Quantcast

Rainy Season Tire Debate

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by ZHendo, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    With dark beers and gritty, sloppy trails making a return here in the Northwest, I'm looking at new trail bike tires to tide me over through the fall/winter. I'm currently running a WTB Vigilante up front which has been pretty good in dry-ish / medium conditions, but the wet has it a bit overwhelmed, especially in butt-puckering rocky steeps and high speed off camber sections, roots, etc. I'm thinking I will toss it onto the back of the bike as it rolls pretty well, then pairing it with something more aggressive up front.

    After loving the Specialized Hillbilly on my DH bike, I'm considering their new Hillbilly GRID tire for my Spitfire alongside the Maxxis Shorty and Schwalbe Magic Mary. I have a bit of an iffy relationship with Schwalbe (high cost, low life) but have never ridden the MM, so curious to hear peoples' thoughts.
     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    115 / 662
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,386
    Location:
    in my bong shed
    Magic Mary is awesome; point and shoot with endless grip.
    I find the durability similar to the minions I ran previously.
    The snakeskin/trailstar tire on my trailbike was bought online for ~$40 delivered.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. xy9ine

    xy9ine Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    3 / 58
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,629
    Location:
    vancouver eastside
    mm's are fine grip hogs. buying them out of germany @ $40/ea (ie, bike discount) makes the longevity (or lack thereof) more palatable.
     
  4. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 414
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,537
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I have only ever ran the tires discussed on a lift assisted DH bike.

    That said, the hillbilly's are a nice tire, no complaints.
    I run the shorties in everything but pure hardpack. Just a hint of mositure/loam/loose dirt/full on crumbly dust and or sand and I love the shorties. They roll better than the wet screams and the cut wet screams, but they don't roll like a minion or high roller or magic mary.
    I previously preferred the magic mary as my dry/intermediate tire, but was able to score bro deal on maxxis this spring, so I went with the shorties for intermediate to wet and minions for the dry.
    Wet screams are great, for sloppy ass DH races, not for pedaling.

    Locally the nobby nic seems to work well, but has a bit less bite than a magic mary. an mm up front and an nn out back would be a good wet tire choice for a trail bike in my area. Can't be certain it would be great in yours.

    I like schwalbe's, but like you, found the durability/longevity to be poor.
     
  5. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    maybe i'll try the MM-from-Germany route then, seems like a better solution.

    The weight on the Shorty is actually lower than the MM in Trailstar and the Specialized, but knobs are a lot higher with wider spacing so I imagine rolling resistance is not great...

    I always take online reviews with a grain of salt, but some have complained about the MM packing up in muddy conditions. We don't get the clay-like goop up here in the Northwest, so I'm not quite as concerned, but has anyone run into issues like that?
     
  6. FlipSide

    FlipSide Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    9 / 99
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Messages:
    782
    My favorite front tire these days is the Mavic Crossmax Charge 2.4. It has a fairly aggressive and open thread with a good sticky rubber. Its not very light however (1000-1100g), but if you don't mind the weight, it's really a great tire! It is cheaper than other alternative also. I really don't understand why nobody seems to talk about this tire... ? It's really great!

    Another good choice is the Continental Trail King with the Black Chili rubber. I would prefer the side knobs to be beefier, but it's a good trail tire nonetheless. It rolls well and it is quite durable. I recommend the heavier UST version, since I've had bad luck with the ProTection version, which was very porous and would constantly leak sealant from the sidewalls.
     
  7. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    Crossmax Charge is interesting, but about the same price as the others when I'm looking at the best prices I can find around the interwebz.

    Does anyone have any comment on the Snakeskin casing vs. Super Gravity? Super Gravity is a hefty tire, but I've heard that the Snakeskin casing can be torn up pretty easily...advice?
     
  8. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 414
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,537
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Yes, but only in the peanutbutterery clay that is found at Beech Mountain, I ran full on wet screams un cut and even those were packing up, though they worked better than the magic mary.

    In a more organic loamy type soil I have not found the magic mary to clog up at all.
     
  9. xy9ine

    xy9ine Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    3 / 58
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,629
    Location:
    vancouver eastside
    i ran a charge earlier this season, and while the grip was pretty decent in soft conditions, i found the side lugs would fold when pushed aggressively in packed corners; certainly not the cornering grip i was accustomed to with the mm.

    as of late i've been happy with the specialized butcher - works great in a variety of conditions, much better longevity than a schwalbe, and is a good bit cheaper - at local retail.
     
  10. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    11 / 124
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    That raises the question why you want to go with fairly aggressive tires. When I lived there I used Highrollers on the trail bike. Better grip over roots then spiky tires, don't pack up too bad, awesome cornering. Only when it got really sloppy (like 1-2 weeks a year) or snowed I switched to Swampthings.
     
  11. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

    Rep/Likes:
    251 / 2,069
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Wicked pissah
    :stupid:
    HRII 3C grips pretty well on wet isht. That said, I really liked the Vigilante on reasonable snow/ice last winter. I am on the other coast though.
     
  12. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    280 / 2,454
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    48,490
    Location:
    media blackout
    a lot of people run screams with the center knobs trimmed to reduce rolling resistance.


    i've got 3 26" wet screams that i'm trying to sell, 2 new, 1 lightly used. :spam:
     
  13. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 414
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,537
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Yup, I ran my screams with the center knobs cut, I still wouldn't want to pedal them around. They're great in the peanutbutter, but even with the centers cut down they were still somewhat squirmy on the rocks and or hardpack.
     
  14. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    valid point - i had never ridden a cut spike-type tire until the Hillbilly on my DH bike, and while it does squirm a bit on hardpack i have found the wet grip to be worth it on some medium-wet days in whistler.

    spiky tires may not be the solution, but i wouldn't necessarily describe the Magic Mary as spiky. i'm leaning towards something like the Magic Mary and hunting for deals at the moment. appreciate all the help folks.
     
  15. MmmBones

    MmmBones Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    19 / 78
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Porkland, OR
    I used to ride cut Dirty Dans nearly year-round and loved em. All-around, they gripped better and rolled faster than cut Wet Screams. New Hillbilly 2.0 looks like the cut Dirty Dan but so far only available in 29er form. They should have those in 650b soon, since Gwin had one on the front of his race bike all this year. They have the molds!

    I'm currently running Maxxis 2.3 Shorty's and I really dig them. If I want to reduce rolling resistance for long gravel road climbs, I will just throw a DHR2 2.3 on the back. I'd imagine using an HR2 rear would also cut down on resistance but still work in the wet. I think Shorty is the lightest 2.3 mud tire around, which has it's merits on longer rides.

    If you are bargain shopping, the folding Dirty Dan 2.35 from Bike-discount at less than $40 would be my pick. Trim each knob about 2mm and good luck finding a grippier tire. At that price, you could get three (at the regular price of 2) and make one a semi-slick if you are concerned about rolling resistance. Magic Mary's have high accolades as a Dry/Loose tire, but I don't think they clear debris nearly as well as the DD, which I would call a Wet/Dry/Loose tire, depending on the cut. The MM are also a higher volume casing (2.4 vs. DD's 2.3) and they lack the sweet mid-channel of the DD. My one caveat is that Schwalbe tires are known for wearing very fast as a rear tire, even in the harder compounds, but the DD was the most durable out of all their tires I used.

    The WTB Warden (another DD look-a-like) would also be a great option if you have been having luck with the Vigilante and possibly want to keep one on the rear. The Warden probably could use a trim like the DD's but should last a bit longer.

    Hope this helps!
     
    #15 -   Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  16. djjohnr

    djjohnr Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    19 / 237
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Northern California
    Dirty Dans are frickin awesome. We have peanut butter clay where I live, and the Dans stick like velcro yet are still reasonable when it gets hard. I'm selling barely used 26" FR Vertstars for cheap - $30 for a pair :)
    :spam:
     
    #16 -   Oct 15, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  17. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    108 / 612
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    6,835
    Location:
    AK
    Studded Dillinger 5. Traction on wet roots is amazing.
     
  18. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    11 / 124
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Magic Marry is a good tire, but slower than a Highroller. If packing up with mud is not an issue I found that riding a softer compound tire with a less spiky profile is the way to go for me.
     
  19. manhattanprjkt83

    manhattanprjkt83 Rusty Trombone

    Rep/Likes:
    7 / 119
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    8,584
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've been noticing a trend lately of folks running a shorty up front and an HR2 in the rear. Seems to make sense to me for getting the turn initiated while still saving some pedalability.
     
  20. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    66 / 793
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,308
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you like the Vigilante, you'll like the new nobby nic. They are very similar with the Vig having slightly taller knobs. I find the NN slightly tackier, even in the Pacestar compound. I wish they made it with a SuperGravity casing, caus' I have little luck with regular casings on the rear tire (be it snakeskin, grid, all mountain whatever, none of them are up to the task, I have resigned myself to needing a reinforced carcass...). Maybe next year I'll try the Vig in their "enduro" casing, with the fast rolling compound... to see if I can get a season out of them. Right now I'm running a super gravity hans dampf in the trailstar compound, and it's ok, but man, I remember now why I gave up on that tire manys seasons ago: those side knobs offer no support, and tear off so quickly...
     
  21. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    I have had decent luck with the Vigilante, but wish I had the softer compound version, hence why I'm going to try throwing it on the back of the bike once my current HR2 wears out.

    The Dirty Dan option seems solid and I would be up to try cutting them, but the prices are not nearly as good as everyone keeps quoting...40 Euros before shipping? Not quite the $40 USD that everyone is quoting...am I missing something?

    I wish those Specialized tires were available in the 27.5, but I'll probably end up giving the Shorty a go. My one concern is those massing side knobs squirming, which looks to be something the Specialized would have less troubles with, but I think I will give it a go.

    slyfink, I totally agree with you on the Hans Dampf...rode one on the rear of my DH bike for a part of the summer and it wore out faster than any tire I have ever seen. Traction also became stunningly terrible when cornering when I, like you, started losing side knobs on my 2nd or 3rd day.
     
  22. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 414
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,537
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    You will feel this in hardpack and on big solid west coast rocks.

    On roots, most non hardpack dirt, and small east coast pointy rocks it is not as big of a concern.
     
  23. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    Heads up to everyone interested in this thread - Competitive Cyclist is getting rid of 27.5 Shortys and HR2s in the 3C Exo flavor for $54 right now, which is a pretty damn good deal - check it out.

    I honestly don't ride a ton of big, slab-like rocks here in the Seattle area so not too worried about the squirm in that case...roots would be more of a worry, but based on your findings I'm less worried. The compound is grippy relative to my Vigilante, so I may even find them an improvement on wet rocks at lower speeds.
     
  24. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

    Rep/Likes:
    68 / 547
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,362
    I'd run the Magic Mary for mixed conditions and Dirty Dan for mud. The DD actually holds up alright as the terrain dries out though, even without being cut - partially thanks to the rounder profile. If it's over 60% wet/mud I'd probably pick the DD, cut if needed.

    I would highly recommend against running different tyres front/rear in the mud as the traction bias gets exaggerated noticeably. A DD front and Magic rear combo might work okay, but I ran a DD front and Muddy Mary rear a few years ago (both vertstar) and was spinning out pretty regularly before I put a matching DD on the rear.

    I think it's important to get the softest compound regardless of brand/model, for whoever recommended the NN pacestar, on wet roots that's like riding tyres made of glass!

    I'd pick either the Magic Mary or DD in vertstar, put it on both ends, and if cutting I'd probably try and keep it minimal and also keep F/R matching.

    I had the same experience with Wetscreams, I didn't like them at all. The Dirty Dan is a superior tyre in every condition, I'd pretty much never buy Maxxis mud tyres again after running the DD for a couple seasons.
     
  25. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    Ended up picking up a Shorty, the price was too good to ignore and the weight is right for the amount of climbing that I do to get to the fun stuff. I am definitely intrigued by the Muddy Mary and Dirty Dan, probably even more so by the Dan, but will wait to see how gnarly the trails get this winter before I commit to a spike like that. Definitely a good recommendation to keep in my list of tires to try, seems like there's a lot of love for them.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  26. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    44 / 414
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,537
    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    Agree 100% in "muddy" conditions. Same tire front and rear. In almost wet conditions I will sometimes run the shorty up front and minion out back, but that's rare.

    I liked the wet screams as a DH race mud spike (cut or uncut), but would never pedal them and would only go to them when my shorty's could no longer cut the mustard.

    Never ran a DD, but I do prefer schwalbe tires (big fan of muddy and magic mary's) for traction in general when compared to the maxxis, but they are cost prohibitive for me at this point.
     
  27. MmmBones

    MmmBones Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    19 / 78
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Porkland, OR
    I just double checked Bike-discount and all the DD's they have available are $39.40 USD.

    For 26" riders out there:
    WTB Warden 26x2.3's are on sale thru Price Point @ $39.98
     
  28. wydopen

    wydopen Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    9 / 60
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    805
    Thanks! Just picked one up...dont know if it's really necessary around here but I have something with some deep loose stuff that it should work good in....might not be too much fun on the 2hr pavement climb to the top though
     
    • Like Like x 1
  29. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    Bizarre, just checked again and they're down to the $39.40 USD price you mentioned. Sweet deal.
     
  30. djjohnr

    djjohnr Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    19 / 237
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,495
    Location:
    Northern California
    :spam:

    $30 for a pair of 26" Vertstar FR DDs!



    :D
     
    • Horns Horns x 2
  31. MmmBones

    MmmBones Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    19 / 78
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Porkland, OR
    Looks like Maxxis USA is now carrying the 2.5 Shorty 26" & 29" in EXO and 650b in EXO & Double Down casings. I've been really digging the 2.3 EXO's so far and I really like the DH version of this tire, so I'm going to give the 2.5's a try. What's your impression of the 2.3's so far @ZHendo?
     
  32. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    83 / 268
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,966
    Location:
    Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
    Yep, I've been running this tire for about a year now.
    Absolutely love it!
    For wellington conditions it's almost the perfect alrounder for Trailbike and light DH duties.
    Works amazingly well on Dry shist rock Dry crumbly Wellington rock, wet rocks and roots, hasn't let me down in the hardpack yet either, good on the slick (and smelly) mud on a local illegal trail "Morepork" which is steep with mixed off camber/roots/fall line steep stream bed mud.

    trying their Quest 2.4 on the rear at the mo, so far so good, not super sticky like the charge but faster rolling and harder wearing (never run the charge on the rear it won't last long).
    But when winter hits might swap to a Minion DHR (or maybe a DHF) on the rear.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  33. demonprec

    demonprec Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 14
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    Whonnock BC Canada
    i,m still running my Minion up front and a Rock Razor in the rear , not sure when i will swap over the rear , has not been too much of a issue with the mucky rides i have done this fall .
     
  34. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    6 / 29
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    PNW
    nothing to report back yet, i actually just finally got around to installing the tire but haven't ridden it yet. i'll hopefully get a lap in this week and can give some input. visually, it looks like it will be a winner - rolls real loud on pavement, but lots of big, square knobs to dig into the soft stuff. the knobs look well supported enough to not squirm too much, but again, i'll report back soon.