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26 inch tyre combo's for wet muddy trails please

strauss_jonstrauss_jon Posts: 39
edited February 2016 in MTB buying advice
Hi all

With the vast array of tyres out there and my lack of expertise in the matter - I was hoping to get some recommendations from you guys.

My riding is XC on the south downs and it's mega muddy at the moment so I'm looking for grippy tyres that shed mud easily. Having said that, it's 5+miles of concrete each way to get to the south downs so a bit of a 'roller' would be a nice to have.

After reading positive reviews for Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance DC 26*2.1 (good roller and for shedding mud apparently) i went ahead and bought a pair can can categorically say they're absolutely rubbish for wet mud. Mud sticks like glue and i've just found myself wheel spinning, falling off then walking the rest of the trail. They left me with no confidence at all on slippery terrain.

So i'm new to all this, and I was reading a wider front with cross treads and a narrower rear with horizontal treads? Common sense tells me a wider rear is better for grip (more contact patch on driving wheel) so i don't understand that reasoning? As for mud displacement - it's a minefield out there. So many tyres / tread patterns claiming this and that...and especially since 26 inch seems to be on the way out?! I looked at some of the top mtb tyres only for them to be available in 27 and 29.

So....any recommendations for 26 inch front and back tyre combinations (with widths), mud displacer and preferably ok'ish for a bit of concrete (latter less important mind you). After years of going with stock items, now i understand the importance of the right tyre for the conditions!

Advice much appreciated. Thanks, Jon


  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Currently using Specialized Storm Control, pretty good, don't collect mud, great for muddy cambered surfaces and general thick mud. Been riding at Bedgebury with a mix of dry/hard surfaces, gravel and thick muddy climbs. Only downside is not great on roots and wet rocks but I'll swallow that. 2" width aswell.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,820
    edited February 2016
    I use Specialized Purgatory (26 x 2.2) on the front and Specialized The Captain (26 x 2.0) on the back and it seems to be a good combination. Rolls nicely on hardback and tarmac and grips well on the slippy stuff.
    I don't think The Captain is made anymore so I will probably fit a Ground Control (26 x 2.1) to the rear when the time comes.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Toughtroad SLR 1 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • Maxxis medusa exception on the rear and nobby nic evo on the front
  • Cheers all. Looking at all your options - they all look good.

    The Bontrager XR Mud Team Issue Tyre seems to be excellent too - another to consider? Was thinking of this for the back and nobby nic eva up front?

    JGTR - do you use Storm Control front and rear?

    Thanks ;)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Whoever suggested Raphs for mud was nuts!

    For mud that stick you need minimal tread block and lots of space, although I use it rarely the Panaracer MudX in a 1.8 is great in those (and only those) conditions.

    For a more all round tyre you need as open a tread pattern as possible so the mud doesn't hang on to the tyre, Maxxis Beaver or Schwalbe Nobby Nic for example.
  • Continental Mud King MTB possibly....great reviews. ... -prod83014
  • Purgatory on front and ground control on rear was good. Ground control only lasted a year before sidewall ripped, so back to one of my worn Storm controls, which is less grippy than the Ground control.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    I ride Storm Control front and rear. My summer tyres are Ground Control, which work OK in mud but do get clogged up and not great on cambered surfaces. I notice the grip of my Storms on the rear especially, so could possibly go with a different front?? I will say that they never get clogged with mud.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Plus Storms are sub £30
  • Thanks for your help. I spent almost 1/2 day faffing with the 'perfect' combination (only to give up out of mere desperation)...ended up with the Purgatory 2.2 front and ground control 2.1 rear. Only reservation is with the ground controls mud clearance abilities. Hope it's ok. I did consider the storm controls but thought the 5 miles of tarmac there then back would be a bit uncompromising. Really appreciate your recommendations :)
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