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XC Tyre Advice

anoycepersonanoyceperson Posts: 66
edited August 2008 in MTB buying advice
Hi Guys,

I have only just got into MTB riding and have just bought a Giant 3.5 XTC however last night I managed to rip a hole in the sidewall of my tyre on the back. I am guessing the that tyres that come on the bike (Kenda Kharisma II 26x2.1'') are probably not the best in the world so was thinking that instead of replacing like for like I might as well upgrade.

Firstly I have a max budget of £30 a tyre so do you think its worth changing both tyres to something new or just replacing like for like on the back?

If not the tyres I have been looking at so far are:

What are your opinions of them? I am after a good all round XC tyre for offroading but that can be used on the road occasionally without sapping all the forward motion into the tyres. (The offroad ability is more important to be honest as thats where I plan to spend most of my time).

Another question I have is should I stick with a similar size tyre or would it be worth going bigger/smaller?

Sorry for all the questions but there are so many different varietys sizes etc I dont really know where to start!

EDIT: Anyone know why those links links did not become links?


  • silly lilysilly lily Posts: 505
    The panaracer absolutely ripps offroad, cannot imagine better. Got them on my FS. For the road though, I wouldn't, not the fastest-rolling! Although I don't really ride on-road.
    The Contis are tamer than the above, and excellent all-around.
    My On One Inbred and Com Meta 5.5.1:
    Academic Coaching and Advising Consultancy
  • Ok, so if it was just offroad then the Panaracers would be the one to go for but if the road riding is needed then go for the Contis?

    Are the Panaracers bareable on the road? I quite often go out for rides with my GF and her bike can only really cope with road riding.
  • silly lilysilly lily Posts: 505
    Oh yeah, the Panaracer are bareable on road, but will look a lot out of place for that function and will feel slow (if that matters to you, i.e imagine a nissan micra with big offroad tyres, if that was ever possible); Therefore, the Contis are better for both worlds.
    My On One Inbred and Com Meta 5.5.1:
    Academic Coaching and Advising Consultancy
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Fire XC's are OK on road & I love 'em off road, used them for years!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I've got the Conti MK Protections and love them - great off road grip in dry and wet conditions and they roll really well on roads too.

    Best all round tyre I reckon.
  • I am assuming that the 2.2 contis will fit on my rims ok? I dontreally know if that .1 makes any difference!

    I am leaning towards them at the mo.

    Are they fairly durable as well?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    The 2.2s are really quite thin width wise- I had 2.0 Spesh Fast Traks before and they are almost the same size (had to measure the circumference to set my cycle computer) - you'll easily fit them on.

    The Black Chili rubber is amazing - really grippy but rolls very well too. Got mine from for a great price but think they may have run out!

    Only had mine for a month so not sure on durability but they have about 300 miles on them and seem almost like new still so looking good. Also ridden through bramble strewn single track - no punctures at all. They have reinforced sidewalls so you won't rip them either.

    Highly recommended! :D
  • So is the 2.2 measurement the width of the tyre in the widest place in inches?

    Another question, I am going to change my inner tubes at the same time so I have got the same type of valve as a car tyre (not sure of the technical name) as that will make my life a lot easier. I am assuming that the more expensive inner tubes are better in some way than the cheaper ones. Any suggestions as to what I should go for?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Hmmm - most prefer presta (non car) valves - easier to inflate quickly IMO.
    You'll need to adapt if you want shraeder (car) valves - our 2008 Rockhopper has car ones, the Stumoy has Presta - much prefer Presta myself.

    2.2 is the widest bit but I'd say it's nearer 2.0 inches.
  • S_J_PS_J_P Posts: 908
    If you're contemplating going the Shraeder route, then make sure your rims have large enough holes - Presta valves are narrower.

    Tube-wise I've always used Schwalbe tubes, you can pick up a pack of five for around £15, they're weight/durability ratio is good.

    Your links wouldn't work cos you didn't put the web address within the square brackets ....

    [u*]Google link[/u*l]

    Will give you "Google link" which will link to

    Tyre wise I rate the Pana Cinder way above the Pana Fire and Maxxis Ignitor. It's less noisy than the Ignitor on-road, faster rolling than the Fire, and off road knocks them both into a cocked hat. Haven't used the Conti though, but it does get good reviews.
  • S_J_PS_J_P Posts: 908
    BTW, you should be able to pick up a 2.25" steel Cinder for £15, so you could get two for your budget.

    Alternatively just switch the rear for now and get some decent tubes too.
  • Thanks for the advice guys, I think I have decided on the Continental Mountain King ProTection as they seem to be getting some good reviews etc and seem to be just what I am after.

    Also just read somewhere that to get car style valves into my rims u have to drill them out so will stick with presta. So in that case I am thinking I will take your advice and get a 5 pack of the Schwalbe ones.

    EDIT: Anyone had any experience with this pump?

    Thinking I should really invest in a decent foot pump to use at home to get the tyres up to pressure before rides.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    That's a decent pump - I have the Spesh Sport track pump which is also very good.

    Let me know what you think of the MKs - good choice!!
  • Guys,

    I have just noticed on the continental website it has the UST tubeless icon next to the tyre! Have a been an idiot and ordered one that is a tubeless tyre?
  • Guys,

    I have just noticed on the continental website it has the UST tubeless icon next to the tyre! Have a been an idiot and ordered one that is a tubeless tyre?

    EDIT: I have ordered the exact ones shown in the link on the first page of this thread.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Since there's a few guys who ride continental tyres here, have you guys noticed that the tyres get damaged more easily than other brands?

    I tend to ride quite extreme terrain, and push my bike quite hard, and I've found that continental tyres always seem to loose chunks, or get torn much easier than, say Maxxis, IRC, or Intense tyres. This is a shame, as I really like the continental vertical protection's level of grip, but they just don't last.
    It's driving me crazy, because even a supertacky high-roller has lasted better than a Vertical.

    I was interested to see if you guys had similar experiences when using the tyres for XC use?
  • zero303zero303 Posts: 1,162
    I lock the rear on tarmac trying to avoid a car and almost ripped a whole centre knobble off but off road no such damage yet...
  • smittysmitty Posts: 125
    conti speed king very light and good grip in the corners
  • chrispschrisps Posts: 60
    If you ordered from Wiggle, I am pretty sure they dont do the UST variety of the tyre, so you should be ok. You would know about it anyway, as they are really expensive compared to the non-UST version.

    I got some MK 2.4 protection tyres a few weeks back and I have been really impressed by them so far - super grippy on all surfaces including wet, mossy roots. As for them getting damaged, I havent had any problems thus far. They have fallen quite violently off the side of rocks and stuff when doing sharp cornering and I havent lost any bits of the tyre yet, touch wood!
  • Ciaran500Ciaran500 Posts: 348
    Not sure if you did but tubless tyres work fine with tubes.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    My 2.2" MK Protections are laughing off some quite silly abuse :D
  • Right guys, got the tyres on the bike. Not had a chance to ride on them yet, that is for tommorrow but they certainly look the part!

    Will report back once I have given them a go.

    (Can post up pics of them on the bike if anyone is interested.)
  • manc_ianmanc_ian Posts: 166
    anoyceperson - I am really contemplating buying a pair of the 2.2 MK Protection Tyres. I have spent the last few weeks scanning the net for reviews and other possible alternatives and the conti's do sound like a great tyre. I would really appreciate it if you could let me know how you get on when you have given them a test ride and what sort of conditions you were riding in.

    Id be interested in some pics if you are ok posting some on here.


  • Here you go, some pics of the little beautys on the bike.



    I will try and give you a review when I get back tommorrow. I have to admit to you now that I havent got much to compare them to though as I havent had the bike long and only had the standard tyres on it before then.
  • manc_ianmanc_ian Posts: 166
    Cheers for the pics.

    Do all the protection models have the red mesh like sidewalls. Just dont think that would look too good with my olive coloured frame on my XTC SX. Do look the biz on your bike though.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nice one! They look just like mine!

    Ian - they are slightly reddish but my bike is a bit like the one above (in looks) - but much more black. The tyres simply look cool 8) :lol:
  • Right guys,

    After having ridden on these little monkeys for a couple of rides I can say they seem to be pretty good (a definate improvement on the tyres I had before).

    As you mentioned they do look rather sexy on my bike and as far as I know all the "protection" models have that colour sidewall. Not sure about the rest of range though.

    To answer your question about what I am riding on it has been two completely different surfaces:

    1) Softish woody areas, pine needles on the floor type affair (MOD area over towards Deepcut)

    2) Lose sandy gravel, rooty as you like as well (Leith Hill on the North downs).

    They seemed to cope fairly well with both surfaces, they slip a little bit but its pretty controllable.

    Sorry about the not too great review but as mentioned earlier I dont really have much to compare them too!

    EDIT: Thought of something else as well. You can get these tyres on (and I assume off) without a tyre level without too much hassle.
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