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  1. #1
    Senior Member ZManT's Avatar
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    Traction in Loose Dirt

    Howdy everyone -
    I'm new to MTB so I have a lot to learn

    XC biking is about the coolest thing I've been introduced to in a very long time - really enjoying the experience.

    My question is about traction in loose dirt (not dust, more like cornsnow but made of dirt) and large grain sand (not quite gravel)

    on last night's ride, both my tires were swishing around on the track quite a bit at higher speeds during the downhill phase.

    Curious if this is a function of the trail i was riding, the tires on my new bike, or my technique?

    My bike is a 29" hardtail that came with Maxxis Aspen tires on it. I'm happy with everything about the bike so far, but had a couple close calls in the loose stuff so I figured I'd ask.

    I wasn't bombing, but i was clipping along pretty good when this happened - slowing down typically let me feel more in control on the downward phase of the ride.

    Is this common and I should just "be advised" or it is something a different tread pattern/tire would mitigate, or is there a posture or weight distribution technique I should try to do to give me more control in the loose stuff?

    thanks in advance.
    ZManT

  2. #2
    S'toon trail rider! MisterK's Avatar
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    I like xc style. I'm running a kenda kinetic 2.35 in the fron and a generic knobby 2.1 kenda on the rear, I'd gladly swap to another kinetic on the rear or a stick-e nevegal, would like to keep my rear abit smaller tho, dunno if it has any more or less advantage to mismatched sizes but its soo much micer than the stock 1.95s that came on my bike and I've read 2.35 fron 2.1-.25 rear is a popular xc tire match up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    The Maxxis Aspen tires aren't very knobby so I'd recommend some wider, knobbier tires. Maxxis offers many different styles of tires and you can most definitely find some to fit your needs. For better traction on loose sand, wider tires help alot. But read my signature. Tires aren't the whole story so try different postures as well. Leaning forward would give you better steering control and leaning backwards would give more traction on your rear tire. It's may just be a balance between the two so just keep practicing until you find that balance.

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZManT's Avatar
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    Right on.
    Im not planning on getting rid of these tires - they stick to hard stuff like spider feet

    i just need to ride more. Part of the problem is I haven't eaten dirt yet, and I know it's coming. It's a learning experience right?

  5. #5
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    Yeah I guess it is just a learning game. You learn new techniques, what not to do, and you learn what you really need in a bike. I have yet to pinch flat, I had a semi-crash to day and now I know not to use the front brakes when going down a steep hill...

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

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