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Tyre advice

Leigh Rough RidersLeigh Rough Riders Posts: 36
edited June 2012 in MTB buying advice
I am an advancing novice XC track and trail etc mountain bike rider who needs some help with tyre set up. So am looking for expert advice from those who know and have used many different types of the better make tyres.
I do not have tubeless rims and am still using V-brakes.

I am looking for a strong, reliable, all rounder, all year, all terrain, all season, fast rolling ‘summer’ tyre. Ok you are going to tell me there isn’t one, but which is the best tyre to go for (front and back), for mainly use in spring, summer and autumn, on trails, tracks, single tracks, paths, roads, but that can handle wet roots and wet rocks plus loose ground and mud. Plus the odd ride in winter, and preferably one that does not puncture so easy.
I have been looking at 2.1 and 2.2 tyres (26in x 2.2ish fast rolling XC / Trail tyre with good grip), but would I be better with wider tyres?

What is the benefit of folding over wired? Which is better and why? Which are strongest and lighter?
Which compounds are best, and can grippy tactile rubber roll fast? Which is best for fast rolling but gripping wet roots etc, or is that a contradiction?
What does ‘PSC’, and ‘WCS’ stand for, or mean?
Is it best to mix and use different tyres front and back?

Basically what would you advise for my type of riding and why?
Thanks!
LRRs

Posts

  • Greer_Greer_ Posts: 1,716
    Your dream tyre doesn't exist! Its a well asked question.

    Folding is better IMO as it's far lighter. I wouldn't think there's much difference in strength.

    Grippy rubbers are for grip, so they're more likely to drag.

    Most people prefer to use different tyres, a grippy one at the front and a low rolling resistance tyre on the back.

    An example would be a Nobby Nic on the front and a Racing Ralph on the back.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Often folding tyres come in better compounds.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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    Parktools
  • If your using tubes why not go for 3 tyres????
    eg.... A nice high roller 2 in quite a soft compound (42a/3c) for lots of grip but still quite fast rolling
    ....... A High roller 60a (harder compound) grippy and fast rolling
    ....... A Crossmark 60a Super fast rolling not really one for wet conditions

    This does mean occasionally swapping tyres before a ride but gives you lots of options....

    front HR2 + rear HR = slowest but grippiest setup one for the wet days
    front HR2 + rear CM = Nice grippy setup that still wont get caught out on wet roots and rocks (faster than the x2 HR's)
    front HR + rear CM = verry fast setup for lovely dry dusty days and dry woodland floors

    You will never find amagic set of front and rear tyres that magically do everything your asking. I personally ride tubeless so stick with grippier tyres all the time as its an censored to change them and I'd rather have worn out legs than accidentaly get intimate with a big greasy rock or root.
    Yeti SB66c 2013
  • Tom BartonTom Barton Posts: 516
    /\ - good advice, I do this kinda thing albeit with a different selection of tyres - many will just simply suggest the tyres that you can substitute jonnys suggestions with.

    Schwalbe choices: Fat Alberts, Nobby nics and racing ralphs
    Conti choices: Rubber queens, mountain king 2s and race kings
    Kenda: Nevegals, small block eights (epicly fast grippy dry tyre btw)

    and so on


    http://www.nextdaytyres.com

    Good for comparing + good prices
  • stickybubstickybub Posts: 19
    I use DMR moto diggers all year round for everything and love them i just nip up a bit more in the real slopy stuff lol
    they last very very well too
  • Thanks for the advice so far.
    I gathered the perfect tyre does not exist. :)
    I would prefer to run 1 set of tyres for summer / autumn / spring, and then risk to odd ride in winter on them. I have already managed doing that so far, but I understand it is best policy to change to winter tyres.

    I don't generally seek out deep mud to ride in and most of my riding is in summer / autumn / spring. We go out in winter off road occasionally when dry, or on the roads, so I would prefer a set of tyres designed mainly for summer, but capable of handling British summer mud and the wet rocks and roots in the woods etc.
    Fantastic grip is important but I don’t want to grind to a halt and get left behind on the hard stuff, and I am not concerned about wear or price. I prefer reliable tyres I can trust and don’t puncture all the time, and tyres I can go fast on with confidence, but not end up skidding off the bike.

    Can we start with what width is best for my bike and riding?
    I thought maybe 2.2, but I see some write ups suggesting 2.35, and a lot of tyres are only 2.1.
    How are folding tyres better than wired tyres? I would think wired would be stronger if using an inner tube – no?
    LRRs
  • If your using tubes why not go for 3 tyres????
    eg.... A nice high roller 2 in quite a soft compound (42a/3c) for lots of grip but still quite fast rolling
    ....... A High roller 60a (harder compound) grippy and fast rolling
    ....... A Crossmark 60a Super fast rolling not really one for wet conditions

    This does mean occasionally swapping tyres before a ride but gives you lots of options....

    front HR2 + rear HR = slowest but grippiest setup one for the wet days
    front HR2 + rear CM = Nice grippy setup that still wont get caught out on wet roots and rocks (faster than the x2 HR's)
    front HR + rear CM = verry fast setup for lovely dry dusty days and dry woodland floors
    .

    Do you mean Maxxis Highroller 2? Isn't this a Down Hill tyre? It is also 2.4 wide. Would that fit between my brakes on a XC trail bike?
    LRRs
  • It is not specifically a downhill tyre (as it is available in a lighter single ply option) but you are right that it is a 2.4.
    Kevlar (folding beads) are better as they are lighter and generally utilise the better compounds manufacturers have to offer. Also you can fold them up and carry a spare if you are doing all day epics in say..... the Alps.
    From what you have said about the 3 tyre options being a "NO NO" I would suggest you go for......

    Front - maxxis high roller 2.35 exc/lust/ust Strictly speaking this is a tubeless tyre but you cas still run it with tubes. It will be a good size and uses the best compounds and will stave off punctures fantasticly

    Rear - Maxxis advantage 60A 2.25
    Yeti SB66c 2013
  • From what you have said about the 3 tyre options being a "NO NO" I would suggest you go for......

    You should understand I am clueless. :roll: I presumed you get a tyre that is made for that discipline, I thought DH tyres where for DH bikes with wider forks and had a flatter squarer surface, and XC trail tyres where a little lighter and rounder to grip corners better and maybe had a harder compound.

    So you think 2.3 width is correct for XC, track and trail riding? Is it better to run the same width both front and back or better to be narrower on the back? I am not super heavy and I do not normally ride long in thick mud.
    I take it my bike forks with V-brakes can fit a 2.3 tyre.
    LRRs
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    From what you have said about the 3 tyre options being a "NO NO" I would suggest you go for......

    You should understand I am clueless. :roll: I presumed you get a tyre that is made for that discipline, I thought DH tyres where for DH bikes with wider forks and had a flatter squarer surface, and XC trail tyres where a little lighter and rounder to grip corners better and maybe had a harder compound.

    So you think 2.3 width is correct for XC, track and trail riding? Is it better to run the same width both front and back or better to be narrower on the back? I am not super heavy and I do not normally ride long in thick mud.
    I take it my bike forks with V-brakes can fit a 2.3 tyre.
    DH tyres can be round and 1.9 wide. They can also be 2.4 wide. So can XC. And AM tyres.

    Most forks are the same width. Some are shaped to give a bit more clearance around the arch than others.

    2.6 on a DH bike is too much. Way too heavy.

    Tyre width relates to trail conditions and to rider mass. Some riders use differing widths front and back. Many don't. Some use different tread paten front and rear. Some even have different brands. Some may even use the tyre the wrong way round as it makes it behave better for thier style.

    I have a hobby nic on the front of one bike with racing Ralph on the rear both 2.4. On another bike I have NN 2.1 front and rear. On another some fat Alberts 2.35 front on the front and rear on the rear. On the DH bike I run some Maxxis Minions I think.

    You have some tyres now? Go rid the bike and see how it is. Then you may see what you are lacking with the current ones and can then say right I want more cornering than I am getting from my current brand X tyres... Or I keep losing traction when braking ....

    My advice is Nobby nic on the front and racing Ralph on the rear. His will do you for most conditions. Others will say other tyres etc etc etc. some people don't rate the NN others do......

    Width comes down to you and what you want. A great thing about LBSs is they can see you and your bike and say right a set of xyz for you.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    The NN/RR is a nice combo, but personally I find the Panaracer XC Pro suites me as a 'not bad for any conditon' tyre, though I'm sure others will disagree, that said I have some super fast rolling Michelins for summer.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    used to use the XC pro years ago.....
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Just noticed your from manchester..... I think we have all been reccomending tyres for areas with a "normal" climates.....

    You deffinately need maxxis wet screams for both front and rear wheels!
    Yeti SB66c 2013
  • Yes it is wet and there is summer mud around Manchester, but I try to avoid the mud until it dries up. Of course it is unavoidable at times but I do not want a dedicated mud tyre. I want speed but to have confidence when I do hit some thing slippery. I ride different terrains including roads and dry tracks.

    Thanks for all the good advice it seems tyres is an in depth subject.
    I have just noticed a supposedly UK specific tyre that looks interesting. Has anybody tested the On-One Smorgasbord 2.25, either ‘Trail Extreme’ or Enduro?
    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/TYOOSM26X22 ... L-DUO-BLK/
    LRRs
  • Thanks for everybody’s advice. I have been on a learning curve and looked at many tyres and read many comments and reviews. Then put my own thought on it.
    I will first buy my front tyre and then see which is best to match.
    It was a difficult selection but I was eventually drawn to the Bontrager XR4 2.2 (Team Issue TLR). It looks a well priced all rounder 3 season summer tyre. However English summer for the last 5 years has been wet and muddy, and this year although warmer June has been a wash out. So instead I am seriously considering Continental Baron 2.3 Black Chili with 180tpi (850g). Baron doesn’t have many write up's but all are good and it appears a good choice for British conditions. My only worry is on some rides we do many miles on roads, and it is not a hard pack tyre.
    I think I will probably go with it and see, but I shall then be asking opinions for a rear to match it.
    LRRs
  • Would you recommend another Continental Baron 2.3 Black Chili to match or another tyre either front or back, for all year all round use?

    What tyre is best to pair with Continental Baron 2.3 Black Chili?
    Thanks!
    LRRs
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