Tires for my Hardtail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tires for my Hardtail

    Hi all, i currently have continental race king sports on my marlin. I loved them when i just rode around for fun, now im racing collegiate and i just can never find any cornering grip. i make up my time on the downhills, but ive found several times i just cant get round really easy corners without washing out. Im looking at trail kings, however im trying to save up for a enduro bike next summer and dont want to put too much more into this bike. My issue is size. i cant put anymore than a 2.2 on the rear without it hitting the front derailer. Also looking for black chili, would it be reasonable to go 2.4 chili in the front, and 2.2 non chili in the rear? As non chilis are $40 cheaper its something im considering. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Im most positive you are riding a 29er but either way I just installed a 26 x 2.20 Bontrager X1 rear and X3 front on my 26" hardtail. Being OEM tires for Trek bikes and also coming in 29 x 2.20 they should fit your bike with no problem. These things are great roll fast and grip like crazy on everything but slick/muddy terrain. And at around $50 per tire for the Expert model, theyre very reasonably priced IMO. I havent had any experience with Conti Tires but they wouldve been my next choice over these.

  3. #3
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    I meant Bontrager XR1 and XR3. My mistake.

  4. #4
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    Bonty XR3 front / XR1 rear is a good suggestion. Depends on trail conditions, really.

    I run a Maxxis Ardent Race front / Tread Lite rear on hardpack and loose-over-hard. (Neither tire works well for loam or mud which might be in your immediate future.) They have fairly prominent shoulder knobs which work well for flat corners.

    Prior to that I used a Michelin Wild Grip'r front, which is fairly fast and corners awesome, but doesn't brake exceptionally well.. and a Michelin Wild Race'R rear and it corners awesome but has junk traction on anything remotely loose. The Tread Lite hooks up a ton better.

    There's also the Ikon. A heck of a lot of people love them for XC racing but the shoulder knobs are wimpy unless you get the 2.35, which is a great tire.

  5. #5
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    The recent Bontrager tires have been a very pleasant surprise for me. In my case I moved up in the knobby factor for XR3 back, XR4 front to get the lean over and grip. They roll very well for the amount of traction. They're lasting better than more exotic tires, and don't pack as fast as other fast tires.

    Not so common are the Bontrager SE series. If an XR4 is too knobby note the SE3 has 50a edges.

    Also look at technique. I'm not a racer but our club sponsors a big one, we have kids classes, and I know a few of Trek's sponsored riders. I see a lot of people racing who are totally daft to important riding skills. Some of the very skilled riders I know stick very low knob racy tires because of those skills. When we have our big race it's crazy to see so many people dressed up and worth $9000 on the hoof lose it in the first few corners.

    These really good racer riders I know are leaning, sticking the tire edge in, light hands heavy feet with weight at crank, or a leg out and weight down just like the great freeriders and enduro riders are sticking their tires to the ground.

    I know it's a diversion from tires but honestly, some of the racers I know and see are so good at sticking their tires like carving skis that it is probably worth working at.

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