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MTB Tire ?

Old 01-18-15, 09:29 AM
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MTB Tire ?

How far do you let your tires wear out before you replace them? I have a Trek Superfly AL Elite that came with the Bontrager EXP Tubeless tires and they have tiny knobs that are very close together and they don't clean out very well in muddy/tacky conditions. Anyway my rear is worn a lot more than the front and the center knobs are very short now. Sometimes I feel like the front is having a hard time gripping if I am riding fast. How long do most people go and what is everyone else using that may be a better tire? I ride single track that has some rocky sections as well as a lot of tree roots and a lot of down hill trails. What do you guys recommend as a replacement set of tires for me?
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Old 01-18-15, 09:47 AM
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I replace my tires when I feel like they aren't "doing" it for me anymore. From your description I'd say yours are shot. The set I just put on my MTB are Bontrager XR3 rear and XR4 front in 26X2.35. This is by far the best set up I have had yet! Traction is awesome and rolling resistance is less than my old Nevegals ever were. I might have gone with a 2.1 rear if I could do it over. I'm sure there are plenty of other tires out there but these have been the best for me so far. I have one season on them and they still look and feel good. My Nev's lasted 2 seasons before I was unhappy with them. ( traction was only ever OK and rolling resistance was always kind of piggish ) That is about what is normal life for my tires, 2-3 seasons.
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Old 01-18-15, 01:16 PM
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I keep 2-3 sets of tires around to swap out for different riding conditions --- and if a tire is not doing it for me -- i take it on the chin and donate them to someone else or use them on a beater

Unlike the previous poster, i actually like the Nevegal for my riding conditions , but i also have a set of Small Block 8's now to try out when the trail dries out, --- My new bike has Maxxiss Ardent's and i havent made up my mind about them yet -- But i try not to get married to my tires , they are consumable goods

Besides, i dont get a lot of time to ride during the week, - when i do , i want the experience to be as good as it can be
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Old 01-18-15, 07:51 PM
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I have Continetal Xking on the front and Mountain King on the back. Awesome grippy tires but hard to initially seal when running tubeless.
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Old 01-20-15, 08:49 AM
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If you ride MTB tires on the street with high pressure (near the tire's max), they will wear out the center tread pretty fast. But even on trails, you'll probably wear out the center first, unless you tear knobs off the shoulders using soft tires on hardpack and rocks.

It's really a judgment call and decision about how much you value your traction, versus putting up with a tire that is slipping. A pic might help, but if you think it's time to replace them, you're probably right.
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Old 01-20-15, 06:36 PM
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My current bike came with Schwalbe Rocket Ron's, super light, a sub 500 gram tire in 27.7X 2.25..

Loved em when new but the front tire stopped being predictable before it was half way worn out in the middle, not even half way gone more like,, 40% gone. The side knobs are too flexible/soft on this tire.
The back end felt fine if not faster rolling as it wears down faster, now with only about 40% center tread its getting better for the back end....

I bought ONE tire I had before on my 29er, the Bontrager XR-3 TLR Expert in 27.5X2.35 It weighs about 700 grams.
The extra 200 grams of tire is not a factor as the Bonty rolls far better in all the conditions I ride in...
Tons, Oodles, Bunches, plenty of very PREDICTABLE traction, I can drift my front with complete control again.. The cost almost half what the Schwalbe's cost. I am through trying expensive rubber,,,,
Schwalbe's $90,, Bonty's $50, my momma didn't raise no fool

And I saved the old front Rocket Ron for the rear when that one gets too slick. I know the Bonty out front will out last BOTH my Schwalbe's, one having 40%center tread and the other at about 60%.
Then on the back goes a Bonty XR-3 TLR expert in the 2.25 wide size...

As for me 'drifting' the front tire I guess Its more like, breaking it loose by easing up the pressure on the bars mid turn to widen my line at speed, Often 4 or 5 inches slip sideways is faster than hopping a root, works real well...

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Old 01-21-15, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by osco53
My current bike came with Schwalbe Rocket Ron's, super light, a sub 500 gram tire in 27.7X 2.25..

Loved em when new but the front tire stopped being predictable before it was half way worn out in the middle, not even half way gone more like,, 40% gone. The side knobs are too flexible/soft on this tire.
I feel the same way. I rode my dad's bike and his Rocket Ron shoulder blocks tore off when cornered aggressively on hardpack or loose-over-hard. I felt a little bad about it, since he doesn't corner that hard. But since he doesn't, the missing knobs aren't important? They roll extremely fast and have good braking traction and stuck fine on rocks and roots.

For the OP, I'd suggest giving the Bontrager XR4 a try. If your local bike shop doesn't carry it, most likely they are selling the XR3. That should be fine also, less soft & mud performance, which is probably only a winter & spring issue in Texas.. But even the XR3 is a lot more aggressive than your original tires.
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Old 01-21-15, 03:44 PM
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Bontrager Tires would have not left the shop on my bike. They would have been sitting in the shops parts bin.
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Old 01-21-15, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Milice
Bontrager Tires would have not left the shop on my bike. They would have been sitting in the shops parts bin.
I second that, when I got my Trek Fuel EX8 the first thing I did was swap the Bontragers for Contis.

As far as tire life goes, I ride them until they stop working due to either tread wear or damage.
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Old 01-21-15, 10:04 PM
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Interesting. What made you guys so anti Bontrager? Or is it anti Trek?

Just curious.


Bought a new rear tire yesterday-- my Michelin Wild Racer Advanced doesn't look like it is even going to make it to Spring.

Chose a Maxxis Ardent Race 3C EXO TR. Damn, what a name.
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Old 01-22-15, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
Interesting. What made you guys so anti Bontrager? Or is it anti Trek?
No not anti Trek I own a couple but dont think I would ever buy another new one. Bontrager tires just suck.
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Old 01-22-15, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
Chose a Maxxis Ardent Race 3C EXO TR. Damn, what a name.
Those came on the new Yeti i posted pics of in anotherthread ---- i have alternate tires standing by ready to swap them out, but after the first 3 rides, im thinking - why bother?

Like Osco53, i like a tire that will slip a little , with a rounded profile, --- as opposed to grabbing and digging in , causing a highside. The Maxxis' are alright so far on the first 3 rides--- a bit wide for my taste, but so far so good
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Old 01-23-15, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
Those came on the new Yeti i posted pics of in anotherthread ---- i have alternate tires standing by ready to swap them out, but after the first 3 rides, im thinking - why bother?
I read a lot and see what locals are using. I've been interested in the Ardent Race for a while now and I've heard great things about it.

Maxxis has made great tires for a long time, but only the newer ones have the 3C/EXO/TR combo I was looking for, so that was another reason to pick the AR.
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