. It only broke loose a couple of times and that was because I was trying to see what I could get away with.

    Going up: GC 7/10, Ikon 5/10.

    On the flats and downs, it had noticeably more rolling resistance.
    Felt a bit mushy going down, so added 2psi and it felt better.

    Going down: GC 5/10, Ikon 7/10.

    Overall, I'd say they were about even.
    The GC having the edge on short course or wetter racing where traction was key and the Ikon taking the longer distance more efficient duties.

    Next will be some 3hr rides with lots of Strava segments to test it out

  14. #14
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    I like the Trail king 2.2 (cant get a 2.4 for for some reason) and the mountain king 2.4 both as good rear tires. Also maybe look at On One Chunky Monkey and/or Smorgasbord for a rear as well. I've heard good things.

  15. #15
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    My climbing technique is morphing from leaned over and balancing the traction, to standing straighter, pulling on the bars, and more of a stair climbing pedaling action.
    Not sure which is more efficient, or faster, but now I've got options.
    On the Ardent's and Ikon's you had to lean over and finesse, stomping wouldn't work.

  16. #16
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    Raced the 26er hard tail running Specialized Renegade's front and rear.
    That was fun.
    Climbing was a bit of a balancing act to find and keep the traction, but otherwise, they went really well.
    Pairing them with an old set of Roval Control SL wheels also meant that when it came time to push (many times), it was nice and light

  17. #17
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    Tried a Minion'SS on the rear at 22psi. Similar climbing traction in the loose over hard as the Ikon's, but better cornering. And boy do they roll well. Heavier, but they roll REALLY well.

  18. #18
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    20psi and its even better and still rolls well. I weigh 190lbs and am not the fastest rider in the world...

  19. #19
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    Tried lots, I still like specialized tires. Specialized Captain 2.2 and Ground control 2.3 both in S-works casing= climb with impunity. My personal pref. is the Fast trak 2.2 in the rear with a captain 2.2 upfront. These tires also wear like iron.
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  20. #20
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    Haven't had any luck with Fasttrak 2.0 Control sidewalls. Leak sealant like a sieve.
    Last edited by NordieBoy; 02-20-2016 at 01:17 PM.

  21. #21
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    Well, Ardent 2.25 EXO's aren't what I'm after


    3hr single lap race yesterday and they scrabbled a bit too much, but were nicely robust for the "Boulder Valley" 20min getting shaken apart by the embedded rocks downhill part.

  22. #22
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    Popped the Minion'SS off the Kona Unit and put the Ground Control back on ready to test tomorrow.

  23. #23
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    still following...

  24. #24
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    I do like how the Ground Control climbs. Best compromise between traction and rolling resistance so far. Racing, probably the Minion'SS for the best rolling resistance.

    Next test is to see how a pair of Maxxis Raze's go. Just for shits and giggles
    Last edited by NordieBoy; 04-28-2016 at 11:13 PM.

  25. #25
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    I like the GC's a lot as well as I also feel they are a great compromise where I ride. Considering some other options when I replace, but I am not sure why.

  26. #26
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    Yeah, I ride/explore a lot of old logging roads around here (no singletrack within 20km) and want low rolling resistance for the smoother sections and when grinding back up from the 5th dead end skid site of the day, REALLY don't want a tyre that skids on the grit over hardpack.
    The Minion SS is sweet, except for the climbing traction, which I could put up with in a race, it's similar to a worn Ikon when climbing.

    Have noticed that, after rain, when the smaller grit has been washed away, even the Ground Control struggles with the larger loose stuff, but that's to be expected. Unfortunately, we had a couple of days of 20-30cm of rain per 24hr period and there's not a lot of small grit left. It's like climbing on freshly laid gravel.

  27. #27
    Dqs
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    I have Racing Ralph 2.25 evo skinwall which works great for me. I have the RR in the back and front a nobby nic 2.35

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  28. #28
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Specialized Captain 2Bliss (not the Armadillo or lightweight racer tire) or GEAX Saguaro. I prefer the GEAX in most every way these days, but the rubber could be better for wet rocks...not the worst though. Great all around tires, I run them front and rear on my SS.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  29. #29
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Yeah, I ride/explore a lot of old logging roads around here (no singletrack within 20km) and want low rolling resistance for the smoother sections and when grinding back up from the 5th dead end skid site of the day, REALLY don't want a tyre that skids on the grit over hardpack.
    The Minion SS is sweet, except for the climbing traction, which I could put up with in a race, it's similar to a worn Ikon when climbing.

    Have noticed that, after rain, when the smaller grit has been washed away, even the Ground Control struggles with the larger loose stuff, but that's to be expected. Unfortunately, we had a couple of days of 20-30cm of rain per 24hr period and there's not a lot of small grit left. It's like climbing on freshly laid gravel.
    Specialized Purgatory Ground Control is sweet front tire 29x2.3 (really more like a 2.2) and it rolls surprisingly fast, I'd try one on the rear. It's been the best MTB front tire for me on rough trails...wet, dry, hardpack, loose over, whatever.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  30. #30
    Rod
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    Frank is right about the Specialized tires wearing like iron. I have a Specialized Captain from 2012 that's still going. It doesn't see as much use as it use to, but it has been my go to winter tire for years now. The sidewalls will wear out before the tread and that's with logging a lot of road miles. My goal is to wear that tire out this year.

  31. #31
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    Maxxis Tomahawk might fit the bill.

  32. #32
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    I run a minion dhf 2.5 on the front and a schwalbe hans dampf 2.35 with trail star on the rear. I run low pressure and the grip is incredible! It just digs right in and doesn't let go. I climb loose steep cobbly decomposed granite with no problem. I've set a lot of PRs with that combo.

  33. #33
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    Maxxis Aggressor could get a look in as well.

  34. #34
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    I have 2.2 Nobby Nics (non snake skin) that came on my El Mar SS. I expect that I'll replace them with something different (maybe just the snake skin option) once they wear out . . . which looks to be happening fast when compared to other tires I've owned. The side walls leaked stans like crazy when initially setup tubeless and they still consume stans faster than the maxxis' on my geared bike.

    With that said, I have to admit they have phenomenal climbing traction. I specifically didn't trash them early because of their climbing traction. The center knobs are big, square and not ramped and the side knobs grip when accelerating around switchback climbs. Great climbing tire . . . but not as well built as the Specialized or Maxxis options IMO.

  35. #35
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    I like the Ground Control and Trail Boss myself. However one man's "loose over hardback" may not be the same as mine.

  36. #36
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    While they're absolutely terrible in my locale which is mud, wet, rocks, roots, British Columbia I've had really great riding on Panaracer Rampages down in Arizona over varied terrain including lots of loose over hard. The rubber is pretty hard and they wear well. Very confident mixed terrain desert tire.

  37. #37
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    Went for a ride yesterday with my old FastTrak's on and they climbed really well. Not quite as robust as my normal Ardent/Ground Control combo, but not giving anything up as race day tyres. They also do roll slightly better

  38. #38
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    Just did some comparison rides with Fasttrak 2.0's front and rear at 18f/20r psi and Ardent 2.4 front and Ground Control Grid 2.3 rear at 17f/19r.

    Rolling resistance...
    Fasttrak's


    Ardent/GC


    A lot less pedaling with the Fasttrak's.

    Climbing, the Fasttrak's were running 32/20 gearing and the Ardent/GC was 32/21 and they felt similar. More cush from the bigger tyres and better braking, but the Fasttrak's had better overall times up and down.
    Climbing traction was very similar.

    The rockier the surface, the more I'd go toward the tougher tyres of course. Racing, Fasttrak's, no question.

  39. #39
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    Sometime the tires with what seems like low knobs (like the fast tracks) do pretty well. I just rode with Maxxis Aspens on some wet, slightly muddy soil, wet grass and slippery roots. They weren't as good as my typical GC's but they did pretty well. I usually use them just for gravel rides but didn't feel like swapping tires so I left them on. I still prefer the GC's for typical MTB stuff, but the aspens were pretty solid.

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