Recommendations on a 29" winter/snow tire...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recommendations on a 29" winter/snow tire...

    Hit the trails yesterday with about 3" of snow on them. Had a blast! The only issue is my SB8's weren't quite up to the job, particuarly on the hills What's everyone riding that helps them get a bit more traction without being absolute boat anchors? I'm going to run my SS One 9 the rest of the winter, so I don't have a ton of clearance in the rear. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otter
    Hit the trails yesterday with about 3" of snow on them. Had a blast! The only issue is my SB8's weren't quite up to the job, particuarly on the hills What's everyone riding that helps them get a bit more traction without being absolute boat anchors? I'm going to run my SS One 9 the rest of the winter, so I don't have a ton of clearance in the rear. Thanks!
    Well, I think with snow you have two different choices: Go for float (high volume), or try to dig through and gain traction (small volume). With deep snow I would say go for large volume and float, but with three inches, at least on the rear I would go for digging through with a narrower tire, especially if you live somewhere that the snow will melt into mud.

    Where I live (in SW VA) we get a few inches of snow here and there, and then it turns into soup when it melts (last winter we had a bit of snow that stuck around for a month or so). I have really liked the 29er Mountain King 2.2 in the rear for this (actually, it's the ONLY thing I like this tire for). They actually measure more like a 2.0. They did a LOT better then the 2.35 Rampages they replaced in the snow and muck. I'm sure there are other, maybe better tires out there for rear use, just saying that narrow with wide-spaced knobs did the trick for me in a few inches of snow on the rear of the bike.

    In the front I just wanted float, so I ran my usual 2.2 Nev, and it did fine.

    I don't think the narrow tire would work in deeper snow, though, it would just get bogged down.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  3. #3
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    I'm not saying this because I have a 29er 2.4 Conti Mountain King sitting around in my trunk brand new and unused that I'm trying to sell/get rid of. The conti MK (older version) is a superb snow tire, loose over hard pack, and leafy area tire. The tread profile of the older MK was basically these little rubber spikes that dig/punctures right through the surface for tractions. In snow I'd expect it to work much like stubs digging thru the snow and packing it down for traction. Same goes for why it is good for loose over hardpack except its pushing through to the hard pack for traction. As for leaves being all over the trail, this tire is the first one I have ever used that actually punctures the leaves and grab the ground underneath it.

    The weight of the MK is also absurbly light weight, my 26inch version thats one my bike weight in at 780 grams UST version.... its a light tire. It's a small tire though, the 2.2 is like a 2.0 at most companies and the 2.4 is like the 2.1-2.2 of most companies.

    Another option is the traction king from kenda...but that seems like overkill.

  4. #4
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    With 3 inches, I'd go for a good mud tire. I frequently hit a little snow in my winter riding and have found my Michelin AT's really dig in nicely and do not get clogged with snow. They are a 2.0 tire (slightly wider depending on rim width) with good volume.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2clue
    I'm not saying this because I have a 29er 2.4 Conti Mountain King sitting around in my trunk brand new and unused that I'm trying to sell/get rid of. The conti MK (older version) is a superb snow tire, loose over hard pack, and leafy area tire. The tread profile of the older MK was basically these little rubber spikes that dig/punctures right through the surface for tractions. In snow I'd expect it to work much like stubs digging thru the snow and packing it down for traction. Same goes for why it is good for loose over hardpack except its pushing through to the hard pack for traction. As for leaves being all over the trail, this tire is the first one I have ever used that actually punctures the leaves and grab the ground underneath it.

    The weight of the MK is also absurbly light weight, my 26inch version thats one my bike weight in at 780 grams UST version.... its a light tire. It's a small tire though, the 2.2 is like a 2.0 at most companies and the 2.4 is like the 2.1-2.2 of most companies.

    Another option is the traction king from kenda...but that seems like overkill.
    +1 on the MK 2.4 (older version). Exactly my experience riding woods singletrack in PA.

  6. #6
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    I just notice I said 780...I meant 680. UST casing and 680 for the 2.4 had me dropping my jaws. Light tire that will serve you well the MK.

  7. #7
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    I've been using Ignitors for the past 2 years. I haven't had too many complaints to date.
    If you want all the comforts of home, stay there.

    Rides, Reviews, Races and Random Thoughts

  8. #8
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    me tooooo

    Quote Originally Posted by gord962
    I've been using Ignitors for the past 2 years. I haven't had too many complaints to date.
    yeah, i also run ignitors, work great for me in wisconsin
    2011 ERIKSEN XX BUILD IN PROGRESS HERE: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=698673

  9. #9
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    I'm running a Bontrager MudX TLR. The trick is to run very low pressures. I used mine at 20 psi. I don't know what pressure you ran your SB8's, but I'd try them at low pressure before buying new tires. Others I know had luck with Bontrager XDX's with low pressure, and those treads are similar to a SB8.

  10. #10
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    I commute on packed snow to icy roads on the 29er. This is my first year of it, so no experience to rely on. I have some 2.2" Specialized Captains on at low pressure that are doing fine, but I found out that for christmas I'm getting some sort of studded tires that are skinny. 1.6", I think?. I understand the concept of using a narrower tire, but I also can't help thinking that a fat tire feels more secure on the uneven slippery terrain. We'll see once I get the studds mounted up.

  11. #11
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    I am using RacingRalphs 2.4 on wide rims like Flow's. There is the only set I feel my self with confidence on winter trails.
    Had used Marathons Winter 1.75 spike tyre - they are for paved roads, not for mtb, and are very thin. Also Racing Ralph 2.25 does not give me such fun as 2.4 one, especially on narrow rim.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdiddy
    I'm running a Bontrager MudX TLR. The trick is to run very low pressures. I used mine at 20 psi. I don't know what pressure you ran your SB8's, but I'd try them at low pressure before buying new tires. Others I know had luck with Bontrager XDX's with low pressure, and those treads are similar to a SB8.
    +1

    I run almost 10 psi lower on snow than I do on dirt. The larger contact patch really helps with the float in the snow. I would try dropping the pressure before switching out to new tires.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdiddy
    I'm running a Bontrager MudX TLR. The trick is to run very low pressures. I used mine at 20 psi. I don't know what pressure you ran your SB8's, but I'd try them at low pressure before buying new tires. Others I know had luck with Bontrager XDX's with low pressure, and those treads are similar to a SB8.
    I also run Mud X's in fresh snow. Works pretty well. I run them at about 23 PSI, but will try lower. It's a pretty narrow tire.

    I use 2.25" Racing Ralphs @ 17 PSI for packed trails. (Packed by snowshoes, feet, skiis, and freeze/thaw cycles).

  14. #14
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    For Christmas I got a pair of 700 x 40 c Nokian Hakkapelitta W240. I was skeptical of their skinniness at first, but I'm a believer now after the last couple days of blasting through soft pulverized snow on top of packed snow and ice in temps hovering around freezing. The traction is a definite improvement over the Specialized Captains 2.2 on all snow and ice surfaces so far. On the ice most of all, obviously. I haven't pushed the limits on cornering yet and still slow down and turn while trying to keep my body straight upright rather than leaning it over. But I think that is the prudent way to ride in the winter.
    Some good reading on studded bike tires. https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxnroots
    +1 on the MK 2.4 (older version). Exactly my experience riding woods singletrack in PA.
    Another plug for the older versions of the MK. Worked well as a front tire in Washington snow when I get out in it. I matched it in the back with the Michy AT as narrower tire that punched through the snow and would find some traction.

    My limited experience has been that no matter the tires I'm running, its more important to adjust riding style to meet the conditions I'm in.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    I also run Mud X's in fresh snow. Works pretty well. I run them at about 23 PSI, but will try lower. It's a pretty narrow tire.

    I use 2.25" Racing Ralphs @ 17 PSI for packed trails. (Packed by snowshoes, feet, skiis, and freeze/thaw cycles).
    I took the bike out today with the Mud X's in the snow. Snow packed by very light trial traffic (think 5 sets of walking tracks) and it was about 6" deep. I let air out until I arrived at an optimal pressure. The result was great. No burps (set up tubeless), no flats, and really good float and grip.

    When I got home I checked the pressure and they were @ 12 PSI , they felt soft, but not that soft. This is where I will run them on snow from now on...verly little chance of pinching the tire on the rim when in snow, and they held on the rim very will with no burps. This is on some preproduction enve tubeless rims...others may not hold as well.
    Last edited by brentos; 12-31-2010 at 08:40 PM.

  17. #17
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    Has anybody tryed the Kenda Nevegal, I am going to mount up a set tomorrow we have lots of new fluff but what like to ride this time of the year is the snowmobile trails.

    Another thing I'm wanting to do this winter is go out on the lakes and ride the ice roads but I don't have any experience and I'm thinking that I'll need studed tires for that..
    Does anybody know where to get studs to do your own tires, I have tires that don't get used & will I save$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?
    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    I've got 1 of these coming should provide enough float I think, not quite Fat bike but this is costing me $100 delivered which I hope I don't regret.

    http://www.webmountainbike.com/arracsavdhti.html

    Hmmm 3" tyre baby

    * for rigids only really on DH rims.

  19. #19
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    I got sent a link where someone used Cable Ties put around the tire and rim, and put the join on the side wall for extra grip while leaning over, 1 side then the other, they claimed it worked well but ??

    I'll try it if we get any more snow around here.


    Use 2 cable ties then you could have the join sticking out on both side walls maybe, hmm.

  20. #20
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    That 3" tire won't work for me all my bikes are 29ers, but I'm am going to try the zip-ties
    I like that one! Thanks Turveyd.

  21. #21
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    Actually you need a 29er fork to be able to fit a 3inch tire in size wise and its diameter likely wont be much different.

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