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Best budget 26" tire?

Old 01-08-20, 06:15 PM
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noobinsf 
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Best budget 26" tire?

I recently picked up an early 90's Univega Alpina Comp, and I was hoping to reuse the tires on it to keep to a tight budget. However, I discovered that while the rear tire is fine, the front is shredded. It's currently running Bontrager Connection Trail 26x2.

I'd like to continue to have a matched set, but I'm not sure I want to buy a new Bontrager Connection Trail.

I'm new to mountain biking, and I am planning to initiate myself on a nearby trail that is described as not too difficult: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/411...ial-bike-trail

Any recommendations that won't break the bank and would offer good traction and ride? I'm honestly starting from zero here, so any insights are welcome.
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Old 01-08-20, 06:28 PM
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26'r tires

cheaper to by 2 here; https://www.nashbar.com/forte-dartmo...026-20/p927916

good selection here w/free US shipping;https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/collections/tires-tubes/products/continental-mountain-king-tire-26-x-2-3-clincher-folding-black-shieldwall
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Old 01-08-20, 07:20 PM
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Thank you!
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Old 01-08-20, 09:13 PM
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Kenda makes a variety of decent tires your size from about $20 -$30. They came stock on my 2018 Giant Sedona. I had planned on replacing them with better tires, But they proved to be a very well ballanced tire. Good traction on and off road, good ride, speed and durability

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Old 01-09-20, 02:54 PM
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https://blueskycycling.com/products/...y-1-get-1-free

$18 for the pair can't beat the price.

Kenda Brian Lopes El Moco DTC 26x2.1 folding

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Old 01-10-20, 11:34 AM
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Whatever brand you get, I see you're in NorCal. I'd look for a tighter-patterned, small block tread like a Kenda Small Block 8, or a Slant 6. Or in Maxxis brand, a Crossmark, or a Ikon. Bontrager would be a XR2 or XR3. Wirebead is fine, unless you see a kevlar/folding one for real cheap. FYI, that El Moco is an aggressive mud tire and it will not roll easily. You'll be on hardpack, mostly dry, maybe with some forest loam hence smaller, tight center knobs for easy rolling yet good side knobs for cornering.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:27 PM
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If you are riding hardpack, bikeme's suggestion is on point. If riding hardpack, a tire with tighter spacing would be better. I ride hardpack and am using Hutchinson Python's-which are not inexpensive, but the Nashbar tires mentioned earlier look decent. I also have tires for looser soil/mud conditions, Kenda Nevegals, and while they are good for loose stuff, not as good as the Pythons for hardpack. Might even try those Nashbar tires when my Pythons wear out, if hardpack is still the main type of trail I'm riding.
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Old 01-10-20, 04:32 PM
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Go into your LBS and make a ridiculous offer for whatever 26" tire they still might have collecting dust on their shelves
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Old 01-10-20, 04:34 PM
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I'm looking now at a used pair of Bontrager LT3's that will likely fit the bill. I really appreciate everyone's advice, especially the notes about likely encountering hardpack, which I think does reflect the terrain near me.

There is also a used pair of Specialized Fast Trak LK near me. Would these two be comparable, do you think, or is one clearly better?
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Old 01-10-20, 04:43 PM
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I've not ridden on either of the tires you mentioned, but chances are that any tire with characteristics geared toward hardpack trails will be fine. You say you are new, so unless you went with a really lousy tire (and the ones discussed so far are fine), you'll be ok with them.
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Old 01-11-20, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by eshew View Post
https://blueskycycling.com/products/...y-1-get-1-free

$18 for the pair can't beat the price.

Kenda Brian Lopes El Moco DTC 26x2.1 folding

If your focus is going to be trail riding (vs some trail and a bunch of pavement), would jump on that ASAP. These would be my preference by a wide margin over anything else suggested or mentioned in this thread so far. I live on the East Coast now, but lived and MTBed in Nor Cal for several years, and this would be my choice there as well.

Not only is the tread totally appropriate, but those are folding bead tires (as opposed to wire bead) and therefore lighter.

For that price it would be a no-brainer if you are trying to keep this dirt cheap.

If you want tires for actual mountain biking, get mtb tires with real treads. Donít waste you time with hybrid tires.

Tires like the Small Block Eight (SB8) and Fast Track are OK for the rear (though personally I like something with more tread), but I think they are not good for the front.

On the othet hand, if you use the same bike for a lot of paved roads, this will likely wear out fast.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If your focus is going to be trail riding (vs some trail and a bunch of pavement), would jump on that ASAP. These would be my preference by a wide margin over anything else suggested or mentioned in this thread so far. I live on the East Coast now, but lived and MTBed in Nor Cal for several years, and this would be my choice there as well.

Not only is the tread totally appropriate, but those are folding bead tires (as opposed to wire bead) and therefore lighter.

For that price it would be a no-brainer if you are trying to keep this dirt cheap.

If you want tires for actual mountain biking, get mtb tires with real treads. Donít waste you time with hybrid tires.

Tires like the Small Block Eight (SB8) and Fast Track are OK for the rear (though personally I like something with more tread), but I think they are not good for the front.

On the othet hand, if you use the same bike for a lot of paved roads, this will likely wear out fast.
You know, I looked at those, and the shipping made me hesitate. Itís funny you should mention the Kenda Small Block, because I found a used pair with minimal wear that were local and cheap. I think theyíll be perfect to get me started, based on the reviews Iíve seen.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
You know, I looked at those, and the shipping made me hesitate. Itís funny you should mention the Kenda Small Block, because I found a used pair with minimal wear that were local and cheap. I think theyíll be perfect to get me started, based on the reviews Iíve seen.
Keep in mind when you read reviews that they are based on expectations being met. People buying SB8s are lookibg for a minimal tread, super fast tire. Expectations for grip are minimal.

Why as a beginner you would sacrifice grip and control for the sake of speed makes little sense to me.

If you really want to try an SB8, I would suggest do so for the rear. I know you said you would like a matching set, but there is zero reason to do that, and good reasons not to.
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Old 01-11-20, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Keep in mind when you read reviews that they are based on expectations being met. People buying SB8s are lookibg for a minimal tread, super fast tire. Expectations for grip are minimal.

Why as a beginner you would sacrifice grip and control for the sake of speed makes little sense to me.

If you really want to try an SB8, I would suggest do so for the rear. I know you said you would like a matching set, but there is zero reason to do that, and good reasons not to.
I appreciate the feedback ó what are your thoughts on the Connection Trail, of which I still have one functional tire? Is that something youíd consider more appropriate for a front tire?

I guess the upshot is that I have a cheap pair of tires and a spare with different tread, and because I have the tools and tinkering impulse and a trail nearby, I can experiment.
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Old 01-13-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
I appreciate the feedback ó what are your thoughts on the Connection Trail, of which I still have one functional tire? Is that something youíd consider more appropriate for a front tire?

I guess the upshot is that I have a cheap pair of tires and a spare with different tread, and because I have the tools and tinkering impulse and a trail nearby, I can experiment.
The Connection Trail are hybrid tires, not real mtb tires. If I was forced to run one of those, I guess I would put it on the rear where it would cause fewer problems.

Honestly, if the choice is the connection trail or SB8s, I would go with the latter But really, I think this is a comparison of lousy vs terrible. But if your budget is so low that you are balking a a set of tires selling for $9 a piece (which is practically free considering it is a legit MTB tire) you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel, and canít be too choosy.

For some context, top of the line mtb tires (standard, not fat tires) run $50-75 per tire. These will have folding beads, fancy casing construction that is lighter tough and flexible (faster rolling and smoother), and multiple tread compounds (such as the DTC which is harder down the middle and softer on the sides)

New ďbudgetĒ mtb tires (wire bead, single compound, standard casings) will run more like $30-40. These are no frills tires, but legit options for a budget MTB. In many cases, these are the same tread design as the more expensive tires, and look the same at first glance.

Get down to $20 and these are the hybrid tires that are heavy, harsh, and not really intended for primarily off road use.

Of course there are occasionally blow out deals on any of these.

If you budget is under $9 per tire.... just make sure they hold air.
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Old 01-19-20, 01:07 AM
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Tried myself to get this Kenda Lopes tires but do not show on the link.
Which ones did you choose ?
looking for budget tires also
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Old 01-20-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rudymexico View Post
Tried myself to get this Kenda Lopes tires but do not show on the link. Which ones did you choose ? looking for budget tires also
I ended up with a used set of Kenda Small Block 8's that were $20 for the pair. The bike for which I bought them is a current project and a full tear-down/rebuild, so it will be a little while before I have a chance to try them out. They're just to get me started on a nearby hard pack trail, so my bar is not that high for now.
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Old 01-20-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
I ended up with a used set of Kenda Small Block 8's that were $20 for the pair. The bike for which I bought them is a current project and a full tear-down/rebuild, so it will be a little while before I have a chance to try them out. They're just to get me started on a nearby hard pack trail, so my bar is not that high for now.
Glad you found something. FYI, I never run a tire on the back with more grip and/or tread than the front. Doing so may allow the front tire to break free first, sending you to the ground. Either run matching tires or a lesser tread in rear. Many folks do the latter to save climbing weight and to allow the back end to slide around turns a bit. A little rear tire slide is ok, front tire slide, no.
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Old 01-20-20, 05:01 PM
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Or also another fyi for the future, try running a wider tire up front. I do that one my main mtb's.
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Old 01-20-20, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
Or also another fyi for the future, try running a wider tire up front. I do that one my main mtb's.
i do that on my 26er

i like it very much
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Old 01-20-20, 06:45 PM
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The Redwood loop is a fairly wide fire road, not too technical. You'll do fine on less aggressive tires. Got a picture of your project?
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Old 01-21-20, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
The Redwood loop is a fairly wide fire road, not too technical. You'll do fine on less aggressive tires. Got a picture of your project?
Thanks for the advice! Iím actually documenting the overhaul here: Univega Alpina Comp, early 90ís?


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