Me: 185lbs (with gear), aggressive trail rider Bike: Yeti 575 Terrain: Upstate NY - hardpack with LOTS of roots, some off cambur. Unusually dry right now. New Tires: Panaracer Cinder 2.25 kevlar @ 40psi Old Tires: Conti Vertical 2.3 wire bead @ 30psi Had my new Cinders out for their first real ride last night. I had been running Conti Verticals, so all my comments about the Cinders are compared to my experiences with the Verticals (which have always been very good). Before you even ride the tire, you can tell that it's heavier and beefier than the Contis. I would assume that they will be more durable, but only time will tell. Rationalize the extra weight (about 100g each) as a training aid. Grip in the Dirt Both sets of tires hook up very well in hardpack and semi-loose dirt. They track very well, hold in corners and dig in on climbs. The Cinders may have a slight advantage in traction when hammering out of the saddle... but I'm not ready to give them the nod just yet. Advantage: tie Grip on Roots and Rocks Both tires handled rocks and roots well, but the Cinders had a slight though clear advantage. The larger beefier lugs held better, especially in off cambur situations when the Conti's knobs tended to fold over. Part of this may have to do with the different PSIs, but regardless, the Cinders are clearly better. The Contis tended to be an all-or-nothing type tire... either they had grip and held or they completely washed out. The Cinders hold better, and slip or skid, rather than completely losing traction. It's a feeling I'm not used to, but after about 20 minutes, it wasn't an issue, and the Cinders felt very confident. Advantage: Cinders Handling the Fast/Hard Stuff Both tires did well when pushed, but this is where the Cinders really shined over the Contis. The heavier/beefier tread never flinched when ripped through rock gardens or nasty rooty sections. Again, PSI probably played a role, but most of it is the rubber. These tires don't back down for a second when being abused. Advantage: Cinders I haven't had the cinders in any type of damp/wet conditions yet, so the jury is still out in regards to wet/mud performance. The best way I can think to describe the Cinders is "confident" - it took me some time to get used to them, as they do feel different than the Contis, but once I started trusting them, they just kept gripping. If they are even descent in the mud, they will replace the contis as my standby all-around tire.