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  1. #1
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    2019 XC Race tires

    Continuation of the 2018 thread.

    I am currently waiting for the new Orbea Oiz TR and want to do some XC races on it too, but I haven't ridden XC in about 5 years (ridden enduro, gravel and road), so I don't have any experience when it comes to XC tires. The terrain I will ride will be mostly hardpack and loose over hard in the dry, which is almost everywhere here where I live.
    I am thinking about these combos:
    Maxxis Rekon + Rekon Race, both 2.25 TR EXO (I really like this combo)
    Michelin Force XC, both 2.25 (probably more universal combo than the Maxxis one?)
    Schwalbe Racing Ray + Racing Ralph, both 2.25 Snakeskin (friend rode this combo and says it's great, but I am still not sure about going Schwalbe)

    I was also considering Aspen in the rear with Rekon in the front, but Rekon Race is probably better for my use? What do you think? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    2019 XC Race tires

    Hardtail:
    Iím running the combo I predicted I would settle with.

    Forekaster 2.35 Exo
    Aspen 2.35 Exo


    Top fuel:

    Still running my party combo. Since this is the bike I ride rowdy Grassroots racing events and do all my shenanigans on.

    HANS Dampf 2.35 pacestar
    2.35 NoNo rear

    Going down to NoNo front and rear. Maybe see if I can get away with a 2.25 rear without pinch flatting.

    NoNo 2.35 SS
    NoNo 2.25 SS

    the NoNos weigh all over the map. I have been ordering in 6-7 at a time and may consider selling off the heavier ones. Most of the 2.35s are 770, but I got one at 730 the other day. Most of the 2.25s are 685-705, but I got some at 750!
    Last edited by FJSnoozer; 03-07-2019 at 08:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    I would add the Vittoria Mezcal to that list; fast rolling and very good grip and cornering confidence. I think you get a little bigger knobs along with the lower rolling resistance of a smaller knob tire. Downside is they're pretty avg or above avg weight.
    I'm super happy with those again this year, 2 races on them so far, - hole shot on pavement both races is my evidence for fast rolling.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  4. #4
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    2018 BMC Fourstroke 01 running on Stan's Crest rims:

    1. Onza Svelt 29x2.25 120tpi TR: Wow! I've only used them for about two weeks, and they are awesome!!! They've performed really well in all conditions (no mud) and I'm very impressed with rolling resistance, cornering, grip and profile. I'm gonna buy another set to keep it as a back up

    2. Continental Race King 29x2.2 Protection 219 model: ultra fast and great grip if it's dry. Not so in love with the profile. I will use them on dry courses. Very light also!

  5. #5
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    Ill likely be running an Ardent Race 2.35 in the rear and a 2.35 Forekaster in the front for this spring. Will be switching back to a Mezcal rear, Barzo front when races kick off.

    Shwalbe recently dropped a new XC tire, I haven't looked much into it though because Scwalbes don't last on my local trails.

  6. #6
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    2019 XC Race tires

    I was just going to post on this haha.

    Im finding my xr2 2.2 squirms in the hard corners. Also my trails are like packed clay you can ride cx bikes on. Just when i leave the province i could put the big volumes on for rocks and such.

    Maybe 2Ē-2.1Ē tires would be better for climbing and a 60 tpi or stiffer sidewall tire would be better?

    Dual fast track 2.1s? Dual ikons? Dual aspens?

    Something that flys but has hard corner lugs.



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    I was just going to post on this haha.

    Im finding my xr2 2.2 squirms in the hard corners. Also my trails are like packed clay you can ride cx bikes on. Just when i leave the province i could put the big volumes on for rocks and such.

    Maybe 2Ē-2.1Ē tires would be better for climbing and a 60 tpi or stiffer sidewall tire would be better?

    Dual fast track 2.1s? Dual ikons? Dual aspens?

    Something that flys but has hard corner lugs.



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    2.25 Aspen


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    2.25 Aspen


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    +1 I've ran Ikon F and R for a number of years but I like the 2.25 Aspen better. Good grip and rolls faster in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    I would not recommend the Michelin force xc. I havenít ridden it, only the wild am and force am and judging by what Michelin and others say the force XC is mostly a lighter weight version of the force am. Itís not a bad tire itís just there are better options. Itís not really xc rubber.

    The schwalbe combo is good, and the mezcal is good too (but heavier). Supposedly the new Vitoria rubber is supposed to be amazing (according to them) so that might be interesting. The barzo could be a good option if itís on the looser side of things.

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    For Michigan XC trails (Lower Peninsula) hard pack under slightly loose/sandy, low amount rocks/roots to speak of, I'm sold on Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 SpeedGrip Snakeskin. Fast, great traction, no worries. I'd love to try 2.25 Aspens and Rekon Race out, but I'll hold off until the Ron's get trashed.

    25mm internal 29er rim on Full Suspension Spec Epic, FWIW

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    I would not recommend the Michelin force xc. I havenít ridden it, only the wild am and force am and judging by what Michelin and others say the force XC is mostly a lighter weight version of the force am. Itís not a bad tire itís just there are better options. Itís not really xc rubber.
    In what way do you mean that it's not really xc rubber? Too slow? Too stiff carcass? I have the recent Michelin Wild Enduros on my enduro bike and they are great, but I am probably the only one riding Michelin tires on a bike in my region , so no experience with XC tires from them.

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    Too slow. Itís the same rubber as wild am. Iíve done rolldown tests and the wild am and force am weíre the same rolling resistance. Which is significantly more than mezcal, etc. itís very similar to an aggressor for instance.

    For most of my XC situations (hardback, loose over hard) I think the faster combo is the lower rolling resistance one as the grip is less important and is good enough with my schwalbe.

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    Any experience with 2.6" options? I have had a 2.6 Mezcal, which was pretty nice rolling and good cornering grip. Then the grip fell off a cliff at ~500mi, so want to try something different. Looking at xr2.

    Edit:
    My list of available 29x2.6 fast xc options:
    Mezcal
    Barzo
    xr2
    Fast Trak (though this is only a 2.4 apparently)
    Ikon
    Forekaster
    Kenda Sabre Pro
    Teravail Cumberland (xc fast?)

    Wishlist for the future:
    Aspen
    Ardent Race
    True 2.6 fast trak

  14. #14
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    Try the forekasters! I bet you would absolutely love them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Try the forekasters! I bet you would absolutely love them.
    If you're telling me, then I have to tell you that the stock tires on my Oiz will be Forekaster 2.35 in the front and Ardent Race 2.2 in the rear and I will definitely ride these during spring, but I want faster tires for racing, because most of our races are not very technical.

  16. #16
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    Just ordered a pair of SWorks Fastrack 2.3. We'll see how they get along!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    2.25 Aspen


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    Hard to find, found some 2.1s tho?


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  18. #18
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    2019 XC Race tires

    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Hard to find, found some 2.1s tho?


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    29?

    https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/pro...o-casing-black

    Almost no bike shops ever carry the tires I run so I have to order online.

  19. #19
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    Does anyone use Bontrager tyres? Iíve been using the xr1 for years and have also used the xr3. I find them to be very reliable and they seem to grip ok. Iíve also used Ralphís a lot over the years and Iíd say they have a touch more cornering grip but Iíve found mounting them tubeless to be hit and miss whereas Bontys always go up first time.

  20. #20
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    Love Bontrager tyres.

    In my Weenie days I wouldn't give them a look due to weight only but there are so few genuine light tyre options nowadays and all have gained weight so that is kind of irrelevant now.

    XR1, XR2 and XR3 and both around 680g real weight in the 2.25. Any Maxxis XC tyre in EXO is going to be around that. By comparison a 2.0 Spec Renegade or 2.1 Ikon is around 100g less but both are a floppy mess of a tyre and I can't stand the thinner spec/ Maxxis sidewalls.

    There is of course much more to a tyre than hanging them on a scale. The Bonty sidewalls are the perfect IMO. Loads of support and durability without being too thick and adding too much weight. As above, they have been the easiest tyre to install and set up tubeless IME too. Grip is excellent and they last ages too. No nonsense, dependable tyres.

  21. #21
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    I recently put a Tioga Fast 13 size 2.10 tire on my XC bike for a gravel ride. Was great on gravel and pavement. Forgot to take it off for my XC/trail rides and found that it handled very well out back and makes the bike feel much faster.

    Tire was installed in rear only.

    I know a lot of people are going to wider rims and bigger tires but I am now a big fan of a smaller, fast rolling, tire in the back. Was riding 2.35 Forekaster Front and rear and will use FK front and Tioga R for my XC set up.

    these tires are like $30 on ebay or 2 for $55. Much less than other brands (if your on a budget)

    I did have one burp the first ride and lost air so I resealed the bead on the rim and no issues since. They are 2.10 size / tubeless and around 680 grams


    Tioga site:
    Fast 13 ‚Äď Tioga

    Ebay site:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-or-2-Pak-...RVOAd6sYSUD9hQ

    I Like Maxxis and Bontrager tires as well. Running 2.6 Forekaster on my LT bike for a front tire. Running Bontrager XR2 on my singlespped.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    29?

    https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/pro...o-casing-black

    Almost no bike shops ever carry the tires I run so I have to order online.
    Got some 2.1s for $40 each cnd. 120tpi. They are 540g. Light as my 40mm panaracer gravelkings. Going to fly.


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  23. #23
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    Pinkbike has a pictorial of Kate Courtney's new Scott. It was set up with 2.25 Rekon Race tires on 30mm inner width wheels. I guess 30mm is the new standard for XC wheels?
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/bike-c...-spark-rc.html

  24. #24
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    I feel like tire size is pretty dependant on course and race type. If I were doing a shorter race in a place like parts of Texas where there is basically nothing but fast, flat singletrack then id be ok with 2.1-2.25 fast tires. On the flip side, ill be doing Mohican 100 on a rigid SS and will be running a bare minimum of 2.35s. The extra cushion and comfort from a bigger tire helps tremendously over that amount of miles (on a rigid bike anyways).

    Im glad there are so many fast rolling xc tires in bigger sizes these days.

  25. #25
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    Race a pair of Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35s this weekend at the True Grit Epic. Really liked them for rocky desert racing. In the past at the TGE I have raced Ikon 2.2s. The RR 2.35s seemed to roll at least as fast, but had more cornering traction and a more comfortable ride for a longer race.
    Can't keep track anymore - Giant, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Yeti, Norco, Salsa, Intense - if it rolls on dirt I like it :thumbsup:

  26. #26
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    Has anyone got their hands on the new Vittoria tyres yet? Looks like the whole range is uodated


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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by m3bas View Post
    Has anyone got their hands on the new Vittoria tyres yet? Looks like the whole range is uodated


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    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/v...-xcr-tire-29in

    And they come in gumwall now!!!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    I would add the Vittoria Mezcal to that list; fast rolling and very good grip and cornering confidence. I think you get a little bigger knobs along with the lower rolling resistance of a smaller knob tire. Downside is they're pretty avg or above avg weight.
    I'm super happy with those again this year, 2 races on them so far, - hole shot on pavement both races is my evidence for fast rolling.
    Front and rear?

  29. #29
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    Still a big Schwalbe fan. My race day setup is Racing Ralph 2.25 Addix Speed Snakeskin on the front, Thunder Burt 2.25 Addix Speed Snakeskin rear. I'm a BIG fan of the TB. Super fast rolling and better than expected cornering.

    Currently running Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35 front and Maxxis Ikon 2.35 rear to try something different. I haven't spent much time on them yet, but so far, so good but i doubt my race day setup will change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Front and rear?
    Vittoria Mezcal front and rear has worked for me until it gets really loose/sandy then I throw a Barzo up front. I'll probably be running the Barzos for when its loose or I'm racing somewhere new, and Mezcal for hardpack. That's been a pretty good combo for me last couple years. I'm in their test group for 2019 so I'll try their new Graphene 2.0 compounds once I'm through my current stock. The Terreno 2.25 looks interesting/scary for a rear option...

    I briefly ran 2.2 Kenda Saber Pros and liked them, just slashed one strangely after a few rides. I'd try them again sometime, right now I've got one on the front of my Top Fuel with a 2.1 Thunder Burt on the back for a recent short track race. Talk about fast rolling...
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by csteven71 View Post
    Gumwall does not have TNT sidewall protection, if that matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Gumwall does not have TNT sidewall protection, if that matters.
    Yeah, they're going to have to expand some of the sizes and sidewall options. For example, I sometimes ride a lighter casing tire in the front and heavier reinforced casing in the rear, which would involve running a gumwall and anthracite wall in these new ones which is gonna look goofy. Same for 2.25 vs 2.35; they should visually match IMO.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    I used Ardent Race all last year and really wasnt happy with them. Confidence just wasnt there. I think I want to go back to Ikons this year, although playing w/ the idea of a Forekaster up front and an Ikon out back. Maybe not super fast rolling, but hoping it ups the cornering ability. I felt like the Ardents were squirmy. I dunno.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesT-XYZ View Post
    Still a big Schwalbe fan. My race day setup is Racing Ralph 2.25 Addix Speed Snakeskin on the front, Thunder Burt 2.25 Addix Speed Snakeskin rear. I'm a BIG fan of the TB. Super fast rolling and better than expected cornering.
    Currently running Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35 front and Maxxis Ikon 2.35 rear to try something different. I haven't spent much time on them yet, but so far, so good but i doubt my race day setup will change.
    I haven't ridden TBs in a few years now, but how do you compare the height of the center knobs between the TBs and the Rekon Races?

  35. #35
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    Pending the race conditions:

    Dry
    F: Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35
    R: Maxxis Aspen 2.25

    Wet/Damp:
    F: Maxxis Forekaster 2.35
    R: Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35

  36. #36
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    Re: No sidewall protection on the gumwalls. Yeah I noticed that after. Thatís sad.
    Last edited by csteven71; 03-12-2019 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Meant to quote

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Marshall View Post
    I haven't ridden TBs in a few years now, but how do you compare the height of the center knobs between the TBs and the Rekon Races?
    The Rekon Race center knobs are comparable to the Racing Ralph in height, where as the TB is closer to a true racing slick, very low profile center and transition knobs. In hero dirt conditions it's a stupid fast tire.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris(NJ) View Post
    I used Ardent Race all last year and really wasnt happy with them. Confidence just wasnt there. I think I want to go back to Ikons this year, although playing w/ the idea of a Forekaster up front and an Ikon out back. Maybe not super fast rolling, but hoping it ups the cornering ability. I felt like the Ardents were squirmy. I dunno.
    Same here. The only reason I ever run an Ardent Race is because it rolls fast and the EXO holds up really well on my local trails. Its an awful tire as far as grip though, same goes for the regular Ardent imo. I was happy running Barzo/Mezcal until my local trails absolutely destroyed a Mezcal last season. Im still convinced they did something to the TNT to make it less hardy...

    Its a crapshoot for me locally either way. EXO holds up well here but I'm honestly not a huge fan of Maxxis. Even on my big bike, people go crazy for the Minions and I refuse to run the things... I am forever switching out tires looking for that magic bullet.

  39. #39
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    Adding on to my above statement, has anyone ran a Vittoria Peyote? It comes in the side I prefer (2.35) with the TnT sidewall. Looks like a great tire, I'm curious why I hear so much about the Mezcal and not this? Maybe because the Mezcal is more versatile (mixed conditions vs dry hardpack/chunky terrain on the Peyote)?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris(NJ) View Post
    I used Ardent Race all last year and really wasnt happy with them. Confidence just wasnt there. I think I want to go back to Ikons this year, although playing w/ the idea of a Forekaster up front and an Ikon out back. Maybe not super fast rolling, but hoping it ups the cornering ability. I felt like the Ardents were squirmy. I dunno.
    I too have never loved the Ardent Race, particularly on the front. I think it is best suited as rear tire in the hot summer months. I think it works decent, for an XC tire, in the loose and it seems to be quite durable.

    As a grippier XC front tire the forecaster is really good, a bit of rolling penalty but not a lot of rolling resistance from a front tire.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I too have never loved the Ardent Race, particularly on the front. I think it is best suited as rear tire in the hot summer months. I think it works decent, for an XC tire, in the loose and it seems to be quite durable.

    As a grippier XC front tire the forecaster is really good, a bit of rolling penalty but not a lot of rolling resistance from a front tire.
    What do you like as a rear for an aggressive XC tire below 2.4 with EXO?

  42. #42
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    Panasonic Driver Pro
    Under 600 grams without being too fragile.
    The tread is super FAST, but still feels confident.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Panasonic Driver Pro
    Under 600 grams without being too fragile.
    The tread is super FAST, but still feels confident.
    Panaracer? What size to get under 600?

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    What do you like as a rear for an aggressive XC tire below 2.4 with EXO?
    when you say "Aggressive XC tire" to you mean burly/knobby or the exact opposite?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    when you say "Aggressive XC tire" to you mean burly/knobby or the exact opposite?
    Allow me poetic license, if you will: team manager or coach secretly plots 2 or 3 "A Races" without telling you where they were, and you can only mount one tire (but swap it out for a fresh one). All you know about the races is: one is smooth non technical old school XC with lots of climbing, one is a 40 miler in the summer where it's dry/loose over hard with long fast cornering descents, and the last race is a 100 miler with lots of rocks or roots and a smattering of creek crossings....what rear tire would you pick?

    All 3 races hold equal points toward the championship.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Adding on to my above statement, has anyone ran a Vittoria Peyote? It comes in the side I prefer (2.35) with the TnT sidewall. Looks like a great tire, I'm curious why I hear so much about the Mezcal and not this? Maybe because the Mezcal is more versatile (mixed conditions vs dry hardpack/chunky terrain on the Peyote)?
    I just received a set of 2.35 Peyotes, but haven't installed them yet. I was wondering the same thing you were, why is the Mezcal mentioned so often? I rode 2.35 Mezcals front and rear last year, for the first time, and wasn't crazy about the rear traction. I've been visiting the Vittoria website recently looking to see if their Agarro prototype tire is going to make it to production, and that's where I saw the Peyote for the first time. Doing some Internet searching, I found out the Peyote is not a new tire. To me, the Peyote has a much more sensible thread pattern for general use, which is why I bought 'em. Time will tell...

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    2019 XC Race tires

    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I too have never loved the Ardent Race, particularly on the front. I think it is best suited as rear tire in the hot summer months. I think it works decent, for an XC tire, in the loose and it seems to be quite durable.

    As a grippier XC front tire the forecaster is really good, a bit of rolling penalty but not a lot of rolling resistance from a front tire.
    Agree on the Forekaster. Had one come on my Element last year 2.35 got a good 3k miles out of that tire with zero cuts or issues. Got a Rekon on front now though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fitzhenry View Post
    Agree on the Forekaster. Had one come on my Element last year 2.35 got a good 3k miles out of that tire with zero cuts or issues. Got a Rekon on front now though.


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    How is the Rekon so far? Can you compare it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Panaracer? What size to get under 600?
    29 x 2.2
    TTUB - Ventura County California

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Allow me poetic license, if you will: team manager or coach secretly plots 2 or 3 "A Races" without telling you where they were, and you can only mount one tire (but swap it out for a fresh one). All you know about the races is: one is smooth non technical old school XC with lots of climbing, one is a 40 miler in the summer where it's dry/loose over hard with long fast cornering descents, and the last race is a 100 miler with lots of rocks or roots and a smattering of creek crossings....what rear tire would you pick?

    All 3 races hold equal points toward the championship.
    gotcha, I've been really happy w/ the Forekaster up front Aspen (allegedly available soon in 29x2.35 exo) in the back. I won't run an aspen if I suspect lots of sharp tread slicing rocks but that's based more on "fear" than experience.

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    Just got my Mezcal Graphene version 2.0 in, 29x2.25 weighs in at 696-700g each. Old Mezcal TNT g+ 2.25 is 760g on my scale so that's a decent saving. Sidewalls didn't feel noticably more skimpy, still far more substantial than Sworks/schwalbes etc. I'll try to mount them up this weekend and see how they shake out.2019 XC Race tires-img_20190314_094308.jpg
    2019 XC Race tires-img_20190314_094826.jpg
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  52. #52
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    2019 XC Race tires

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Just got my Mezcal Graphene version 2.0 in, 29x2.25 weighs in at 696-700g each. Old Mezcal TNT g+ 2.25 is 760g on my scale so that's a decent saving. Sidewalls didn't feel noticably more skimpy, still far more substantial than Sworks/schwalbes etc. I'll try to mount them up this weekend and see how they shake out.Click image for larger version. 

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    TNT or TLR?

    Edit: the pics didnít show up until I posted. Weird. Skinwall only available in TLR, right?


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    Yeah XC Race is supposed to be non reinforced, XC Trail is the reinforced version. XC Race sidewalls feel about as thick and stiff as the old TNT ones to me, we'll see how they work. I get plenty of sharp coral rock down here in South Florida so that'll be a test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Marshall View Post
    I just received a set of 2.35 Peyotes, but haven't installed them yet. I was wondering the same thing you were, why is the Mezcal mentioned so often? I rode 2.35 Mezcals front and rear last year, for the first time, and wasn't crazy about the rear traction. I've been visiting the Vittoria website recently looking to see if their Agarro prototype tire is going to make it to production, and that's where I saw the Peyote for the first time. Doing some Internet searching, I found out the Peyote is not a new tire. To me, the Peyote has a much more sensible thread pattern for general use, which is why I bought 'em. Time will tell...
    I don't think the Peyote had the newer Graphene compound previously? Was thinking similar when I was looking them up, now its updated looks a good option. Keen to hear feedback
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Yeah XC Race is supposed to be non reinforced, XC Trail is the reinforced version. XC Race sidewalls feel about as thick and stiff as the old TNT ones to me, we'll see how they work. I get plenty of sharp coral rock down here in South Florida so that'll be a test.
    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the tire. I just ordered ikons again, but may try these mezcals out if the reviews come back positive. Always fun to try new tires out

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris(NJ) View Post
    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the tire. I just ordered ikons again, but may try these mezcals out if the reviews come back positive. Always fun to try new tires out
    Ikons are probably my least favorite tire of all time. Vague casing, slow rolling, square profile on even skinny rims, unpredictable break away. I went from Ikons to renegades and considered it an upgrade in every way (and running renegades at my skill/weight is considered suicide by many).

    I've run the Mezcal before over the last 2 years and really liked them, especially as a rear. This new version is just a casing and compound upgrade supposedly, tread is unchanged to the naked eye. Mezcal up front is great in hardpack conditions, but as soon as it got loose/muddy/sandy they would wash on me. Still miles better than Ikons, but I felt like the knobs were a little too tight maybe? Throw a Barzo up front (aka conti xking clone) and ready to party.

    So yeah, I'm interested to see how these new ones work out, having run them in the past and liked them for certain conditions. I'll be interest to see if their useful range expands more into the loose/sandy/marbles/muddy conditions where I was grabbing a more open tread before. Plus the skinwall looks dope, right?
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Ikons are probably my least favorite tire of all time. Vague casing, slow rolling, square profile on even skinny rims, unpredictable break away. I went from Ikons to renegades and considered it an upgrade in every way (and running renegades at my skill/weight is considered suicide by many).

    I've run the Mezcal before over the last 2 years and really liked them, especially as a rear. This new version is just a casing and compound upgrade supposedly, tread is unchanged to the naked eye. Mezcal up front is great in hardpack conditions, but as soon as it got loose/muddy/sandy they would wash on me. Still miles better than Ikons, but I felt like the knobs were a little too tight maybe? Throw a Barzo up front (aka conti xking clone) and ready to party.

    So yeah, I'm interested to see how these new ones work out, having run them in the past and liked them for certain conditions. I'll be interest to see if their useful range expands more into the loose/sandy/marbles/muddy conditions where I was grabbing a more open tread before. Plus the skinwall looks dope, right?
    We all have different opinions on tires, but I love the Ikons. I feel the exact opposite of how you describe the Ikons. If you can run renegades you obviously have bike handling skills. Maybe it's the difference in soil types or size of the tire. I like renegades too. I use those for our smooth courses.

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    What about Rekons 2,25 (not race version) front and rear? Is rekon faster than Ikon?

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    Put on a pair of SWorks Fastrak 2.3's. I only weighed one, it was 590g! Should have dropped roughly a pound compared to the Ground Control I had one.

    Can't give a fair report on the tires. The Bonelli course is really hard packed. No loose over anything. I do think I had too much pressure, but that's my fault and not the tire.

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    Does anyone know if the variation in width between Vittoria tire models has changed?

    I have a Barzo and Mezcal, both 2.25, currently paired as a Front/Rear, respectively. The Barzo measures narrower than the Mezcal. It messes with my head. I want my front tire to be wider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skarhead View Post
    What about Rekons 2,25 (not race version) front and rear? Is rekon faster than Ikon?
    This will be completely dependent upon rider and course.

    This is completely immeasurable.


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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Choro View Post
    Does anyone know if the variation in width between Vittoria tire models has changed?

    I have a Barzo and Mezcal, both 2.25, currently paired as a Front/Rear, respectively. The Barzo measures narrower than the Mezcal. It messes with my head. I want my front tire to be wider.
    Yes, but the "narrower" Barzo will still provide better turning grip than the "wider" Mezcal. The reason some run a wider front is for better turning grip and you already have that due to the knob design.

  63. #63
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    So where do the Rocket Rons fall nowadays?

    I have them on my 10y/o 27.5 because they were light (though 80 grams over the claimed weight) with what looked to be a decent tread. Is there anything else I should be looking at for Socal conditions? I want fast rolling but also want to give her confidence as she gets faster and stronger. I've seen some kids on thunder burts but not sure about them.

    Kenda is a sponsor of the Ca. MTB series that we're racing now, as well as Over the Hump that we do in summer, anything from them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post
    So where do the Rocket Rons fall nowadays?

    I have them on my 10y/o 27.5 because they were light (though 80 grams over the claimed weight) with what looked to be a decent tread. Is there anything else I should be looking at for Socal conditions? I want fast rolling but also want to give her confidence as she gets faster and stronger. I've seen some kids on thunder burts but not sure about them.

    Kenda is a sponsor of the Ca. MTB series that we're racing now, as well as Over the Hump that we do in summer, anything from them?
    I just got a thunderburt rear and RR front, I was gonna get the Rocket Ron time ago but couldn't find any and suddenly found some ultra cheap thunderburts, If I like it might as well stock them up for the rear.

    I was using race king rear and RR front, wanted to try the rocket ron front.

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    Iím going to give rocket rons a try for races this year. Checks all boxes-light (even with snakeskin), fast rolling, decent knobs, decent volume. I know they are not the longest lasting but thatís okay. Weíll see

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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post

    Kenda is a sponsor of the Ca. MTB series that we're racing now, as well as Over the Hump that we do in summer, anything from them?
    I ran the Saber Pro SCT 2.2 for a bit, just under 600g and more grip than you'd expect looking at them. Actually got one on the front of the bike now to save some weight at a Short Track race a few weeks back, did good loose over hard and spins up fast. Don't have a ton of miles on em but look like a good hardpack option.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    I started off last year using 2.35 Mezcals, and liked their volume, weight and they roll fast. Traction is good in the dry but terrible on wet rocks and roots. So, I switched to the Barzo front when they released the 2.35 and it is better in the wet but still not great compared to an older pair of Black Chili Contis I had. I'm starting off this year with the Barzo front and rear, but I'm considering trying the Conti Mountain King again, but reviews of it lately seem pretty sparse.

  68. #68
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    Starting the season off with a 2.25 Recon Race on the front and a 2.25 Aspen on the rear. Running 1 1/2 inserts in both.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Starting the season off with a 2.25 Recon Race on the front and a 2.25 Aspen on the rear. Running 1 1/2 inserts in both.
    Okay thatís interesting. I have both tires. Maxxis bills the Recon Race as a rear only tire unless itís short track. But the Recon Race clearly has bigger side knobs than the Aspen. Iíve been running the Aspen as a rear tire with noddle inserts and have been very pleased.

    Howís the Recon Race feel as a front tire?


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    Just wrapped a (new) Forekaster 2.35 to my front hoop and an (slighlty used) Ikon 2.35 to the rear. Wow the Ikon is much more girthy than the FK. The FK looks very thin in comparison.

    Perhaps the FK needs a few rides to open up? Dunno...

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by k/dv View Post
    Just wrapped a (new) Forekaster 2.35 to my front hoop and an (slighlty used) Ikon 2.35 to the rear. Wow the Ikon is much more girthy than the FK. The FK looks very thin in comparison.

    Perhaps the FK needs a few rides to open up? Dunno...
    Im currently running a Forekaster front / Ardent Race rear and had the same thought. They're both 2.35 but the Forekaster looks a bit more scrawny than the Ardent... I have come to the conclusion that the very sparse knobs on the Forekaster just make it look funny, the width is probably very similar if you actually measured it.

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    The Forekaster gets its 2.35Ē from the shoulder knobs, I gather. The big Ikon is all casing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    Okay thatís interesting. I have both tires. Maxxis bills the Recon Race as a rear only tire unless itís short track. But the Recon Race clearly has bigger side knobs than the Aspen. Iíve been running the Aspen as a rear tire with noddle inserts and have been very pleased.

    Howís the Recon Race feel as a front tire?

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    I have the same question since Maxxis originally billed the Rekon Race as a great rear tire and it's fastest XC tire. But I noticed in some pictorials of Kate Courtney's new Scott Scale that she also had a Rekon Race on the front.

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    Just looking at them the Aspen looks like it'll roll faster than a Rekon Race. The setup LMN is running is what looks interesting to me from the current Maxxis catalogue. Having run Ardent/Ikon before I know I don't get along with those, but these new casing & tread patterns look better on the workbench to me. I'll be interested to see how he gets along with em.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Starting the season off with a 2.25 Recon Race on the front and a 2.25 Aspen on the rear. Running 1 1/2 inserts in both.
    Hey LMN what pressure are u running with that setup?


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    Fwiw, I have a couple of Ardent Race in 29x2.2 that I'm selling. 15ea/25 for both. Plenty of life left. Good chance for someone to try them out if they're interested but unsure about them.

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    Has anybody tried Rekon vs Racing Ray? Want to pair as a front tire to the rear Rekon Race.

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    I have a race coming up in two weeks that is likely to be very muddy - both soupy loose and heavy sticky mud. Lots of steep up and down, but nothing too technical in terms of rocks and roots, plus a big road climb to start to get to the singletrack. I am curious what tires people would suggest for these conditions. Thanks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mjj1066 View Post
    I have a race coming up in two weeks that is likely to be very muddy - both soupy loose and heavy sticky mud. Lots of steep up and down, but nothing too technical in terms of rocks and roots, plus a big road climb to start to get to the singletrack. I am curious what tires people would suggest for these conditions. Thanks.


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    I'd run a Barzo or X King personally.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjj1066 View Post
    I have a race coming up in two weeks that is likely to be very muddy - both soupy loose and heavy sticky mud. Lots of steep up and down, but nothing too technical in terms of rocks and roots, plus a big road climb to start to get to the singletrack. I am curious what tires people would suggest for these conditions. Thanks.


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    It's been very damp here the last couple weeks, and by some miracle the trails are open even though it's pretty soft. I have been running a Forekaster on the front and it's done great.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Put on a pair of SWorks Fastrak 2.3's. I only weighed one, it was 590g! Should have dropped roughly a pound compared to the Ground Control I had one.

    Can't give a fair report on the tires. The Bonelli course is really hard packed. No loose over anything. I do think I had too much pressure, but that's my fault and not the tire.
    Four races in, tires work GREAT in perfect conditions. Don't know about bad conditions yet, that will have to wait a while I guess.

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    There were rumors a while back about an Aspen in 29 x 2.35" form. Does anyone have any more info on this?

  83. #83
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    2019 XC Race tires-315d04c9-726d-426d-95d3-353a83cda9eb.jpg2019 XC Race tires-57b5049d-b9a2-4bd8-adaf-67d1cda95aa9.jpg

    My Racing Ralph/Ray combo just showed up. I picked these up from BikeDiscount.de when ordering some XTR bits; I always like to throw a Schwalbe tire or two in the cart as theyíre under $40.

    Havenít ridden trails yet, but they look promising. Both within 20g of advertised weight of 625g. Interestingly while both list at 2.25Ē, the front measures 2.3 and the rear 2.2 on 25mm ID rims. This seems intentional, and I like it as I prefer a slightly fatter front tire. Iíd swear the rear has a slightly thicker casing (also a good thing) but maybe itís just different rubber.

  84. #84
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    Those look good I just ordered a pair up.
    Racing Ray on front (blue stripe) 29x2.25 evo/tle snakeskin. Racing Ralph on rear (red stripe) 29x2.25 evo/tle snakeskin

    The blue is speed/grip and the red is just speed.
    Can't wait to try!

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
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    My Racing Ralph/Ray combo just showed up. I picked these up from BikeDiscount.de when ordering some XTR bits; I always like to throw a Schwalbe tire or two in the cart as theyíre under $40.

    Havenít ridden trails yet, but they look promising. Both within 20g of advertised weight of 625g. Interestingly while both list at 2.25Ē, the front measures 2.3 and the rear 2.2 on 25mm ID rims. This seems intentional, and I like it as I prefer a slightly fatter front tire. Iíd swear the rear has a slightly thicker casing (also a good thing) but maybe itís just different rubber.

  85. #85
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    What is the verdict on Schwalbe holding up in rocky terrain? When the plus bike craze first hit, I saw people destroying Nobby Nic's left and right so I kind of wrote Schwalbe off. I see a lot of guys running them on their race bikes though, so I am curious how their sidewalls hold up on the rest of their tires?

    I generally stick with EXO and TNT because I know they hold up around my local terrain. Grid does ok also. I have been trying to branch out but fear of killing sidewalls on expensive tires has been holding me back. The sharp limestone in these parts make tire experimenting a little more difficult.

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    2019 XC Race tires

    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    What is the verdict on Schwalbe holding up in rocky terrain? When the plus bike craze first hit, I saw people destroying Nobby Nic's left and right so I kind of wrote Schwalbe off. I see a lot of guys running them on their race bikes though, so I am curious how their sidewalls hold up on the rest of their tires?

    I generally stick with EXO and TNT because I know they hold up around my local terrain. Grid does ok also. I have been trying to branch out but fear of killing sidewalls on expensive tires has been holding me back. The sharp limestone in these parts make tire experimenting a little more difficult.
    Race tires are not so good. And your number is up at any moment. They work until the donít. Also compound doesnít last if your rocks are grippy.

    Now, MM, HD and NoNo:

    My HDs are old reliable. Nothing phases them. Iíve had 4 as fronts.

    MM does what itís supposed to.

    My first several batches of NoNo would see the side knobs ripped clear off the threads. Sometimes on the first race, but my wife loved them so we kept a getting them from bike-discount.de . My last 6 have been extremely reliable and you can ride them into the ground. I donít really like the 2.25 because itís super small. The tread is almost identical spacing as the 2.35, but the casing is massive compared to the 2.25. Weight is all over the map. I had a batch where the 2.25s were all 750g and the 2.35s were all 775.

    This last order I had a 685, 705 2.25 and got a 735 and two 750 2.35s. Iím on about my 10th Addix NoNo. I mix in with Maxxis Exo tires of course, so I am not a Schwalbe fanboy. Iím always testing combos and giving them many miles of love on different conditions.


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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Choro View Post
    I have a Barzo and Mezcal, both 2.25, currently paired as a Front/Rear, respectively. The Barzo measures narrower than the Mezcal. It messes with my head. I want my front tire to be wider.
    Can you measure the width of the 2.25" Barzo for me? The rear tire clearance is rather tight on my bike and I'm wondering if I can squeeze a 2.25" in there. Currently have a 2.1" Mezcal in there but I'm looking to get something a bit bigger & knobbier.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Race tires are not so good. And your number is up at any moment. They work until the donít. Also compound doesnít last if your rocks are grippy.

    Now, MM, HD and NoNo:

    My HDs are old reliable. Nothing phases them. Iíve had 4 as fronts.

    MM does what itís supposed to.

    My first several batches of NoNo would see the side knobs ripped clear off the threads. Sometimes on the first race, but my wife loved them so we kept a getting them from bike-discount.de . My last 6 have been extremely reliable and you can ride them into the ground. I donít really like the 2.25 because itís super small. The tread is almost identical spacing as the 2.35, but the casing is massive compared to the 2.25. Weight is all over the map. I had a batch where the 2.25s were all 750g and the 2.35s were all 775.

    This last order I had a 685, 705 2.25 and got a 735 and two 750 2.35s. Iím on about my 10th Addix NoNo. I mix in with Maxxis Exo tires of course, so I am not a Schwalbe fanboy. Iím always testing combos and giving them many miles of love on different conditions.


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    Yea I probably won't waste my time if this is the case. I hate dealing with tire issues trail side, especially in a race setting.

    I also noticed that people running the Nobby Nics were ripping entire knobs off. I thought that was a fluke but it seems to be a common thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Yea I probably won't waste my time if this is the case. I hate dealing with tire issues trail side, especially in a race setting.

    I also noticed that people running the Nobby Nics were ripping entire knobs off. I thought that was a fluke but it seems to be a common thing.
    It was common with the first addix but seems to have stopped. I would buy NoNo with confidence. The 2.35 is probably my favorite all purpose front tire.

    When those knobs came off, the tire was still fine. They would just flap like a busted blister.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Yea I probably won't waste my time if this is the case. I hate dealing with tire issues trail side, especially in a race setting.

    I also noticed that people running the Nobby Nics were ripping entire knobs off. I thought that was a fluke but it seems to be a common thing.
    Older Vertstar/Trailstar/Pacestar Schwalbes were notorious for fast wear and losing whole knobs. In my experience the newer Addix rubbers (colored stripes on the tread) have been much much better.

    In terms of casings, I think the Snakeskin casing (which is claimed to be improved recently) is not unlike Maxxis's Exo. Schwalbe now has an Apex option on some tires, I have a Mary 2.6 with Apex and it seems like a nice intermediate, tougher than Snakeskin/exo but not full 2-ply. Interestingly Maxxis has recently introduced "Exo+" which I guess is their version of an intermediate option.

  91. #91
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    Raced with the new ralph speed on the rear this past weekend. I had a puncture on the rear and my partner had a puncture in her rear the next day.

    The handling was great though. They are nice and fast

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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I also noticed that people running the Nobby Nics were ripping entire knobs off. I thought that was a fluke but it seems to be a common thing.
    Hence the nickname (k)Nobless Nics

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Raced with the new ralph speed on the rear this past weekend. I had a puncture on the rear and my partner had a puncture in her rear the next day.
    Not exactly the ringing endorsement I was looking for!

    Is your terrain rocky or otherwise hard on tires? Are punctures common for you in race conditions? What pressure were you running?

  94. #94
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    conditions at both races were hard soil with loose rock (ohio and WV).

    I just checked out her tire for what happened and she has a puncture in a tread void. Stans sealed the hole but she finished on 8psi and was riding that for about 2 hours.

    My puncture is also in a tread void that took 2 plugs.

    I hit a large loose rock, not sure what caused hers but I am guessing the same.

    We normally run mezcal's but the schwalabes were on the bikes from the factory and both were snake skin.

    So it is back to Vittoria and Maxxis for us

  95. #95
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    Thanks for the info. She must be light, 8psi for me would have me on the rim! Do you think these were pinch flats? Do you generally set up tires on the low end of the PSI range?

    Sorry for all the questions, just wondering if these are going to be a total liability and not worth bothering with.

  96. #96
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    Mine may have been a pinch flat, i hit the rock hard. I run 22psi rear on an enve 25mm internal rim and weigh 140.

    She runs 20psi and weighs 125.

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    Haven't run Schwalbes since prior to the new Addix compound due to reliability issues. Looks like those issues remain in place. Seen too many Schwalbe DNF's to trust them. I've got some NIB Schwalbes from swag/prize packs that I'm using up on the training bike and they're great in many ways, I just don't trust em.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    hate to say it because I really love the way Schwalbe tires handle. But I cannot trust their reliability either at least on a rear tire. They seem fine on the front though

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    All good info, thanks. I have a local short-track series that's basically non-rocky, I may use 'em for that. Sounds like something burlier would be advisable for real mountain riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    All good info, thanks. I have a local short-track series that's basically non-rocky, I may use 'em for that. Sounds like something burlier would be advisable for real mountain riding.
    Yup, there's a Thunder Burt Snakeskin on my bike from a local ST race, perfect application since I'm not chasing points etc. Knobs are about to peel off the edge though...
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Yup, there's a Thunder Burt Snakeskin on my bike from a local ST race, perfect application since I'm not chasing points etc. Knobs are about to peel off the edge though...
    My thunderburt snakeskin had a pretty big puncture on the tread on the first ride(ouch), sealant sealed it for the ride, but pretty much 8oz were "used".

    Patched it myself and I have not suffered any more punctures I even used it without sealant on one ride and held air perfectly fine.

    Still, while I love how fast and light it is I don't think it is very reliable. In my experience a Racing ralph seems to be twice as reliable.

    I think if you don't ride on rocky terrain you can't go wrong with it, rocks destroy tires and where I ride there are plenty of rocks

  102. #102
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    You have all successfully talked me out of Schwalbe.

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    Picked up some recons to try for rear tires and an aspen for when it gets dry an fast.

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    I've been torn between an Ardent Race and Rekon for a rear tire during early season (i.e. still some wet). I think the Rekon may actually roll faster.

    Think I'll use the Rekon Race once it gets dry.

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Picked up some recons to try for rear tires and an aspen for when it gets dry an fast.

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    What are you using as a front tire?

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    hate to say it because I really love the way Schwalbe tires handle. But I cannot trust their reliability either at least on a rear tire. They seem fine on the front though

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    Got out for a quick 20 miles on the Racing Ray/Ralph combo this evening. After the talk of sub-par casing strength, Iím sorry to say that I freaking loved them. Better in both rolling and cornering than any Maxxis combo Iíve tried.

    Iíll probably use these for training rides and see if I can kill Ďem, and they seem like great short track racers at the very least.

    I raised my pressure a couple PSI from my usual. I think the tall, gummy shoulder knobs hook up well even at higher casing pressures, so hoping this will keep me flat free. I guess weíll see...

  107. #107
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    Yep drewbird i agree they handle impressively.

    Next race is pisgah stage race for me which is a little more chunky so the recon will be the rear tire on both bikes. The fs will get a foercaster front and the hardtail will stay with the new ray on front

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  108. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    I've been torn between an Ardent Race and Rekon for a rear tire during early season (i.e. still some wet). I think the Rekon may actually roll faster.

    Think I'll use the Rekon Race once it gets dry.
    Its been pretty damp here and I have been using an Ardent Race. It's god awful.

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Its been pretty damp here and I have been using an Ardent Race. It's god awful.
    I have the same experience with the ardent race. Any dampness and its no good. If its wet, forget about it. It also rolls a little more slowly than its peers.

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  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    You have all successfully talked me out of Schwalbe.
    They're great race day tires. They grip very well, roll well, and wear super fast. They're not your everyday training tires that you can still race on. If you ever decide to get them don't try any without snakeskin. I cut a sidewall on a gravel road, no joke.

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    They're great race day tires. They grip very well, roll well, and wear super fast. They're not your everyday training tires that you can still race on. If you ever decide to get them don't try any without snakeskin. I cut a sidewall on a gravel road, no joke.
    Yup, this.

    I'd run Schwalbes if they sent me a new set every race. Since I still pay for my tires I'll stick to other brands. I looked at the Thunder Burt sitting on my bike right now, corrner knobs are starting to peel and middle knobs are approaching holographic status. Maybe 500 training miles on em (which is actually a record for me and Schwalbes).
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Yup, this.

    I'd run Schwalbes if they sent me a new set every race. Since I still pay for my tires I'll stick to other brands. I looked at the Thunder Burt sitting on my bike right now, corrner knobs are starting to peel and middle knobs are approaching holographic status. Maybe 500 training miles on em (which is actually a record for me and Schwalbes).
    To be fair the TB has near-holographic center knobs when brand new...

    I've had much better luck with the Addix compounds on trail/AM tires. The older Trailstar-type compounds were awful, I swear I wore out a pair of Magic Marys in a weekend of gravity riding. But the newer Addix has been much better for me so far. We'll see how the Ray/Ralph combo wears.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Yup, this.

    I'd run Schwalbes if they sent me a new set every race. Since I still pay for my tires I'll stick to other brands. I looked at the Thunder Burt sitting on my bike right now, corrner knobs are starting to peel and middle knobs are approaching holographic status. Maybe 500 training miles on em (which is actually a record for me and Schwalbes).
    Exactly, i get about 300 out of my snakeskin raplh on the rear. Like you, i dont get them for free so i need something that is durable, gripping, and longer lasting.


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  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    To be fair the TB has near-holographic center knobs when brand new...

    I've had much better luck with the Addix compounds on trail/AM tires. The older Trailstar-type compounds were awful, I swear I wore out a pair of Magic Marys in a weekend of gravity riding. But the newer Addix has been much better for me so far. We'll see how the Ray/Ralph combo wears.
    Agree 100% with your posts about the Ray/Ralph. Simply the best combo I've tried. Compared to snakeskins, I find the new addix compound far superior. I've heard a few pops on the ray/ralph combo where I was ready to get off and start slinging tools, but Ö not a single puncture yet. They are tough. For the weight, I don't think this combo can be beat.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
    Compared to snakeskins, I find the new addix compound far superior.
    I've only run the snakeskins though I do have an Addix Ralph to throw on the training bike next. I'm interested to see if/how they've improved with this new red/blue/green/purple striped compound, just not interested enough to shell out any (more) money.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    I've only run the snakeskins though I do have an Addix Ralph to throw on the training bike next. I'm interested to see if/how they've improved with this new red/blue/green/purple striped compound, just not interested enough to shell out any (more) money.
    For clarity I'll mention that "Snakeskin" is the puncture protection stuff in the casing (Exo/TNT equivalent), Addix is the rubber. Schwalbe has been using "snakeskin" as their light casing reinforcement for years, though the claim to have recently improved it. Addix rubber replaces the old Trailstar/Pacestar compounds, and is identifiable as the tires with a blue or red stripe down the tread.

    My experience with old non-Addix tires, (mainly Trailstar rubber w Snakeskin casing) was that they wore quickly and punctured pretty easily.

    I'm now trying the Addix/Snakeskin Ray/Ralph combo, and love the handling. We'll see how they hold up in terms of both punctures and tread wear. I'm no whippet at 6'3" & ~190lbs, but hoping appropriate pressure and the fact they're on a FS bike (Sniper XC) will keep them intact.

    I've never tried a non-Snakeskin Schwalbe tire of any kind. Given how thin the Snakeskin casing is I assume those would just pop like balloons at first contact with loamy soil.

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitendz View Post
    Agree 100% with your posts about the Ray/Ralph. Simply the best combo I've tried. Compared to snakeskins, I find the new addix compound far superior. I've heard a few pops on the ray/ralph combo where I was ready to get off and start slinging tools, but Ö not a single puncture yet. They are tough. For the weight, I don't think this combo can be beat.
    Ill have to try the new compound then. Thanks for the update. That sounds promising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Haven't run Schwalbes since prior to the new Addix compound due to reliability issues. Looks like those issues remain in place. Seen too many Schwalbe DNF's to trust them. I've got some NIB Schwalbes from swag/prize packs that I'm using up on the training bike and they're great in many ways, I just don't trust em.
    +1 on that. Love the way they feel, way too many punctures. Cost me dearly in a handful of races.

  119. #119
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    Any recommendation for super technical East Coast endurance racing on a hardtail?Preferably Maxxis. I'm thinking Ikon 2.35 front and rear but I'm tempted to try the Aspen or Rekon Race in the rear.
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  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebeat007 View Post
    Any recommendation for super technical East Coast endurance racing on a hardtail?Preferably Maxxis. I'm thinking Ikon 2.35 front and rear but I'm tempted to try the Aspen or Rekon Race in the rear.
    If the surface isn't too loose then that'll work well.

  121. #121
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    I decided to experiment a little before the first race of the season. I am on a rigid SS this year and was looking for some extra cushion in my tires without sacrificing too much in speed. Being the Vittoria fanboy that I am, I pulled the trigger on 2 of the 29x2.6 Mezcals with the XC-Trail casing. Hopefully these feel as fast as the 2.35 Mezcals I ran before, and the new XC-Trail casing holds up to the sharp limestone where I am at.

  122. #122
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    I've been running a 29X2.6 Rekon up front with a 2.6 Ikon in the rear for the last mi th and it's been a solid set up. I'm going to lighten the load for the first race of the season though.
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    Geoff Kabush raced, and won, the 2019 Moab Rocks Stage race on Rekon Race front and rear. He was running them on Crest CB7 rims w/ 23mm internals at 20.5 - 22.5 psi. Probably not a great choice for everywhere but obviously worked fine for those conditions.

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy13 View Post
    Geoff Kabush raced, and won, the 2019 Moab Rocks Stage race on Rekon Race front and rear. He was running them on Crest CB7 rims w/ 23mm internals at 20.5 - 22.5 psi. Probably not a great choice for everywhere but obviously worked fine for those conditions.
    In an article on Pinkbike he said that he chose the tires because in Moab you don't need knobby tires, you just need good compound, so he chose 2.35 Rekon Race front and rear, because it is a very fast tire and has a big volume in 2.35.

  125. #125
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    I decided my worn down XR2s needed replacing two days before my season opener. I had a like new Ikon 2.2 EXO for the rear. I really wanted to try a Rekon 2.25 front but the only XC tire I could find in stock locally was another Ikon 2.2 EXO, it should be fun to see how this setup does on the buff trails I'm racing this weekend, it's been a few years since I ran them front and rear. I've got a Rekon/Aspen 2.25 setup on the way to try later this summer.

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by csteven71 View Post
    I decided my worn down XR2s needed replacing two days before my season opener. I had a like new Ikon 2.2 EXO for the rear. I really wanted to try a Rekon 2.25 front but the only XC tire I could find in stock locally was another Ikon 2.2 EXO, it should be fun to see how this setup does on the buff trails I'm racing this weekend, it's been a few years since I ran them front and rear. I've got a Rekon/Aspen 2.25 setup on the way to try later this summer.
    I like that setup. Ive done almost all of my training miles this yesr on it. They will drift some in leaf litter but theyre very predictable.

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  127. #127
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    My Vittoria fanboi credentials are well documented here, but if anybody likes Bontrager they're currently on sale for ~20% off. The XR3 just got a redesign and looks like a good front tire option to me:
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...olorCode=black
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    I have the same experience with the ardent race. Any dampness and its no good. If its wet, forget about it. It also rolls a little more slowly than its peers.

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    for something different this year on my hardtail I put an Ardent 2.4 front, and Ardent Race 2.35 rear, I use the hardtail when it's wet. A couple of weeks ago we had a snowy/muddy race, I don't recall hating that combo, but I did not feel very confident so maybe it was the tires and not just the nasty trail conditions. It looks like it will be wet for tomorrows race (final race of the early season series), but the course has a lot of small round rock/gravel/sand (glacial till type dirt iirc) and drains exceptionally well, so I should be ok.
    Vittoria seems to be working with a lot of the small amateur teams, I'm seeing lots of Barzos around at the races. I've been really loving the Mezcals on my fs bike (I moved the Barzos I ran last year on the hardtail onto my kids bike), they roll super smooth/quiet/fast on hardpack, very predictable and solid cornering grip. I think I will bug our team/shop guy about getting us on the Vittoria deal some more, I think I'd like to put Barzos back on the hardtail for wet, keeping Mezcals on the fs for dry.
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    Race day tomorrow and we will get about 2+ inches of rain and racing limestone rock gardens and a clay/limestone mix. It will probably be raining during the race as well.

    Running forekaster/forekaster 2.35 Exo on both race bikes.

    Wish us luck!


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    I had a Forekaster dual in 2.35 it wore out in like 6 weeks. I am curious what others experience is with that tires longevity.

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I had a Forekaster dual in 2.35 it wore out in like 6 weeks. I am curious what others experience is with that tires longevity.
    How many miles did you do in 6 weeks? That seems super fast compared to my experience with maxxis tires.

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  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I had a Forekaster dual in 2.35 it wore out in like 6 weeks. I am curious what others experience is with that tires longevity.
    The Forekaster was designed for wet conditions. However, it works really well in hot and dry conditions but it does not last in those conditions.

    Haven't tried them yet but I think the 2.4 Recon would be an amazing tire for the hot, dry and loose.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    So many great tires these days.
    I no longer race, but I love trying different tires.

    I just got in my first ride yesterday after a long winter off the bike. Though I'm ridiculously out of shape, I was stunned by how fast my new set of Mezcal 29x2.35 (730g each) rolled, and how well they gripped.
    Southeast Michigan trail, mildly loose, sandy hard-ish pack with a layer of dry leaves over 75% of the trail. Top Fuel, 23mm inner rims (I think), pressures at 22f and 25 rear; I'm 160ish.

    The tires rolled so well I felt like I was a month or two into the riding season. It was weird.

    Though they aren't DHFs, I hit some turns pretty hard and they stuck like glue.
    I didn't encounter any steep, technical climbs nor did I have any panic stops so I can't judge driving /stopping traction.

    I will try pushing them harder today, to get a better sense of their limits and precision.

    If I still raced I would seriously consider the Mezcal, despite their weight.

    Bob

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    I ended up flatting the Ikon rear. I havenít flatted in years and it was a relatively smooth but fast course. I need to do an inspection today but I expect it was a hole in the bead.


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  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I had a Forekaster dual in 2.35 it wore out in like 6 weeks. I am curious what others experience is with that tires longevity.
    I run them in hot and dry conditions with the occasional wet. I have normal Maxxis high mileage out of them. Fronts loose barely any of the sipes on the center over 1500 miles. The rear will wear through the knob on the center and have no more sipe while the outer ones stay. There is still tons of traction because the knobs are so tall.

    I would say they have 2-3 the life of a rocket ron or Ralph, similar to a nobby nic.

  136. #136
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    Cut sidewall on the front Fast Trak for me yesterday. Very odd as I am not even sure what I cut it on! Oh well. I saw 4 people with flats, so I am not going to get upset about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Cut sidewall on the front Fast Trak for me yesterday. Very odd as I am not even sure what I cut it on! Oh well. I saw 4 people with flats, so I am not going to get upset about it.
    Thanks for the update on the new Sworks casing. I used to love the old (pre 2016) Sworks Fast Traks but the thin sidewalls cost me a race or two. Some races are just flat prone though, is what it is. Once it becomes a pattern then I make changes.
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I had a Forekaster dual in 2.35 it wore out in like 6 weeks. I am curious what others experience is with that tires longevity.
    I have one in the front that just started third season. Might need a change in the middle of season though. Very few sharp rocks on the trails.

  139. #139
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    Ardent front Ardent Race rear were quite good yesterday racing in damp/wet with just a little mud and quite a bit of 'marbles'. I did lean them over a lot further on the hard inside/flat of a berm (not this photo) than I had intended, and I was very pleased that they hung on really great.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 XC Race tires-8p4a6476-xl.jpg  

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  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Thanks for the update on the new Sworks casing. I used to love the old (pre 2016) Sworks Fast Traks but the thin sidewalls cost me a race or two. Some races are just flat prone though, is what it is. Once it becomes a pattern then I make changes.
    I am not writing it off yet. I have not done anything I would consider treacherous yet; just the one rock garden (on this course, with 3 races on this course) and I cut in an odd spot. I am going to try and see what the others were running for tires. My friend flatted last round on this course on a Maxxis, so the only pattern so far is the course...so far.

    I definitely want to figure that out before I get to the bad courses!

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post
    I have one in the front that just started third season. Might need a change in the middle of season though. Very few sharp rocks on the trails.
    Yeah, it's a great front due to the tall knobs, but I don't see it as a great rear.

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  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I am not writing it off yet. I have not done anything I would consider treacherous yet; just the one rock garden (on this course, with 3 races on this course) and I cut in an odd spot. I am going to try and see what the others were running for tires. My friend flatted last round on this course on a Maxxis, so the only pattern so far is the course...so far.

    I definitely want to figure that out before I get to the bad courses!
    I talked to a guy walking after the first rock section after the initial climb to the pond...not even a bad rock section but it tore his racing Ralph sidewall too bad to repair.

    It didnít seem like a terribly rough course to me but like you mentioned, there were a lot of crashes and repairs going on.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post
    I talked to a guy walking after the first rock section after the initial climb to the pond...not even a bad rock section but it tore his racing Ralph sidewall too bad to repair.

    It didnít seem like a terribly rough course to me but like you mentioned, there were a lot of crashes and repairs going on.
    A C1 friend flatted on lap 1 with Snakeskin Thunderburts in the tread.

    I put an old RaRa 2.25 I had to get me through Sea Otter. The Fast Trak was SUPER thin on the sidewall where it tore. So I will consider saving those tires for special events in the future. I've actually had good luck with Schwalbe, so I might try the new RaRa combo soon. I want to try and avoid weak tires for Big Bear while hopefully avoiding too heavy with the Grizzly100.

    I cut somewhere on the grassy descent area after the road climb. Seems weird, there are no rocks there.

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    A C1 friend flatted on lap 1 with Snakeskin Thunderburts in the tread.

    I put an old RaRa 2.25 I had to get me through Sea Otter. The Fast Trak was SUPER thin on the sidewall where it tore. So I will consider saving those tires for special events in the future. I've actually had good luck with Schwalbe, so I might try the new RaRa combo soon. I want to try and avoid weak tires for Big Bear while hopefully avoiding too heavy with the Grizzly100.

    I cut somewhere on the grassy descent area after the road climb. Seems weird, there are no rocks there.
    You know it is a thin sidewall when you cant find the object that cut it.

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  145. #145
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    2019 XC Race tires

    New xr3 looks great. Xr2 center, xr4 side knobs. Like a more aggressive fast track.

    I was out for a rip on my xr1s. Not sure if they have a stiffer sidewall then the xr2 but man i love these tires on dry. Hit any type of mud and they are absolutely useless tho.

    I find they dont squirm as bad as the 2



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  146. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDee81 View Post
    In an article on Pinkbike he said that he chose the tires because in Moab you don't need knobby tires, you just need good compound, so he chose 2.35 Rekon Race front and rear, because it is a very fast tire and has a big volume in 2.35.
    I have both Rekon Race 2.25 and 2.35. I can't call 2.35 a big volume. It's more like 2.3 on a 27mm rim and only slightly wider than 2.25.
    In comparison, Ardent Race 2.35 is practically 2.4 on the same rim.

  147. #147
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    Maxis Ikons 2.2 EXO still rock, 600g or less, super durable.

  148. #148
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    Raced the first race with rekons 2.35, awesome grip and seemed super soft over the roots, but 720g for xc race tyre seems little bit too much for me, especially considering my 63kg weight

  149. #149
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    Does anyone have any actual real world weight and true size of the Rekon Race in 2.35? Im curious how it compares in size and weight to a 2.35 Mezcal or Ikon.
    I love my 2.35 Mezcals but have had a string of bad luck with punctures. Im looking to try a different setup for TSE

  150. #150
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    I ride/race in the North East with lots and lots of roots and this time of year slippery roots/mud.
    Historically I run specialized ground control front and rear with fast track rear when things dry up. Overall decent weight and wear. However, I am not sure if there is a better traction front for these conditions without giving up weight or rolling as I havent tried much (schwalbe and was shocked at hos short sidewall was) I weigh 170lbs and most people run 17ish psi in the front in attempt for traction...it gets slick on roots.
    Looking for ground control alternative with same/better grip and roll, if there is one.

  151. #151
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    I rode 2.35 IKons front in rear at TSE in 2016. I'll most likely run that again this year.
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  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by broeli View Post
    Does anyone have any actual real world weight and true size of the Rekon Race in 2.35? Im curious how it compares in size and weight to a 2.35 Mezcal or Ikon.
    I love my 2.35 Mezcals but have had a string of bad luck with punctures. Im looking to try a different setup for TSE
    My Rekon Race 2.25 is 693g and 2.35 is 718g.
    I did not record the width exactly. I was surprised that 2.35 is only marginally wider than 2.25, by like 1 mm. But it's a taller tire, so more volume.

    I think 2.35 casing was ~59.3 plus/minus 0.3mm on the 27mm rim at 25 psi. The thread was slightly narrower, like by 1mm.

    2.25 on the same rim was like 58mm but the thread was like 56mm. It looked overstretched. I suppose 2.25 is designed for 21-23 mm rims.

    I think RR is built on a different casing than Ikon. I've read that Ardent Race shares casing with the Ikon and it's definitely a wider tire.

  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by broeli View Post
    Does anyone have any actual real world weight and true size of the Rekon Race in 2.35? Im curious how it compares in size and weight to a 2.35 Mezcal or Ikon.
    I love my 2.35 Mezcals but have had a string of bad luck with punctures. Im looking to try a different setup for TSE
    My 2.35 RR EXO came in @ 700 grams.
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  154. #154
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    Picked up 2 of the new vittoria graphene 2.0 tyres. peyote 2.25 xc-race ones. It is quoted as 670g but i have no scales. Here it is next to a rekon race 2.25.

    The sidewalls on the xc-race tyres are paper thin... i dont know how these are going to hold up. nothing like the TNT sidewalls.

    2019 XC Race tires-20190502_175508.jpg

  155. #155
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    Looking for a F/R set of tires and wanted to see if someone has an opinion on what XC tires I should run from the list below? Priority would be for it to be puncture proof and work well across a variety of conditions (wet, loam, asphalt)?

    Front Tires
    Forekaster
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35


    Rear Tires
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35
    Aspen
    Ardent race EXO 3C

    Thanks.

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivers2648 View Post
    Looking for a F/R set of tires and wanted to see if someone has an opinion on what XC tires I should run from the list below? Priority would be for it to be puncture proof and work well across a variety of conditions (wet, loam, asphalt)?

    Front Tires
    Forekaster
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35


    Rear Tires
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35
    Aspen
    Ardent race EXO 3C

    Thanks.
    For a variety of conditions of the tires listed, I'd use the Forekaster front and Aspen rear.

  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivers2648 View Post
    Looking for a F/R set of tires and wanted to see if someone has an opinion on what XC tires I should run from the list below? Priority would be for it to be puncture proof and work well across a variety of conditions (wet, loam, asphalt)?

    Front Tires
    Forekaster
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35


    Rear Tires
    Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35
    Aspen
    Ardent race EXO 3C

    Thanks.
    If theres any moisture, I dont use the Aspens. Mostly stick with Forecaster front, Ardent Race rear. But if you know the course will be dry, get the Aspen on.

  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    If theres any moisture, I dont use the Aspens. Mostly stick with Forecaster front, Ardent Race rear. But if you know the course will be dry, get the Aspen on.
    +1.

  159. #159
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    First try on Forecasters both front and rear yesterday. Absolutely love them in the wet now. A lot of others ran with their summer setups since the whole state has been a dust bowl up until Friday. Glad I didn't get lazy and swapped them out!


  160. #160
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    With the trails somewhat drying up (in the Northeast), swapped out my rear from Forekaster to Rekon 2.25. Kept the Forekaster on the front for any damp spots.

    Tire once stretched does look pretty close to my 2.35 Forekasters or Ardent Race on my 25mm inner diameter wheels.

    Test run at race-pace speed showed that the Rekon is in-between the Aspen and Ardent Race when it comes to rolling resistance. Very Ardent like with the on-off feeling of the sideknobs, if you like to drift these tires are pretty good at controlled slides. Grip on technical is excellent. Once the rear hits any type of mud, its very uncontrollable and doesnt shed muck well.

    Would say this tire is great for (as rear tire only) - late spring/early summer rides where there's some dampness in certain parts of the course. Fast technical courses would best suite, it crushed endless rock/roots. Didnt feel real confident on high speed descents with grip there but had to feel it to get around sharp corners.

    This will likely replace my Ardent Race for late April-May races but likely to come off for regular rides during that time with the Forekaster

  161. #161
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    I swapped out my basically new Mezcal f/r setup for Rekon Race front and rear to see how i like them. To me they seem similar to a Racing Ralph. I may run this setup at TSE depending on the weather. Initial impression without racing them yet is they definitely roll good, have good volume and grip good.

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    Recon - Grip on technical is excellent. Once the rear hits any type of mud, its very uncontrollable and doesnt shed muck well.

    Would say this tire is great for (as rear tire only) - late spring/early summer rides where there's some dampness in certain parts of the course. Fast technical courses would best suite, it crushed endless rock/roots. Didnt feel real confident on high speed descents with grip there but had to feel it to get around sharp corners
    I agree with your description of the Recon in 2.25. But as soon as it hits any wetness in a corner its no good. But in the dry and you can get it to the corner knobs, it hooks and goes.

  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by broeli View Post
    I swapped out my basically new Mezcal f/r setup for Rekon Race front and rear to see how i like them. To me they seem similar to a Racing Ralph. I may run this setup at TSE depending on the weather. Initial impression without racing them yet is they definitely roll good, have good volume and grip good.
    How does the rolling resistance compare to the Mezcal?

  164. #164
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    A follow up on the Racing Ralph/Ray front/rear combo. Iíve been running this for about 2 months and have loved it. Probably close to 300 miles on it including some local circuit races and a 30 mile XC race, plus lots of training. No significant tread wear, and (knocks on wood) Iíve had no issues with flats or cuts. Iím ~195 and running 24/27 PSI F/R.

    These roll fantastically and grip really well in dry to moist conditions. As youíd expect they lose some traction in really loose/dusty or very soft conditions, but for typical race courses here in the PNW theyíve been awesome. I have a Forekaster on a spare rim that I keep to throw on the front if conditions warrant, but so far Iíve been really happy with the Schwalbes.

  165. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Pride View Post
    How does the rolling resistance compare to the Mezcal?
    The Rekon Race rolls a little better. The Mezcal has more overall grip. I think the Maxxis mount up better and I'm hoping more durable. I've had string of bad luck puncturing my Mezcals. The Rekon Race also has great volume.. even in the 2.25 i mounted and are about 40 grams lighter each than the Mezcal

  166. #166
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    I'm currently trying the Specialized Fast track 2.3 and 2.1. Coming off Barzo, Mezcal, Ikon, Racing Raplh, Rocket Ron, etc.... its humid here and so far I'll say the Fasttrack is the best, for me, in that group in humid conditions. A bit surprised. They roll really smooth on the road as well.

  167. #167
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    Ran the Fast Track 2.3 as a front last year with Aspen Rear, had no issues, going to set up Recon Front for the small weight savings vrs. Fast track and Aspen Rear today for race in a couple weeks, hopefully the Recon has the same cornering grip as the Fast Track.

    The 2.3 and 2.1 Fast Track Gripton setup is very popular in my area.....

  168. #168
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    Old model 2.1 Fasttrak's on my gravel bike go quite nicely.
    Could have done with them on it for the race today...

  169. #169
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    Has anyone used the new Racing Ralph on the front?

  170. #170
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    Nino raced new Maxxis tyre on Nove mesto - Aspen Race 2.4, seems huuuge !!

    https://bikerumor.com/2019/05/24/spy...in-bike-tires/

  171. #171
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    Has anyone tried an Ardent Race rear, and the regular Ardent up front. My current set up is Nobby Nic 2.25 up front and Racing Ralph rear. These are needing to be replaced and Im possibly looking for a different set up. The Schwalbes are light and predictable and fast rolling but I think the Maxxis will last longer. I don't want to add more rolling weight though and I think the Ardents are heavier from what I can tell.

  172. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdog View Post
    Has anyone tried an Ardent Race rear, and the regular Ardent up front.
    Yes, I put those on my hardtail for my 'wet' option; we get most often sandy-wet without a lot of goopy mud, so I didn't feel I needed a heavy tread, and I wanted to try something different. 2.4 regular Ardent skinwall front (non-tubeless version works fine tubeless on an old Stans ZTR) and 2.35 AR rear; they were fine, I didn't feel super confident in the one really muddy/snowy race we had, but fast with good grip overall everywhere else, - I'm not super excited about them, they did fine, but nothing really bad to say about them either, - I do remember taking a berm way to far on the inside and really leaning into the flat of the corner more than I meant to, and they held on great, so cornering grip was better than I had expected! I think these are in the 750g ish range, so not very lightweight. I'm thinking about either Barzos (again) or Rocket Rons for the hardtail for wet next season, - I prefer my fs bike and use it in the dry/damp races.
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  173. #173
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    My trails are in the Sierras where we have mostly loose and sandy and loose over hard. Obviously the magic set up would be the lightest best traction with the lease amount of rolling resistance.

  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdog View Post
    My trails are in the Sierras where we have mostly loose and sandy and loose over hard. Obviously the magic set up would be the lightest best traction with the lease amount of rolling resistance.
    One of my best races in Big Bear was with a Hans Dampf 2.4 up front. But not popular for XC due to its weight. I was destroyed on the climb, but pulled everyone back on all those loose turns and the long downhill.

  175. #175
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    Any more experience with S-Works? Curious to try it as a front tire. Right now I have front and rear Fast Track non-grid and non-sworks version, not sure about the name. Does that version have more protection than the sworks? Weight is not far off and they feel supple.
    Thanks.

  176. #176
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    Slashed my front FT SW, replaced it with a spare RaRa I had laying around. Went to move my rear FT SW to another bike and the bead won't hold. I just ordered an Ardent Race and Ikon to replace them (first time using those tires).

  177. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocdog View Post
    Has anyone tried an Ardent Race rear,
    I'm currently running an AR 2.35 up front and really like it. Listed at 745 gram with noticeably better cornering than the Aspen 2.2. Tire was pretty expensive so went with EXO protection for more life.

    This seems like the sweet spot for our rocky mid week race course. Destroyed a rear aspen last year and I'm not a big dude. Bontrager XR1 2.2 (650g) has been reliable as a rear so far (got two of them free from a coworker).

    In 2017 I ran Ardent 2.4 front and Ardent 2.25 rear both EXO on a SC Tallboy, to a Blur with 2.20 Aspens and my race times/placings weren't much different. Our local course is rough enough to equalize things I believe.

  178. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    I'm currently running an AR 2.35 up front and really like it. Listed at 745 gram with noticeably better cornering than the Aspen 2.2 I was running up front. Tire was pretty expensive so went with EXO protection for more life.

    This seems like the sweet spot for our rocky mid week race course. Destroyed a rear aspen last year and I'm not a big dude. Bontrager XR1 2.2 (650g) has been reliable as a rear so far (got two of them free from a coworker).

    In 2017 I ran Ardent 2.4 front and Ardent 2.25 rear both EXO on a SC Tallboy, to a Blur with 2.20 Aspens and my race times/placings weren't much different. Our local course is rough enough to equalize things I believe.
    Like ponch, im using a 2.35 ardent race on the front. Grips well in loose rock and hardpack. It's like you're on rails. It struggles in leaf litter.

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  179. #179
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    Can anyone offer up their opinion on how much slower the bike moves going from a fast trak to a forekaster up front?

    I really appreciate the grip of the FK a lot, but am wondering if I'm losing speed unnecessarily on those dry days (wet days it's a no brainier to stick with the FK). Whether that's 15 seconds or 3 minutes on a hour lap, I can't say.

  180. #180
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    Waaayyy too many variables to answer "how much slower the bike moves" in any logical way, especially when it's just a front tire change. Best bet is to visit bicyclerollingresistance.com if you want to compare tires to tires without other forces impacting bike speed/your speed.
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

  181. #181
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    Just swapped out my Schwalbe Racing Ralph/Ray combo for Ardent Race/Rekon Race F/R, both 2.35". Things are getting dry and loose here in the PNW, so fatter tires at lower pressures make sense.

    Ardent Race 3c/MaxSpeed/Exo in 29x2.35 was a portly 808g on my scale, which is more than I'd like. Rekon Race DC Exo 29x2.35 was 725g. Schwalbe tires that came off were both in the 650g range, so I added about 1/2 lb of rubber to my bike. Both Maxxis tires measured 2.35/2.4" on 25mm ID rims at riding pressure, which is a nice size.

    Only one race with this setup, but I'd say it feels slower but is faster. Increased weight is somewhat noticeable, but grip is SO much better, and the bike is more comfortable due to lower pressures. More speed carried through corners, more confidence, less fatigue, all good things. Funny how riding smooth feels slower than braking/accelerating through each corner and feeling every pebble.

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMay View Post
    Waaayyy too many variables to answer "how much slower the bike moves" in any logical way, especially when it's just a front tire change. Best bet is to visit bicyclerollingresistance.com if you want to compare tires to tires without other forces impacting bike speed/your speed.
    I agree with matt. Theres just way too many variables. I suggest hot laps timed by strava. I prefer a grippy tire in the front in case i take a bad line, go in too hot, or something unexpected appears.

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  183. #183
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    can,t you put the fast track on dry days and Forekaster on wet days ? Should be a quick swap and you get the best setup on that day

  184. #184
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    Last weekend was the first short track XC (35min) of the season and I was glad of the Butcher front and Purgatory rear.
    CX tracks are more demanding than normal XC tracks in some ways

  185. #185
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    Just mounted Ikon 2.35/2.2 Maxxspeed 3C Exo. Only Maxxis I've used so far was a used AR up front. Season finale tomorrow!

  186. #186
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    Anyone try a Rekon Race 2.35 in the rear yet? I just bought one to try paired with an Ikon 2.35 up front on my SS.
    CADRE RACING

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  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebeat007 View Post
    Anyone try a Rekon Race 2.35 in the rear yet? I just bought one to try paired with an Ikon 2.35 up front on my SS.
    Not a 2.35 but i use a 2.25 Rekon Race rear with 2.35 Ikon front on my SS. So far i really like the combo. Race tested at Mohican 100, TSE, and Lumberjack so far

  188. #188
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    Cool. I rode 2.35 Ikons front and rear at TSE. I'm looking for a fast rear for all the gravel and keep roads at the Wilderness 101. Deciding between the Aspen, 2.35 Rekon Race or my old reliable, the 2.35 Ikon.
    CADRE RACING

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  189. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebeat007 View Post
    Anyone try a Rekon Race 2.35 in the rear yet? I just bought one to try paired with an Ikon 2.35 up front on my SS.
    I have not used the 2.35 but I have used the 2.25. Currently running a 2.25 Recon Race rear and 2.2 Ikon front. The Recon's behave like a fast rolling low grip tire. I find them pretty similar to an Aspen, perhaps a bit less grip but significantly longer tread lifespan.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  190. #190
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    Just switched to a 2.25 Rekon Race rear, 2.25 Aspen front for an upcoming long distance race. First time on either tire.

    Really fast light setup. Surprisingly grippy on my local loose/rocky trails. With a bit more practice and confidence there will be little DH/cornering sacrifice over my usual set-up... 2.2 Ardent Race rear, 2.35 Forekaster front.

    So impressed with the Reckon Race I'm keen to try a 2.35 on the front.

  191. #191
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    Thatís an interesting combo. Aspens are slicker than Rekon Race so curious why theyíre on the front not rear?
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMay View Post
    Thatís an interesting combo. Aspens are slicker than Rekon Race so curious why theyíre on the front not rear?
    I didn't know Aspens are slicker? This review suggested the combo:

    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/maxxis-r...irst-look.html

    I'll have to swap them around and see how they feel for myself.

  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lahrs View Post
    I didn't know Aspens are slicker? This review suggested the combo:

    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/maxxis-r...irst-look.html

    I'll have to swap them around and see how they feel for myself.
    The Aspens are just a bit stickier up front, actually they are a really good front tire all things considered. You will get way better life span out of your tires by reversing the two.

    Just as an FYI make sure you are packing plugs, I have had a few more tread punctures then normal with Recon Races.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    The Aspens are just a bit stickier up front, actually they are a really good front tire all things considered. You will get way better life span out of your tires by reversing the two.

    Just as an FYI make sure you are packing plugs, I have had a few more tread punctures then normal with Recon Races.
    Thanks for the info. I carry plugs. Race is at Silver Star, which isn't as bad as local trails on tires. So fingers crossed.

  195. #195
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    How does the Rekon Race 2.35 compare to something like an Ardent Race 2.2? I'm currently on an AR 2.2 and not super thrilled with its climbing traction. Lots of slippage on the decomposed granite we have here on the Front Range.
    Death from Below.

  196. #196
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    we put some Aspen 2.25 EXO TR on our bikes a couple weeks ago and have been really impressed. Much faster than Ikons and surprising grip on the front if you get some weight on the front end. They pair really well with a more aggressive tread up front if it's a bit wet or loose. Really happy with them, especially given the great weight (4 tires were: 620g, 630g, 630g, and 640g) for an EXO tire.

    We were running Fast Trak 2.3 right before this, which I generally really like. I really like the egg shape of the Fast Trak combined with its tread pattern... it goes into transition very well and bites into off camber sidehills because of it's shape. But the aspen are faster for sure and close to the same grip level in the front.

    But man-o-man... the last 4 fast traks we bought were garbage tires and had to go. All were WAY overweight 680-690g. That wouldn't have been so bad really, but 2 of them also leaked sealant out the sidewalls from the get go and were just unreliable. They are going back for sure.

    Somewhat related, I got a Specialized Ground Control 2.3 a while back for a trail tire on the front. GREAT tire. Rolls good and has excellent grip. Weight on it was also way off though at 785g. But it isn't a man race tire and it holds air great so I don't really care. I would consider using it in a race with lots of loose over hard or if it was wet though. I think it's better in transition to the outside knobs than a Forecaster (which I also love).

  197. #197
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    Anyone tried the new XR3?


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    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  198. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    How does the Rekon Race 2.35 compare to something like an Ardent Race 2.2? I'm currently on an AR 2.2 and not super thrilled with its climbing traction. Lots of slippage on the decomposed granite we have here on the Front Range.
    x2. Got a bike recently that came stock with Forekaster 2.35 front and AR 2.2 rear and am unimpressed with the AR traction for Front Range. If I was going for pure speed Iíd run Mezcal G+ 2.25 F/R which donít have amazing traction either but roll much faster than the AR. Looking for a good option that roll decently well for more all around riding and training.

  199. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgarson View Post
    x2. Got a bike recently that came stock with Forekaster 2.35 front and AR 2.2 rear and am unimpressed with the AR traction for Front Range. If I was going for pure speed Iíd run Mezcal G+ 2.25 F/R which donít have amazing traction either but roll much faster than the AR. Looking for a good option that roll decently well for more all around riding and training.
    Rekon Race isn't going to give you the traction you're looking for. They don't grip as well as a Mezcal i can tell you that. They aren't real grippy. I think you'd be better off with a 2.35 ikon if you want a 2.35

  200. #200
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    Anyone done regular Recons F/R in 2.25? Currently running a 2.4 Ardent up front and 2.25 AR rear. Not real happy with the 2.4 up front with my 25mm rims. Been toying with the idea of either Ikons, Rekons or just putting the Aspens back on that I have laying around the garage. Whatever combo needs to handle the conditions in the Sierras. The bike is a SC blur and I wish to stay as light as possible with tires but don't want to sacrifice a huge amount of traction or rolling resistance either. After reading all these posts, it seems like there is not a huge amount of differences between the Icons, Aspens, and Recons. Selecting tires should not be this much of a pain the the ass.

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