Tires for weak legs?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tires for weak legs?

    Bit embarrassing, but I find most recommendations being for those who are quite strong physical shape, I'm not one of those and having barely survived from yet another virus attack I find my legs are going weaker and weaker, every winter I seem to loose gains by felling sick and I need to retrain back to shape.

    18% climb for 1/4 mile is pushing me close to limit, 4% climbs I can do for hour at slower than walking pace, any faster and it is overdoing it reducing time I can keep at it dramatically.
    It is difficult to find level roads here, most of the time when riding I'm climbing 2-7% climbs.

    I'm looking few different tires to cover all my needs.

    Current bike setup is as follows:
    26" Trek 3700 Disc
    Fox 32 Float fork
    SLX hydraulic disc brakes
    Carbon straight handle bar
    Original stem turned over to give negative angle
    3x9 gear setup 22-32-44 and 12-36 (I have not found any use for that 44 chain ring yet)

    Where I ride is quite similar to Fairbanks area in Alaska if that helps to stir some ideas of what might work. I ride quite bit of logging roads and similar to those fire roads that I have seen some parts in US.

    For tarmac and hard surfaces I have chosen Continental Speed King in 2.2 wide Race Sport version, weight just over 400 grams in 26" some say they are fastest for such use.


    Crushed stone, hard pack dark brown sand roads, I have used bike's original Bontrager LT3 tires for those, not sure if I should seek something better for that, grip has not been issue, but would there be something that would roll better?


    During the spring roads are mostly wet sand/mud, I have used LT3 for that, but thread seem not to stay very clean and it feels like dragging cement blocks.

    Winter time I use Hakka W294 (front) and WXC 300 (rear), I plan to go tubeless with those as they work better at low pressure however with tubes I get exhausted in hour of riding no matter how slow I go.

    To improve performance I might try LT3 as tubeless conversion or seek something faster to replace those, would be great if there would be something faster that does not collect half the road when weather is muddy.

    I have read that Speed Kings are ***** to convert tubeless so I might use those just for those long rides on black stuff that I have to make.

    Not sure if those I have chosen might be optimal or if there would be something better out there, I'm all ears for ideas and suggestions?

  2. #2
    Slower But Faster
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    Whatever way you end up going with tyres, you're on the right track with tubeless for the lower rolling resistance you desire.

    A tyre worth considering might be the Schwalbe Racing Ralph or something similar with a relatively low tread. I'm a Maxxis fanboy but have always found Schwalbe good as a low rolling resistance tyre albeit at the cost of being a bit fast wearing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    Whatever way you end up going with tyres, you're on the right track with tubeless for the lower rolling resistance you desire.

    A tyre worth considering might be the Schwalbe Racing Ralph or something similar with a relatively low tread. I'm a Maxxis fanboy but have always found Schwalbe good as a low rolling resistance tyre albeit at the cost of being a bit fast wearing.
    I did actually look around for Furious Fred as those should be almost as fast as racing bike tires when running tubeless, but price was about double compared to Speed King, also they were bit heavier, but worst of all they were not available from shop that had other stuff I needed, so settled for Speed Kings.

    However those are more to hard surfaces, I doubt that they would do too well on deep 1 inch diameter sharp crushed stone and mud.

    For that crushed stone and mud I might need to find something better than LT3 (if there is), not sure if Racing Ralph would be good for that stuff.

    2.4" wide tire might be interesting to have for that stuff, side lugs should perhaps be quite tall, weight should be below 600 grams because lot of climbing with weak legs.

    Also need to get new wheel set so I can have tubeless mud/crushed stone tires one one set while Speed Kings on another set.

    edit: How about WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4, has anyone experience from that ?
    It looks like just what might work, if it just rolls fast on those rougher surfaces. Problem is finding a pair as it seem to be out of stock for some of shops I tend to use.

  4. #4
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    Here are two sample images of what kind of surfaces I mean by mud and crushed stone, would be interesting to hear what tires others are using for such?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tires for weak legs?-sample_mud.jpg  

    Tires for weak legs?-sample_crushed_stone.jpg  


  5. #5
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    You could go say 2.4 conti trail king or nobbi nic front and 2.2 race king or racing ralph on the back.
    Even 2.2 fr 2.0 rear combo.
    I was destroyed by a massive infection and after 6 months off the bike i got stuck in doing road work on quite draggy knobblies, its taken a while but im back up to 25 mile rides now. It may be worth going dirt free for a while to get the endurance back.
    I even had some city jet tyres on for a bit and managed the woods on them but ended up hiking 2 miles of beach when the trail ended which wasn't fun with duff knees but i was surprised how well slicks coped in the muck.

    Give it death

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffstuff View Post
    You could go say 2.4 conti trail king or nobbi nic front and 2.2 race king or racing ralph on the back.
    Even 2.2 fr 2.0 rear combo.
    I was destroyed by a massive infection and after 6 months off the bike i got stuck in doing road work on quite draggy knobblies, its taken a while but im back up to 25 mile rides now. It may be worth going dirt free for a while to get the endurance back.
    I even had some city jet tyres on for a bit and managed the woods on them but ended up hiking 2 miles of beach when the trail ended which wasn't fun with duff knees but i was surprised how well slicks coped in the muck.

    Give it death
    Similar to City Jets, but Nokian made tires were quite fun too, I even had LT3 up front and slick on back, one downhill has nice 90 degree bend at bottom of hill which is beach sand kind of surface while downhill was lot of rocks and hard pack, those speeds that I could make that corner were very unhealthy ones!
    Sadly inner tube appeared trough sidewall of that slick tire near end of 40 mile ride as I was descending over 30mph, good thing it still hold air, but those tires have not been made for long time so could not get replacement. Can't even dream to ride that far now.

    In mud with slicks momentum is your friend, but then again that is how mud always is.

    Old days I rode through winter with slicks and there was no issues, most of the time. Too bad that today there are no really fast slicks, those semi slick tires seem to be faster according to many tests I have read.

    Trail king and Race king combo sounds indeed quite interesting, good reminder that indeed different tire front and back could give quite good experience.

    As it has been now at winter time with Extreme 294 at front and WXC 300 at rear, smooth ice and water on top, I still can take those corners like it would be summer, bit expensive but so worth it, tires are just ignorant what is under them and bike turns right when you think about turning.

    Two infections, first took me off bike for two months and that is when second one hit, result is that I use only granny gear now, at summer I might be back where I was before infections hit but as this is now second winter with these setbacks I had to start looking other means of getting bike move.

    Fast tires should help me recover bit faster as riding will be bit easier and of course there is that upgrading giving motivation to keep trying factor.

    How well tread of Race King will stay clean? With LT3 problem is indeed such that they collect everything if it is even bit damp, then rear tire throws everything to front derailleur and soon there is so much stuff that tire rubs to all that sand, it happens in 20 feet or so, not fun at all, stop, clean, ride 20 feet, repeat.
    Sure there always will be such build up in certain conditions, but I wish to get at least a mile before cleanup, RK has quite small knob spacing but is it staying clean?

  7. #7
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    Race kings have tiny knobs mate runs them n hes pretty clean while im covered in crap.
    Look thru the range n decide how knobblie you want the rear n then go up a model on the front then you keep grip n rolling speed.
    I run onone smorgasbord on the front n atm rear too but normally have a faster scwalbe out back, just gone 1x10 so no fr mech to worry about plus its easier for me as ive got a damaged left hand n shifting was a struggle.
    You could always go that way now they have granny ring nw chainrings

    Give it death

  8. #8
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    Check out fatbikes btw ive seen guys cobble fr mech mudguards together, might inspire you

    Give it death

  9. #9
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    Tires for weak legs?

    Speed Kings, while light, are actually not even close to Continental's fastest tire.

    Race King 2.2, in SuperSonic or Protection casing, fit that bill.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  10. #10
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    Have you upgraded your wheels or at least your hubs?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Speed Kings, while light, are actually not even close to Continental's fastest tire.

    Race King 2.2, in SuperSonic or Protection casing, fit that bill.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There are different kind of Speed King tires, they used to make knobbly tire named Speed King but what I have has no knobs, only at very edge small knobs, it is semi-slick tire I believe.

    That old knobbly Speed King was slower than Race King SS, but this new version should be faster or that is what I have been told.

    All tests I can find have old knobbly Speed King which was 2.3 wide, new is 2.2 wide and looks like this:
    Continental Bicycle -Speed King 2.2

    Some tests that have old knobbly SK:
    http://www.veloinfanger.ch/files/Tes...ike-Reifen.pdf
    http://bernhansen.com/wordpress/wp-c...aratondekk.pdf

    New SK should be close with Furious Fred, but it is impossible to truly know that of course. All tire naming however is way too confusing!
    When I used to be young and invincible, tires had no any kind of puncture protection, so I guess all tires were "Super Sonic" versions then, now that costs extra

    Thanks Ruffstuff, I check out those fat bikes for ideas.

    For mud and stone, I might indeed consider RK for rear and something with bigger knobs for front, maybe Mountain King 2 in 2.4 version.

  12. #12
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    New mountain king is the old rubber queen isn't it, conti have messed with all the names recently. Think the one you've got is called the double fighter here. Tbh id go maxxis or schwalbe or mix them up, schwalbe on the backs quite fast, bit tougher than contis too.

    Give it death

  13. #13
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    Rk then x king then trail then mountain is contis order i believe btw

    Give it death

  14. #14
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    Trail King is what used to be the Rubber Queen.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb:skep:

  15. #15
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    To make things more "interesting" Conti has those version 2 tires too, so it is really difficult to tell what they have and it is not much easier with Schwalbe.

    Double fighter 2 seem to be different from Speed King 2 which is simply called Speed King on their site, then there is Mountain King 2 and Mud King which I think was called something else before too, so yeah too confusing really:
    Continental Bicycle -Overview MTB Tyres

  16. #16
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    Don't over think it. You are not feeling great after being unwell for too long. Your goal is not to slam out more trail, it is to get well. You are riding on some pretty taxing surfaces. Use this period as a chance to take yourself below your (previous) limit and just ride for fun.

    Not so far. Not so tough. Smell the roses.

    I may be off target, but I wouldn't waste money on new rubber. If buying is your cure,the why stop there? Get a fat bike. An expensive one....

    or an e-bike

  17. #17
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    Necromania is serious issue, but I though I update you with some experiences, even that means necroing this topic from the grave.

    Best tire on market that I can find for my usage is Continental Race King Race Sport variant.

    With Race Kings I ride on snow, mud, paved roads, fire roads, wet roots, pretty much anything, except smooth ice.

    Sidewalls die very quickly on rough stuff, rocks, stones, even rough gravel roads eat those thin sidewalls quickly, but you get so much fun with them that getting two tires for around 80 euros total each year is worth it.

    Also Speed King 2 is insane tire, it grips better on snow than some cheap touring type of tires (brain is not able to process how that skinny thread hooks on snow and some type of ice so well, no danger of slipping at all), yet it is faster than anything else for MTB, I did clock 73kph on road going downhill with those and after 60kph cadence was bit faster than my legs were able to do.
    Those tires don't like small sharp gravel though, but feeling when cycling uphill is like there would be someone pushing you from behind.


    Best thing though is lower gearing, lowest gearing that you can install is best, allows to keep heart rate sensible while slowly grinding up the climbs or muddy roads, more hours is what counts when building up from zero.

    Keeping HR in check during 3 years I did manage to build up fitness so that I could ride 100km with over 20kph average speed, including stops. Overdoing without proper HR monitoring is easy and at least for me was worse than riding too slow, riding slow enough did work best.


    Then after getting some base, worked on for higher impact rides and now 2-3 hours HR at zone 4 and zone 5, no problem.

    I got to point where legs never got sore, I just ran out of oxygen, legs could do much more than I could get air in.

    After hitting that wall and being puzzled quite some time, I finally figured it out, needed iron supplements to get past that wall.
    While iron intake was ok level, training increased need more than average recommendations account for, adding more iron did help HR to reach higher levels as well as whole running out of air feeling go away.

    So, to recap, what did work best apart from continental tires for me was:
    Beta-carotene, Iron supplement, Protein intake increase, rides longer than 2 hours.

    Last time I had flu or anything like that was before this thread was made, improvements in nutrition trough 2015 and 2016 did fix getting flu every winter issues.
    Trek 3700 Disc, frame, wheelset, seatpost, fork and rear brake original, rest is upgraded.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy old biker View Post
    Necromania is serious issue, but I though I update you with some experiences, even that means necroing this topic from the grave.

    Best tire on market that I can find for my usage is Continental Race King Race Sport variant.

    With Race Kings I ride on snow, mud, paved roads, fire roads, wet roots, pretty much anything, except smooth ice.

    Sidewalls die very quickly on rough stuff, rocks, stones, even rough gravel roads eat those thin sidewalls quickly, but you get so much fun with them that getting two tires for around 80 euros total each year is worth it.

    Also Speed King 2 is insane tire, it grips better on snow than some cheap touring type of tires (brain is not able to process how that skinny thread hooks on snow and some type of ice so well, no danger of slipping at all), yet it is faster than anything else for MTB, I did clock 73kph on road going downhill with those and after 60kph cadence was bit faster than my legs were able to do.
    Those tires don't like small sharp gravel though, but feeling when cycling uphill is like there would be someone pushing you from behind.


    Best thing though is lower gearing, lowest gearing that you can install is best, allows to keep heart rate sensible while slowly grinding up the climbs or muddy roads, more hours is what counts when building up from zero.

    Keeping HR in check during 3 years I did manage to build up fitness so that I could ride 100km with over 20kph average speed, including stops. Overdoing without proper HR monitoring is easy and at least for me was worse than riding too slow, riding slow enough did work best.


    Then after getting some base, worked on for higher impact rides and now 2-3 hours HR at zone 4 and zone 5, no problem.

    I got to point where legs never got sore, I just ran out of oxygen, legs could do much more than I could get air in.

    After hitting that wall and being puzzled quite some time, I finally figured it out, needed iron supplements to get past that wall.
    While iron intake was ok level, training increased need more than average recommendations account for, adding more iron did help HR to reach higher levels as well as whole running out of air feeling go away.

    So, to recap, what did work best apart from continental tires for me was:
    Beta-carotene, Iron supplement, Protein intake increase, rides longer than 2 hours.

    Last time I had flu or anything like that was before this thread was made, improvements in nutrition trough 2015 and 2016 did fix getting flu every winter issues.


    lol, awesome dredge! Like you said, better gearing, regular riding and a sensible diet make a lot more difference than equipment ever will. Tire technology and the science of rolling resistance have come a ways in 5 years though, it is hard to tell from those 2 pics you posted but I'm thinking something wider and softer would be just as fast, maybe even faster, and for sure more comfy over rough terrain. The difference in speed either way would most likely be marginal at best so I'd go for the best ride.

    Seems like you're doing good though so you don't need any of my advice, just thought I'd throw it out there. Maybe get crazy one day and borrow a bike with some big fat tires and see what you think!
    I brake for stinkbugs

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    lol, awesome dredge! Like you said, better gearing, regular riding and a sensible diet make a lot more difference than equipment ever will. Tire technology and the science of rolling resistance have come a ways in 5 years though, it is hard to tell from those 2 pics you posted but I'm thinking something wider and softer would be just as fast, maybe even faster, and for sure more comfy over rough terrain. The difference in speed either way would most likely be marginal at best so I'd go for the best ride.

    Seems like you're doing good though so you don't need any of my advice, just thought I'd throw it out there. Maybe get crazy one day and borrow a bike with some big fat tires and see what you think!
    Fat bike would be good, especially for winter when I ride some unvisited logging roads, 10 inches of wet heavy snow on top of compacted stuff, boy it gets quite heavy pedaling at times with 2.2" wide tires!

    Pics are quite old, nothing is same anymore, not even locations.

    Race King RS is so good for my summer riding, that can't really find situation where I would miss something more, running with lower pressures makes them quite comfy too, if needed.

    For winter Suomi Tyres WXC 300 SWA works quite ok, but for snow there really is not the footprint, only fatbike would do for forest adventure rides, so I guess that is my next improvement in gear.

    2-3 hours every other day while keeping HR at zone 2 at max, that is making big differences of what one can do, though winter is more of tempo time, while summer is base building time, opposite of road bikers I guess, but heat is easier to manage this way.

    For all the people, I do wish good rides, enjoy the scenery, that is indeed important bit!
    Trek 3700 Disc, frame, wheelset, seatpost, fork and rear brake original, rest is upgraded.

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