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  1. #1
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    do you ride with different front and rear tires?

    do you ride with a fatter on the back? or vice versa? and/or a knobbier one? etc...

    what are the advantages of having two different tires?

    i know the application, conditons, etc are key, but what are some basic setups some of you might have going on?

    and, yes (please) WHY?
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  2. #2
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Right now both tires are the same size and tread pattern.

    But will be back to doing combos soon. It's best to have a wider tire up front instead of on the back. The wider tire will provide a more traction up front and the smaller tire on the back with help with rolling resistance.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  3. #3
    bikegeekmn bikegeekmn's Avatar
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    I've always liked my front tire to be designed as a front tire.The rear tire has a different job.Modern bike tires are pretty impressive really,the level of performance products available to Joe Blow is amazing .Most BFers could probably discribe (in detail) 3 or more tires ,cool.

  4. #4
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    I have used Velociraptors a lot, which have front and rear specific tread patterns (2 different tires).

    I am curious to try the rear Velociraptors both front and back. Anyone try this?
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mystolenbikes's Avatar
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    Yeah I have specialized captains in the back and Kenda nevagal in the front. My reason behind that is grip and handling, it took a few tries before I got it right tho. My bike came with captains, it is great for climbing but it sucked on the front wheel during the descent so I was reading some reviews about different tires and Kenda Nevagals got great reviews so I purchased one so when it arrived I took the captains off I put the Kenda in the back and I used super knobby trailbear(old model) lying around the house in the front for some traction, well...after one ride I hated both of the tires. Kenda sucked dog crap and trailbear was not any better. So I started search for some new tires, after reading and looking at tons of tires I decided to put the captains back on the rear give Kenda one more chance in the front so I installed them went for a ride and guess what? it was magic. Rear tire would climb over anything didn't matter how steep or slick it was(it's also pretty good on soft sandy surface but not great) and front was or still is like a claw I can take turns much harder than before and darn thing just hangs on. So from now on as long as they make it this is my combo.

  6. #6
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    Front tire 26x2.1 Maxxis Crossmark Back tire 26x1.9 Kenda street off road tire.

  7. #7
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    dang the Velociraptors are some sweet tires...

    my Trek needs new skins...

    REI has em for $36... they also have Panaracer FireComps for $50 found em in Nebraska for $25 each... think I'll look there first...

  8. #8
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    People chose different fronts and rears for a variety of reasons; but most of it boils down to cornering 'bite' on the front versus lower rolling resistance on the rear. And it's not always a front-specific/rear-specific design deal. On advice of some members here, I shod my XC bike with a Maxxis Ignitor on the front and the Larsen TT on the back. The Larsen is a small-ramped-knob fast-roller and a quick accelerator. A lot of DH people run 2.5 fronts but go 2.35 rears for the acceleration/rolling resistance difference. And one of the hottest combos out there is Maxxis' Minion DHF/DHF combo - - even though the DHF was designed originally as a front tire.

    Basicalyy, my advice is to pick the front for the best grip in the widest variety of soil conditions you encounter and pick the rear for best acceleration and rolling resistance without sacrificing traction - - or at least a pattern that will let go of traction predictably.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jjbod1's Avatar
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    I also use the Velociraptors, some people love them others hate them. I am on the fence right now. They wear extremely well, have great traction in the rear. But you really have to play with the PSI on the front to get it right to work for the person riding, or else the steering suxs. Also, if you are just using them for treking, there great For major speed, or racing, forget about it As far as using a rear on the front, just my honest opinion, I would say hell no!

  10. #10
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    all great info. thanks.

    i did get my initial info from sheldon's site (of course...):
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#mixing

    now any suggestions for the economic-minded?

    after reading reviews of decently priced tires, i was wondering if there are any recommendable KENDA and MICHELIN tires for possible front/rear mixing? even though REI is more expensive, i have one close by so no shipping costs to worry about...of course, my LBS (who recently did me good on a fork exchange) might have something in stock. any other brands that are comparable?

    if this helps, the main off-road i am doing is some shallow creek-crossing (plenty of bottom rocks), gravel ascents, hardpack/single-track, some grass, some (but not alot of) rocks and roots. for area folks, that would be the Woodlawn trails in northern delaware (brandywine): http://www.bikekinetix.com/t_de/de_c...n-trustees.php
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
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  11. #11
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I'm running a Nokian Gozzalodi S in the front in a 2.3 and a Nokian DH power front in the rear. Seems to be a good setup so far.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  12. #12
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    does the front/rear equation change if you consider hardtail or full suspension? heck, rigid?
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
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  13. #13
    Addicted to Dirt Freefallman's Avatar
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    Mystolenbikes, I just bought a Stumpjumper and I'm also an Angelino. I also had the same opinion of the captains (see my review here). I was curious what tire width you were running in the front? I imagine we're riding similar terrain.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    I'm riding the same SmallBlock 8s, in 2.1, front and rear. They work great for the current local conditions, and are lightweight and fast. Even on pavement they work pretty well. I run them right at 65psi on the road, and drop them down to 35 when I get to the trail, which gives me the squish I like to feel going up and over trail features.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mystolenbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freefallman View Post
    Mystolenbikes, I just bought a Stumpjumper and I'm also an Angelino. I also had the same opinion of the captains (see my review here). I was curious what tire width you were running in the front? I imagine we're riding similar terrain.
    Kenda Nevagal in the front is 2.1 and it's been great.
    I ride at mostl at JPL, Backbone trail and Santa Monica mountains(dirt Mulholland road) from Havenhurst or Reseda ave.

  16. #16
    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    Schwalbe little albert up front, designed only for use up front.

    Schwalbe smart sam out back.

    Best combo I've ever used. Sometimes I run a smart sam up front in super dry conditions.
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  17. #17
    Jr member
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    I have an 07 Trek hardtail ....I run a Kenda 2.35 Nevegal up front and a WTB 2.1 Velociraptor in the back...Im pretty happy with the combo so far...awesome traction all around !!

  18. #18
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIC0 View Post
    Schwalbe little albert up front, designed only for use up front.

    Schwalbe smart sam out back.

    Best combo I've ever used. Sometimes I run a smart sam up front in super dry conditions.
    are you going full suspension or...?

    why is it better to have a wider tire up front?

    again (not to flog the horse), how does ALL this fit into the equation of not just mud dirt dust hardpack singletrack roots more mud gravel rocks creek beds AND speed... AND whether you have full susp/hardtail/totalRIGID?

    i know there is no crisp formula (thankfully), but i'd love some more technical info on the advantages of different treads/width of tire in relation to terrain divided by bike frame/mode....
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mystolenbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUvelo View Post
    are you going full suspension or...?

    why is it better to have a wider tire up front?

    again (not to flog the horse), how does ALL this fit into the equation of not just mud dirt dust hardpack singletrack roots more mud gravel rocks creek beds AND speed... AND whether you have full susp/hardtail/totalRIGID?

    i know there is no crisp formula (thankfully), but i'd love some more technical info on the advantages of different treads/width of tire in relation to terrain divided by bike frame/mode....
    If you are asking all theses questions again you should go back to the top of the thread and read some of the replies again.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wirehead's Avatar
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    I'm crazier than all of you.

    26x1.75 Vittoria Adventure up front, 26x1.5 WTB Slickasaurus in back, taken offroad on dirt and gravel.

    A little dicey in mud and sand. Otherwise fine. This way, I don't have to drive somewhere with a bike on the back of my car.

    Usually works best to have the more aggressively treaded tire in front because a rear wheel skid is recoverable, whereas a front wheel skid is generally not. There is more weight on the rear tire, so it can better dig in. And putting a bigger tire up front deadens the vibrations better.

  21. #21
    BAM! theextremist04's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Nobby Nick in front, Kenda Karma 2.0 in the rear...super fast, not good at all in mud. A lot of it depends on your location/riding style/how hard you ride. I weigh 140ish and ride light so I can get away with lightweight tires all the time.

  22. #22
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    97 cannondale Superv700 Same size but Panaracer Dart on the front and Mythos XC II on the back. Mythos was original and felt it rode well on the back. the Dart has made a difference on the front especially in sandy dirt.
    "We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it." Abraham Lincoln

  23. #23
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystolenbikes View Post
    If you are asking all theses questions again you should go back to the top of the thread and read some of the replies again.
    i asked these questions 'again' particularly because i didn't get the specifics that i was hoping to get. questions were answered. new ones emerged and were 'asked'...

    (no one responded to the suspension/hardtail/rigid inquiry...etc)

    p.s.
    btw, your spiel above was one of the most helpful
    Last edited by UBUvelo; 08-17-09 at 09:44 PM.
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
    2010 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--medium
    2004 Bianchi Axis 1x9 (cyclocross)
    1993 Giant Avonni (mutantcross)
    2009 Giant Defy 2 (cobblecross)
    1990 Schwinn Caliente (medicinecross)
    2009 Giant Yukon FX (root/rock/mudcrosscountry)--recent addition: RockShox Revelation U-Turn

  24. #24
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
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    appreciate all the latest info. i was thinking of now applying it as an inexpensive experiment on a beater mtb...

    staying with the brands i was originally considering, i was thinking of getting (at my local REI) the cheapie KENDA K831 http://www.rei.com/product/737750 for the front...it IS heavy (771 grams) and seems to have a directional tread of sorts...only $15.

    for the back tire, the MICHELIN Country Mud http://www.rei.com/product/751396 which is wider but lighter.

    how's this look as a set? i only wish the kenda was wider and...the michelin was skinnier

    or...would this kenda work better in the back? and the michelin in front?
    Last edited by UBUvelo; 08-17-09 at 09:48 PM.
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
    2010 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--medium
    2004 Bianchi Axis 1x9 (cyclocross)
    1993 Giant Avonni (mutantcross)
    2009 Giant Defy 2 (cobblecross)
    1990 Schwinn Caliente (medicinecross)
    2009 Giant Yukon FX (root/rock/mudcrosscountry)--recent addition: RockShox Revelation U-Turn

  25. #25
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    No one on the internet can tell you this. Talk to the people who ride in your area, try some tires and find out.

    Although...frankly if you're only willing to spend $15 on a tire I'm not sure why you're agonizing over the purchase so much. In that price range, you only need to know one thing: if you're going off-road, buy tires with knobs.

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