Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-06, 10:48 AM   #1
genny1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why Run Different Tires Front and Back?

Hia ll -- I'm a XC trail-riding newbie shopping tires. I ride mostly dry singletrack (includes roots, rock gardens, loose corners, small jumps, etc., but primarily dry hardpack), and also use my bike to commute to work.

I was lookin at reviews of the Maxxis Larsen TT tires, which seem appropriate for my dual trail-commuting needs. However, several of the reviewers say they put a Larsen on the back and something else (usually a bit wider, more knobby) on the front. Some say outright, with respect to trail use, "Do not use a Larsen on the front."

My newbie question is: what is it about the work the front tire does relative to the back tire that causes some to use different tires front and back?

Thanks much for any replies.
genny1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 11:01 AM   #2
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Posts: 16,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On the back I run a slicker smaller tire for increase speed while on the front I run something bigger, usually run it a little softer and with larger knobs for increase steering.

This, for me, is just how I like it. When I lean the bike it hooks up really well. If I am riding xc I use rounder (instead of square profile) tires with smaller knobs. Usually matching as I am not going at speeds where I notice the smallest imperfection in my tires.
Maelstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 12:54 PM   #3
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 18,299
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by genny1
Hia ll -- I'm a XC trail-riding newbie shopping tires. I ride mostly dry singletrack (includes roots, rock gardens, loose corners, small jumps, etc., but primarily dry hardpack), and also use my bike to commute to work.

I was lookin at reviews of the Maxxis Larsen TT tires, which seem appropriate for my dual trail-commuting needs. However, several of the reviewers say they put a Larsen on the back and something else (usually a bit wider, more knobby) on the front. Some say outright, with respect to trail use, "Do not use a Larsen on the front."

My newbie question is: what is it about the work the front tire does relative to the back tire that causes some to use different tires front and back?

Thanks much for any replies.
The front and rear of the bike do very different things. The rear tire needs to have grip for traction as you climb while the front needs traction for steering. The traction for the rear needs to be more in the center of the tire rather than on the edge while you want good edge control for a front tire.
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 02:11 PM   #4
SpiderMike
eert a ekil yzarc
 
SpiderMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Pasadena TX
Bikes: many bikes
Posts: 2,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On my fully rigid SS, I run a 26x2.5 up front, and a 26x2.2 in the back. The treads are different as stated above for getting the most out of that wheel. Another reason I run a bigger tire up front is to help soak up the bumps. When I first built up the bike I ran a 2.2 upfront. Since putting a 2.5 up front, I've noticed some difference in the steering characteristics. But I'm racking that up to a tire with better side grip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
The front and rear of the bike do very different things. The rear tire needs to have grip for traction as you climb while the front needs traction for steering. The traction for the rear needs to be more in the center of the tire rather than on the edge while you want good edge control for a front tire.
A good example of what cyccomute is saying, would be the Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires. The rear (Smoke) has a "paddle" like design for laying down grip for acceleration/climbing. While the front (Dart) has an arrow like pattern for more lateral grip.
http://www.panaracer.com/eng/products/mtb/xc.html
SpiderMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 03:34 PM   #5
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 18,299
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMike
On my fully rigid SS, I run a 26x2.5 up front, and a 26x2.2 in the back. The treads are different as stated above for getting the most out of that wheel. Another reason I run a bigger tire up front is to help soak up the bumps. When I first built up the bike I ran a 2.2 upfront. Since putting a 2.5 up front, I've noticed some difference in the steering characteristics. But I'm racking that up to a tire with better side grip.



A good example of what cyccomute is saying, would be the Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires. The rear (Smoke) has a "paddle" like design for laying down grip for acceleration/climbing. While the front (Dart) has an arrow like pattern for more lateral grip.
http://www.panaracer.com/eng/products/mtb/xc.html
I was going to use that as an example but decided not to! When the Smoke came out...long ago...I ran them on both ends. Big mistake! The Smoke would hold on to the ground in a turn or on rocks to the very end and then suddenly break loose, usually leaving me on the ground. It was a very scary front tire. Put a Dart on and the bike goes where you point it. They are still a great tire and they wear like iron.
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 08:14 AM   #6
genny1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks

Thanks much for the responses! Definitely makes sense now. I guess in light of the advantages I'm surprised more tire sets don't do the Dart-Smoke type-combo, although I suppose a good all-around tire will do the job just fine front and back for the majority of typical riders (especially neophytes like me). I have IRC Mythos XC tires now, and am looking forward to trying a different set for comparison and contrast if nothing else. Maybe I'll try the wider up front, narrower in back combination as well.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
genny1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 08:33 AM   #7
bfloyd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ohio
Bikes: vintage Raleigh
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
I was going to use that as an example but decided not to! When the Smoke came out...long ago...I ran them on both ends. Big mistake! The Smoke would hold on to the ground in a turn or on rocks to the very end and then suddenly break loose, usually leaving me on the ground. It was a very scary front tire. Put a Dart on and the bike goes where you point it. They are still a great tire and they wear like iron.
Have you ever tried a Dart in both front and back??
bfloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 08:46 AM   #8
jm01
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto & Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Bikes: Ellsworth Id
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we have some sandy trails here so i run a 1.95 rear and a 2.3 front on my HT...i've found that the fatter front keeps from sinking in the sand on the descents and gives better control...quite a slog on the climbs, though
jm01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 08:51 AM   #9
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 18,299
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfloyd
Have you ever tried a Dart in both front and back??
No. I don't think the Dart would have grip for a rear tire even if you put it on backwards. Plus the Smoke is really an excellent rear tire especially for the hardpack/loose gravel of the Colorado.
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 08:55 AM   #10
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Posts: 18,299
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by genny1
Thanks much for the responses! Definitely makes sense now. I guess in light of the advantages I'm surprised more tire sets don't do the Dart-Smoke type-combo, although I suppose a good all-around tire will do the job just fine front and back for the majority of typical riders (especially neophytes like me). I have IRC Mythos XC tires now, and am looking forward to trying a different set for comparison and contrast if nothing else. Maybe I'll try the wider up front, narrower in back combination as well.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
Be aware that tires can be rather specific to areas too. What works in Colorado doesn't in New England, for example. It's usually best to ask around at your local shops or clubs to see what works for people in your area.
__________________
Stuart Black
New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 07:16 PM   #11
Dannihilator
User Title
 
Dannihilator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Annandale, New Jersey
Bikes: 2014 Surly Steamroller, 1989 Nishiki Altron
Posts: 19,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
Be aware that tires can be rather specific to areas too. What works in Colorado doesn't in New England, for example. It's usually best to ask around at your local shops or clubs to see what works for people in your area.
+10
Dannihilator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-06, 10:05 PM   #12
lodi781
was kung-fu fighting
 
lodi781's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut
Bikes: '00 schwinn moab disk/06 specialized stumpy fsr expert, 06 look565
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was looking into those pana's for my fsr. Any one know anything about the wtb veloci-raptors? Same problems as with the pana's??
lodi781 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-06, 10:26 PM   #13
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Posts: 16,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lodi781
I was looking into those pana's for my fsr. Any one know anything about the wtb veloci-raptors? Same problems as with the pana's??
Maybe start a new thread, likely to get more responses as this is a little older and most won't check in on it
Maelstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:23 PM.