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Tyre Volumes, bigger or smaller

ashleyyyy2011ashleyyyy2011 Posts: 56
edited November 2013 in MTB buying advice
Hi,

I'm looking at getting some mud tyres for the winter, and i have seen most are offered in either 2.0 or 1.8 widths. Why would i choose either of these? and would they benefit my riding experience? I currently have XR3 2.2 tyres and they aren't to good in the mud.

I've never been good with tyre width knowledge so all advice is welcome.
I can ride my bike with no handlebars...no handlebars... no handlebars
and i can split the atom of a molecule... of a molecule... of a molecule

Posts

  • Some would argue a narrower one gets down through mud and finds grip rather than floating of a larger tyre. I run bonty xr4 in a 2.2 and find them ok .

    Trouble is mud varies !

    Often a good idea to ask locals what they use and recommend
  • adamfoadamfo Posts: 763
    The narrower tyre has a longer contact patch hence more traction.
  • I ride around houghton forest near the SDW mainly, the ground tends to vary between dry(ish) mud with the odd rooty section in the summer to a constant wet bog, glass like roots with deep puddles for the other 10 months of the year.

    Most of the guys i ride with run Bonty XR Muds when it gets wet, hence my choice is leaning towards those, people who don't run them will all be on Mud specific tyres in the winter, generally.

    As i'm a big guy would i benefit from the increased volume?

    in regard to the previous comment, surely the contact patch is the same length no matter the tyre, it only changes with wheel size no?
    I can ride my bike with no handlebars...no handlebars... no handlebars
    and i can split the atom of a molecule... of a molecule... of a molecule
  • adamfoadamfo Posts: 763

    in regard to the previous comment, surely the contact patch is the same length no matter the tyre, it only changes with wheel size no?

    In theory the contact patch area is the same for any tyre and wheel size assuming the same weight and pressure. What changes is the patch shape. A wider tyre has more lateral grip because the patch is shorter and wider. The thinner tyre has more traction because the patch shape is longer and thinner.
    In practice you do run at lower pressures on a wider tyre so things aren't quite so clear cut.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    It depends on your local trail conditions.
    In really boggy conditions a skinny mud tyre cuts through the mud giving less resistance and better traction.
    Personally I like a 2.2" all rounder like a Rubber Queen or XR4 on the front and a 2.0" mud tyre on the rear.
  • I'd pick your tyre on the basis of what your up against the most. There is no answer for roots other than technique and sometimes some luck but if your dealing with thick deep mud all the time, a thinner (2.2 or less) mud orientated tyre is your friend. (I also like to point out that just 'wet' conditions - for example like at most trail centres where the surfaces are often all weather and just have surface water rather than full on gloop - an all-rounder like a rubber queen as suggested by rockmonkey or a hans dampf will serve you better).

    Unless you really like to hammer your bike, hit every bump and jump, plough through rock gardens like they arnt there etc, I wouldn't worry too much about your weight - pick a good tyre (irrespective of volume) and then inflate it to a suitable pressure for your weight so you don't pinch flat it (i.e. a 10 stone guy can get away with 25 psi in his tyres, a 17 stone guy will need to be thinking more like 40 - but every tyre is different as is every rider's riding style so don't necessarily take that as gospel numbers).

    Volume is useful of comfort and for absorbing bigger bumps (so a good choice for rocky trails), there is a perception that they are stronger or more puncture resistant (which owing to the extra air space inside is somewhat true) but ultimately I believe the quality/durability of the tyre construction is more crucial in this respect. High volume tyres are also good in loose conditions with lots of loose shale/sand/small rocks etc as the wider contact patch they give gives more grip and crucially control. They are however heavier and less nimble, have higher rolling resistance and as previously mentioned they do not cut through mud to the underlying ground well - a particular problem for the back wheel which can just spin pointlessly if it gets well clagged up. A narrow tyre will be quick and fast and cut through mud and plough along nicely, but it sacrifices grip in all other respects (the extent to which depends on the tyre). There is sadly no perfect tyre, only a number of best compromises, the compromise depends on you and your riding.
  • swod1swod1 Posts: 1,639
    It depends on your local trail conditions.
    In really boggy conditions a skinny mud tyre cuts through the mud giving less resistance and better traction.
    Personally I like a 2.2" all rounder like a Rubber Queen or XR4 on the front and a 2.0" mud tyre on the rear.

    What about a 2.3 baron upfront would that work or be too heavy, i'm not so sure on a xr4 up front in muddy conditions as the tread does tend to pack up and not clear all that well on stuff around where i live.

    For winter i'm thinking of fitting a pair of maxxis beaver tyres in 2.0 but i believe they make a 2.2 version as well ?
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    It all depends on your local conditions. See what others are using on your local trails.
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