Help with tire recommendations for the wife's bike.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Help with tire recommendations for the wife's bike.

    Hey all,

    So I bought the wife a new bike, it's a 2019 Liv Pique SX 2....She absolutely loves this bike.

    It's her first MTB, she's been doing great, and I couldn't be more stoked!

    1 issue though...the bike came with a pair of Maxxis High Roller II's stock, and even after trying multiple tire pressures (all the way down to 20 psi front and 22 psi rear) she is still having issues washing the front tire out...Worse on dry hard pack...which there is plenty of where we ride.

    She's obviously not riding crazy fast yet, and yeah there is probably some technique flaws as she's brand new to this, but there must be a better tire combo for her to be running...so she can stop worrying about losing traction, and start focusing on technique and having fun.

    The Pique SX 2 can easily fit a 27.5x2.5 (probably up to a 2.6) up front, but I think a 2.4 is about as wide as it will go in the back.

    Any suggestions for a good "all around" trail tire? We are usually riding dry hard pack, with some loose over the top once in a while, plenty of rocks & roots, never any mud....looking at the Maxxis web page, the High Roller II is suppose to be the perfect tire for these conditions...not so much.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    First of all most of the tires that come on new bikes are garbage models of the same tire. Is your wife's tire the 3C model? My bike a minion dhf it came with but it was not the well known/ popular Minion DHF so many people use with 3 compound, exo skeleton etc. I just upgraded to the good Minion DHF'S and traction was back to normal without changing size or anything.
    MAXXIS Minion DHF on the front and a Maxxis DHR 2 on the back is a very well known tried and true combo. 2.3's would be fine. The wider tire's make a difference in peddling and rolling so I wouldn't go to wide for the wife.
    Even with the same tire pressure she will notice a world of better traction but I would go tubeless.
    Just my opinion.

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  3. #3
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    what tire pressure is she running and how much does she weigh? That tire is very aggressive. I think it is more likely to be tire pressure and technique. Is she leaning the bike under her, but staying upright? Or is she leaning into the turn which will cause a washout. Does she have most of her weight on the outer pedal but also some on the bars to pressure the front?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    what tire pressure is she running and how much does she weigh? That tire is very aggressive. I think it is more likely to be tire pressure and technique. Is she leaning the bike under her, but staying upright? Or is she leaning into the turn which will cause a washout. Does she have most of her weight on the outer pedal but also some on the bars to pressure the front?
    All of these are great questions!

    Pressure as noted above, we've tried combinations all the way down to 20F 22R

    ____________________________

    She'll never tell you what she weighs, but the last time a snuck a peak at the scale, it was about 145.

    ____________________________

    As far as how she's loading and leaning the bike...

    She's effectively a brand new rider, so she's making plenty of nOOb mistakes...hell I'm pretty new, so I can't coach her as well as I'd like to.

    But....I've been "out front" calling out trail obstacles, and suggesting best line choices for her, so I've not been able to watch her close for technique suggestions...

    She's joined a weekly ladies group ride, and my hope is that she'll pick up more/better techniques from the more skilled lady riders.

    I was just trying to get her on a set of good grippy tires, so she's a little less worried about the crashing aspect of our sport.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grilledcheesetriple View Post
    Is your wife's tire the 3C model?
    Nope, just the base model EXO

    Quote Originally Posted by Grilledcheesetriple View Post
    Minion DHF on the front and a Maxxis DHR 2 on the back is a very well known tried and true combo.
    Yep, that's a good combo, I ultimately settled on the DHF and Aggressor combo for my bike...I just figured that was a little overkill for the kind of riding my wife seems to like, mostly "green" XC type trails...no jumps or drops, no really super techy stuff (yet).
    20 Trek Fuel EX 8
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  6. #6
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    High Rollers have pretty aggressive cornering knobs, and should be hooking up good when cornering (properly). I weigh about the same, and 22 PSI rear, 20 PSI front is dead on for most tires I run. I'd wait it out, focus more or cornering technique and skills, then see what happens. We have similar dirt here in SC, so speaking from experience.

    Edit:

    Although, most folks run the HRs on the rear. Maybe throw a DHF on the front and see how that goes. She may be losing traction on the center contact patch, and sliding until the corner knobs grab.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
    Nope, just the base model EXO



    Yep, that's a good combo, I ultimately settled on the DHF and Aggressor combo for my bike...I just figured that was a little overkill for the kind of riding my wife seems to like, mostly "green" XC type trails...no jumps or drops, no really super techy stuff (yet).
    Yup that's what I figured the base model tire. Huge difference there alone. Here check this.
    https://reviews.mtbr.com/maxxis-tire...for-you#minion

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
    ... after trying multiple tire pressures (all the way down to 20 psi front and 22 psi rear) she is still having issues washing the front tire out...Worse on dry hard pack...which there is plenty of where we ride...
    Maybe less pressure? I'm 180 and run 14psi front 16 rear on 2.4" tires. Keep reducing pressure until you start getting rim strikes or squirm, then go up a few PSI.
    What, me worry?

  9. #9
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    +1 on dropping pressure below 20psi, since it's EXO. I ran a Magic Mary snakeskin 2.35 last year at 17-18psi and I'm >150lbs riding weight.

    But, don't the HRII and DHF corner best when you lean the bike hard? Plenty of riders don't like the "gap" on turn-in. If she's not an aggressive rider, yet, you could try a more forgiving front tire with transition knobs, which should improve her confidence and trust enough to weight the front tire.

  10. #10
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    The high roller II is a terrible tire front and rear. Up front it washes out unexpectedly, and out back it feels similar to dragging a nuclear warship anchor. More pressure, less pressure, it just sucks always. I wouldn't hesitate to run screaming from them!

    I think basically anything would be better. I recently started running conti tires again, and they're amazing. A pair of cross kings all around would be worlds better, or CK rear TK front. A set of nobby nics would too, or NN rear, hans dampf up front would be good too. Bontrager XR3 is popular too and much more linear feeling than the xr4. Spec ground controls would be better.

    I mean damn near anything would be better than HR2's. Even the dhr/dhf combo would likely work out better, all though definitely overkill.

  11. #11
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    Try less psi, hopfully it will help. If not, maybe less aggressive\more forgiving tires like Hans Dampf front/rear (or Rock Razor at the back) will help.

  12. #12
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    Put some Rekon 2.4's on there. She won't outride them for a while (ever?) and they'll be much faster in the meantime.
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  13. #13
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    Im in alignment with a few others, and I will give my advice as my wife is in the same zone. First, the HR2 is the worst tire in the line up, and even worse as a front. Take it off! Just do it. She's not riding aggressive enough to utilize it, it isnt designed for hardpack and thats a mega slow combo.

    Most of the minion line takes some chops to get to the corner knobs to effectively use them. Most new folks, not just women, especially when just pedaling are going less than 10mph. This puts them in the transition area of the tire when turning...you need some knobs there!

    My answer? I have 2.6 rekons on my wife's 27.5 bike. If you can sneak the 2.6 on up front and maybe the 2.4 out back she will be stoked. The tires are faster and easier to pedal. They have lots of edges for hardpack and are more "round" and in my opinion easier to utilize in slower turning. If not a rekon up front, the Dissector is a very good in between!
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  14. #14
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    She's likely not leaning the bike to turn and relying on the center knobs for traction. I'd recommend the Bontrager XR4. It's very predictable and a good all arounder. The Rekon isn't a bad choice but doesn't have quite the grip of the XR4 and packs up easily in mud.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
    All of these are great questions!

    Pressure as noted above, we've tried combinations all the way down to 20F 22R

    ____________________________

    She'll never tell you what she weighs, but the last time a snuck a peak at the scale, it was about 145.

    ____________________________

    As far as how she's loading and leaning the bike...

    She's effectively a brand new rider, so she's making plenty of nOOb mistakes...hell I'm pretty new, so I can't coach her as well as I'd like to.

    But....I've been "out front" calling out trail obstacles, and suggesting best line choices for her, so I've not been able to watch her close for technique suggestions...

    She's joined a weekly ladies group ride, and my hope is that she'll pick up more/better techniques from the more skilled lady riders.

    I was just trying to get her on a set of good grippy tires, so she's a little less worried about the crashing aspect of our sport.
    Its not uncommon to run a fatter tire up front. My person all arounder is Hans Dampf, which is actually fairly aggresive. If you want straight speed though, its got some drag, not like a Minion tho!
    The ladies group is a great idea! Sometimes (Many times?) spouses trying to teach each other doesnt go that well. If somewehre offers clincs, thatd be an idea too.
    Failing that, try set up some “play” sessions. Go somewhere with area that you can set up some markers and ride around without being in peoples way. Then spend some time repeatedly trying same thing, in this case turns. Both of you ride same thing, try different speed, sharpness, weighting and leaning differently. Key is to ride the same thing repeatedly to learn what works.
    Oh, and if she doesnt already, get her some light pads to mitigate spills, it inevitable and part of learning! Make it fun! Take breaks, go to the seven eleven and get some slurpees, come back and play some more. Remeber when you were kids?

  16. #16
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    My wife is about 129#s and is riding on 27.5x2.6 Nobby Nics (12/15 psi). She loves them, but they may be too wide for the Liv.

    I would avoid something like a DHF for a rider new to the sport, as she probably isn't getting the bike over onto the cornering knobs (as others have stated). Something like a 27.5x2.35 NoNi would work fine, rolls very fast and hooks up well.

    I also think the pressures are too high for her.
    Shoot, I'm 160 #s and they're too high for me riding in Moab on either 29x2.35 NoNi's or a 29x2.6 DHF/2.5 Aggressor combo!
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 1 Week Ago at 09:20 AM.

  17. #17
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    DHR2, Aggressor is a good combo. I think the DHR2 works better at slower speeds than the DHF. The Aggressor has a good combination of speed and grip. Bontrager XR5/XR 4 is a nice combo. I loved Schwalbes in the Midwest, but in rocks, they wear too fast. But it seems like you live in WI, from your profile - Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph.


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  18. #18
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    Bontrager XR3/XR3 or XR4/XR3. It's lighter than the tires that are currently on there. They have a 30 day return period (if she doesn't like them). And they are plenty grippy and don't have any "weird" behavior. I.e. only work with proper body position / form.

    Pressures you are running also seem high. I weigh 190 pounds and get away with 22 front / 25 rear (most of them time. High speed smash into the corner of a rock can cause issues).

    At 145 and not very aggressive could probably drop the front below 20 psi.

  19. #19
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    I too agonize over the balance of RR vs. traction needs for my wife's bike and have come to realize that at her lower weight (111#s) and generally slower speeds that traction hasn't been much of a problem and it's best to focus on RR. Really it's the same thing I do for myself just that I have much higher traction requirements. She can however give real feedback on tires even though she isn't real fast, sometimes better than some of the experienced male MTBers around here I suspect.

    Not sure I can recommend the ultimate wife tire set up just yet except to say that nothing with Minion in the name is the correct answer. She does not need that much traction and the associated high RR.

    I can say that my wife has made pre-Addix Schwalbe XC tires slide way too much and that she REALLY likes the Mezcal as a rear. That rear tire is a clear preference for her. Ideal front tire yet tbd but the Barzo is on the list to try next.

    She'll do fine either way with a husband that cares so much.

    ~ Good luck

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    I ultimately went with the Bontrager XR4's. The price combined with the return policy made it an easy choice, plus there does seem to be some really good reviews of the XR4.

    She's now running a 2.6" up front & a 2.4" out back....if the XR4 came in a 2.5, I think I could probably fit one back there, but as it is I think the 2.6/2.4 combo will be good for her.

    If the weather is cooperative we'll be riding Thursday evening, and we'll sort out pressures then....gonna start with 22R and 20F and see where we go from there.
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  21. #21
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    Those pressures are too high for a 145# novice bike rider. 16/ 18 would be a lot closer to start with imo.

  22. #22
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    Im 210lb and run 20psi up front on a 2.35 hans dampf. Its firm, but its rocky here and that protects the rim.

    I think your wife should start out closer to 15 psi front. 20ish rear more or less depending on how she weighs the rear tire. It doesnt sound like shes casing jumps into rocks, so probably lower.

  23. #23
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    OK, sounds good.

    So we'll start with front 15/16 and rear 18/20.

    It's tough for me to help her with pressures because I weigh CONSIDERABLY more than she does, so my pressures are 31R 27F....Everything seems low compared to what I ride, but being a...."robust" individual, higher tire pressures are a fact of life for me.

    Thanks again for the suggestions!

    Here's our rides from yesterday...Great Day!
    Help with tire recommendations for the wife's bike.-bikes.jpg
    20 Trek Fuel EX 8
    19 Surly Wednesday
    20 Salsa Journeyman 700c
    I'm too old to care....and it shows.

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