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Old 04-27-12, 01:37 PM   #1
cdp8
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Tires

I read back through the last 15 pages of threads, well into 2011, and there are very few threads about tires. I need some help picking some new ones.

I ride mostly in SoCal, but I'm taking a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this summer. Where I ride there is plenty of hardpack, as well as loose rocks and baby heads. Performance on roots and in the wet is just about irrelevant to me. I like climbing as much or more than descending. Which is a polite way to say I'm not great in the technical downhill department. I ride an '05 Stumpjumper FSR.

I've been off both the road and dirt since fall '07, but I've been back on the road since last September getting back into shape (I dropped 55lbs last year and finished the 116mi, 13,000ft Mulholland Challenge 2 weeks ago).

I saw some references to people being happy with Kenda SB8's, Excavators and Nevegals. I see WTB still makes the now venerable Velociraptor.

I really miss the dirt, so while the Stumpy is in the shop getting re-commissioned, I need to get some new treads. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-27-12, 01:52 PM   #2
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I don't know that area well, but from what you're describing, I would say to go with more tread than something like the SM8. It's more of a flat, hardpack dirt, xc-ish tire. Something like that isn't going to be that great on loose, rocky, or sandy stuff. See if you can find a MTB group website in your area and search their site for tire info. And just in case you haven't found it, there's always a search feature at the top, right corner of the thread list in each subforum. That way you can just search for tires and don't have to page through tons of unrelated stuff. Learning to use the exact search terms can take some practice, though.

EDIT: I bet if you join this forum and introduce yourself, they can help you out with the local MTB questions like what tires are good in the area. Maybe even find some riding buddies. http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/

Last edited by 3speed; 04-27-12 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-27-12, 02:13 PM   #3
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Pammy made that ride a couple years ago, I'll see if I can get her on the thread.
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Old 04-27-12, 02:14 PM   #4
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Specialized Purgatory Control. Have a set of these on the new bike and they are the best tires ive ridden to date. The area i ride the most has a lot of hardpack/lava cap, loose rocks etc and these tires have been nothing short of amazing both going up and coming down. Im running a 2.4 up front and for a meaty tire they actually roll fairly well too.
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Old 04-27-12, 05:55 PM   #5
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I hear good things about SB8's. My next bike purchase will probably be SB8 rear, Excavator front, but we have a fair amount of soil & a lot of roots here in GA. SB8's all around might be a better choice for hardpack.

Last edited by samburger; 04-28-12 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:21 PM   #6
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I live and ride in Orange County, CA... did the N Rim 2 years ago (with Western Spirit) and had a ball! I took my own bike (Santa Cruz Superlight) and didn't change out the tires (Kenda Nevegals). The trails are so varied that it was good to have a wider, all around tire. The Kendas did well through water, over rocks (lots of baby head and rocky drop offs), sands, loose gravel etc. I can recommend them but tires like saddles and pedals are really personal preference.

PS did Arizona Trail (my favorite) two days and Rainbow Rim 3... where are you riding? I thought parts of the Rainbow Rim Trail were alittle over my head. Lots of steep, narrow climbs with sharp drop offs. Lots of loose gravel and shale... but beautiful. The views were stellar!!!
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Old 04-27-12, 11:33 PM   #7
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I can only comment on the 2 main tires I use on my mtb's, 2.1 Velociraptors and 2.1 Nevegals, all Kevlar folders.

The 'raptors are my choice here in the Pacific Northwet. OK all rounders but more suited to some slimy stuff.

The Nevegals get put on for dry conditions and work well for me. My choice for the North Rim, dry with some dirt in the woods and rock/loose rock when exposed out near the canyon rim.

I did the Rainbow Rim trail a coupla years back. Pretty much XC yerrain, not much gnar. I do recommend the ride even if just for the awe of the views. Start at one end and do the out and back for 36 miles total.

Mountain Bike Bill's experience was similar to mine:

http://www.mountainbikebill.com/AZ06NRGC1.htm
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Old 04-28-12, 07:17 AM   #8
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I like continental tires, with the new black chili stuff that is soft and sticky but wears long. A mountain king or x king should be good where you are.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:32 PM   #9
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Think Geax. Best tires I have used. Great lineup. I am sure you will find one that fits your needs. Personally in your type terrain I would go with their Lobo Loco tires.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:10 PM   #10
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I have nothing but bad things to say about Kenda Nevegals. I use WTB Mutano 2.2 tires on my rig, but they work best with a little bit of dampness on the ground. I generally like WTB products though, and highly recommend both the Velociraptor and the Weirwolf tire. Also the TCS (tubeless compatible system) on WTBs is awesome.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:44 PM   #11
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I have a Geaux Saguaro as a drive tire. It rolls well when things are dry and hard. But they get squirrely if things get wet or gravelly, not recommended. Nev's SMlblk8s and Raptors are still on most bikes I see out here int he desert SW. Oh yeah Bontraeger also do well.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:12 PM   #12
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I used to ride Nevegals all the time but found they are overly heavy and don't roll very easy. They do however have amazing grip in a wide range of conditions. I currently ride Maxiss Aspen's when it's dry hardpack with rocks and roots and I love them. When it gets wet out I switch to Conti X-King's for more bite and they work really well too. Both tires roll much better than the Nevegals and are much lighter. The Conti's can easily be used as an all around tire if you wanted. We don’t have much sand where I ride but I’m not sure any tire works great in sand.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:15 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your recommendations!

My Stumpy FSR still had all the dirt on it from my last ride in '07, a singletrack trip with Western Spirit around Brianhead. So I cleaned it up and put a new chain on it Thursday night before taking it into the LBS on Friday to get checked out. I had ridden it hard for a couple of years before its long slumber, so I figured it would at least need new brake fluid and maybe some pivots serviced.

The LBS called on Saturday to say it was ready. When I arrived they told me there was no charge! I said "Look, didn't your mechanic spend at least an hour going over all the suspension, pivots, brakes and shifting so don't I owe you for some shop time?" Shop guy said "Yes, but it was in good shape and no work or maintenance needed performing."

So there was no way I was going to walk out of that shop without dropping some money, so I bought new tires. He stocked all the Kendas, except for the Excavators, some Contis and some Specialized. Shop guy recommended either dual Nevegals or a F/R Nevegal/SB8 combo. He also said the SB8's were great on hardpack, but not so great in looser conditions. So I remembered Pamestique and KenHill3's posts and bought two Nevegals.

Pamestique, I am taking that same Western Spirit North Rim trip that hits the trails Kenhill3 mentioned. Your description certainly differs from their description! I saw your detailed write up in the 50 plus forum. I'm not great around heights, so I'll be taking it easy on the sections that get close to the canyon. WS says it's intermediate. The Brianhead trip was little out of my skill and fitness level at the time. Now, the fitness level is the best in my entire life, but the skills are 5 years rustier. Wish me luck! I leave in a few weeks and I'll post a ride report when I get back.

I look forward to wearing out these new Nevegals and trying out some of your other suggestions.

3speed, thanks for that link. It has found its way near the top of my favorites.

Last edited by cdp8; 04-30-12 at 04:43 PM. Reason: factual error
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Old 05-09-12, 05:48 AM   #14
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Hi I've raced on a few different tires. The toughest performing seemed to be Maxxis Crossmarks. LUST if your riding tubeless. (tougher sidewalls) These questions comes up a bit in mtb circles so I did a little post on my blog about my favourite 3 tires. Mind you they are based on XC racing conditions http://www.theworkingclasscyclist.co...op-3-xc-tires/

hope it helps
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