Sticky tires for slick/wet rocks?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sticky tires for slick/wet rocks?

    I ride in wooded hilly terrain, and a lot of the trail has small rocks littered throughout it. Oftentimes, even when it hasn't rained, the rocks will be wet from water runoffs and dew. My current tires, WTB Trail Boss, does not give me the grip I need in these situations. Any advice for a more sticky tire? Preferably in the 29"x 2.3"+ range.

  2. #2
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    Sticky tires can help on wet roots and embedded rocks, but are you talking about small loose rocks?

    Some suggestions:
    Michelin Wild Enduro is apparently very grippy.

    Schwalbe and Maxxis have soft compound options.

  3. #3
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    I've been on a quest for this type of tire too. From experience, I think the key is the durometer of rubber. For the WTB trail boss tires, can you read the sidewall and indicate if they are "Fast Rolling" or "High Grip" The rubber on the fast rolling is harder and the high grip is softer.

    Some recommend a 'mud tire' which usually has very soft rubber, but the knobs are very tall for cutting through mud to get to firmer ground. This is a problem I think on roots/rocks as the rubber squirms under you.

    I think the best type of tire for wet rocks/roots is soft rubber compound, more smaller knobs with lots of siping. The problem with this type of design is that it will clog more in mud and will slip more. So it's a catch 22 I think for wet root/rock tire as if its wet, then there is most likely some slick dirt/mud.
    The Maxxis beaver was incredible on wet roots/rocks, but at the time it was way to narrow to be useful, and didn't work in mud with the smaller short knobs.

    The Agarro has come up a lot lately and fits this description. I am still getting a feel for it, and think I need to go lower pressure. I had a Trail Boss Light High Grip and thought it was decent.

    And old tire, but one I miss terribly on wet roots is the One One Chunky Monkey and Smorgasbord. They are only available from the UK but it was purposefully designed for wet rocks/roots and not to be a true mud spike.

    A Hans Dampf in their soft rubber compound has been good to me to in wet roots/rocks.

    High grip older WTB Vigilante (caveat is that I cut the height of the transition knobs to make leaning into corner better) was good.

    Ones I have read about but not tried are E13 TRS front -older version, Magic Mary front - hans dampf rear

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    Sticky tires can help on wet roots and embedded rocks, but are you talking about small loose rocks?

    Some suggestions:
    Michelin Wild Enduro is apparently very grippy.

    Schwalbe and Maxxis have soft compound options.
    Thanks for the reply. I'm talking about rocks that start out at frisbee size and go all the way up to boulders.

  5. #5
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    Trailboss comes in tough casing/fast rolling or light casing/fast rolling... there is no high grip for the Trailboss.

    This is almost a semi slick tire, which when compared to other tires - would equate to a dual compound tire...

    i.e. fast rolling compound in the center w/ slightly grippier compound on the sides.

    You'll want at minimum a triple compound tire e.g. Maxxis 3C Maxxterra.

    From memory, Trailboss comes in 2.25, 2.4 2.6.

    From your post, I can assume 2.6 is out.

    If matchy-matchy is important, you could run a WTB Vigilante up front - 2.3 or 2.5, depending on your rear tire width.

    If brand doesn't matter, a 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampf up front is a great all around tire.

    A 2.4 Minion DHRII or Assegai 2.5 are solid options, again depending on width out back.

    Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Trailboss comes in tough casing/fast rolling or light casing/fast rolling... there is no high grip for the Trailboss.

    This is almost a semi slick tire, which when compared to other tires - would equate to a dual compound tire...

    i.e. fast rolling compound in the center w/ slightly grippier compound on the sides.

    You'll want at minimum a triple compound tire e.g. Maxxis 3C Maxxterra.

    You don't stipulate if you're running Trailboss's front and rear.

    From memory, Trailboss comes in 2.25, 2.4 2.6.

    From your post, I can assume 2.6 is out.

    If matchy-matchy is important, you could run a WTB Vigilante up front - 2.3 or 2.5, depending on your rear tire width.

    If brand doesn't matter, a 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampf up front is a great all around tire.

    A 2.4 Minion DHRII or Assegai 2.5 are solid options, again depending on width out back.

    Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
    I'm running trail boss 2.4" front and rear. Not sure which casing they are. As far as 2.6", I am not sure if the would clear or not. It would be close. I'm fine with a different front/rear tire. Whatever works best.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pufferjumper View Post
    I'm running trail boss 2.4" front and rear. Not sure which casing they are. As far as 2.6", I am not sure if the would clear or not. It would be close. I'm fine with a different front/rear tire. Whatever works best.
    Go for the 2.5 Vigilante Light Casing/High Grip

    NB, it's a big beefy tire - a true 2.5 tire. I use to run a TB 2.4 on the back of a '17 Reign and I think it was true to size.

    So, the Vigilante will be a good partner.

    I love the Vigilante on wet roots, you can actually hear it fighting for grip.

    Wet rocks, not too many in my neck of the woods. The odd rock garden - that have plenty of odd angled edges for the Vigilante to cling onto.

    Vigilante, I would guess isn't so hot on hardpack. With all of the tall spaced out knobs, they'd probably start to fold.

    I run a Vigilante on my 29er FS up front and love it for my local trails.

    I also run the Assegai on my 27.5 FS rig, up front.

    Both very good tires.

    The Vigilante self cleans better. The Assegai is better on hardpack trails.

    Both do very well as an All Mountain front tire.

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  8. #8
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    Either Minion in a 3C compound works very well on slick terrain. And when it dries up they are still good.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    I've been on a quest for this type of tire too. From experience, I think the key is the durometer of rubber. For the WTB trail boss tires, can you read the sidewall and indicate if they are "Fast Rolling" or "High Grip" The rubber on the fast rolling is harder and the high grip is softer.

    Some recommend a 'mud tire' which usually has very soft rubber, but the knobs are very tall for cutting through mud to get to firmer ground. This is a problem I think on roots/rocks as the rubber squirms under you.

    I think the best type of tire for wet rocks/roots is soft rubber compound, more smaller knobs with lots of siping. The problem with this type of design is that it will clog more in mud and will slip more. So it's a catch 22 I think for wet root/rock tire as if its wet, then there is most likely some slick dirt/mud.
    The Maxxis beaver was incredible on wet roots/rocks, but at the time it was way to narrow to be useful, and didn't work in mud with the smaller short knobs.

    The Agarro has come up a lot lately and fits this description. I am still getting a feel for it, and think I need to go lower pressure. I had a Trail Boss Light High Grip and thought it was decent.

    And old tire, but one I miss terribly on wet roots is the One One Chunky Monkey and Smorgasbord. They are only available from the UK but it was purposefully designed for wet rocks/roots and not to be a true mud spike.

    A Hans Dampf in their soft rubber compound has been good to me to in wet roots/rocks.

    High grip older WTB Vigilante (caveat is that I cut the height of the transition knobs to make leaning into corner better) was good.

    Ones I have read about but not tried are E13 TRS front -older version, Magic Mary front - hans dampf rear
    I have a lot of time on the Agarro in varied conditions, and I have yet to find a better tire for wet rocks/roots (the Martello is also really good here). As noted, though, the closely-spaced tread pattern clogs up in true mud.

  10. #10
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    I live where itís steep and wet roots and rock are the norm.

    Anything in Maxxis Max grip does the trick better than any other tire brand Iíve found. If you can deal with the weight the Assegai maxgrip is the best tire out there hands down for slick roots and rock.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    I think the best type of tire for wet rocks/roots is soft rubber compound, more smaller knobs with lots of siping. The problem with this type of design is that it will clog more in mud and will slip more. So it's a catch 22
    +1

    I recently picked up a Schwalbe RACING RAY to run up front with a RALPH rear. The Addix Speedgrip compound of the RAY is Noticeably more grippy/softer than the RALPH. I cant wait to hit the trails with it. I could def see running the RAY front & rear if you ride in moist conditions with a lot of roots &/or rocks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore View Post
    I live where itís steep and wet roots and rock are the norm.

    Anything in Maxxis Max grip does the trick better than any other tire brand Iíve found. If you can deal with the weight the Assegai maxgrip is the best tire out there hands down for slick roots and rock.
    Same. Agreed. The DHF in maxxgripp is good and a little faster. But the Assegai wins when cornering on slick roots. I like the Magic Mary but the maxxgripp last more than twice as long.

  13. #13
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    Magic Mary works like a charm in the wet

  14. #14
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    Michelin Rock'r R2 Enduros have great wet traction.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Magic Mary SG UltraSoft front\rear (or Soft rear) works really good in these conditions.

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    Best compound I've used for slick rocks and roots is Continental's black chili. Minimum i would use on front would be a Mountain King. For more cornering grig I would use a Trail king. Go for the protection casing.

    Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Trailboss comes in tough casing/fast rolling or light casing/fast rolling... there is no high grip for the Trailboss.
    k
    older trail bosses 2.4 came in Light High grip. I have one and it does decent on wet roots/rocks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV_XCE View Post
    Best compound I've used for slick rocks and roots is Continental's black chili. Minimum i would use on front would be a Mountain King. For more cornering grig I would use a Trail king. Go for the protection casing.

    Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
    Really?

    How does Conti's Black Chilli compare to Maxxis' 3C

  19. #19
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    I find that the sharp edges on the knobs of fresh tires work a lot better in slippery conditions compared to used tires where the knob edges are rounding off.
    What, me worry?

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