Moab wheels / tires Advice Please-
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2018

    Moab wheels / tires Advice Please

    1st time trip to Moab, I'm coming in late Octobre and will ride 4 days. I keep hearing crazy things about how Moab will destroy your bike on the downs BUT give you a good workout and the ups.

    I need some advice on what wheel/tire combo I should bring to get the most out of my trip. Plan is:

    -Whole Enchilada by shuttle
    -Mag7 by shuttle
    -Day 4 open - maybe Capt'n Ahab?

    I decided to bring my long travel 29er (Firebird 29)

    - For rims I have the choice between carbon (enve 630) or alloy (M1700) - As for tires, I have 2.5DHF, 2.4 DHRII (hard to pedal), 2.3 DHF, 2.3 DHF DD casing, 2.3 Agressor, or a pair of 2.25 Onza Ibex that I never use, and finally an old Highroller II (which survived Finale Ligure and Lake Garda).

    I initially thought the carbon rims would be a better choice since they'll be easier to pedal on the uphills BUT I'm afraid to break a rim, which would be dramatic during a trip - is TWE and MAG7 that bad?.

    For tires, I was thinking either the DHF 2.3(f)/Agressor 2.3(r) or HRII 2.3(f)/DHFdd 2.3(r). Is 2.3 enough for Mag7 and TWE? And will that one day on Slickrock kill any tires like they say?

    Thanks to you all!

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
    It's more dependent on how you ride than where you ride in Moab.

    I ride everything there on (currently) Ibis 742 carbon wheels and 27.5x2.6 Nobby Nic Addix Snakeskins at relatively low pressure. I've ridden TWE, Slickrock, most of Mag 7, Poison Spider, Amasa/Ahab, Navajo Rocks, Sovereign, and Klondike just this year, on several trips down there - plus hundreds of miles locally in northern Utah - on the same set of tires without excessive damage. No sidewall damage, no torn knobs, no excessive wear. IME, narrow tires will wear faster than wide ones down there.

    For perspective, I just got back a little over a week ago from a short Moab romp with my 27 year old son. We rode TWE, Amasa (up Cliff Hanger - which I prefer over Hymasa, as it's technically more interesting to climb, and down Ahab....where I confess, after breaking a rib there 2 years ago, I now walk about 4 sections!) and a circuit up Getaway, down Bull Run, down Arth's and back up Great Escape, which is a nice figure 8 if you don't have time for the whole Mag 7. I'm 66 years old (so undoubtedly not as aggressive on the downhill as you, but I'm more of a climber, so my choice of gear reflects that) 155 pounds on a Yeti SB5 with a 160 fork.

    In fact, rode the 10:00 shuttle with some older (but younger than me) Canadian Firemen. I think our biggest concern, at our age, was, can we make the 50 minute shuttle without wetting our pants. It was close, but we all made it.

    Bottom line, I suppose is that just for peace of mind you could ride the 1700's and run either of the tire combos you have in mind. Bring an extra rear tire and derailleur hanger just in case if you have room. Those seem to be most vulnerable....and knees, elbows....and ribs.....

    Also, by late October, you MAY not be able to shuttle TWE (we have cooler weather coming in + precip from the remnants of hurricane Rosa next week, so probably snow above 10,000 feet) but I expect it will be runnable from Hazard, at least, down. If so, you could do that and then ride Slickrock in a single day.

    I doubt Slickrock would be enough to take up a whole day.
    My son and I took the 10:00 shuttle and we rode back into town around 4:15 that afternoon. Like I said, if it's from Hazard down, I'd add in Slickrock (just take the 8:00AM shuttle - and a jacket!).
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 09-29-2018 at 03:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
    Reputation: SAM313's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Round wheels.
    The fatter tires the better.
    The lowest pressure you can run.

    These things are more important than brand or tread pattern.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
    I'd agree with Sam but add: *fresh* tires (and fresh sealant). I keep seeing people riding on tires that haven't been made in 5 years that are half bald with no stick left.

    Of your list the DHF2.5/DHR2.4 is the most Moab-friendly setup. Yes, you will see wear on a brand new tire after a lap of Slickrock - or of most other trails. Tires still last 6 months or so here.

    Breaking a rim here would be extremely rare and require a complete lack of skill. I'd bring whichever wheels are wider.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2010
    Ride what ya' brung. Everything will work just fine, especially on a Firebird 29er. The 2.5 DHF tire didn't exist the last time I was out there but that's what I have now on 2 of my bikes and wouldn't change it if I was headed to Moab....I run the Aggressor on the back everywhere I ride. Headed to Gooseberry Mesa next week to ride a bunch of rock where I've ran the Aggressor on many trips. I personally think it's the best "jack of all terrains" rear tire there is and have it on every bike I own....29er, 27.5, long travel, short travel, whatever. No reason not to run your Enve's, you're not going to break anything out there.
    Carpe Diem!!

  6. #6
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by SAM313 View Post
    Round wheels.
    The fatter tires the better.
    The lowest pressure you can run.

    These things are more important than brand or tread pattern.
    Pretty much. If you have any tires you don't like, put them on the rear and burn them up.

  7. #7
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
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    May 2008
    On any given day, at any given time, all tires and rims have been used in Moab. With success. Don't over think it.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
    Slickrock traciton means lots of tires work, so don't worry too much about that. However, you got day 1 and day 4 backwards. Cap'n Ahab is way more fun than slickrock.

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