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No, seriously, what tires?

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,595
662
chez moi
I'm about to embark on a new adventure. I am still on 26" wheels by virtue of just being old, and I've *always* run shit that's overbuilt/downhill oriented and just lugged it up the hill anyhow. But I want a longer-legged, all-day-comfortable bike that can keep up with some of the climbier buddies I'm riding with here. Found a 29"er that will suit and am building with a lightish set of rims with 24mm internal width.

So...what to shoe it with? I don't want to repeat my usual "buy too heavy and suffer" routine but I also don't wanna be dealing with torn sidewalls...I know I'm also going to sacrifice some grip for some rolling. I'd like something in the 700-800g 2.2-2.4"ish range.

Terrain will be wet during rainy season till like Nov, then rapidly move to bone-dry. I would prefer a single tire solution but realize seasonal change may be in the cards. Maxxis Shorty has been a great front tire on my bigger bike here for it, but as a general purpose tire I have doubts...

Considering after reading much online:

Maxxis aggressor (I have in 26x2.3 and find they're light enough and roll fast enough while giving some great grip in the dry...but not gonna be great in the wet in the near-term...may be bearable though.)

Maxxis Forekaster 2.35 (seems ideal but Maxxis 2.35s have traditionally been about a 2.1 real-world size...but they've changed sizing...)

Maxxis high roller II (an old all-conditions favorite I ran in the original tire front and rear on many bikes...skinnier ones were always a tad disappointing tho)

Continental Mountain King 2.4 Black Chili/Protection (how do these do in the dry? Better paired with trail king?)

Hutchinson Toro

Michelin surprisingly seemed to offer nothing in the range I want, either dry condition XC tires or 1000g+ enduro meat.

Comments/input/obvious answers? I swear I've read all I could. But I've been out of the new-mtb-stuff game for many years and living off old tire stacks. Appreciate input.
 
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MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,595
662
chez moi
Then I read this, which puts a vote in my head for the Forekaster 2.35 and cements my "against" for the Aggressor, at least for the wet season. Looks rightly mid-sized next to the Aggressor and shedding mud well in the final photos.

 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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Based on MikeD's requirements are, and not "what tires do you run". I would suggest the Bontrager XR4. Probably faster rolling and more durable than any of the lighter Maxxis products but without the stickier rubber options.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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I used to run Mountain King's on my XC bike and thought they performed rather well in the wet for an XC bike. Never had a flat with them but the sidewalls would get chewed up easily, looked bad but still performed.

Annectdotally I destroyed two rocky descents in the middle of a thunderstorm running Mountain Kings during the Shenandoah 100. People were crashing left and right all around me and I felt invincible.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Yeah but I was trying to let go of my old habits, lol...

Appreciate all the input. Westy, how do the XR4s compare to the Mountain Kings for cornering?
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Also, the Kenda Regolith looks interesting.

I never had the hatred for Kenda most people seem to have. Nevegals worked, esp in combo with Blue Grooves, in SoCal for me.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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I know nothing about Schwalbe but I'm noticing no one's referencing them...
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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Yeah but I was trying to let go of my old habits, lol...

Appreciate all the input. Westy, how do the XR4s compare to the Mountain Kings for cornering?
Hard to compare. I ran the M.Ks on a 26" Turner Flux in Virginia and the XR4s on a 29" Enderpo Bike in Washington. I still run the XR4s as a rear tire but didn't like the wet root handling and ditched it for a 1300 gram Assegai up front. I didn't like how the XR4 cornered as a front tire but that almost 100% due to the weird profile they produced on my 35mm front rim. They are much happier with <30mm width.

The Mountain Kings used to be my lightish go to tire for cornering. Not sure the tread pattern was anything special but they had good feel and feedback letting me push the limits handling wise. I hate a dead feeling front tire.


Neither tire has the large side knobs for ultimate cornering but both were predictable and recoverable when pushed too hard. Given the choice today I would run the XR4 as I think they are more durable.
 
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MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,595
662
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Found a good deal on Speshy Butcher Grid Trail T9s. Opinions? They look like the range of tire I'm seeking...little heavy but if the casing is much better than Maxxis' lighter options...

I guess if I go that way why not DD Maxxis. Except price.
 

Adventurous

Starshine Bro
Mar 19, 2014
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Found a good deal on Speshy Butcher Grid Trail T9s. Opinions? They look like the range of tire I'm seeking...little heavy but if the casing is much better than Maxxis' lighter options...

I guess if I go that way why not DD Maxxis. Except price.
I've always been reasonably happy with the Butcher, both as a front and a rear tire, though these days I typically only run it in the rear. Decent cornering, reasonable weight, reasonably durability, and they aren't super expensive.

They don't however, have the grippiest compound, so I tend to get more spinning on rocks, moreso in the wet. They also tend to weep sealant through the sidewalls, though it's never excessive, nor has it led to accelerated pressure loss.

I wouldn't hesitate to run one again, but the performance has never been such that I wouldn't explore alternatives.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
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Based on MikeD's requirements are, and not "what tires do you run". I would suggest the Bontrager XR4. Probably faster rolling and more durable than any of the lighter Maxxis products but without the stickier rubber options.
I put an xr4 on the back of my xc rig I had originally bought 2, but they were comically undersized, worse than maxxis. Good rear, but I would have needed 2.6 in the front and that would have been too aggressive for that bike. Went with the faster rolling 2.6 xr3 up front. Did an xc race on Friday night with some big descents and an enduro segment and the tires did great, got 7th. That’s kind of my all-around setup for the xc bike. Since there were big descents and air, i didnt trust my lightest rims and tires for it. Again, XR4 is decent, aggressive knobs, but small casing.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
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May 23, 2002
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Found a good deal on Speshy Butcher Grid Trail T9s. Opinions? They look like the range of tire I'm seeking...little heavy but if the casing is much better than Maxxis' lighter options...

I guess if I go that way why not DD Maxxis. Except price.
I really like my spec butchers. I had a fr and rr butcher/slaughter. The front has held up well for several years but the rear clapped out pretty quickly. I think the rear suffered from running too low pressure and eventually sidewall cuts. The front never got the same damage so it survived. These were both the paper-thin sidewall version. I don't even think they are GRID....I got them that way specifically for low spinup and they are quick tires. I eventually replaced the rear slaughter with an ardent because that's what I had on hand. The ardent has held up great even though it's not a beefy tread tire.

Anyways, I am a huge fan of the butcher tread- it worked well for DH and continues to work great on trail. I have never had a complaint about the butcher as a front tire. I might go for something with a little bit more of a paddle shape for the rear for more traction, and maybe a bit lower profile for better rolling resistance. if the sidewalls were GRID or similar, I'd be a happy camper- I'd sacrifice some light weight for better sidewalls.

Not to further complicate things, but I've heard some good things about ONZA tires. I'd probably stay away from Kendas just because of their history and my history with them. I've had nevegals and bluegrooves, and while the nevegal wasn't so bad when you weren't pushing it, the blue groove was the worst tire I've ever ridden at anything above a walking pace. Their new stuff might be OK, but why bother when you can get a reliable maxxis or spec for a few dollars more and not have to risk buying two tires. I don't have any comment on Schwalbe as I honestly cannot figure out their nomenclature and I cannot be bothered to figure it out- again not worth it when you can buy a maxxis and have a good tire for a high price and just be done with it vs finding out you bought the rigid reggie instead of the riding ronald and ended up with a 1400 gram tire.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
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May 23, 2002
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@StiHacka is the polar opposite to me when it comes to tires. For the one tire I've gone through on the front, he has gone through maybe 9. What does he have to say about good trailduro tires?
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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I put an xr4 on the back of my xc rig I had originally bought 2, but they were comically undersized, worse than maxxis. Good rear, but I would have needed 2.6 in the front and that would have been too aggressive for that bike. Went with the faster rolling 2.6 xr3 up front. Did an xc race on Friday night with some big descents and an enduro segment and the tires did great, got 7th. That’s kind of my all-around setup for the xc bike. Since there were big descents and air, i didnt trust my lightest rims and tires for it. Again, XR4 is decent, aggressive knobs, but small casing.

On a 35mm rim my 2.4" XR4 measures 2.5" exactly. Should be right about 2.4" with a 27mm rim if my SWAGy math is correct.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
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On a 35mm rim my 2.4" XR4 measures 2.5" exactly. Should be right about 2.4" with a 27mm rim if my SWAGy math is correct.
Mine is about 2.2 on an i25. Maxxis Icon 2.35s were close to 2.5. The XR3 2.6 is very close to the Icon 2.35
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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662
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@StiHacka is the polar opposite to me when it comes to tires. For the one tire I've gone through on the front, he has gone through maybe 9. What does he have to say about good trailduro tires?
Thx for all the input...funny you should invoke Sti, as it's his Riot these will be going on, lol. In a much more well-rounded version. His old Balance is my current micro-wheeled smasher bike.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
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May 23, 2002
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wait are you buying his riotoir too?

he has run the gamut of weird schelbe tires and e13 stuff as well. I stick to the boring stuff.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Yup. Hoping to grab it in July while I'm in Rhode Island for a bit, avoiding the international shipping hassle.

Time for some big boy wheels. It's not gonna be an XC bike but hopefully a more comfortable ride than anything I've owned since my Titus Loco-Moto.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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662
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Given the choice today I would run the XR4 as I think they are more durable.
So I just read more and discovered the SE4...this may be the ticket for a slight bit more durability without a major weight penalty. Claimed to be 10% heavier than XR but with sturdier sidewalls.

But then again...why not a Minion 2.3 EXO once we're up around that 900g mark?

Ugh. Too much think not enough tire.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Well, annoying as it is after all the solicitation of advice, Aggressors it is after a ride today in the conditions I'm gonna be facing for the next few months. When the trails are drained enough to ride ethically, they're super-hard pack in a lot of places with a greasy sheen on them. The Shorty I had on the hardtail today was miserable. Where it's looser in the trees, the dirt moist but not muddy except a few specific bog pits...

Rode Aggressors on my Turner when I first got here and they were perfect for the all-rounder role; kinda forgot that I started last wet season and not in the dry.

So I never needed the thread, like most of my question threads. But thanks all for the input.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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I am 1 for 2 when it comes to Agressors. One tire performed honorably until the tread has disappeared. Two others had sidewalls that unzipped with no rock, root or other trail feature to explain why.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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Doesn't that make you 1 for 3?

My 26" have been awesome both on VA local trails and here...no sidewall issues at all. But neither environment is particularly harsh on them, either
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
44,154
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Doesn't that make you 1 for 3?

My 26" have been awesome both on VA local trails and here...no sidewall issues at all. But neither environment is particularly harsh on them, either
Sorry, one win two losses. I assume there may be a quality control issue with them. Get a good tire and they are great. Get a bad tire and you will become aware of it rather quickly.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,595
662
chez moi
Interesting it'd be aggressor-specific instead of across the lines...? I have no idea of the industrial engineering involved though.

Guess I'll roll the dice. Wish I could get more use out of these 26" aggressors. Prob put on the hardtail now that i think about it.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
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I've been on 27.5 EXO Aggressors on the rear wheel for years with no real issues. They wear well and last pretty well in the rocks here in the DC compound.

Wife kept getting flats so I moved her to EXO+ Dissectors. Unfortunately they're only available in 3C so they wear pretty quickly...
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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here in the DC compound.
I loved them on most of the local, esp some of the bermier stuff down in Lorton and Wakefield etc. Seemed fine at Fountainhead most of the time too, though the DHF was probably better handling if not making at the murderous short climbs less painful.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,595
662
chez moi
Bit more meat than I wanted to lug around on those, but I liked the looks of the tread.

I always miss my old Comp 32/Comp 24 combo when descending. Climbing on it, ugh..but I used to for some crazy reason.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
12,874
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Bit more meat than I wanted to lug around on those, but I liked the looks of the tread.

I always miss my old Comp 32/Comp 24 combo when descending. Climbing on it, ugh..but I used to for some crazy reason.
Those were the days






































Of having to buy new tires every two weeks
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
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662
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Soooo...

Since they are on sale, anyone have an opinion on the E13 TRS 2.4?
 

Adventurous

Starshine Bro
Mar 19, 2014
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Soooo...

Since they are on sale, anyone have an opinion on the E13 TRS 2.4?
Bit late, but I enjoyed my e.13 TRS 2.4s. Decent handling characteristics though a bit of a slow roller. Ended up cutting a casing at the bead and ruining 1 of the 2 after 6 rides though, so that was a bit of a bummer.