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Complete Guide to Downhill Rubber

manhattanprjkt83

Rusty Trombone
Jul 10, 2003
9,648
1,220
Nilbog
That was my go to tire for years back in the late 90's and early 2000's. All the XC guys would stare at me like I was crazy running 2.3's on my hardtail.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
9,558
5,334
Ottawa, Canada
In the past couple of Vital's B-Line podcast, Dak makes a big deal about being coy on a new tire from Maxxis. I just went and had a look at Pinkbike's photos, and indeed, it looks like there's a new tire... though it look pretty close to the Shorty. Thoughts? Speculation?


 

Leafy

Monkey
Sep 13, 2019
584
374
Is this the new mud spike tire or maxxis making the cut knob shorty I’ve heard of people running an official tire.
 

Andeh

Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
1,100
1,060
Riders have blurted out a few times that it's the High Roller 3. It's been around since last season - I think that's the one Jackson ran at MSA. Their answer to the Argotal.
 

Andeh

Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
1,100
1,060
The argotal? Wouldn’t it make sense that the high roller would compete with the xytonal?
HR2, sure. But no pro racers are running a Xynotal, especially front. Like you said, it's a cut mid-spike for mixed conditions - fast rolling but wide enough spacing to shed mud. I ran Argotals this winter, and they roll a lot faster than a Shorty, but don't do as well in consistently muddy conditions. Nice where there there's pockets of mud and good dirt elsewhere. A 3-2-2-3 tire like Assegai / Kryptotal Front will clog up and not do as well in that sort of condition.
 

toodles

ridiculously corgi proportioned
Aug 24, 2004
5,700
5,056
Australia
HR2, sure. But no pro racers are running a Xynotal, especially front. Like you said, it's a cut mid-spike for mixed conditions - fast rolling but wide enough spacing to shed mud. I ran Argotals this winter, and they roll a lot faster than a Shorty, but don't do as well in consistently muddy conditions. Nice where there there's pockets of mud and good dirt elsewhere. A 3-2-2-3 tire like Assegai / Kryptotal Front will clog up and not do as well in that sort of condition.
I chucked an Argotal up front on my short travel bike and I'm having a blast with it on loose conditions (both gravel and soft dirt). I'd have loved something like that on the big bike for any soft condition track. Its like a Shorty that doesn't squirm or roll as bad
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,244
20,474
Canaderp
If anyone follows Jack Moir, it's interesting that he switched to Maxxis tires after hurting his wrist. Said the tires feel much easier on the hands.

He's ripping again and has put the Continentals back on.
 

jrewing

Monkey
Aug 22, 2010
346
245
Maydena Oz
If anyone follows Jack Moir, it's interesting that he switched to Maxxis tires after hurting his wrist. Said the tires feel much easier on the hands.

He's ripping again and has put the Continentals back on.
Makes sense as they are so gummy maxxis. Fresh maxxis deaden hard pack chatter well good.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
9,558
5,334
Ottawa, Canada
anyone know why they're cutting down the tires like this instead of going to a Magic Mary
(for future reference, this is for Val Di Sole 2024. Practice day. Seems like it was a bit muddy - not torrential downpour, just muddy). I assume it's for better mud clearing, and maybe because they're not railing berms at high speeds, but I'd have thought those side lugs would be a little to much for the wet roots....
 
Aug 27, 2023
86
77
Canton, Georgia
I normally run the usual Assegai/DHRII combo, and in most local conditions, they are great. However, some of our more popular trails during the summer get pounded into iron (Georgia red clay), and just have no grip. I keep thinking shorter knobs in a stickier compound might be the ticket.

Any suggestions from the Maxxis or Specialized family to try from anyone who has experienced the same?
 

slimshady

¡Mira, una ardilla!
Any suggestions from the Maxxis or Specialized family to try from anyone who has experienced the same?
Butcher T9s are what you're after. Short(ish), not widely spaced center knobs, sticky enough, no drifting. Reasonably fast (at least faster than Assegais and Minion DHFs in my own experience) and also good adherence to wet roots.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,429
10,066
AK
I normally run the usual Assegai/DHRII combo, and in most local conditions, they are great. However, some of our more popular trails during the summer get pounded into iron (Georgia red clay), and just have no grip. I keep thinking shorter knobs in a stickier compound might be the ticket.

Any suggestions from the Maxxis or Specialized family to try from anyone who has experienced the same?
Thats a metric crap ton of grip up front w/o equal grip out back.
 
Aug 27, 2023
86
77
Canton, Georgia
Thats a metric crap ton of grip up front w/o equal grip out back.
I typically run MT compound in the winter/spring, and MG in the summer/fall. However, on rock hard clay, the front just wants to wash out (followed by the rear). Going to give the Specialized Butcher/Eliminator combo (or even Eliminator/Eliminator) a try, and see how it compares. Could very well be bad suspension setup, but I am happy with the front end most of the time.
 

Happymtb.fr

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
1,980
1,340
SWE
nice interview with a Michelin tech/engineer Vincent Ledieu, off course it is in French but still very interesting. Might be manageable with translated subtitle?
La science du pneu avec Vincent Ledieu (youtube.com)

What I remember is that Michelin DH tires are faster in rebound than their Enduro tires despite having similar weight. The faster rebound comes handy with the higher speed of DH bikes compared to enduro.
Some interesting talks about inserts too and how suspension works with tires around 2 hours to 2h30 -ish
 

jrewing

Monkey
Aug 22, 2010
346
245
Maydena Oz
Do people have trouble tearing knobs in cold temps? I guess the rubber doesn’t like being near freezing and doesnt rubber well, and chunks and tears.
 

Leafy

Monkey
Sep 13, 2019
584
374
Do people have trouble tearing knobs in cold temps? I guess the rubber doesn’t like being near freezing and doesnt rubber well, and chunks and tears.
I would guess that’s more of a problem on the super soft compounds, especially the older ones. From the car world the sticky Toyo R1Rs could crack if driven below freezing.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,429
10,066
AK
I would guess that’s more of a problem on the super soft compounds, especially the older ones. From the car world the sticky Toyo R1Rs could crack if driven below freezing.
For my high performance tires, the cutoff is -20F, that's where they say they could crack. Not recommended below 40F, but depending on the tire, not always a big deal and sometimes the pavement is warmer than the air temp anyway.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,429
10,066
AK
Do people have trouble tearing knobs in cold temps? I guess the rubber doesn’t like being near freezing and doesnt rubber well, and chunks and tears.
No, haven't had that problem.

This is what my front DHF looked like this spring, it was the super tacky version though...and unlike a kenda or schwalbe, the knobs didn't rip off the bead

LvxQXeIHrxMetiqDr1uMScmsrW5rDHzT3wbfrmKgvEY-1536x2048.jpg
 

jrewing

Monkey
Aug 22, 2010
346
245
Maydena Oz
I would guess that’s more of a problem on the super soft compounds, especially the older ones. From the car world the sticky Toyo R1Rs could crack if driven below freezing.
Well its the top40 compound on vee rubber. They say the race compound for scooters. Makes sense then.
 

UnusualBread

Chimp
Nov 2, 2020
25
17
Running t9 hillbilly in the front and really like it. Coming off of super soft Magic Mary and prefer them in everyway tbh. 170lb rider and not noticing side knob squirm even on hardpack so pretty versatile for me. Grip is more predictable than the marys.

Big fan of the specialized t9 compound in general. Running t9 eliminator as well on the front of the trail bike and love that tire there as well.
 

bullcrew

3 Dude Approved
Love the tacky chan as a rear..(now having a lot more time on it) I .ordered some for front to replace magic mary and see if it's as precise on front as rear...had some they got used..someone needed them more than me...

Drifts well, brakes well, fast and haven't got weird in hard berms or off camber...holds line.
Not forgiving and will stay where it's at, you have to have rider input and tell it where to go and it will do it...

No lugs ripped, no tears and wear pattern is on par with others...soft rear super soft front...