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Old 09-09-12, 03:27 PM   #1
Dibble Donkins
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What is the general rule for front/rear tire sizes?

I have a Trek Fuel EX9, and sometimes take it on downhill rides that it can handle. A lot of the time it's doing "all mountain" or whatever you wanna call it (trails that have more climbing/flatland than straight downhill, usually with a good amount of rocks to grip over).

So usually, given I mostly do non-downhill, I would think a bigger tire should go on the rear (to help grip when climbing and all that). I'm trying to balance this bike a little more towards downhill though, and was wondering what the rule of thumb is for downhilling. I would think that for downhilling you want a larger front tire.

I just got a Maxxis Minion 3C EVO 26x2.5 tire ($80, jeez) and threw it on the rear. I'm wondering what should go on the front now. Another 2.5?

It seems like I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too, so maybe to get the most grip out of both worlds, the front should be 2.5 also. What do you think? I don't really care if it slows me down either way on flat or downhill, my concern is traction, for both flat and downhill riding. Also, I generally don't ride when it's wet out, so I don't care that the 3C EVOs are harder rubber (and I like that they may last longer than softer compounds I've tried in the past).

Last edited by Dibble Donkins; 09-09-12 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 09-09-12, 05:58 PM   #2
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I think that you will find everybody has their own favorite size and combos. If I was to guess I think most run a larger front tire such as a 2.4 and 2.25 rear(just a guess). Myself, I have a WTB WW 2.55 front and rear on a 29er hard tail. That being said a lot more has to go into consideration in which tires to run such as local terrain, tire clearance, and of course your wallet. I would hit your LBS and pick their brains in regards to what they and others are using in your area.
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Old 09-09-12, 07:30 PM   #3
Dibble Donkins
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I'm thinking the maxxis minion 3c, which is 42a/40a with a 70a base layer, should go in the front since it's softer.
I could get another one but make it 60a compound for the rear so that it wouldn't wear as fast.
the 2.5s don't seem much bigger than the 2.3s i had on there!
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Old 09-10-12, 12:20 AM   #4
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I'm not personally familiar with the Minion, but if I recall correctly, its a decent front or rear tire. That being the case, I'd probably run the same front only in a softer compound, like you said. Otherwise look up reviews and see if there's a particular tire combo people like to run with the Minion in the rear and something else in the front. Either way, just remember you want the same size or wider tire in the front, and the same or softer compound. If a tire is gonna slide out from under you, you definitely want it to be the rear. Front tires sliding out is bad news. Even if you spend a lot of time climbing and don't do any crazy/fast downhill, I'd still never run a narrower or harder tire in the front.
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Old 09-10-12, 06:53 PM   #5
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Best front tire I have ridden is a Specialized Purgatory Control 2.4. Thing rocks so hard. But generally 2.4 up front 2.25-2.3 in the rear.
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Old 09-11-12, 01:23 AM   #6
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Larger more aggressive tire in front, smaller less aggressive in back for me (generally). The larger volume knobbier front provides the traction needed in the front. The smaller tire in back is less rotating mass that you're spinning. Example 2.4 Mountain King front and 2.2 Race King rear on my FS 29er. 2.4 front, 2.1 rear on my rigid single speed. The one exception to this is 2.3 tires on both ends of my old steel bike, but I did that solely for all day trail comfort.
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Old 09-13-12, 09:06 PM   #7
Dibble Donkins
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Wow, glad that I got the 60a compound for the back and the 3C compound (40a-42a with a 70a baselayer) for the front. The 60a is noticeably harder when you pinch the tread teeth (??) with your fingers. We'll see how they wear.
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Old 09-14-12, 10:56 AM   #8
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As was said, to each their own.
I run a 2.25 on the front of the dually with a 2.1 on the back, both with aggresive tread. But the hardtail runs 2.1, with less aggressive tread on both but both are tubeless. I have not had any problems with this setup and no one is more surprized than me. After I got the bike I tried the tubeless just to see what it was like before I replaced both tires, but after two rides I decided to leave the tires as is.
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Old 09-14-12, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiRider1316 View Post
Best front tire I have ridden is a Specialized Purgatory Control 2.4. Thing rocks so hard. But generally 2.4 up front 2.25-2.3 in the rear.
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