Tire recommendations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tire recommendations

    I know this could go in the tire section, but I was hoping to get some feedback from the Texas riders, North Texas in particular.

    Currently running Bontrager XR1 Experts 29x2.2 tubeless that came with my Trek. Not liking the traction I'm getting up front however. Looking at few different tires from Schwalbe and Maxxis:

    Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.25 or 2.35
    Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29x2.25 or 2.35
    Maxxis Ardent 29x2.25
    Maxxis Ikon 29x2.2 or 2.35

    It appears in each brand, one of those tires are a little bit knobbier than the other, not sure if I would need that or not. Anybody have any experience with any of these? Currently riding Erwin, Isle Du Bois, Frisco, Big Cedar, Rowlett Creek. Will continue to run tubeless, and most likely keep the bontragers in the rear till they wear out. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You are going to want the tire with more grip up front. The Nobby Nic is a good tire and shares a casing with the Racing Ralph. It just has bigger knobs (and more weight) for more grip. I have a Nobby Nic on my bike now. But if you aren't riding too much gnarly terrain, there's not a need for those tires.

    A common complaint about the Ardents is a gap between the center tread and the edge knobs that makes it lose grip when you lean it moderately in turns. It's a good all around tire, but be very aware of that when you buy one. That being said, I have a 2.4 on my front wheel. I'm a big fan of the Ikon in 2.35. Rolls better than the Ardent, doesn't have that annoying gap, and doesn't have a huge amount of traction loss from the lower tread profile compared to the Ardent. The 2.2 is too narrow of a tire for me, but I am in Austin and regularly ride stuff different from the trails you mentioned. The Ikon 2.35 may be a great fit for you as a front with the 2.2 in the rear.

    Side note: Jenson USA just happens to have Schwalbe Hans Dampf 29" tires on sale for $19.99 right now. That is a $90 tire that is top of the line. It's a 2.35 tire and has some great tread design. More of an all mountain tire versus XC like the trails you mentioned. It may be a bit too much tire for your uses, but that is an unbelievable sale. I bought 5 myself for front tire usage. They will work well as a rear tire but may wear too fast. But so what? It's a $20 tire that just happens to arguably have the best grip on the market. For such a bulky tire, it rolls very well but is a bit heavy. HOLY CRAP!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response Mr. Mentallo, lots of good info there! Leaning a bit more towards the Ikon and Racing Ralph.

  4. #4
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    It's arguably difficult to suggest a tire for anyone without knowing their riding style and terrain. I'm local, so I'm aware of your terrain. But your riding style leaves a lot to the readers imagination.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  5. #5
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    I know the terrain too as my entire family is in DFW and I grew up there. I have no idea if he is a fast rider, a plodder who does 20-25 miles per ride, a learning guy who doesn't need as much traction or what. I gave my opinion given the info given.

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty new to riding, so my mistake in not providing a riding style (and maybe because I'm unsure of my style). I guess I like to push the limits as much as my skill level allows. Not afraid of taking corners with some speed. I regularly ride with a buddy who is in better shape than me and a better rider, so I like to try and keep up.

  7. #7
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    Something to note...
    This is slightly off subject, but have you tried to vary your tire pressures while riding the same course, trail or turns? My reasoning is that you might find that a seemingly marginal tire can improve significantly and ride completely different when pressures are adjusted by relatively small amounts. Not what you were asking, but just something to try if you haven't tried it before.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  8. #8
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    Yup! This is particularly relevant if and when you go tubeless. I try and not go too low with pressure if you have a tube in. Pinch flatting is common with lower pressures with tubes.

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