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Old 09-12-05, 12:18 PM   #1
Peek the Geek
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Tires for Riding Roots

What characteristics should I be looking for if I want a tire that'll hold well on exposed roots?

I'm currently riding a set of Kenda Klaws that came on my mtb, but they don't grip very well when riding at an angle over roots. There seem to be certain days when they slip so much I just plain lose confidence and start riding too apprehensively to get a good ride in.

So what makes a tire better at holding on roots (and rocks)?
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Old 09-12-05, 02:24 PM   #2
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When you say roots, are you referring to wet, dry, or both? Are you talking baby heads, or those long fingers going across?

My experience with wet roots, tires are going to slide. Its all in the angle, and getting the torque before the root(s). Ate dirt once when I had spun out on a root.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMike
When you say roots, are you referring to wet, dry, or both? Are you talking baby heads, or those long fingers going across?

My experience with wet roots, tires are going to slide. Its all in the angle, and getting the torque before the root(s). Ate dirt once when I had spun out on a root.
I know there's not a whole lot I can do about wet roots, but I'm talking about needing help taming the dry ones crossing the trail at something greater or smaller than a 90 degree angle ("fingers," as you say). My biggest concern is when I'm riding a narrow section that angles toward a dropoff on one side, and those roots make the bike slip right off the dang trail.

But we're digressing a bit. I'm just wondering what holds better on roots and rocks. Certain type of tread (or lack of)? Harder or softer rubber? More or less surface area?
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Old 09-12-05, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
I know there's not a whole lot I can do about wet roots, but I'm talking about needing help taming the dry ones crossing the trail at something greater or smaller than a 90 degree angle ("fingers," as you say). My biggest concern is when I'm riding a narrow section that angles toward a dropoff on one side, and those roots make the bike slip right off the dang trail.

But we're digressing a bit. I'm just wondering what holds better on roots and rocks. Certain type of tread (or lack of)? Harder or softer rubber? More or less surface area?

Here is another post that does not answer your question directly. What PSI are you running? Try lower. If that does not work go lower, if that does not work go lower. If you pinch flat, go a little higher and stay loose.

I have had similar problems as you. Right now I am running Kenda Karma 2.0 tires. They ride pretty well over roots, but on my last ride out I had the PSI a little too high. I let out some on teh trail, and there wa a vast improvement in the handling. I probably ended up running them at 30-32 PSI, but I did not have a gauge on the trail, so I do not know exactly

I have also tried WTB velociraptors with the nice soft rubber. I found those did well at around 30 PSI for roots.

My last piece of unsolicited advice is ride faster if you can and unweight your wheels over the roots. You may be doing all of this already, but those are the things I have found help me the most.

Cheers,

GF
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Old 09-12-05, 03:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
I know there's not a whole lot I can do about wet roots, but I'm talking about needing help taming the dry ones crossing the trail at something greater or smaller than a 90 degree angle ("fingers," as you say). My biggest concern is when I'm riding a narrow section that angles toward a dropoff on one side, and those roots make the bike slip right off the dang trail.

But we're digressing a bit. I'm just wondering what holds better on roots and rocks. Certain type of tread (or lack of)? Harder or softer rubber? More or less surface area?

Okay I follow you now. As for "fingers", that is what I call them at least.
Greenfix beat me to the punch on changing your PSI.

With the condition your describing, I would try lifting the tire over the root, rather than bulldozing it. My suggestion comes form the fact your's truly is riding fully rigid.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFix
Here is another post that does not answer your question directly. What PSI are you running? Try lower. If that does not work go lower, if that does not work go lower. If you pinch flat, go a little higher and stay loose.

I have had similar problems as you. Right now I am running Kenda Karma 2.0 tires. They ride pretty well over roots, but on my last ride out I had the PSI a little too high. I let out some on teh trail, and there wa a vast improvement in the handling. I probably ended up running them at 30-32 PSI, but I did not have a gauge on the trail, so I do not know exactly

I have also tried WTB velociraptors with the nice soft rubber. I found those did well at around 30 PSI for roots.

My last piece of unsolicited advice is ride faster if you can and unweight your wheels over the roots. You may be doing all of this already, but those are the things I have found help me the most.

Cheers,

GF
I've been running my tires around 35 psi, but the Kenda Klaws are pretty cheap tires. I'm looking to upgrade and want to spend my money on the correct tire.

Everybody's throwing out some good tips here, most of which I already use but appreciate nonetheless. Alas, perhaps my actual question about tire characteristics shall remain unanswered.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:11 AM   #7
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Stay loose,
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Old 09-13-05, 07:15 AM   #8
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I think that good tire characteristics for roots and roack would include a soft rubber compound, a high tpi count (for increased deflection), and I am not sure about the tread pattern.

The Karmas I run now are basically a bunch of little raised square blocks. The velociraptors I have run in teh past are the classic paddle pattern on the back and a directional knob on the front.

The Kendas seem to work better (but they are on a single speed versus a geared bike, and all the other caveats that come with sweeping statements).

Cheers,

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Old 09-13-05, 07:41 AM   #9
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A realy nice tire for roots and rocks are the Maxxis Super tacky 42a "SwampThings". They will wear out a bit fast but give great grip and can be run with 22psi and a dh tube with out any probs. Actually the only problem you may find is they only come in a 2.5 (Maxxis runs small so they are more like a 2.3) size which may not work for you depending on your rims.

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Old 09-13-05, 05:42 PM   #10
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check out www.MTBR.com softer will grip better but will also last less and usually has more rolling resistance. harder at lower psi may be your answer. as I said check mountain bike review
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