29x2.6 Ikon vs Ranger- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29x2.6 Ikon vs Ranger

    Recently installed a set of 2.6 WTB Rangers and was able to take some comparison pictures.

    Iíve been using 2.6 Ikons for about 1000 miles now, and they are one of the best all around tires Iíve ever used. Last year they worked well for xc races, marathon races, and everything else I rode. Their grip far surpassed the 2.35 and 2.2 Ikons Iíve use. The only downside was rolling resistance. While I was extremely happy with every other characteristic of the tire, Iíve been wanting to try something faster rolling. I have a lot of experience with 3Ē rangers and I believe they roll better than the Ikons, so I expect the 2.6 to be noticeably faster than the Ikons.


    Rims 35mm inner width.

    Iíll try to post ride impressions in a few weeks after Iím able to try them on a variety of trails.












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    Last edited by coke; 01-15-2020 at 04:20 AM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    cool. check out the XR2 in 2.6" at some point, too. super underrated and crazy fast IMHO.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    cool. check out the XR2 in 2.6" at some point, too. super underrated and crazy fast IMHO.
    Those are next on my list if the rangers donít work out. I currently have 3Ē XR2 on my wifeís bike and on the rear of my rigid bike, so I have an idea of how theyíd perform.



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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Recently installed a set of 2.6 WTB Rangers and was able to take some comparison pictures.

    Iíve been using 2.6 Ikons for about 1000 miles now, and they are one of the best all around tires Iíve ever used. Last year they worked well for xc races, marathon races, and everything else I rode. Their grip far surpassed the 2.35 and 2.2 Ikons Iíve use. The only downside was rolling resistance. While I was extremely happy with every other characteristic of the tire, Iíve been wanting to try something faster rolling. I have a lot of experience with 3Ē rangers and I believe they roll better than the Ikons, so I expect the 2.6 to be noticeably faster than the Ikons.


    Rims 35mm inner width.

    Iíll try to post ride impressions in a few weeks after Iím able to try them on a variety of trails.










    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It looks like the Rangers are heavier and slightly bigger than the Ikons so I can't imagine that they are any faster. I've been running the Ikon 2.6's (120tpi 3C frt/60tpi DC rear) for the last year and the only time I feel the speed difference with the 2.35's is accelerating out of a corner but am taking them faster so it doesn't seem to be much of a problem.The additional bump compliance really makes a difference on an XC bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joecx View Post
    It looks like the Rangers are heavier and slightly bigger than the Ikons so I can't imagine that they are any faster. I've been running the Ikon 2.6's (120tpi 3C frt/60tpi DC rear) for the last year and the only time I feel the speed difference with the 2.35's is accelerating out of a corner but am taking them faster so it doesn't seem to be much of a problem.The additional bump compliance really makes a difference on an XC bike.
    I just added a picture in the original post of the Ikon on my scale to show the weight comparison. I know tire weights vary, but my Ikon is not lighter than either of the 2 Rangers I have. (I know the packaging on the Ikon in the photo adds a slight amount of weight)

    The Ikon isnít a slow tire in general, but the 2.6 just seems to roll a little slower than Iíd like for racing. I have no issues racing it, but I think I can get by with less cornering traction, if Iím able to find a tire that rolls faster.




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  7. #7
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    I've used a ridden both of those tires in a 2.8 version. The from a strictly rolling resistance point of view, the Ranger is faster. You don't need a machine or lab to tell, you can just go for a ride at the same pressure. When new I think the Ranger has comparable traction. The Rangers are a little fragile. I personally think they are worth it, and I just patch and superglue them as needed to get life out of them. But the tread also wears pretty quick, and once the knobs are worn down some they have less grip. In my experience it is like 80% less grip for 50% tread height, so the rapid wear catches up. I can just get one season of riding out of them, and I'm sacrificing some traction at the end. I find them to have more traction in most situations over an XR2 until they are pretty worn.

    The Ikons are just not inspiring to me. They roll slower, but they do seem to hold their grip longer than the Rangers. They also seem more durable, but sometimes it is just the luck of the draw if an XC tire like this gets damaged. Maxxis seems to trend towards traction and durability in their entire tire line, and as long as you are comparing intended use correctly they are almost always higher rolling resistance as a result. This has hurt Maxxis in recent years with their XC, fat, and plus lines because in those use cases the traction and durability isn't always king.

    Be prepared, someone will be along shortly to tell you that all of these XC tires will pop like a party balloon if you ride anything rougher than a mirror and that you should put DHF or some other Minion on anything that rolls.

    I'm interested to hear your ride impressions.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    I've used a ridden both of those tires in a 2.8 version. The from a strictly rolling resistance point of view, the Ranger is faster. You don't need a machine or lab to tell, you can just go for a ride at the same pressure. When new I think the Ranger has comparable traction. The Rangers are a little fragile. I personally think they are worth it, and I just patch and superglue them as needed to get life out of them. But the tread also wears pretty quick, and once the knobs are worn down some they have less grip. In my experience it is like 80% less grip for 50% tread height, so the rapid wear catches up. I can just get one season of riding out of them, and I'm sacrificing some traction at the end. I find them to have more traction in most situations over an XR2 until they are pretty worn.

    The Ikons are just not inspiring to me. They roll slower, but they do seem to hold their grip longer than the Rangers. They also seem more durable, but sometimes it is just the luck of the draw if an XC tire like this gets damaged. Maxxis seems to trend towards traction and durability in their entire tire line, and as long as you are comparing intended use correctly they are almost always higher rolling resistance as a result. This has hurt Maxxis in recent years with their XC, fat, and plus lines because in those use cases the traction and durability isn't always king.

    Be prepared, someone will be along shortly to tell you that all of these XC tires will pop like a party balloon if you ride anything rougher than a mirror and that you should put DHF or some other Minion on anything that rolls.

    I'm interested to hear your ride impressions.
    Thanks for the comments.

    I think Iíve used the rangers for over 2000 miles now. They do wear much faster than maxxis tires, but itís not so fast to be a concern for me.

    I havenít had many durability issues. My 1st set was trouble free for about 1000 miles. The rear on the second set tore on the 1st ride, but it was due to barbed wire and I donít know if any tire that would have survived. I think I got around 1000 miles after that with no problems.




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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    I just added a picture in the original post of the Ikon on my scale to show the weight comparison. I know tire weights vary, but my Ikon is not lighter than either of the 2 Rangers I have. (I know the packaging on the Ikon in the photo adds a slight amount of weight)

    The Ikon isnít a slow tire in general, but the 2.6 just seems to roll a little slower than Iíd like for racing. I have no issues racing it, but I think I can get by with less cornering traction, if Iím able to find a tire that rolls faster.




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    Your's a quite a bit heavier than mine. 790 g for the 120 tpi and 815 for the 60tpi.

    I had been on a 2.35 Ardent Race frt @ 740 g and 2.35 Ikon @ 725 g so more than a quarter of a pound but at the end of a 3-4 hour race I'm digging the extra cushion. And they do seem to be pretty tough so I don't worry about flats.

  10. #10
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    Iím still waiting for my suspension to be returned from service, so no time on the tires yet.

    The casing has expanded to almost 2.6 now though.


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  11. #11
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    29x2.6 Ikon vs Ranger

    I have several rides with the Rangers now and last week I used them in an xc marathon race.

    The race covered almost all types of terrain. It was cold and slick in the morning and we started on a traditional xc course with exposed roots and twisty trails.

    About 1/4 of the way through the first lap we transitioned to some ďblackĒ rated technical rocks. From there we rode some machine built smooth and flowy downhill lines with berms and small jumps.

    The race also had a variety of climbs. Some were smooth, some had loose rocks, and some were fairly technical for an xc race with big rocks.


    Overall throughout the race I never had a single issue and the tires never did anything unexpected. I didnít have to make any significant changes to how I was riding with the Ikons. The rangers donít have quite the same cornering traction but the two tires are very close.

    Essentially the only significant difference was rolling resistance. Several times in the race I noticed how much smoother my bike was rolling. I know drafting is a factor, but I had to use a lot of brakes whenever I followed people on downhills. There was never a case in the 4+ hour race where it seemed like my tires were rolling any slower than other racers.

    Without a doubt, the 2.6 rangers are faster than 2.6 Ikons.




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