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Old 05-12-08, 09:30 AM   #1
Chris_F
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Front tire recommendations

I've finally had it with my front tire a Serac XC that came with the bike. I don't know if these tires are any good on other terrain but on New Hampshire's rooty, rock ridden, loose soil they are pretty awful. I replaced the rear almost as soon as I got the bike with my old WTB Velociraptor from my last bike. I love that tire BTW.

Any recommendations (26")? I'm tempted to just get the front version of the Velociraptor but decided to check here first. I ride XC singletrack on a Cannondale Rush on New England trails. No racing for me, I am after all the world's slowest cyclist (although lately I've been riding fast enough that my reputation may be in danger). Order of priority for me would be turning grip as a primary concern, braking grip following close behind, price, then puncture resistance. Weight is a non-issue and rolling resistance isn't a huge concern. The tires will see very little or no on-pavement use.

I'll spend $30 without much thought, $40 and I start to itch a little. $50 is probably out of the question.

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Old 05-12-08, 09:44 AM   #2
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I love the Nevegal on the front. Great tire. Doesn't roll the best, but its a great tire.
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Old 05-12-08, 10:42 AM   #3
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Kenda Blue groove.. save the nevegal for the rear.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:30 AM   #4
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Kenda Blue groove.. save the nevegal for the rear.
its funny you sat that, because I despise the Nevegal on the rear!
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Old 05-12-08, 12:08 PM   #5
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Kenda seems to be the favorite amongs the two of you then, eh? Some research reveals that the Nevegal and Blue seem to be well reviewed as well. I'll add the two to my list. I'd assume Oregon at least is very similar to my local terrain, at least right up until November when the ground freezes and the snow starts.

Any comments on general construction features to look for? Since I'm concerned about cornering I suppose I want some good, distinct, large tread blocks around the outer rim of the tire. I'd assume the long, thin blocks towards the center of the tread (like on the WTB Velociraptor front tire) are more about rolling resistance than grip.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:19 PM   #6
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I'd assume Oregon at least is very similar to my local terrain
Having ridden quite a bit in Mass., I would say they are not at all similar.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:35 PM   #7
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Good to know that Oregon is so different. Wonder if the Kena's will work for me then. I'm looking for something that does well in our loose soil (made of decayed leaf and pine needle litter), over roots, small rocks, etc. My current tire is absolutely abysmal for this so anything must be better.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:28 PM   #8
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I love Nevegal too and they are not very expensive either!
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Old 05-12-08, 07:16 PM   #9
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I'd go with the V'raptor front and be done. It works on our version of loose trail surface with roots all over. The paddle tread in the back with arrows up front is pretty well established for XC riding in loose stuff.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:00 PM   #10
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I've been running Nevegal's front and rear for a while now and love them. I'm thinking about moving to a set of Kenda Excavator's though. I hear they grip like mad!! Pretty good reviews.

The Nevegal rear with Blue Groove front seems a popular choice though...I can't argue that one.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:03 PM   #11
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I'd go with the V'raptor front and be done. It works on our version of loose trail surface with roots all over. The paddle tread in the back with arrows up front is pretty well established for XC riding in loose stuff.
I know the Velociraptor is a popular tire, but I think it rides like one of those tractors with steel wheels, haha. Very "not smooth". It grips pretty well on loose soil. It's just OLD. There have been so many advances in technology INCLUDING tire technology...it's obvious to me that a tread design from when I was in highschool has it's shortcomings. (as do all tires...just not as much)

Search "Kenda Nevegal Review" on google and read reviews. You will most likely be sold.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:48 AM   #12
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Old 05-13-08, 08:22 AM   #13
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Maxxis ignitor front. Larsen rear for me. Found Ignitor little too slow in the back tho.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:00 PM   #14
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Smoke / Dart. $35 for the set from Performance. I've not found them to be slow. Stan's compatible.

I do want to try that tire pcad is running on his mototi, Conti Explorer 2.1. 515g is really light. But $52 is rather ridiculous.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:12 PM   #15
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I really like the maxxis Highroller up front.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:11 PM   #16
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I think I'm going to go with the Blue Groove up front, and if I like it enough I may just ditch my beloved Velociraptor rear for a Nevegal. I hope my LBS has 'em, although they have a lot of inventory to pick from and I'd assume this is a popular tire. The reason I'm thinking of going with the Blue up front is because of the softer compound in the center tread, which could wear quickly but I've found my front tires lasting forever. I'd go with the Nevegal in the rear over the Blue for the higher wear center tread, plus from the photos it seems like the Nevegal has a bit of a paddle to it and I've found the paddle design to be very effective on my local terrain (which is why I like the Velociraptor so much).
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Old 05-14-08, 01:16 PM   #17
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I think I'm going to go with the Blue Groove up front, and if I like it enough I may just ditch my beloved Velociraptor rear for a Nevegal. I hope my LBS has 'em, although they have a lot of inventory to pick from and I'd assume this is a popular tire. The reason I'm thinking of going with the Blue up front is because of the softer compound in the center tread, which could wear quickly but I've found my front tires lasting forever. I'd go with the Nevegal in the rear over the Blue for the higher wear center tread, plus from the photos it seems like the Nevegal has a bit of a paddle to it and I've found the paddle design to be very effective on my local terrain (which is why I like the Velociraptor so much).
A little birdy told me that the Kenda Excavator is a pretty good rear tire. I'm gonna order some next month and give them a shot.
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Old 05-14-08, 09:18 PM   #18
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irc trailbear is a nice front for me
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Old 05-15-08, 02:09 PM   #19
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A tyre that works for some will not work for others. A tyre that works on one type of terrain will not work for others- And if you ever get down to to tyre width?????????

I ride mainly on rutted chalk with an overlying surface of clay. Then you get into the woods and the Clay can get get sticky, wet and deep. I use a tyre that will work on all of these conditions and it is a Fire XC in 1.8. Seems to be the popular tyre in my neck of the woods- but come summer and it is a different surface and tyre again. Need extra width and smoother tread so use any tyre with a less aggressive tread and around 1.95 to 2.0
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Old 05-15-08, 04:45 PM   #20
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The Velociraptor is a popular rear tire around here but so is the Nevegal (on both front and rear). I ordered a Nevegal from Jensen since my LBS doesn't carry Kenda. I'll see how it goes and decide if I want to try the Nevegal on the rear as well.

Stapfam, I don't suppose you're anywhere near Chelmsford Essex, are you? I spent about seven weeks there for work and thoroughly enjoyed my stay (but did NOT enjoy seven 90+ hour weeks in a row).
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