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Old 05-27-08, 07:48 AM   #1
Chris_F
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Tires, tires, tires

Of all the threads I see on BikeForums it seems like tires are the forgotten component. A quick glance of today's list shows threads on forks, frames, and drivetrain, and wheel discussions are popular, but there are few threads on those round black things. I like tires. I think they're more critical than most/all of that other stuff since they are afterall the only part of the bike that's supposed to be touching mother earth. Tires, at least according to the volume of discussion they receive here, are neglected.

Tire selection can be a fairly technical topic, and a fairly individual topic. The tire that's right for one rider, type of riding, or area of the country will not necessarily be right for another. There's no "right answer" that works for everything, so I think tire knowledge is more important in tire selection than say drivetrain knowledge is in selecting a rear deraileur.

What has me inspired about tires? I just replaced a 1.9" Serac XC front tire with a 2.3" Kenda Nevegal DTC that frankly I was a bit sceptical of. The Dual Tire Compound construction has sticky rubber on the sides of the tires and harder rubber in the center tread (apparently for better wear and rolling resistance). The tread pattern consists of a center paddle with a cut down the middle (I assume this cut closes when the tire is pressed in to the ground), and side knobs that roughly align to the center paddle. The effect is one of a tire who's tread can conform well to abrupt, sharp surfaces like rock and root edges.

I'm a huge convert to the Nevegal, what a great tire. (I think 2.3" is the wrong size for me and my riding and I'm going to go with a 2.1" next time 'round.) On my first ride it saved me from three crashes that I would have endured with the old Serac. (I was pushing particularly hard since I wanted to really test the new tire).

I'm currently running a 2.1" WTB Velociraptor at the rear. The paddles on the tire work very well in New Hampshire's rooty, rocky, loose soil. Judging by the tire tracks on the local singletrack WTB sells quite a few Veloci's in this area, and they're effective. I really like mine, but I'm going to replace it with my new favorite the Nevegal. My plan is to swap the 2.3" Nevegal to the rear and buy a new 2.1" Nevegal for the front.

What do I like about the Nevegal? It grips. The edge knobs dig in to the loose stuff and don't let go easily. The edges stick like a tick to the rocks and roots. You really can feel the difference between the soft side rubber and hard center rubber. On center it exceeds the grip of my old Serac but I suspect only equals the Velociraptor's big center paddle. But the Velociraptor doesn't have that side grip that this tire does. When "scuffing" against the side of rocks/roots, etc the Nevegal feels like it's willing to just grab on whereas the Serac and the Veloci both skip off. And, when you finally do reach the limits of the Nevegal it still manages to scramble up enough grip to at least keep you on the bike. It certainly saved me from some inept bike handling that would have had me sprawled across the singletrack or sliding in to the brush on the old tires.

I can't wait to get the 2.1" for the front and mount the 2.3" on the rear. I run at a pretty high pressure but I suspect these tires will really come alive when they're softer, and that fat 2.3" out back will give me the confidence to go softer without pinch flatting. The center paddles have a bit of a ramp on one side and for the rear I think they'll be better off mounted backwards rather than forwards. Anyone run this configuration (Nevegal mounted backwards on the rear, forwards on the front)?

How about other tire stories. Anyone else really love the big black round parts of their bikes?
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Old 05-27-08, 08:33 AM   #2
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i have used mythos and tioga mud tires for the last 6 years i think its time to upgrade haha. I think i am going to go with the tioga XC or Fire XC.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:35 AM   #3
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Nevegals are great grippy tires, but the way they roll is a large sacrifice. I go back and forth between a Nevegal front, and a Mythos front depending on the conditions.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:52 AM   #4
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I can't wait to get the 2.1" for the front and mount the 2.3" on the rear.
The rule of thumb is to run the wider tire on the front.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:00 AM   #5
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The rule of thumb is to run the wider tire on the front.
Really? Why? Seems that most of the weight is over the back so spreading it out over the larger footprint in back would be better?
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Old 05-27-08, 10:15 AM   #6
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Wow, seven paragraphs propping WTB tires and (as far as I can tell) it's not a sponsorship plug .


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Old 05-27-08, 10:48 AM   #7
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Wow, seven paragraphs propping WTB tires and (as far as I can tell) it's not a sponsorship plug .


Maxxis.
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BTW the Nevegals are Kenda's, the Velociraptors are WTB's. If I were plugging them I'd at least do a good enough job to make you want to dig that credit card out of your pocket.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:00 AM   #8
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Of all the threads I see on BikeForums it seems like tires are the forgotten component. A quick glance of today's list shows threads on forks, frames, and drivetrain, and wheel discussions are popular, but there are few threads on those round black things. I like tires. I think they're more critical than most/all of that other stuff since they are afterall the only part of the bike that's supposed to be touching mother earth. Tires, at least according to the volume of discussion they receive here, are neglected.

What has me inspired about tires? I just replaced a 1.9" Serac XC front tire with a 2.3" Kenda Nevegal DTC that frankly I was a bit sceptical of. The Dual Tire Compound construction has sticky rubber on the sides of the tires and harder rubber in the center tread (apparently for better wear and rolling resistance). The tread pattern consists of a center paddle with a cut down the middle (I assume this cut closes when the tire is pressed in to the ground), and side knobs that roughly align to the center paddle. The effect is one of a tire who's tread can conform well to abrupt, sharp surfaces like rock and root edges.

I can't wait to get the 2.1" for the front and mount the 2.3" on the rear. I run at a pretty high pressure but I suspect these tires will really come alive when they're softer, and that fat 2.3" out back will give me the confidence to go softer without pinch flatting. The center paddles have a bit of a ramp on one side and for the rear I think they'll be better off mounted backwards rather than forwards. Anyone run this configuration (Nevegal mounted backwards on the rear, forwards on the front)?

How about other tire stories. Anyone else really love the big black round parts of their bikes?
You are right about the point that tires dont get much attention around here. It may be because, tires are fairly specific to the surface you are riding (trail, weather, season, style of riding etc.). Also, tire decisions are made based on personal preference. But, these two factors are common to any other MTB parts/components too. That does not stop us from talking about Fork choices.....or does it?

I also like the Nevegals. I used to run a Nevegal/Blue Groove combination on my hardtail. Now, I run Panaracer Rampage and IRC Mibros on two of my bikes. But my favorite tire is Continental Vertical Pro. For some reason they work well for the kind of XC/All Mountain riding I have been doing recently.

I personally like same size tires on front and back. But, if I were to run two different sizes, I would put the wider tire in the front and narrower one on the back. Your front tire is critical for braking power and traction. so you would want a wider profile up front with a little lower PSI (than the back tire).
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Old 05-27-08, 11:04 AM   #9
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BTW the Nevegals are Kendas, the Velociraptors are WTBs.
Oops. Shows you how much I wasn't paying attention. Wellllllll . . . they're all just 'them other brands' to me
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Old 05-27-08, 11:04 AM   #10
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BTW, Welcome back Sherpa!
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Old 05-27-08, 11:52 AM   #11
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I think the rolling resistance was the big downside of the Nevegals, but I don't know if that's just because they're so much wider than my old tires. I don't race and rolling resistance isn't a big deal for me, which is probably why I didn't mention it in the first post.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:52 PM   #12
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BTW, Welcome back Sherpa!
hi thanks. thanks for recognizing.

I am back from a fairly busy and productive one year (work, work, work) in South East Asia. I kind of stopped posting even before I left. one incident (with dminor being harassed by somebody) turned me off big time. But slowly but surely I am finding my way back.

thanks again born2bahick.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:34 PM   #13
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Of all the threads I see on BikeForums it seems like tires are the forgotten component.
Agreed... tires are often overlooked. One tire to another can make the biggest difference. Everyone seems to really like the Nevegal, but depending on what you ride they may not be the best.

I keep 2 wheelsets on hand- one with Crossmarks for fast rolling during good trail conditions and Fire XC's for more technical rides or when the trails are sloppy.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:44 PM   #14
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BTW, Welcome back Sherpa!
I'll echo that one; it's been a few months. Good to see you here.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:15 PM   #15
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I have Blue Groove's on my bike, a friend has Weirwolfs, and he gets so much more mud on his bike. He has to stop and clean it off. I'm not sure if it just all sticks to the tire, or the tire throws it up, it collects right at the bottom of the seatpost.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:19 PM   #16
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I'll echo that one; it's been a few months. Good to see you here.
Thanks D. its great to be here.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:44 PM   #17
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Anyone use the IRC Mythos II XC race tires?
I just bought some, (couldnt pass up the deal) waiting for them to come in.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:14 PM   #18
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Maxxis Monorail.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:15 PM   #19
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Old 05-27-08, 08:12 PM   #20
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Anyone use the IRC Mythos II XC race tires?
I just bought some, (couldnt pass up the deal) waiting for them to come in.
I have used the regular and semi slick xc tires that were mythos they have always been good to me. I ride in all kinds of conditions they generally do well.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:35 PM   #21
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I recently put the Panaracer Dart (Front) and Smoke (Rear) on my bike and I love them.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:55 PM   #22
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Really? Why? Seems that most of the weight is over the back so spreading it out over the larger footprint in back would be better?
Which wheel does the most braking? Which is more dangerous, having the front wash out or the back slide during turns?
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Old 05-27-08, 08:59 PM   #23
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I've been a Nevegal freak for the last couple yrs...gonna try out some Excavators next month, I think.

I never noticed the Nevegal rolling resistance issue except when I was on pavement OTW to the trail. The trail I most frequent is made up of some hardpack, lots of loose over hard with a bit of mud. Very little extended periods of hardpack where I'd notice the rolling resistance though. It seems the loose-over-hard takes that away.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:00 PM   #24
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I vote front wheel washing out.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:44 PM   #25
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The IRC Mythos are good. I can't remember exactly which version I was usign as it was a while ago but they were surprisingly grippy for a relatively low profile tread. By the same token not quitre as fast rolling as I had expected, but not bad either. Not great in extreme mud, but for that you really need a mud specific tire, which will suck in everything else IMO :/

They wore really fast though and that's why I stopped using them, but I almosta lways ride to the trailhead so that makes my needs a little bit different than a lot of other folk.
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