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Time for new tires

Quo Fan

don't make me kick your ass
So I need new tires on my all mountain bike. I currently have Nevegals, but sheared 2 outside knobs off on the rear tire. I ride in the Northeast, which means roots, rocks and mud.

I've set my budget at $50 or less per tire. What do the monkeys say?
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
13,949
1,317
Colorado
I really like the Maxxis Advantage 2.4. They are a true 2.4, the side knobs are very similar to the High Roller, so predictable break away and edge. They climb well, not great, but well. The center knobs have great braking bite as well. They are not too heavy and the Exo casing is holding up to my wookie riding style in sharp rock terrain.
I rode them today on some hard, bermed DH runs (or if you're FT it's not DH, but lift assisted) and they hookup was pretty good. My tires are pretty clapped, so I'll be looking for new tires for next season, but I'll probably end up getting another set. They are definitely a trail tire that are focused on down vs. up though.

http://www.bikebling.com/Maxxis-Advantage-26x2-25-Kevlar-Tire-p/maxxis-advantage-26x2.25.htm
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,565
1,361
Tustin, CA
I like advantages as well. X2 for those. Would also suggest nobby nic, but not under $50...
 

AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
14,311
2,150
I have no idea where I am
Maxxis Ardents here. I ride in the Southeast with lots of similar terrain. The knobs are much smaller than Nevegals giving them better rolling resistance. They do tend to slide a bit in fast corners, but so does any tire if you push it hard enough.
 

oldfart

Turbo Monkey
Jul 5, 2001
1,197
12
North Van
Specialized make great tires and cost a lot less than Schwalbe or Conti or Maxxis. I got a ground control for $46 yesterday while other tires were all $80-90. You want wide and soft. Control casing is tougher than s works which I find prone to tearing open in whistler rocks. Most tire manufacturers have optional tougher casings too.
 

mdc

Monkey
Jul 8, 2006
242
14
Uxbridge
Nevegals have tons o traction but are slooooow. I just mounted a set of Ardents today (2.25x29) and they are awesome. Roll fast and loads of grip in the corners. Get the EXO sidewalls and they will last for at least a full season, maybe more. If you like the Nevegal traction and want something a bit better, Panaracer Rampages are pretty good, cheap as well...
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,602
1,346
[303]
Where's kidwoo when you needs him? ;)

Damn near anything has got to be better for muddy roots and rocks than a Nevegal. Too many transition knobs, I always found them to pack up with mud too easily. Plus Kenda's soft compound isn't really that sticky. In my experience, rubber compound > tread pattern when it comes to riding slippery roots and rocks. Granted, if you're full-on racing in thick mud, nothing compares to a mud spike. For every day riding, get a good rubber. Some thoughts, in no particular order. Feel free to agree to disagree with me in any points.

I like the Ardent, but only in a 2.4. The smaller sizes don't have aggressive enough cornery knobs. But in the 2.4 man oh man that's a decent enough tire. Kinda similar looking to the Nevegal, but many better with half the height and half the number of transition knobs.

A Minion DHF in the front and a High Roller in the back might be a super fun choice. Kind of a DHers trailbike standard choice, no? The High Roller might be a little drifty in the back but it would also handle wet and mud well. I think.

Maxxis Advantage looks great, Stoney loves his. Big chunky knobs on a high-volume carcass, this is right up my alley of tire preference. I'd be a bit concerned with muddy wet dirt packing up but they also have a fairly clear transition area so they might shed okay. Could be worth a try.

Continental Mountain King (formerly Rubber Queen) and the Hans Dampf are similar looking to me, and both get good reviews from my peers. SkaredShtls actually has one of each on his bike. Chunky knobs with wide spacing mmmm mmmm good. I've heard the black chili compound Continental uses is killer: soft and grippy but wears really well.

I am currently running Big Betty's from Schwalbe, and although they can be a bit traction challenged on Colorado bulletproof hard pack, I believe they would excel greatly in the terrain you describe. The cornering knobs are spiky and semi-soft to penetrate soft dirt. Some (all?) of the center knobs are siped for better grip, but ramped a lot to roll better. So out here they can feel squirmy, but the times I've ridden them in loam or actual wet dirt, they have absolutely ruled. And the siped knobs should have good grip on wet roots and rocks theoretically. I think Schwalbe is disconinuing this tire so you might be able to find them on sale. YMMV.

Out of your price range, but the new Magic Mary 2.3 from Scwalbe looks like it would be awesome for what you describe as well. I run the Muddy Mary (the tire on which the Magic Mary is based IIRC) in a 2.5 on the DH bike and the grip is like nothing else. Traction for days. Killed it in the rain at Whistler on the roots and rocks. Love the Muddy Mary, would expect similar from the Magic version. This is of course all speculation.

All that said, next time I buy tires it will likely be Specialized. Butcher front, Ground Control rear. Or Butchers front and rear. The Purgatory also looks good. So yeah, some combo of those.
 
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Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
Am currently running a Big Betty 2.4 up front and minion 2.3 60 durometer in the back (closer to 2.1) on my trail bike. Not a bad setup- and I ride on rox, rootz and right coast schtuff like that weekly. On hard pack, the big betty's sound like velcro, interesting...but they do clog a bit in the mud. Will probably run single ply minions next year f/b if I can get the front in 42 durometer.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,602
1,346
[303]
Oh yeah...

Stoney if your tires are "clapped" then my tires should have killed me by now. And you don't ride DH, you ride Winter Park. You rode gnarlier stuff on our trail ride yesterday than anything at WP.

SS: you know why?

And Quo? Get some black tires. With knobbies.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
I just blew out my Blue Groove (Mine were UST 26x2.1) and I have had great luck with those. Replaced with a Nevegal (UST 26x2.35) and it's sluggish to say the least. I'm not sure what I'll go with but I did check out the Honey Badger and some other DTC tires.
 

atrokz

Turbo Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
1,556
79
teedotohdot
It doesn't matter, because whatever you get, it'll be better then nevigals. They really are bad tires for going fast on, and it's most people who echo this.

Minions, High roller II's, etc.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,565
1,361
Tustin, CA
Nevegals suck for doing anything. I can't believe people actually buy those crappy things....probably just because I always see them for sale under $20.
 
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Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,864
957
01776
I don't think neves are that bad in the right conditions, like wet, cold, and not fast. The only tire I've tried that was worse in all conditions all the time was the blue groove. Washes out by thinking about turning.

I've had really good luck with my pacenti neo motos, which are panaracer rampage-esque, for virtually all east coast conditions. They aren't as soft as others, but they roll really well, corner really well, and have good climbing and great cornering traction. They get a little finicky on dry steep climbs, but they make great trail bike tires.
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,644
660
Front Range, dude...
Used up a pair of Nevgals before...they seem okay, but they were already used when they were left with me. I am not a tire guru by any means...round and hold air is all I care about. Although I have notice that the Conti Speed Kings seemed to make me faster, and I am not what you would call a fast guy...more of a power climber guy.
I got a set of Vredestein Bull Locks for the full squish...they work well here for my purposes. Hope someday to buy a tire for the conditions, but that is a couple years down the trail....