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  1. #1
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    So who's making the burliest sub-900g tires right now?

    I've been contemplating what tires to order for my new bike (Trail Pistol). The wheels got done super fast and will be here this week- Onyx hubs laced to 30mm (internal) Arcs.

    Aside from the the heavy rear hub (and a coil shock- will eventually at least get a lightweight spring), I'm trying to stay very weight-conscious on this bike. Which means I opted for narrower rims, skinnier spokes, and alloy nipples to try and keep the rotating mass down...just the spokes and nipples save over 150g, which should more than negate the extra 200g of hub (yeah, it's still unsprung weight, but at least it's in the center of the wheel).

    I've been looking at lots of ~800g tires and nitpicking treadpatterns and stuff, but then I realized it means jack shit if I'm just going to rip the sidewall open. So while I do want some decently knobby tires with a good tread compound, I'm filtering by weight and toughness first.

    I've run a Maxxis Ardent Exo and used multiple light-cased WTB's (mostly Breakout and Riddler), all of which would be right around the minimum durability I would expect, and they weigh 800-900g.

    I would probably stay WTB if the Riddler wasn't apparently discontinued...I'll probably go with a semi-slick or otherwise more XC-ish rear tire.



    edit: TLDR Who makes the most durable casing for the weight? What is the lightest tire you feel you can run reliably on rocky, rooted terrain?

    edit 2: changed from 1000g goal to 900g. I think it's a better cut-off for light tires, as there are a TON of ~1000g tires, and frankly, if I'm gonna 'spend' that much weight there, I might as well just get heavy casings again...
    Last edited by phuchmileif; 08-08-2018 at 10:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    Bonetrager SE 5 & 4's.
    Good way to pose a tire thread in the title, subscribed.
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  3. #3
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    I'm interested, too. Assume we're talking 29er tires.
    My new GG Smash arrived yesterday. Right now I'm on 29x2.6" Schwobbly Nobby Nicks (they're off my former Pistola, moved wheels etc. over to the new frame). I like 'em. FWIW I'm in western Oregon and only ride FS in dryer conditions. I've got hardtails for the mud and know which tires I like there.
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  4. #4
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    Arc are 25 inner which means you will do ok with Maxxis. They square off on wider rims.
    Bontrager are higher volume with more rounded tread pattern and fit a wider rim. 2.4 can go on a 35mm inner. If you ride park speeds less width with higher pressure will work.

  5. #5
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    Rims are 30mm inner. RF Arcs come in a bunch of different sizes. I think this is optimal for a good, full 2.3-2.4, as well as being enough for mid-fat 2.5-2.6's if I ever want to go that route.

    Right now I'm eyeing the Minion SS for the rear, since I can't get the Riddler. If I wanted 2.6's and was willing to go to 1000g, there's also the Terravail Cumberland, which I would really like to try, but it's just too heavy. And then there's the Specialized Slaughter, which would probably be perfect if it came in a bigger size- from what I've read, their 2.3 is more like a 2.1, which is just not going to cut it.

    Still clueless on a front. There seem to be a lot of Maxxis options, though the only way I'm even considering them for a front tire is if it comes in 'Max Terra' (that's their grippiest, right?) and is very light.

    Here's a short list:

    Rear: Maxxis Minion SS, Rekon, Ikon, Forekaster (all sub-850g, some closer to 750). WTB Trail Boss (~900g), Schwalbe Rock Razor (<800g)

    Front: Endless possibilities. Hans Dampf, maybe even Magic Mary. Multiple WTB's (Vigilante and any other knobby tire that they make in 'High Grip' compound). Maybe Maxxis Griffin? Looks like a front to me, but I guess everyone runs it as a rear? For all their damned options, I don't see much in Maxxis that has sticky rubber while hitting my weight goal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    And then there's the Specialized Slaughter, which would probably be perfect if it came in a bigger size- from what I've read, their 2.3 is more like a 2.1, which is just not going to cut it.
    I just installed a Slaughter 2.6. It measures 2mm bigger than my 2.5 DHF WT, on 31mm IW rims. Mine weighed around 920g in a 650. Sidewalls feel very thick. So far, I'm very pleased with the DHF 2.5/Slaughter 2.6 combo for dry summer conditions.

  7. #7
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    29er or 650b? Last I checked, the 29er Slaughter was only 2.3 (advertised). Unsure if the reports of being undersized were 29er or 650b.

    edit: I'm dumb, you said 650. That weight is really confusing though...taking a look at Spesh's website, they say 950 for your 2.6, but 850 for the same tire in 29 x 2.3. Yeah, it's a wider tire, but on 2" smaller rim...I would expect them to be around the same weight. Taking a peek back over at Maxxis indeed confirms that their 29x2.3 are pretty similar in weight to the 2.5 and 2.6 options for 650b...

    I'm probably screwing myself by even looking at advertised weights, though...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    29er or 650b? Last I checked, the 29er Slaughter was only 2.3 (advertised). Unsure if the reports of being undersized were 29er or 650b.

    edit: I'm dumb, you said 650. That weight is really confusing though...taking a look at Spesh's website, they say 950 for your 2.6, but 850 for the same tire in 29 x 2.3. Yeah, it's a wider tire, but on 2" smaller rim...I would expect them to be around the same weight. Taking a peek back over at Maxxis indeed confirms that their 29x2.3 are pretty similar in weight to the 2.5 and 2.6 options for 650b...

    I'm probably screwing myself by even looking at advertised weights, though...

    Also available in 2.8.

    I'm running this on an Evil Calling, which is a "non plus" bike. It fits, but barely. It's significantly wider than the Aggressor WT 2.5 it replaced.

    The weight on my digital scale was around 920 (from memory) which jives with the listed weight

    see here:
    https://www.artscyclery.com/Speciali...ge-SPST2B.html

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Rims are 30mm inner. RF Arcs come in a bunch of different sizes. I think this is optimal for a good, full 2.3-2.4, as well as being enough for mid-fat 2.5-2.6's if I ever want to go that route.

    Right now I'm eyeing the Minion SS for the rear, since I can't get the Riddler. If I wanted 2.6's and was willing to go to 1000g, there's also the Terravail Cumberland, which I would really like to try, but it's just too heavy. And then there's the Specialized Slaughter, which would probably be perfect if it came in a bigger size- from what I've read, their 2.3 is more like a 2.1, which is just not going to cut it.

    Still clueless on a front. There seem to be a lot of Maxxis options, though the only way I'm even considering them for a front tire is if it comes in 'Max Terra' (that's their grippiest, right?) and is very light.

    Here's a short list:

    Rear: Maxxis Minion SS, Rekon, Ikon, Forekaster (all sub-850g, some closer to 750). WTB Trail Boss (~900g), Schwalbe Rock Razor (<800g)

    Front: Endless possibilities. Hans Dampf, maybe even Magic Mary. Multiple WTB's (Vigilante and any other knobby tire that they make in 'High Grip' compound). Maybe Maxxis Griffin? Looks like a front to me, but I guess everyone runs it as a rear? For all their damned options, I don't see much in Maxxis that has sticky rubber while hitting my weight goal.
    Everything I've read about the SS is that a 30mm inner will be too wide. I have 27mm inners and worried it'll be a waste of money.
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  10. #10
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    You think? I figured everything these days, aside from <2.3 XC tires, was pretty comfortable in the 25-30mm range.

    I would think the difference in side knob engagement between a 25 and 30 would take expert riding to really notice. Much more likely to feel 5 pounds of pressure than 5mm of rim width, I'd say...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    You think? I figured everything these days, aside from <2.3 XC tires, was pretty comfortable in the 25-30mm range.

    I would think the difference in side knob engagement between a 25 and 30 would take expert riding to really notice. Much more likely to feel 5 pounds of pressure than 5mm of rim width, I'd say...
    It's a somewhat square tire. There was a long discussion on it here somewhere. With a 30mm inner rim the side knobs will be engaged riding straight and when you lean over nothing is there.

    I even called Maxxis and emailed back and forth with their support asking if the SS would ever make to the WT format. They couldn't say, but did not recommend it on wider rims.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Everything I've read about the SS is that a 30mm inner will be too wide. I have 27mm inners and worried it'll be a waste of money.
    It's too square on a 25mm rim. Most the 2.3 Maxxis are too square on a 30mm rim. You can lean right over the side knobs and was out.

  13. #13
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    I'm running a Rock Razor Apex 27.5x2.6 on the rear on a 30mm rim and the profile seems pretty good, and it's just under 900g.
    I'm tempted to try a RoRa 2.35 SS for the <800g weight but I'm not sure if it'll be too square.

  14. #14
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    I'm running a 2.35 Rock Razor Super Gravity (I think it's just over 900gr though) on the rear with a 29mm IW rim. Tire seems to be working pretty good. Rolls fast and brakes good. Running a 2.35 (almost 2.4 lug to lug) Hans Dampf on the front.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So who's making the burliest sub-900g tires right now?-img_0031.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    I'm running a 2.35 Rock Razor Super Gravity (I think it's just over 900gr though) on the rear with a 29mm IW rim. Tire seems to be working pretty good. Rolls fast and brakes good. Running a 2.35 (almost 2.4 lug to lug) Hans Dampf on the front.
    Thanks, yeah the RoRa has very decent traction for a "small knob" tire.
    I'm running a 2.6 NN on the front, so do you think a HD 2.35 would be noticeably better for aggressive cornering, or should I just get a MM?

  16. #16
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    I've never used a NN on the front or used a MM. What I can say is that the HD is more than enough for me up front. I'm using the HD with the Trailstar compound. The soft compound feels like its got more than enough traction for what I ride. My trails are typically hard pack with sections of blown out dirt(usually the turns). Not sure how much more...or if any gains you'll get by going to a narrower HD.

  17. #17
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    I think I'm becoming pretty set on a 29x2.35 Hans Dampf in Addix Soft. For the front, of course. I don't need big mud-churning knobs, I just want basic efficiency and some nice sticky rubber. Also, it's 850g.

    Does anyone sell these things for less than 90 freaking dollars? Jeez. I guess I'm spoiled because I usually pick up tires on clearance. Nashbar had Tough/High Grip Breakouts for like $20 and I bought four....for less than one Schwalbe.

    Prolly stick with some kind of Maxxis 60tpi Exo-cased tire for the rear, since they've proven their durability to me. If not the Minion SS, then I dunno...Rekon, I guess?

  18. #18
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    Just placed the order- Hans Dampf front. For the rear, I got both a Minion SS and a Race TT. We'll see what works best. The TT seems like a nice, fast, and probably pretty forgiving design.

  19. #19
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    I can't recommend the Vittoria Barzo enough. I have been running one on each of my bikes; a 160mm 29er, and a rigid SS. I run it as a front tire on the SS and a rear tire on the full squish. In 2.5 seasons of riding that tire I have put one puncture in one tire, and I generally murder tires on our rocky terrain.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Just placed the order- Hans Dampf front. For the rear, I got both a Minion SS and a Race TT. We'll see what works best. The TT seems like a nice, fast, and probably pretty forgiving design.
    Good luck with the SS. Like I said and others, that doesn't work on a 30mm rim. It'll be slower and go from traction to no traction without warning.
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  21. #21
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    Se5 for the win. Se4 for dry. Buy a set of each.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I can't recommend the Vittoria Barzo enough. I have been running one on each of my bikes; a 160mm 29er, and a rigid SS. I run it as a front tire on the SS and a rear tire on the full squish. In 2.5 seasons of riding that tire I have put one puncture in one tire, and I generally murder tires on our rocky terrain.
    I'm a fan of these as well. Running 29x2.35s on my Les. I did rip a sidewall on a trail at Bentonville, but that trail I was told is notorious for shredding tires. Too bad as it was only the 3rd ride on it. I was due I guess.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Just placed the order- Hans Dampf front. For the rear, I got both a Minion SS and a Race TT. We'll see what works best. The TT seems like a nice, fast, and probably pretty forgiving design.
    You didn't say where you ordered the HD from but the german sites (b-d and b-c) have decent prices on most Schwalbe tires. My NNs were 20-ish euros (plus shipping)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar View Post
    I'm a fan of these as well. Running 29x2.35s on my Les. I did rip a sidewall on a trail at Bentonville, but that trail I was told is notorious for shredding tires. Too bad as it was only the 3rd ride on it. I was due I guess.
    Oddly enough the one Barzo puncture I mention in my post that you quoted was in NWA as well. I believe it happened on Rock Solid at Coler... you definitely need some burly tires down there. I had my single speed built up 29+ for a while and took it down there with the 29x3 Chupacabras on it. I believe I left town with 5 or more punctures. Those tires aren't very hardy and they got chewed to shreds down there.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Good luck with the SS. Like I said and others, that doesn't work on a 30mm rim. It'll be slower and go from traction to no traction without warning.
    I'm kinda stubborn sometimes. I just wanted to try it for myself. If it's no bueno, I've got a hardtail with skinnier wheels that I can throw it on.

    I'm a compulsive tire swapper...never actually worn one out before I decide to try something else (definitely ripped some sidewalls, though).

  26. #26
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    The new Mountain King and Trail King fit these criteria. I've wanted to get a rear/front combo in 2.6 to try but the 2.6 TK was pushed back and has now been removed from the internet.

    Been mostly riding Barzo 2.6 on the hardtail. They're 820g. No complaints about durability but they reduced the knob height compared to the 2.35 so they aren't as burly or grippy as I was hoping.

  27. #27
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    I just got a set of Bonti XR4s first time on this brand. Really fast tire with decent grip. 2.4 on 30i good profile with the tread past the side walls. Plowed them down some rocky trails and the still look good.They are not quite as grippy as minions but good at any lean angle. When I ride chunky trails I put in cushcore and they are still lighter than the Minnions they replaced.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I just got a set of Bonti XR4s first time on this brand. Really fast tire with decent grip. 2.4 on 30i good profile with the tread past the side walls. Plowed them down some rocky trails and the still look good.They are not quite as grippy as minions but good at any lean angle. When I ride chunky trails I put in cushcore and they are still lighter than the Minnions they replaced.
    I've been using XR4 TE and XR3 TE down here and love the combo.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    The new Mountain King and Trail King fit these criteria. I've wanted to get a rear/front combo in 2.6 to try but the 2.6 TK was pushed back and has now been removed from the internet.

    Been mostly riding Barzo 2.6 on the hardtail. They're 820g. No complaints about durability but they reduced the knob height compared to the 2.35 so they aren't as burly or grippy as I was hoping.
    I have an older Mountain King that sits in my discard pile. Of all the tires in that pile, that's about the only one that I can say will surely never see use again. Strange, strange feel with that thing.

    It's a normal, folding bead, light carcass tire w/ the black chili rubber. But at the same pressure (or lower) as any of the other tires I've tried, it feels like concrete. You feel every single tread knob, as if each little guy is actually lifting your bike up as you roll over it. Even the DH-carcassed WTB's I've been running my 150mm trail bike don't feel like that. The rigidity is actually kind of impressive, but in a terrible way that I definitely do not want...

    I actually did get a Der Baron Projeckt with my tire order, though. They were on clearance...often a bad sign, but all my WTB tires have been clearance buys and they've become my go-to brand. Anyway, I thought I'd try it on the front of my foul-weather hardtail, so we'll see if I like it any better. Supposed to be an astoundingly good tire in the wet.


    On the topic of Bontrager tires...I honestly have never even given them a look. Am I missing out? Not being a big Trek fan, I may have always just subconsciously discounted them...kinda similar to how I've never tried a Specialized tire, I guess. Although I'm quite familiar with their line- just always end up ordering something else, instead.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I've been using XR4 TE and XR3 TE down here and love the combo.
    If it ever dries up here I'll probably try the XR3 as well.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    On the topic of Bontrager tires...I honestly have never even given them a look. Am I missing out? Not being a big Trek fan, I may have always just subconsciously discounted them...kinda similar to how I've never tried a Specialized tire, I guess. Although I'm quite familiar with their line- just always end up ordering something else, instead.
    Bontrager are similar to Schwalbe in my book - great grip, great trail feel, and the tread wears out before I got my money's worth! Excellent racing tires. Maybe good for lots of riding if your trail surface isn't too harsh.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Bontrager are similar to Schwalbe in my book - great grip, great trail feel, and the tread wears out before I got my money's worth! Excellent racing tires. Maybe good for lots of riding if your trail surface isn't too harsh.
    I road the Bontragers on a trail that wore Schwalbe tires the first ride. But to soon to see how long they will last though compared to Maxxis. Bought mine on Ebay 55.00 a pair. So if they last half as long I'd say I got my money's worth.

  33. #33
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    XR Team tires are lasting for me and they work better on wider rims at lower pressures.

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    I really like the look of the XR4's, but the 120tpi casings worry me. I might try one as a front at some point, but I don't think I'll ever use a 120tpi tire on the rear of my bike. Your average tubeless 60tpi's (e.g. normal Maxxis Exos) just feel like the thinnest I can get away with.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    XR Team tires are lasting for me and they work better on wider rims at lower pressures.
    Yeah, we all know you shred the gnar on 2.1 XR2s on 45mm rims at 10 psi.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    I really like the look of the XR4's, but the 120tpi casings worry me. I might try one as a front at some point, but I don't think I'll ever use a 120tpi tire on the rear of my bike. Your average tubeless 60tpi's (e.g. normal Maxxis Exos) just feel like the thinnest I can get away with.
    Try an XR4 Expert? Would be a cheap experiment.

  37. #37
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    If you're intrested in the XR4. They are not a tire for greasy, rocky,rooty trails. I was sliding of everything yesterday while my wife on dhr2 3c front 2c rear wasn't having much problem.

  38. #38
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    Kenda's new tires look promising, they have been getting rave reviews from every media networks.

    Nevegal 2 pro (rear) Hellkat Pro (front) looks like a promising fast rolling aggresive combo, the Hellkat pro has really aggressive knobs and spacing. They both come in 2.4/2.6 and weigh between 800-920grams.

    Continental just redesigned the Trail King. TK is probably the best rear tire i have every used.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    Try an XR4 Expert? Would be a cheap experiment.
    Oh! I guess I didn't realize how Bontrager did their tire lines...did not realize there was a seperate 'model' with 60tpi.

    Tread compound is 62/60 versus 61/50...that's a really minor difference, no? Just slightly firmer side knobs, essentially?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Oh! I guess I didn't realize how Bontrager did their tire lines...did not realize there was a seperate 'model' with 60tpi.

    Tread compound is 62/60 versus 61/50...that's a really minor difference, no? Just slightly firmer side knobs, essentially?
    The rubber is harder compared to Maxxis DC. Definitely wouldn't ride on anything wet or slick.

  41. #41
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    I got my tires mounted up. Schwalbe Hans Dampf in Addix soft and the Maxxis Race TT.

    Both inflated painlessly and immediately, totally dry. I'm not sure if this is a testament to the tires or the rims- I suspect it's the profile of the Arc 30's. And the fact that they have the right damn dimensions...I have a set of no-name OEM wheels on one of my bikes that, while strong, seem undersized as hell. Tires fall right on, and getting the beads to seat is a nightmare.

    I continue to be impressed with Maxxis tires. I've never had any that I felt were top performers, but there's something to be said for their quality. This 29x2.2 is under 800g and feels as stout as any non-DH I've used, save for Continentals. The 1000g Der Baron Projekt that I picked up in the same order feels literally bombproof.

    I like the tread design- feels like a baby Breakout.

    Now I just have to wait on the bike to get built so I can actually ride these. LOL.

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