29 tire recommendations.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29 tire recommendations.

    First post here, long time reader. My son has a 2015 Cannondale Trail 29er with stock tires. Stock are 2.0 25mm and am looking for something more grippy. We ride here in Michigan. DTE, Island Lake, Brighton Rec area. Trails have some sand which really messes with him now. Roots, rocks, loose dirt. Were thinking tubless 2.3 in front and 2.2 back. Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    People swear by Schwalbe Racing Ralph / Ray combo.

    Bontrager front XR3 / rear XR2 is pretty good option.

    Im trying out Vittoria Mezcal and seem to be ok. But, the sand is killer in SE Michigan.

    Im thinking more grip would be Vittoria Barzo in the front.

    Maxxis Ardent front / ardent race rear is another option.

    When 85% is hardpack and 15% is sand...hard to pick one tire for all. Since you want something fast, light weight but lots of grip in the corners.




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  3. #3
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    Thank you, Ill look into those. He has a really hard time when he hits that sand with the 2.0 he has on there now but like you said its only like 15% sand.

  4. #4
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    The other thing to pay attention to is tire pressure. Decreasing a few psi would add some additional grip.

    I guess another factor depends on how much grip vs. speed/weight you are willing to sacrifice.

    If you find something that works well, please share!


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  5. #5
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    Hello neighbor!
    Just got back from DTE.
    I live in the area and have been mountain biking here for over 30 years.
    I'll say it again: the sand -over-hardpack here can take you down in the blink of an eye.

    It may be helpful for you to provide more info.
    What are the current tires?
    What is the intended use of the tires: racing, fun, all-around, etc.

    Here are some tires I run.

    Let's assume you want grip, so weight and rolling resistance are secondary.

    Front:
    Maxxis Minion DH-F 29x2.3.
    Legendary cornering traction.
    Overkill for Island Lake, but nice for the Poto, DTE, Brighton, and even Maybury. It is beefy, heavy and has a learning curve due to the lack of transition knobs.
    I've found it to be incredibly grippy everywhere (ran tit today, in fact).
    I HATE the weight, but the grip is amazing.
    I'm 150lbs, and run 18lbs.

    Bontrager XR4 29X2.4.
    Great tire. DHFs little brother, with transition knobs. Does not have the outright grip when leaned over, but pretty darn good.
    More than 200g lighter, and faster rolling. Good price.

    Specialized Butcher Control 29x2.3.
    Very similar to the DHF, but lighter by about 200g.
    I felt that it had a less precise turn-in, and like the DHF better.

    Maxxis Minion DH-R. similar to a DH-F, but about 100 grams lighter and has transition knobs.
    Worked weLL, but didn't feel as precise as the DHF. Trimmed the transition knobs to make it more like the DHF...nice, but not quite the same.

    Middle of the road, lighter options:

    Specialized Ground Control.
    I have a 2.1, but it is a bit narrow and wish I had purchased the 2.3.
    Pretty grippy, supple, fast-ish rolling. Nice tire.

    Hutchinson Gila. Hard to find, but a very nice tire. It is probably most similar to the XR4.
    I don't run it too much because it is a super tight fit on my rims.

    Schwalbe Rocket Ron 29x2.25.
    Pretty light, expensive, grips better than you would think.

    Speedy tires:

    Rocket Ron.
    Vittoria Mezcal 29x2.35. Grips much better than expected. Knobs are large/tall enough to usually find traction through the sand. I've had one on the rear almost all season.
    Specialized Fast Trak. Much like the Mezcal, more grip than expected. But shorter knobs don't claw through sand as well.

    An oddity:
    I rode 26" Hutchinson Pythons for decades. Despite being light and very fast rolling, they had good volume, and were the best tires in deep sand. You would hit a sand pit at the bottom of a hill, and they kinda surfed through without knifing around.

    The rear is much more forgiving in our area.
    I usually use a short knob tire such as Mezcal, Fast Trak, or even a Continental Race King (VERY low knobs and scary fast rolling).
    For more grip the Ground Control or Gila is nice.

    Good luck!

    Bob

  6. #6
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    What do you have clearance for? I'd want the widest possible tires. For 25mm rims, probably 2.4-2.5 is as wide as I'd go, but I'd want the widest tires I could get away with. He will notice a remarkable difference between a 2.0 cross country tire and a 2.5 trail tire.

  7. #7
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    I use 29x2.25 Rocket Ron's on my hardtail, I think it's a great all-around SE Michigan tire. I've tried DHF/Aggressor, DHF/SS, DHF/Forekaster, DHF/Ardent, HRII/Ardent, RocketRon/RacingRalph, RacingRalph/RacingRalph, and maybe a few others I've forgotten. Tires faster than the Rocket Ron's lose more grip than you gain with speed, and grippier tires are slow enough that corning grip doesn't outweigh straight-line speed.

    If your son favors fun and/or downhills over pedaling speed, then DHF/Aggressor, DHF/Dissector, DHF/Rekon will give a ton of confidence (in descending order from most to least grippy). If he cares about setting full lap Strava times, then I think Rocket Ron's front/rear or Ardent/ArdentRace is a good choice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    I'll say it again: the sand -over-hardpack here can take you down in the blink of an eye.
    Aint that the truth!




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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    If he cares about setting full lap Strava times, then I think Rocket Ron's front/rear or Ardent/ArdentRace is a good choice.
    Hmm...looking at Maxxis comparison chart, it almost looks like an ikon could be a better for hardpack rear tire than Ardent Race.




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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior77 View Post
    Hmm...looking at Maxxis comparison chart, it almost looks like an ikon could be a better for hardpack rear tire than Ardent Race.

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    Could be, I'm sure there's a lot of other combinations that could be slightly better or worse. Looking at the chart, I'd bet the Ikon would be better for Island Lake blue and the Ardent Race would be better for Island Lake Yellow. In the end I'm sure they're both close enough that it really wouldn't matter. I'd heard from others reports that Ikons get pretty sketchy in sand, like at Brighton Rec, but I haven't ridden them myself.

  11. #11
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    Hes about 130lbs(15) and its his first year. Of course hes ridding faster then he should and am waiting on the first big crash to see how he handles it.

    His current stock tires are 29 2.0 Cannondale WTB Nine Line. Hes lost it a few times cornering and in the sand. In fact he blew out his rear tube today practicing his bunny hops. Id say his use will be mostly fun all around but likes speed. He can climb really fast with the stock tires but they have no grip.

    Ill be looking into all your recommendations and see whats available. We went to 3 bike shops looking for tires yesterday and no one stocks anything so online it is. Im thinking of going tubless like my ride.

    Im not sure on his clearance but form what Ive read 2.4 will probably be the widest we can go.

    Once again I really appreciate the replys and will be reading up on them along with reviews.

  12. #12
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    I would look at Dissector up front with a Rekon in back.
    Hatched in '64
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