Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

Mixing/Matching Tires

Old 12-30-03, 03:52 PM
  #1  
Portis
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mixing/Matching Tires

Mixing/Matching Tires
Most bikes come with identical tires front and rear. This is all right for general use, but if you want to optimize your bike, you should consider using different tires front and rear. The front and rear tires have different loadings and different requirements.

Narrower Front, Wider Rear
If lightness is the primary goal, tire width/weight is limited by the risk of pinch cut flats, a.k.a. "snake bites." Since there is more weight carried on the rear tire, you can get away with a slightly narrower tire in front than you can in back.

Wider Front, Narrower Rear
A wider front tire makes sense in many applications, however, when handling and ride comfort are considered. A wider tire will generally provide better cornering traction than a narrower one, assuming appropriate inflation pressure.
A wider tire also provides superior shock absorbency. I personally prefer a slightly wider tire in front, since I suffer from some wrist discomfort on occasion.


Off-Road Issues
Bikes that are used some of the time on loose surfaces often benefit from a wider front tire, with a fairly agressive tread, coupled with a somewhat narrower, smoother rear tire.
The wide, knobby front tire will provide the all-important front wheel traction. If your front tire skids, it almost always leads to a crash. For riding in soft conditions, such as sand or mud, a wide front tire is essential. If the front tire sinks in and gets bogged down, you're stuck. If the front tire rolls through a soft patch OK, you can generally power the rear through to follow it.

The narrower, smoother rear tire will have lower rolling resistance. Since most of the weight is carried by the rear tire, rolling resistance is more important on the rear than the front. If the rear tire slips, in most cases the worst that will happen is that you'll have to get off and walk.

This is a great idea that developed out of BMX racing.

Some mountain bike tires come in matched sets, with diffrerent tread front/rear. The front tires tend to have the knobs set up more or less parallel to the direction of travel, for improved lateral grip and better steering control. The rears tend to have transverse knobs for driving/braking traction.

I am considering running a semi-slick on the back and putting some sort of knobby on the front, maybe something with a connected center tread. I ride mainly on 70% hardpack gravel and 25% pavement with 5 % grass, misc. Very rarely do I hill climb. I also commute to work on pavement occasionally. Is it a good idea to run the semi-slick rear and knobby front? I want to try and pick up a couple mph on my daily ride.[/SIZE]

Last edited by Portis; 12-30-03 at 09:39 PM.
Portis is offline  
Old 12-30-03, 06:00 PM
  #2  
Jim311
Senior Member
 
Jim311's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Posts: 1,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Who there chief! We don't need a billboard instead of a post! We're not blind


Personally I'd just run semi-slicks front and rear if I were you. I've had great experiences with the Michelin Jet S, and if you're riding in hardpack or pavement then you can't go wrong with it. My buddy used to run a semi slick rear and knobby front, but to me it's either all or nothing. I think it makes a bike unpredictable. I prefer to run two of the same tires and not mix things up. Why don't you just experiment and see what works for you?
Jim311 is offline  
Old 12-30-03, 09:00 PM
  #3  
KleinMp99
New to bikeforýms.net
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 2,202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jim311
Who there chief! We don't need a billboard instead of a post! We're not blind
Um yea really, I was considering simply not even reading the post, but I gave in.



Originally Posted by Jim311
Personally I'd just run semi-slicks front and rear if I were you.
Thats exactly what I was going to say.
KleinMp99 is offline  
Old 12-30-03, 09:41 PM
  #4  
Portis
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jim311
Who there chief! We don't need a billboard instead of a post! We're not blind
Sorry there fellas. Damn I thought my wife complained a lot. Seriously, the font appeared smaller on my laptop at home. My apologies.
Portis is offline  
Old 01-01-04, 12:13 PM
  #5  
Portis
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Off-Road Issues
Bikes that are used some of the time on loose surfaces often benefit from a wider front tire, with a fairly agressive tread, coupled with a somewhat narrower, smoother rear tire.
The wide, knobby front tire will provide the all-important front wheel traction. If your front tire skids, it almost always leads to a crash. For riding in soft conditions, such as sand or mud, a wide front tire is essential. If the front tire sinks in and gets bogged down, you're stuck. If the front tire rolls through a soft patch OK, you can generally power the rear through to follow it.

The narrower, smoother rear tire will have lower rolling resistance. Since most of the weight is carried by the rear tire, rolling resistance is more important on the rear than the front. If the rear tire slips, in most cases the worst that will happen is that you'll have to get off and walk.

This is a great idea that developed out of BMX racing.
It seems like this is why it makes sense to run a knobby on the front. Does anyone do this? It certainly makes sense, the part about not wanting the front wheel to skid.
Portis is offline  
Old 01-01-04, 04:55 PM
  #6  
Jim311
Senior Member
 
Jim311's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Posts: 1,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's lots of members here who run larger tires in the front, but it seems like mostly the downhill and freeride crew that does that. The XC guys like me most likely run the same width front/rear tires. I have no problems doing so.
Jim311 is offline  
Old 01-02-04, 12:43 PM
  #7  
montlake_mtbkr
www.titusti.com
 
montlake_mtbkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 320

Bikes: Titus Switchblade, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
mix it up and experiment. if you find a combo that's heavenly let us know. Right now I'm trying out a Maxxis Highroller on front and a Geax Blade on back. for the trail conditions now, wet to snowy, it seems to work well. I'm not sure if I'll stick with the Highroller for long since it's so damn heavy.
montlake_mtbkr is offline  
Old 01-02-04, 03:55 PM
  #8  
Avalanche325
Senior Member
 
Avalanche325's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: Litespeed Firenze / GT Avalanche

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I run the same width but different tires. I use a WTB Velocoraptor on the front (very aggressive tread). and a Mythos XC on the rear (still aggressive, but not as much). I run 35 lbs in front and 40lbs in the rear. This is for mostly climbing on dry rough fire roads.

I want GRIP in the front when coming back down.
Avalanche325 is offline  
Old 01-02-04, 06:01 PM
  #9  
GregC
Junior Member
 
GregC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 12

Bikes: '04 Gary Fisher Tassajara

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I run a 1.8" Panaracer FireXCPro in the back and a 2.1" up front on the advice of the guy at my LBS. I can't say I have really noticed that big of a difference, although I seem to be a bit faster on downhills.
GregC is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
spectastic
Bicycle Mechanics
4
07-05-19 06:39 PM
MiloFrance
Classic & Vintage
2
09-25-14 11:50 AM
Hartigan
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
2
05-17-11 06:17 PM
superduper54
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
8
07-03-09 01:48 PM
alwaysbefirst
Road Cycling
1
07-25-05 03:26 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.