Author Topic: Mtn. bike tire advice needed  (Read 1415 times)

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2011, 10:05:19 am »
Svend, you've thanked us for advice but went out and bought the exact tire we advised against?  What else was in that shop other than the S6???

Hey Liam, not disregarding your advice, and do appreciate it.  But as I said, there wasn't much for selection in the shops around here -- Geax Saguaro and AKA, Rocket Ron (only 1 tire), Small Block 8....and that's about it.  None of them really stellar in the mud-shedding and wet grip department.  I know the Slant Six are not ideal, but that's the best I could find on short notice.  I really wanted to get some new rubber on quickly for the last few weeks of the season, to get me through the wet slick stuff, and the Slant Six are a compromise, but will have to do for now.  Over the winter I will get a wider larger-lugged tire for the front, like a Nevegal, Nobby Nic, Rampage, or Gato, and swap out at least one of the Slant Six for something more suitable.

I should add that I will use your advice for tires for my wife's bike too, as it's due for a new pair next season.  There are Geax Arrojo (predecessor to the Gato) on there now, but narrow -- only 1.9".  I really like your ideas about going wider and high volume to give a more plush ride, esp. for the front tire.  Hadn't thought of that before.....   Her bike is an aluminum 26" XC hardtail, light and fast, but not exactly soft riding, and could really use help with a more cush ride.  Will consider Saguaro rear / Gato front, or something like that.  The Nobby Nic looks great too, and comes in a racy red-sidewall model in the 2.25 width   8)

« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 10:08:44 am by Svend »

Liam

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2011, 11:23:19 am »
Strange tire selection at the local shop-4 overlapping tires that are all the same in purpose and design.   Oh well, ski season is almost all over us.  Do you ride all winter long on snow/ ice?   I use to, but I've become far more seasonal sport specific over the last few years.


Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2011, 11:45:53 am »
I should have mentioned, those tires were at three different shops in the area, within a 30 min. drive or so.  Others a bit further away had nothing worthwhile making the trip for....more Bontragers, an IRC.  Late season, low inventory, I guess.

I will keep an eye on some online shops over the coming months and see what comes up.  I'm quite interested in experimenting with different tires, now that we've had this discussion here.  Want to try swapping them out occasionally and see what works best in this area, and in different seasons.  Getting good deals makes this painless to do if something doesn't work out.

EDIT:  I am actually considering getting a used set of wheels for my bike, just to put a second set of tires on so I can do a quick swap.  One set with narrow, fast rollers for the rail trail rides, like an SB8 or Slant Six, or even a 1.5" cross tire; and the second set with proper 2.2" or 2.3" trail tires. 

Like I said, we should have a tire swap thing going here....  ;D  Anyone want some Bontragers?  ::)

As for winter riding, no I don't do that.  I like the change of seasons, with it a change of sports.  I'll ride the single track when the ground is frozen -- love those cold, frosty days in the woods -- but not when there is snow on the ground.  I'm thinking of taking up nordic skiing this winter, as the same park where we go mtn. biking has excellent XC ski trails.....same routes, actually, on the double-track bike trails.  Should be great for a quick snow fix when we can't make it to the mountain.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 12:51:51 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2011, 08:33:28 pm »
Sorry to keep dragging this thread out, but I'm curious about one thing that seems to keep coming up -- you guys all seem to be using a wider front / narrower rear tire.  So what is the advantage of using a wider tire on the front than the rear? Seems kind of counter-intuitive, especially for us hardtail riders.  Wouldn't you want a big tire in the rear too, where all the weight is, to give you better shock absorption, grip and float? I get the idea of having a faster rolling tire in the rear, and a more grippy but slower rolling tire in front, with the weight differential and all.  But shouldn't that rear tire be wide too, like the front, but with a faster rolling tread pattern?

So, enlighten me, guys.  Some more insight from the pros needed here.  Thanks!

« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 08:23:07 am by Svend »

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2012, 08:35:24 pm »
Re-posted from Jim's recent tire thread:


Back to the topic of tires....I have a couple of questions for the MTB gurus here...

In some of last year's posts, I think Liam and Josh recommended using a wider tire on the front, and perhaps one with a more aggressive tread pattern.  Why is this? I don't recall ever finding out why.  Wouldn't it be best to run the same tires front and back -- same width, same tread?  (I see from my last post here back in November, that I asked the same question then, too). 

And as followup to that question, should you match the tire profile shape front and rear to keep cornering and handling smooth and predictable? In other words, if the rear tire has a round profile, I would guess that putting a more square profile tire on the front would be bad for handling(?)

The reason for my question is that, while I am really liking the Slant Six's that I put on my 29er last fall (they work great in my local terrain), but about the only thing I am missing from the change-over is the more cush ride that the old Bontragers gave me.  Otherwise, they are better in every way.  So, I am thinking of swapping out the front for a wider 2.2 width, and one with larger tread lugs for a better ride.  Just wanted to check with you guys to see if this is advisable, and if so, do I keep the profile consistent with the round shape of the Slant Six?


bushwacka

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2012, 08:51:01 pm »
quite honestly there is no reason to not ruin the widest possible tires you can on your bike with one catch assuming they weigh similarly.

pros

a. a wider tires roll faster due to its short contact patch
b. a wider tire grip corners better due to its wider contact patch
c. a wider tire can be run at a lower pressure due to its high volume
d. a wider tire has more momentum, due to its higher weight.
e. heavy tires are more damp

cons

a. a wider tire weighs more making the bike slower on steeper climbs and harder to accelerate
b. a wider tire has less grip while pedaling and while braking assuming both are being done in a straight line

I see at XC race and XC enduro race most people running 2.2 on the front at least and 2.1 on the rear at least. You would be surprised how many World Cup XC racer guy who are looking for the most speed on pretty buff courses use 2.35+ especially on on the front.

Julian Absalon multitime WC champ runs a a 2.35F and 2.15R tire both in full UST. its shocking how he can be so fast despite his 700 gram 26 inch tires. The fast americans who ride for giant(decker/craig) are running 2.35f/2.2r on there 29er in again GASP Tubeless ready. IMO if the fastest guys in the world understand the physics and use what they is feel is fastest why do people keep insisting on not like they do and run pizza cutter 2.0 and below tires which really only have a place in mud.

As for profile. I personally prefer super round on the front with squarer on the back. Super round on the front because when your leaning the bike over it lets you. Square on the back because its easier to pedal then. What I like might not be what you like but it is worth a try.




Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2012, 07:52:35 am »
Hey Josh,

Thanks again for another very thorough reply.  But I'm still curious about the reason why people run a wider tire on the front.  You've told me what, and who, and sold me on wider tires in general.  But WHY wider in front?

If everyone is doing it, there has to be a good reason.  If wider tires in general are so great, then why not 2.35's on both front and rear?

Regarding profile shape, I am really liking the round shape of the Slant Six.  Just as you said, when you lean the bike over into a corner, the tire just smoothly transitions into the turn.  Very predictable, and no weirdness.  That shape is a keeper for me, and I may always use round profile from now on.  OTOH, it's good to know that I can mix it up and put a more square profile on the rear without inducing some strange handling -- like mismatched tires on a car.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2012, 08:17:05 pm »



Lynn and I are both becoming fans of the rounder profile as well.  My Conti X-Kings are round and Lynn's liking the change from the Small Block 8 back to the Kenda Karma.  She noticed last weekend times when the SB8 was plugging up with light mud and then spinning a bit on the other side of the soft section.  And the lighter Karma carcass (460 grams) isn't for me but it's great for a much lighter rider like her.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2012, 09:35:23 pm »
Jim, just an FYI -- if shedding light mud and wet clay is an issue with the Karma or SB8 that Lynn is using, then the Slant Six may work well for her.  They are not as light as the Karma or SB8 (which is actually a good thing for me -- not being quite as light as Lynn  ::), I kinda need a more substantial tire), but at 600 grams for the 2.1 width, they are not heavyweights either -- about average for that size, it seems.  Their rolling resistance is quite low, they have that nice round profile, and NOTHING sticks to them.  They are remarkably good at mud shedding.  Even the wet, dense, sticky clay that coated my old Bontragers with about 10 lbs of muck, just does not hold on these at all.  Not an ounce.  I am impressed.  For the trails around here, this makes them an all season tire for me. 

I had them out today on some dry clay hardpack with sandy patches, and they performed excellently.  Cornering grip is very, very good, and handling in the corners is quick, agile and predictable.

I have yet to try them on really rocky or heavily root littered terrain, but that is coming soon.  Hopefully they perform well there too.  As yet, I haven't found any terrain that they don't do well on.  So far, so good.....

« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 09:45:03 pm by Svend »

bushwacka

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2012, 05:40:41 am »
Hey Josh,

Thanks again for another very thorough reply.  But I'm still curious about the reason why people run a wider tire on the front.  You've told me what, and who, and sold me on wider tires in general.  But WHY wider in front?

If everyone is doing it, there has to be a good reason.  If wider tires in general are so great, then why not 2.35's on both front and rear?

Regarding profile shape, I am really liking the round shape of the Slant Six.  Just as you said, when you lean the bike over into a corner, the tire just smoothly transitions into the turn.  Very predictable, and no weirdness.  That shape is a keeper for me, and I may always use round profile from now on.  OTOH, it's good to know that I can mix it up and put a more square profile on the rear without inducing some strange handling -- like mismatched tires on a car.

the simplest reason why alot of people run wider tires in the front is this. Most frames can not fit big tires in the rear. I know alot of my friends would run 2.3s+ all around if their frames could.  On both my Redline and Anthem X a 2.3 can sometimes rub.

The next reasons are this....

Most good riders live on the front of their bike for cornering and 70-80 percent of their corner force is coming from the front tire.  If you watch someone who can really corner their shoulder will typically be even with the front hub. 



if you watch most recreational riders ride, they typiclally sit their ass on their seat and corner though turning their handlebars instead of getting forward and using their pressure and angles to create the turn.

your rear tire is the tire hat is taking most of the weight while rolling straight and climbing having it weigh less can make it effectively roll faster it does make it spin up faster but just remember this. Assuming 2 tire weigh the same and have the same tread the wider tire always rolls faster.

lastly is some people probably just tried it and liked it......

FYI at XC races its very rare to see someone running a squarer profiles on the front unless it is very wet and muddy.

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2012, 07:55:55 am »
OK -- now I get it.  Thanks for that.  I knew there had to be a good reason for it, and it all makes sense.

BTW, just as a general comment -- the only guys here who race are you and Liam (I think); all other riders on this board do not race.  So we have other priorities for our gear, other than speed and shaving seconds off a lap time. 

So my tire needs have more to do with good grip in corners, roots and rocks, and for climbing; low rolling resistance; low weight; versatile performance in a variety of terrain, incl. wet clay; and quick agile handling.  How fast a tire is on a course, or what setup a pro racer has, doesn't matter at all.  You guys have different needs than I do. 

OTOH, how much the tires wear me out does matter -- I've ridden full-suspension all-mtn. bikes with big beefy tires weighing almost 1000g each, and near the end of a 3 hour XC ride I am ready for a mule to carry me and bike back to the car.  Getting those hummers spinning up to speed and trying to climb was like having lead weights on the wheels.  Fantastic grip in some of the gnarlier terrain where I rode them, but for everything else, forget it.

Up to now, the Slant Six has been surprisingly good for the terrain around here.  Probably not the ideal tire, but the best I could find in the shops last autumn near end of season.  I would have preferred a Saguaro, Ignitor or a Nobby Nic, but just could not find them in 29".  I will keep the Slant Six on for at least this season, put them through a beating in some rougher terrain and see how they manage.  My experience with different types of today's tires is rather limited, but I did not expect the Slant Six to perform as well as they do, given some of the so-so comments here about them.  OTOH, test reviews on the web have been almost 100% positive about these, with only one luke-warm review that I could find.  If I punt them in a couple of months for something else, I will let you know.

Thanks again!
Svend

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2012, 09:12:18 pm »
Josh, I want to replace some aging Geax Arrojo's on my wife's bike, and am thinking the Saguaro would be a good replacement as they are almost the same tread pattern, and she has had great success with the Arrojo.  But, I would like to get her a round profile tire, at least on the front.  You ride the Saguaro -- are they round profile or more square?

BTW, good advice on cornering and body position.  I admit to not being forward enough when I'm doing an easy cruise.  Picking up the pace, and I'm usually OK, but still need a nudge more forward on occasion for better stability and control. 

bushwacka

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2012, 06:35:57 am »
the Saguaro is a round tyre and seems to work pretty well front or back and in seemingly any conditions.

The Geax Aka works damn well as well if you have pretty dry/hardpack trail I would say that it actually corners better than the Saguaro on dry stuff.

To expand better the best corning tires need lots of lean and sometime if people get caught in the dead zone between the center and side knobs. When in that dead zone the bike can feel really loose.  the saguaro doesnt have a dead zone(it has equal sized intermiete knobs) but its corning grip is not as high as some other tires that do like an Ardent.

Svend

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Re: Mtn. bike tire advice needed
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2012, 07:27:28 am »
Thanks Josh.  I looked at the AKA, and it seems like a great tire, but probably not as versatile as the Saguaro.  Such as when it gets wet, or on roots and stuff.  I think the Saguaro is the best bet, and now that I know it has a rounded profile, that's a clincher.  Our local shop has them, so will pick some up soon.

Cheers,
Svend