Tire setup for pavement and trail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Tire setup for pavement and trail

    I just picked up my trance x3 about a month ago and have been going about 3x a week riding. My closest trail is about 5 miles away. I was hoping for tire recommendations or combos so I don't waste up my nevegals that I currently have on the bike. I'd rather burn some calories and lose weight than spend 10 minutes loading up my car for a 10 minute ride to the trails.

    From what I've been reading there's several choices.

    Kenda Small Block Eight
    Maxxis Holy Roller
    Maxxis Cross Mark
    Continental Race King
    WTB Nano Raptor

    Any other tire recommendations as well as where to purchase them? Preferrably on the less expensive side?

    Just to give an idea of what the trails are like by me here's some videos other people have put up. The ground is pretty soft though this time of year, not necessarily hard packed like in the videos.

    Ugh, I can't post videos yet.

    You can look up Pao Cunningham and mountainbiking HD on youtube for an example of the terrain there.


    TIA

    Chris

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I remember riding Cunningham Park.

    IME, you're asking for something that's a little of an oxymoron, at least if you want to ride some places with some real vertical, and not just Cunningham.

    The Holy Roller is probably going a little too slick even for Cunningham. The others should be fine there, but if you're riding other places on the East Coast, good performance and wear on concrete and good performance on trails are a bit of an oxymoron.

    I like the Crossmark as a rear tire. I found it a little sketchy on the front. I'm riding in the Pacific Northwest now, though, and most of the trail surfaces here are a little smoother and firmer than on the East Coast. Although Cunningham's pretty smooth, IIRC.

    I've been on SB8s on a test ride. Not long enough to give much of an evaluation, but they didn't dump me on my butt or anything.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Well if I plan on taking a trip to somewhere more serious I'd be driving but for my daily/weekly local rides I don't wanna wear out my tires if I'm gonna spend some time on pavement. I know finding the right tire is like buying performance summer tires that work well in the snow. LOL

    These tires would be just back and forth from Cunny. If I decided to hit some decent trails or some actual DH locations I don't mind changing out my tires and loading up my car. Yea Cunningham is relatively smooth unless it's humid or it rained earlier in the week then it gets a bit mushy in some places.

    Also can anyone explain about tire combos for me? For example a knobbier/wider tire up front vs the rear. Is it better to keep the tire widths the same if I'm just riding trails? If I was to do more pavement would a more narrow tire up front be better?

  4. #4
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    I've got two wheel sets. My street wheels have Bontranger Hanks and my off road wheels have Michelin tires. For now at least.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The tires do different jobs.

    A lot of people like a meatier front tire because if the front wheel washes out, it's likely a fall, while controlling rear wheel skids is not so difficult. That's more-or-less the setup I use, actually - a more generous 2.1" tire with bigger knobs up front, and a 2.1" Crossmark in the back. It runs a little small. My front tire is the Panaracer Dart, and has elongated knobs that I think make it roll a little better and give it kind of a carvy feeling on singletrack, which I like a lot. Since the rear tire follows the front, one way or another, I don't feel like the way the rear corners and feels when I initiate turns is as important. Obviously this is a matter of my own preferences. FWIW, I was pleasantly surprised by how my Crossmark corners as a rear tire.

    Rear tires also need to maintain traction during loose climbs, although not in your particular situation. So there are some directional treads - check out the WTB Velociraptor rear for an example. I'm kind of fond of the paddle tread, although it's not the fastest tire in the world, or remotely appropriate for what you're looking for.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Same situation here for me, do alot of in town commuting to get to the trails, ran a set of Kenda Kharisma Lite's and liked them. Was looking at some conti race/trail/X kings but decided to go with a set of Kenda Slant Six's 2.1 ust/dtc.

    Was advised by my lbs to go with the slant six, mechanic there runs them and we ride the same trails so I figured why not.

  7. #7
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    Tioga Psycho genius, the AI knob is pretty flat and quiet. Just took mine out on the weekend on the road canyon ride it rolled really well on the pave road. Corner better than most small knobby tires. I have both 2.1 and 2.35. Not good in muddy or wet trail condition but dry they are awesome.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum626 View Post
    I just picked up my trance x3 about a month ago and have been going about 3x a week riding. My closest trail is about 5 miles away. I was hoping for tire recommendations or combos so I don't waste up my nevegals that I currently have on the bike. I'd rather burn some calories and lose weight than spend 10 minutes loading up my car for a 10 minute ride to the trails.

    From what I've been reading there's several choices.

    Kenda Small Block Eight
    Maxxis Holy Roller
    Maxxis Cross Mark
    Continental Race King
    WTB Nano Raptor

    Any other tire recommendations as well as where to purchase them? Preferrably on the less expensive side?

    Just to give an idea of what the trails are like by me here's some videos other people have put up. The ground is pretty soft though this time of year, not necessarily hard packed like in the videos.

    Ugh, I can't post videos yet.

    You can look up Pao Cunningham and mountainbiking HD on youtube for an example of the terrain there.


    TIA

    Chris
    5 miles each way 3 times a week = 30 miles. 30 miles per week of pavement is going to wear knobbies or soft rubber really quick, primarily in the rear.

    I don't know about the front, but I would consider the Nanoraptor for the rear because they roll really well on pavement, but also last a long time on pavement, and are inexpensive. When I was looking for tires for about 50% pavement, 50% dirt/forest/fire road, that was the one that seemed to fit the bill.

    I would not want it on the front for real trails, though. Look for something a little more aggressive. From a rolling perspective on the road, knobbies on the front will slow you down less than on the rear. In terms of wear, the front wears much more slowly on the road, so you can get away with a more quickly wearing tire.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
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    Table Top HS 373? Not tried them but have heard good things, like better than holly roller, etc.

  10. #10
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    My Vote: Race King

    I also ride a lot of road either for training or getting to/traveling in between trails, the difference being the trails I ride have a combination of loose dirt climbs, sandy sections, and hard pack.

    I used to have a Kenda K-Rad 2.3 front and Maxxis Holly Roller 2.2 rear, until I recently destroyed the Holly Roller. I replaced it with a Cont. Race King 2.0 and the difference is quite astonishing. I realize it's a lot narrower, but it spins up quicker and bites better than the HR across the board. The HR uses a pretty hard compound (good for pavement) but not very good for loose over hard pack.

    The K-Rad is temporary until I get something different (although I do appreciate the smooth rolling with low pressures which helps it float in the sand.) As much as I still love the HR, the Race King is surprisingly better.

  11. #11
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    Good job!

    Wow thanks for the responses everyone. Yea I expect the knobs to wear quickly with a lot of pavement riding to the trails. It looks like there's a lot of options out there.

    Another question, should I put a larger grippier tire up front and possibly not as an aggressive trail tire in the rear? Maybe just save it for dedicated trail riding?

    So many choices on tires. I'm sure it'll still be cheaper than driving back and forth from the trails. And healthier too. I haven't really noticed, but do all tire sellers mention how hard the tire compound is? I guess I should find something long lasting in the rear with the sacrifice of grip. It would make me a better rider I suppose.

    Maybe I'll head to my LBS and see what they recommend as well.

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't be too worried about wear on a bigger front tire. IME, they last a whole lot longer, even on the road. I don't think you need something crazy up there - just enough to keep the grip balance biased toward the front. But, this is coming from a guy who wants to minimize rolling resistance.

    Hardness of the tire compound is not always mentioned, sometimes it's given quantitatively, and sometimes they just say it's their harder or their softer compound. Some additives can make softer rubbers pretty hard-wearing too. So comparing across brands is difficult, but I'd say within a brand, the harder compound will usually also last longer than the softer compound, on a tire available with both.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    I've used Crossmarks on pavement to get to trails alot. On the front it can be nervous at times off road. I can never fully trust it. Considering a Geax Segeuro, Ignitor or Ikon to go on front. I'd just like to have more confedence out front. On the rear it is surprising great. Maxxis tires general tend to wear slow. Plus they are reasonably priced (other than the IKON, which is a new design). Shot the air to Crossmarks, hit the pavement and they can be scary fast. With those continuos center knobs.

    Got SB 8s on a 26" DJ?Urban bike for playing around town on. They roll fast at high volume on pavement, but they are wearing fast in the center. Really havent riden them on trails enough to comment.

    disclosure: Main ride is a 29er HT set up tubeless. Its debateable on how the same design 26 vs 29 tire rides both with a tube and tubeless. For me personally, tubeless is the only way to go.

  14. #14
    I dig trails!
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    Add to the list:
    Michelin Dry2 or Race'r; both 2011 version and previous version (can get on closeout for cheap)

    Pre 2011 handle loose pretty well and hard very well. And wear well. Very fast roller.

    I've only used on the rear.

    P

  15. #15
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    I swear by my Maxxis Holy Rollers. they are phenomenal for concrete riding and handle great over rocks and roots surprisingly. they are NOT meant for WET riding and no mud. at all. but if your trail is packed dirt roots and minimal rocks. you'll be fine. I've got some weird looks with them on the trail but as long as they don't get wet they always hook up. super low rolling resistance on the trail. i'm running the 2.4 which are pretty large /wide. they take a sec or two to get up to speed but you have to expect it from a tire that wide. im running them f&r and like the setup. but i switched to advantages since im doin trails only now
    Last edited by burtonriderx10; 06-26-2011 at 07:46 PM.

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