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  1. #1
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    What are 2.1 inch tires actually FOR?

    A year or so ago, I got an old MTB (Ross Bryce Canyon) to leave at the in-laws up Maine. It came with some pretty fat tires, 2.1s (veloceraptors). Well, I finally got to take this thing out for a good spin today and besides needing a tune-up, I noticed that peddling this thing uphill. or on flat ground, on pavement or in the dirt, is like peddling through oatmeal! What are the general use for tires this wide, or was that just the fad back in the day when they made these things?
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Fat tyres are good at absorbing bumps and dealing with soft surfaces - mud, sand and so on. And actually they roll pretty well, so if you are finding them hard going it is unlikely to be their width alone but their tread pattern. Knobbly tyres roll poorly on pavement or hard- packed dirt. Swap them for some slicks or semi-slicks.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
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    Fat tires give better float in soft dirt, which would be typical of trail riding in the woods. The knobbies give traction. Neither are useful on asphalt.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    2.1 are too big? we ride 2.4 tires, and when we want smaller, we ride 2.2 tires.

    i guess i would use a 2.1 as a rear tire, because you want wide fat tires up front for traction and thin tires in rear.

    2.1 isn't that large. it's all relative.

    perhaps it felt like oatmeal because the bike needs a tuned up drivetrain.
    Last edited by pablosnazzy; 08-07-11 at 04:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    singletrack
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Big Apples , come in 50 and 60mm widths.
    smooth road tires..

    1st came fat tires ,, they functioned like suspension on cruiser bikes,

    then the limits pushers went past the capacity of an un suspended frame.
    after breaking several , and more than a few bones,
    and we got the Cliff jumpers on You tube.

    where even a normal suspension travel is inadequate..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-07-11 at 05:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    I guess it's all relative. I have two other MTBs and they both came with sub-2 inch tires. The fat ones are pretty knobby. They sound more like dirt motorcycle tires on pavement than the stock tires of the other bikes. I have never run out of traction on the narrower ones. I'm probably not that aggressive off road.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
    1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  8. #8
    Senior Member katcorot's Avatar
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    guess he hasn't seen a pugsley or Mukluk with 4" tires...
    2008 Giant Rincon, multi-purpose commuting, trail riding.
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  9. #9
    Rider
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    Maybe YOUR pavement isn't rough enough to justify fat tires, but the pavement here is rough enough that I was looking at 3 inch tires droolingly.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  10. #10
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    Fat tires inflated to moderate pressures absorb bumps really well, but still don't have much rolling resistance.
    You can only run them at moderate pressures on wider rims though, and most bicycle companies are run by idiots nowadays who don't know jack squat about the stuff they're selling.

    Big Apples will fit on a narrow rim @ 70 PSI, but they don't work right, and can't.
    Get WIDE (35-40+ mm inside width) rims on your bike, get some 2.3 Big Apples on and inflate them to only 25-30 PSI and you'll finally understand how they're SUPPOSED to work.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    2.1 tires


  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    One aspect of bigger fatter tyres is that they work better for off roading and with heavier riders... lighter riders like myself benefit from running a narrower tyre as the wider higher volume tyres have far too much float and lose traction.

    Used to ride some fairly intesnse CX and off road and always looked for tyres in the 1.75 range after finding tyres in the > 2.0 range did not offer the same traction and handling benefits.

    Schwalbe has done a lot of research on tyre width / size and rider size and has also found this to be true.

    A skinny road tyre actually exerts more contact pressure than a wide knobby tyre.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    I have Tioga Yellow Kirin 2.1s on my bike currently. Got then with a set of cruiser rims I bought.

    The rolling resistance is higher on the street, even inflated to 60 PSI. When you hit the brakeshard you stop instantly due to the huge amoint of traction. They work decently in the dirt.

    When they wear out I'm going with narrower tires. Still looking for the best all-arounder street/dirt tires.

  14. #14
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Fat tires will allow you to ride in dirt much easier and will be as smooth as a Cadillac on the road with the speed of a Yugo.

    If you aren't worried about speed, 2 inch tire bikes will give you a good ride. Just don't expect to keep up with roadies.......

  15. #15
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Example:



    OK I lied, that's with 2.2s. Fast ones. Conti RaceKing Supersonic. Also used to set course records on the Midnight Century two years in a row. This year, I three-peated, but went with 2.0 Furious Freds.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Example:
    OK I lied, that's with 2.2s. Fast ones. Conti RaceKing Supersonic. Also used to set course records on the Midnight Century two years in a row. This year, I three-peated, but went with 2.0 Furious Freds.
    Nice video! Scary single track at 30 mph. Pretty sure I would have ate it right there ha ha!

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on your weight- type of terrain- profile of the tyre and pressure.

    I use Fire XC's in 1.8 and 2.1. It is a tyre that suits our terrain of Rough Chalk trails and some soil that is dry in Summer and Mud in winter. We also have a lot of Moor Grass that grabs hold of some tyres and slows them down but it does not grab the Fire XC's

    I weigh around 150lbs and normally use the 1.8 unless it is a real wet muddy ride where I will use a Mud Specific tyre. But come the summer where the trails are rock solid I go over to the 2.1 for a bit of suspension. It is the popular tyre in our area and One of my mates used the 2.1 all the time. He weighs in at 190lbs but one day asked if he could borrow the 1.8s. He found that the narrower tyre gave him better control- better speed and more confidence. He also admitted that he had to raise the pressures a bit as he had a couple of snake bites at the normal 40psi he had initially put in so he found them a bit harsh till he got used to the increased speed it gave him.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
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    I run Michelin Country Dry 2.15's, and @ about 60psi, they roll BETTER than the skinnies I had on my rims.

    Every tire has a "sweet spot" for tire pressure, and it varies with the rider; likely you didn't hit yours.

    I have a set of "winter tires" (2.25 DMR Redshift, aggressive tread) that roll perfectly between 45-50 psi. With all the 'riding with kids' I do, trails are a distant memory; I'd knock the psi down for that, at least 10psi..........

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