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Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Kanye West, May 17, 2016.
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A pokey rock put a hole in the tread portion of my rear WildRockr2 Reinforced.
So much for being invincible...
Hoping I can get some help with choosing some new tires. I was keeping up with this thread while it was active, and I have gone back to skim through it to refresh the memory. One major issue I have with a lot of the information in this thread, is that I am still on micro wheels. So I don't have the options for a lot of the tires which get good feedback.
I have been moving around a lot the past 12 years, and riding a variety of conditions. I am now settled in the UK and I am becoming familiar with the trail conditions that I will riding consistently. The official trails are typically hardpack, with rounded stones poking through (can get squirrely when wet), and usually clean i.e. no significant lose dirt over hardpack. Local trails don't have long, big or sharp rock sections and I have been having no issues with lighter casings (Maxxis Exo). I can generally gap over most rocks or hit them fast enough that I don't get hung up. The unofficial trails tend to be the most fun and consist mainly of loam with roots thrown in. Trails are tight and weave through the tress, with a mix of supported and flat corners. I don't find there is a lot of clay so tires don't pack up as fast as other countries I have lived in.
I have mostly been on Maxxis tires, but tried Schwalbes for a short period (as in they got smoke very quickly). While I really like Muddy Marys up front, they just don't last. I am not pro but I still destroyed all of the Scwalbes I tried. I was hoping this had changed but from feedback it seems this is still an issue.
My trail bike currently has a Mavic Charge XL up front. I bought this after good reviews and decided to give it a go. I have been thoroughly impressed and it has performed well in all conditions mentioned above. I have been looking for a another one but they seem to be a little rare now. Out back I have a Maxxis Advantage that came with a used bike bought earlier this year. I used to ride these years ago and I have never been able to fault them for grip (cornering and braking) and rolling speed. Only complaint is that they only come in single ply.
The "bigger" bike has Maxxis DHF Exo front 3C and back 60A. No complaints on hardpack but I have noticed a lack of braking performance on the loamy trails (the Maxxis Advantage made this very clear when riding the same trails in the the same conditions). These are still the smaller 2.5 volume Exo casing tires. I was planning to pick up one of the new DHRII 60A for the back, but if I am correct the new sizing will mean the DHRII will have a higher volume that the DHF. I am okay with picking up a new DHF and run fresh rubber on both ends, but struggling to find anything in stock or at a price I am willing to pay.
Since I cannot pick up a DHF or DHRII in Exo 3C for the front, I thought it might be worth trying something in the interim. Winter is here now, and while it will not result in sloppier trails, it does mean a longer wait till the dirt dries out. So more rides in wetter conditions.
What I have to work with is:
Mavic Charge XL - front (will keep running this on the front of the trail bike until its toast)
Maxxis Advantage - rear
Continental Rubber Queen (Trail King) 2.2 - barely used but would run it on the back of the trail bike.
Continental Trail King 2.4 - unused but would run it on the back of the bigger bike (no clearance to run this on the trail bike)
NOTE: the only negative about the Continentals is the small shoulder lugs. No problem on hardpack, but not the best for deep loam. I will be installing the 2.2 later this week and running some tests on trails I am very familiar with. If all is good then I will use both up. If they are sketchy then onto one of the kids/wife's bike.
The options that I have found are:
WTB Vigilante and Trails Boss - seem to be heavy, don't seem to be the best for wet/loamy conditions, might not clear well etc.
Schwalbe - pass due to longevity
Specialized Butcher (for the front) - still looking into options and availability. The new DMND compound doesn't seem to be available in 26".
Michelin Wild Rock'R2 - good reviews, seems to work best on the front but a little slower rolling compared to a DHR, not sure if it is the best option for deep/wet loam
Maxxis DHF - front only
Maxxis DHR - back only, or front and back.
Continetal Der Baron Projeckt 2.4 - front only. Would work with the Contis I have have. Should work well in all conditions. Pricey!
Sorry for the lengthy email. Trying to get the next purchase right and I don't have the funds I used that allows me to just try things.
FWIW, I find the new Butcher GRID Gripton absolutely terrible on wet wood. It is fine-ish on wet rocks.
There you go.
Wait why not? If you like the DHF, apart from braking, the DHR should be perfect. They do a 2.4 Exo TR 3C 26.
I like the Michelin WR2 also, but it's not the best at braking in steep and loose loam.
i hope you have the 2.4 version.
Agreed 100%. I loved this tire when I was still on micro wheels (3 months ago). I've never seen anybody else running those on the trail, which is a shame. I bought one at my LBS, tried it and went to by the other they had in stock. Never seen another one. If found they felt a bit like the Michelin Comp16 when it came out in the early 2000's, in a more trailbike-friendly package. When you loose traction in a corner, there's always hope the tire will find traction again before you crash...which can't be said of all tires.
As other have said, you best bet for the front is probably a DHF or DHR. I have those now in 27.5 and they are great. No experience with the Michelin WR2 either, but I'd be willing to try it.
I have used the Conti TrailKing with black Chili a lot in the past. They are pretty good for trail riding and they wear very well, but I agree with you they seriously lack proper shoulder lugs. Good call on running them in the rear. I'd probably do that if I were you since you already have them.
The DHF is not good for hard breaking. It tends to just squirm side to side instead of slowing down. Great for sliding the bike into turns, horrible for staying in control on a long steep loose section. DHR in the rear will solve that problem, also consider going to a softer compound (3C MaxxTera) in the rear for more traction, at the expense of rolling resistance and longevity.
Just back from the woods. I have to say, the Charge XL (front) Advantage (rear) were absultely flawless. Perfect dirt today - damp enough for superb traction where needed, but lose enough to be fun. Finally got the RP23 sag right where it wasn’t bottoming out in situations it shouldn’t. First RP23 I have had and either there is a lot of stiction or it has something to do with the DW link (Turner 5 Spot). I get the same sag from 135psi to 150psi? This is not my experience with previous air shocks e.g. Float X2. Anyway, the change in psi today had me pushing harder through turns and sending it longer on the jumps. Without doubt this is the most fun bike I have ridden, in the right conditions. Not to digress but the tires did their job. I plan to try the Rubber Queen out back as see how it goes. I am hoping the tubeless setup will take the edge off some of roots, while the Chilli compound adds a little more grip when it gets wet. Still not sure if the side knobs will be adequate in the deeper loam etc. I really do like Maxxis for their side knobs.
@StiHacka - cheers for info about the Butchers
@SkaredShtles - something about the center lugs have me wondering about ride loam. I can see it on hardpack, rocks etc.
@ HAB - thanks for confirming the above. Not sure what’s happening but stocks seem low on DHF and DHR2 Exo 3C. If I decide to go this route then I will look harder or hold out. I found a deal on a DHR2 60A for the rear, if I snag it it’s gone.
@JohnKranked - no 2.25 single ply at 32psi. So far no issue but there really arnt any rocks to worry about locally. I can’t recall if I ran 2.25 or 2.4 around 5 years ago, when I was based in Kore. I do however recall a number of pinch flats if the pressure went 30psi or lower. I would never run this tire in Cape Town, Brazil, or possible in Wales. It works very well at moment but I would love something that performs as well, doesn’t roll much slower, but has Exo equivelant casing.
On a side note, I think the Advantage would never make back from a single ride in Dubai. I have never ridden on such rocky terrain that is so sharp. Multiple flats each ride and tubeless was a waste of time. I think we used a lot of toothpaste tubes patches to keep tires rolling.
@FlipSide - yes it’s a great tire. Lots of space between lugs so it clears well. Center knobs arnt too big which I think helps penetrate the loam. Shoulder lugs are sufficient too. I actually feel this tire has outperformed the DHF because it has never washed out or done anything unexpected. I am very familiar and comfortable with the closest trail I ride during the week. There is one very particular corner that is hardpack and flat, but has a 5” vertical bank. You can hit the turn hard knowing the bank will catch you if needed, so the only limit is confidence. Since I was in the testing frame of mind I hit this corner faster than before, got a little 2 wheel drift going but both tires hooked up just fine.
If the Rubber Queen works out then I might try the Baron up front, but only after the Charge is dead.
How bad is the DHR2 for trail riding, as in rolling resistance?
Marginally worse than a DHF, but not by much.
the advantage was a really highly underrated tire. it was created a long time ago as an aggressive XC tire, but it also makes a great trail tire as well (but definitely not as aggressive as say a minion or WR2). unfortunately, maxxis discontinued the 2.4 size several years ago (and never made it for wheels other than 26"), which is a shame IMO because the 2.4 version of the tire was worlds better than the 2.25 ( i have both).
Keep in mind that I am just a talentless hack though. OTOH, I believe our friend in the PNW, @Da Peach, didn't like the butchers in the wet either.
Yeah... you'll have to trust @HAB on the loam performance... we, sadly, have almost no loam here. It's hardpack, loose over hard, and rox. Lots and lots of (often) pointy rox. Also - the WR2 does NOT like sticky clay-mud, which I found out the hard way this past weekend. Takes FOREVER to shed it, too, once it has gummed up the tread.
you sure that isn't just you going slow?
Heh. Yeah. Pretty sure.
Looking at it now, it seems to me, that the Aggressor might be it's successor?
Yeah, they suck. But our other friend @big-ted thinks they're fine... I dunno. I'll put it back on when it dries up next season. I might have been blaming my crappy gwinn brakes for my sketchy riding...
The tread is spaced a little too tightly to be a super great loam tire. They're fine, but DHRs are definitely better.
Depends on what you're comparing them to. Vs the Scwalbe soft compound, yeah, I'm sure the Butchers suck. But vs. a DHF in a Maxxis max-whatever-the-intermediate-compound-is, they're on par, in my opinion.
what is this “loam” of which you people speak???
I've heard of it before - I think it must be something in between rock and sloppy mud?
So it looks like Specialized's Grid casing has gone the way of the Maxxis EXO casing and gotten really thin too compared to their prior versions. Not holding up. Punctures, pinches, and pissing sealant through the sidewalls generously now.
Sidwall is much thinner than EXO. I got the eliminator to give it a try. Probably wont even mount them up.
Yeah, same experience here. The new gripton ones are really thin. I haven't tried the new blkdmnd casing but I think it's likely to be better.
Thought that too, but it ends up being something like a 1lb weight penalty per wheel over the Grid casing (or even the prior Grid casing which worked just fine).
Can anyone chime in on the pros and cons of running very large volume tires? I've just mounted up a Trail King 2.4 Protection that I've had for a while and this thing is a balloon of a tire (slightly higher in volume than the Mavic Charge XL that is up front). I am tossing up my options of trying to sell it while it is new, or give it a try (in which case it might not be as easy to sell).
I recently ordered a DHRII 2.3" and was shocked to find it on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Returned it for a 2.4 Wide Trail and it matches up to my previous experience of Maxxis 2.35" Exos. I would say that the DHRII 2.4" Wide Trail is around perfect for width and volume.
I don't have to deal with soft sand or much in the way of rocks, so I am not sure there is much point to running such a large volume tire. However, it will roll faster than a DHRII then I might give it a try. The next 4 months are going to be mostly mud fest here in the UK.
These are the reasons I am not going to wider rims and tires (in other words, in my opinion).
In general terms:
pros of wide tire: can ride with lower pressure, lots of traction, extra cushion. great for slower-speed technical riding.
cons of wide tire: extra weight, clearance issues, slugishness, potential for casing roll under hard cornering, potential to expose casing more resulting in more slashes. not so great for fast riding with lots of roots and rocks, and/or riding fast flow trails with very supportive berms.
To what extent those negative attributes are present is dependant on a few main factors: rim width, your weight, your cornering style.
rim width: to better support wider tires, rims have gotten wider. it puts the sidewalls farther apart, and they can then offer more support (due to the bracing angle coming back to normal). problem is, wide rims=more weight, and wide tires=more weight. that's the tradeoff for a wider contact patch for more traction. wider contact patch should also mean more float and less cutting through the deep mud. also, the lower pressures necessary to take advantage of these positive attributes mean its easier to roll the casing, pinch and tear the casing.
your weight and cornering style: even with wider rims and a corrected bracing angle, wider tires and rims have more sidewall. if you are heavy and/or corner very hard, those sidewalls are going to flex. wide rims and tires are easier to roll. but this is only a problem if you ride fast and corner hard.
as with everything in life, YMMV
I’ve never ridden anything wider than a 26” Maxxis 2.5 and don’t intend to.
Nowadays I run 27.5 2.3-2.4 enduro casing (exo type in front, protection, doubledown, etc in the back).
My home trails are almost always loose (desert) and I don’t believe wider tires help in those conditions. Rather, they hinder due to float.
I want tire knobs to punch as deep as possible, mostly for cornering but also for effective braking with as little skidding as possible.
I don’t run below 30psi anymore for the same reason.
I’m actually interested in going narrower... I’m itching to try mud tires in this terrain.
Cheers for the feedback. Pretty much summed things up perfectly and identified what I am not looking for, and why I am concerned with this tire. I dont know of any trails that I will be riding where it will be slow, steep and technical. But it will be muddy and skinnier tires cut deeper. I also run 30-32Psi to prevent tire casing roll, float etc. Especially at speed on hardpack.
I did feel the 2.3" was a little too low in volume mainly for rim strikes (I forgot to mention I am on 26" wheels.). Having to balance this out with higher pressure I find makes the ride more harsh through certain section. Maybe I should have tried it, but I can see the better part of a year on a set of tires, even the rear. So felt it could have made for a poor investment if it sucked balls.
2.3" Minions with DoubleDown casings are my go to for rear tires. The thicker casing lets you run a lower pressure and more rubber actually gives you some nice damping characteristics.
One of my main complaints with the bigger tires (ie the new DHF 2.6") is that tire manufacturers haven't increased the size of the lugs enough. I assume it's to reduce weight but it makes the tires handle like poo.
Enough dicking around. DHRII 2.4" WT order for the rear.
So far I am impressed with it up front on the Trail bike, and dont feel like its rolling slower to have noticed. So that's an added bonus. 26" tire options are getting thin. None of the new goodly tires that are available in bigger and biggest wheel sizes.
As long as DHRs, DHFs and Wild Rock'R2s are made in 26, you are GOLDEN.
Add the Shorty and I agree.
Mmmmm. Shorties. Felt like one up front would have been perfect this week. Definitely thinking of trying one this Winter, and it would work well when I move further south next year. Local trails I scouted were significantly more muddy and there was more clay in the mix.
The Wild Rock R2's get good reviews. I would need to see what the predominant trail conditions are once I have moved.
Not ever having ridden in mud, I have no idea what Shorties are like.
Wild Rockr2 are awesome. Just remember that the centre tread is a bit shorter than an equivalent DHF so they don't have as much bite in the loamy stuff, but for loose over hard they work very nice.
Given the absolutely apocalyptic amount of precipitation we’ve received over the last few months I’m looking hard at a shorty on the front of the hardtail. Just not sure what to run out back...prob DHR2