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SS_Eric
December 29th, 2012, 11:46 AM
We had a tire thread going on the old board that I would like to resurrect. I'm at the point where I'm ready to pitch my old, worn, and generally not very good IRC Notos. I'd like something big, fat, fast, and tubeless. Any ideas? 29er, of course.

Gregg
December 29th, 2012, 05:31 PM
Hear Kenda is coming out soon with the Honey Badger tire. Sounds promising based on verbal description form Jake and Ben at Kenda.

GS1
December 30th, 2012, 06:50 AM
Racing Ralphs, and even the Nobby Nic sound like they click all of your boxes, although they are pretty expensive. I bet you would be able to trade your 650b Ralph's that you have in the classifieds to someone for a pair 29er's! Post it up on MTBR.

SS_Eric
December 30th, 2012, 07:31 AM
I was clicking around last night, and ended up ordering a Vee Rubber Mission 2.4 for the front, and a Nobby Nic 2.2 for the rear. I wasn't ready to commit to a new tire brand (Vee) on both ends, and wasn't sure the 2.4 would fit with my rear wheel all the way forward in the dropouts on my Karate Monkey. This'll be my first swing at tubeless; wish me luck....

Bacon
December 30th, 2012, 11:14 AM
I run a Hans Dampf on the front of both my 9'rs. On the rear, Racing Ralph. When the Ralph's need replacing, Hans will go on the back as well. For as grippy as the Hans are, they roll very fast on the loose and hard stuff. Damf = 29x2.35

rupps5
December 30th, 2012, 06:40 PM
For riding in the winter and mud I use the first gen Conti mtn kings, they rock all the bad conditions that I have been in. The mtn kings are not so good in the dry hard pack because of knob squirm. When they are worn out I would like to try some Maxxis Ardents or some Geax Gattos.

For the summer on dry hard pack I like the Maxxis Ignitors for the back and Ikons for the front.

In the summer on dry chunky loose I like the Kenda Dred Tread

pug67
January 4th, 2013, 05:05 PM
I picked up a set of Continental Trail King 2.4 about a month ago and really like them.

kurtis
January 4th, 2013, 09:54 PM
I like Kenda Small Block 8s and Kozmik Lite IIs for fast, dry summer riding. I go with Kenda Karmas when the conditions are less than ideal.

rupps5
January 8th, 2013, 08:17 AM
Just ran into this site

http://mtbtires.com/site2/

looks like an interesting read but have not had time to go through the whole thing.

FastEd
January 8th, 2013, 08:25 AM
Schwalbe Racing Ralphs work really well in most conditions. If it gets a little softer or loose, I'll switch to the Schwalbe Nobby Nic on the front.

I rode Phase 1 this past Saturday with the Nobby Nics on the front and back. It did really well even though the trail was mostly ice.

Kuttermax
July 22nd, 2013, 11:55 AM
Schwalbe Racing Ralphs work really well in most conditions. If it gets a little softer or loose, I'll switch to the Schwalbe Nobby Nic on the front.

I rode Phase 1 this past Saturday with the Nobby Nics on the front and back. It did really well even though the trail was mostly ice.


Resurrecting this thread again. Thought I'd add a few observations since most of the tires I've used have been mentioned in this thread.


Last year I mainly ran big 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampfs front and rear with TRAILSTAR compound and snakeskin sidewalls. I was able to run them at about 21 lbs front and rear. They provided amazing traction and definitely very confidence inspiring. I'm not that aggressive a rider and these are really hard to break loose. They also were easy to mount tubeless on a set of DT SWISS M1800 with just a floor pump. This spring I took the tires off and found a big thorn through one of them, but it didn't leak at all. Tubeless works.

This year I decided to try something a little faster rolling so see if I would notice a difference. I went with a Schwalbe PACESTAR compound snakeskin sidewalled Nobby Nic up front and a non-snakeskin Racing Ralph (2.25) in the rear. The first thing I noticed was the non-snakeskin Racing Ralph was tougher to get to seal up tubeless. It seems there were even some small sidewall leaks. However with some persistence I was able to get it sealed up. The bikes definitely seems to roll faster with this combo versus the TrailStar Hans Dampfs but there is some tradeoff in traction. The Nobby Nic still grips well but will slide just a little easier. The Racing Ralph on the rear has been very good but it's easier to lock the rear brake and I've had it slide just a few times on some wet roots. Some of this is technique though and keeping my butt in the saddle likely will get rid of the slipping.

I'm putting a new wheelset on my bike this week and am going to stick with the Nobby Nic PaceStar up front for now and will put another Racing Ralph on the rear, but this time with the snakeskin sidewall. I figure trading a few grams for a tire that going to be a little more cut resistant and easier to seal up is worth it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Schwalbe, the PaceStar is their faster rolling compound and the TrailStar is a little more tacky.

FastEd
July 22nd, 2013, 12:38 PM
My experience the last six months with Schwalbe hasn't been that good. Between wearing them out quickly, tearing sidewalls and Stan's weeping from the sidewalls, I've lost my confidence in them.

Recently, I've been running the Maxxis Ardent on the front (25 psi) and a PanaRacer Pro Driver on the back (27 psi). They took a beating this weekend at Brown County and performed very well. Though one of the PanaRacer sidewalls tore at P2 a few weeks ago. It was a pre-production tire so maybe they've got that worked out now.

The Ardent sticks very well in the corners, rolls surprisingly fast and isn't too heavy for the type of tire. My next rear tire choice will be the Maxxis Crossmark.

Kuttermax
July 22nd, 2013, 12:54 PM
Here's a review of the PanaRacer Driver Pro 29er tire. Sounds like a winner:

http://reviews.mtbr.com/just-in-panaracer-driver-pro-29er-tire

joee
July 26th, 2013, 06:03 PM
i had been running the ra ra front and rear, until the mohican 100. i did not have the confidence that the time would male it through. ended up using an ardent front, ikon rear set up at 20-25 psi depending on the trail. it works great.

rupps5
July 28th, 2013, 11:41 AM
This year I have been using mostly Maxxis tires. Started off with ignitor r and ikon f. This was a great combination. The ignitor had the best rear traction I have ever had but it was not the fastest rolling tire although I have had a lot worse. The ikon has been a really great front tire too. The ikon has more over all traction but it does loose out on wet roots compared to the sb8. Then I tried the ikon on the rear. The ikon r was pretty good, it rolled better than the ignitor but did not have as much traction. Up next was the aspen on the rear. The aspen rolled faster than the ignitor and ikon, but did not have as much traction as the ignitor. I like the traction of the aspen a little better than the ikon. The aspen does slide in hard corners but it is predictable and when you get to them, the bigger side knobs always save you. The aspen also has great braking traction, better than the ikons.

For fun I have been running conti barons on my 26er am ss and they have been great. higher rolling resistance, but traction is very high and you can run them in any conditions. Transition to the side knobs is nice, its not quite linear but they are perfect for am bikes with slacker head tubes because you can really lean into those side knobs and just rail in any dirt.

Kuttermax
July 31st, 2013, 05:11 PM
The new Schwalbe Thunder Burt sounds like an excellent alternative to the Racing Ralph. At least this review was very positive:

http://twentynineinches.com/2013/07/30/schwalbe-%E2%80%9Cthunder-burt%E2%80%9D-tire-final-review/


I just got a bunch of tires to try from Kenda. Not sure when I'm going to mount them, but the Honey Badger Pro looks pretty interesting and seems to be getting some good reviews as well.

kleebs
August 15th, 2013, 12:57 PM
I have been running a kenda sb8 on the rear of my hardtail for about a year now and am not happy with it. In the right conditions it is more than adequate but I need more traction without killing the rolling resistance. I was thinking about going to a kenda karma pro but wanted to toss the question out there to gather some opinions of more seasoned riders (been riding 3 years and just starting to do some beginner xc races this summer). What do you recommend?

FastEd
August 15th, 2013, 01:43 PM
Schwalbe Racing Ralph - Rolls fast, good traction. Some people have problems with rear knobs tearing off. Opt for the Snakeskin or whatever they are calling the heavier sidewall version.

Maxxis Ikons, Aspens and Crossmarks have received good reviews from local riders. No personal experience though,

Kuttermax
August 15th, 2013, 02:30 PM
I've been running the Racing Ralph with Snakeskin sidewall on the rear tubeless for about 3 weeks now - riding combination of Chestnut and Mohican. So far it's holding up well. Found about 24 lbs PSI working well for me. Traction right now is good but it will skid under braking so trying to watch my technique and use the front brake more than the rear.

I was given some Kenda tire samples recently including some SB8's and Honey Badger's. Has anyone tried the Honey Badger up front? Looks like it might work well on the local trails. twentynineinches.com is supposed to be having a detailed review come out on it soon. Thought I might throw it on up front in place of the Nobby Nic at some point.

FastEd
August 15th, 2013, 03:30 PM
I've heard the Honey Badgers are fairly heavy tires and they definitely run on the wide end of the spectrum. On the other hand, the SB8's are favorites for lots of people I ride with on the front and back. The Nobby Nic rolls fast but you should try a SB8 on the front while the dry conditions permit.

Kuttermax
August 15th, 2013, 03:56 PM
I've heard the Honey Badgers are fairly heavy tires and they definitely run on the wide end of the spectrum. On the other hand, the SB8's are favorites for lots of people I ride with on the front and back. The Nobby Nic rolls fast but you should try a SB8 on the front while the dry conditions permit.

Measured specs on the Honey Badger are:

Actual Weight 813g
Actual Widths (Measured with a 21.5mm rim)
Casing Width 2.1"
Tread Width 2.3"

Weight-wise that does seem a bit heavy and I think puts it between the Nobby Nic with SS and a Han Dampf.

Gregg
August 15th, 2013, 08:18 PM
I too would like to try the Honey Badger. Waiting for current front to wear out.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

bkennedy5359
August 15th, 2013, 11:42 PM
I too would like to try the Honey Badger. Waiting for current front to wear out.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD


I have a set of Honey Badgers on order....

BK

FastEd
September 19th, 2013, 07:54 AM
The new Maxxis Ardent Race version looks interesting - http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gallery/article/new-mountain-bike-tyres-interbike-2013-38463/3

khapkaos
September 25th, 2013, 09:08 PM
mucky conditions = kenda excavator in back and panracer fire xc on front. old school but works. dry = fire xc or small block 8.

kleebs
October 4th, 2013, 11:47 AM
Gonna replace my rear and maybe front tire and am debating between the Maxxis Crossmark, Nobby Nic, and Continental X-King. I'm looking for a good all around tire but I value good traction slightly higher than low rolling resistance. Thoughts?

HWB
October 4th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Crossmark does not = all around tire.

rupps5
October 4th, 2013, 01:37 PM
Nobby nic is pritty good on the front but I think it would wear out fast on the back.

kleebs
October 4th, 2013, 02:57 PM
Crossmark does not = all around tire.

Feel free to hit me with a suggestion then if you have one.

Bacon
October 4th, 2013, 03:44 PM
The X-kings are a fast rolling & lightweight tire (they compare very well to the Schwalbe Racing Ralph). I love running either of those on the back of my 29er.
Kenda Small Block 8's are also a fast rolling tire.
One thing you will notice, you will have to compromise somewhere between grip and rolling resistance. That is why I run the fast rollers in the back, and gripper up front.

HWB
October 4th, 2013, 03:54 PM
Feel free to hit me with a suggestion then if you have one.

What wheel size?

grannygeargnome
December 16th, 2013, 03:26 AM
Maxxis Crossmark 2.1 UST LUST F&R

rupps5
December 16th, 2013, 07:17 AM
My favorite tire for this time of year is hands down the Conti Baron!

The tire that I really wanted to like but let me down for my riding style is the Maxxis Ardent. The intermediate knobs are just not enough for me. For other people that like a little drift in their tires it may be perfect for them. The tire has good turn in then slides a little then you get on the corner knobs and it hooks up and goes. I like a more linear tire and it looks like Maxxis addressed this with coming out with the Ardent race which has double the intermediate knobs.

FastEd
December 16th, 2013, 07:21 AM
My Ardent's are showing cords in the sidewall after 3 months of use. Granted, they've seen a fair share of rocks on out of state trips. We'll see if Maxxis stands behind their product.

grannygeargnome
December 16th, 2013, 01:06 PM
My favorite tire for this time of year is hands down the Conti Baron!

The tire that I really wanted to like but let me down for my riding style is the Maxxis Ardent. The intermediate knobs are just not enough for me. For other people that like a little drift in their tires it may be perfect for them. The tire has good turn in then slides a little then you get on the corner knobs and it hooks up and goes. I like a more linear tire and it looks like Maxxis addressed this with coming out with the Ardent race which has double the intermediate knobs.
When I bought my Ikons, the tire I really wanted to buy was the Ardent race, the Offspring of the two. But, availability issues.

Bacon
June 10th, 2014, 05:05 PM
Keeping this thread alive. Anyone try something new? Or do you keep going back to that reliable tire?
On my new ride I am running RR front and rear, tubeless. But the grip is less than desirable. I've had great luck with the Hans Dampf, but I don't think I need anything that beefy. So I'd like to find that magical tire that rolls like the Ralph, grips like a Hans, and is fairly lightweight. What say you on this unicorn of a tire?

Kuttermax
June 10th, 2014, 06:09 PM
Keeping this thread alive. Anyone try something new? Or do you keep going back to that reliable tire?
On my new ride I am running RR front and rear, tubeless. But the grip is less than desirable. I've had great luck with the Hans Dampf, but I don't think I need anything that beefy. So I'd like to find that magical tire that rolls like the Ralph, grips like a Hans, and is fairly lightweight. What say you on this unicorn of a tire?

So far this year I've been running a Rocket Ron 2.25 on the rear with a Nobby Nic 2.25 on the front on my cross country set up 29er. I found the Rocket Ron, with slightly bigger knobs, gives me a little more traction than the Racing Ralph and has been really good in the mixed early season condition. The Nobby Nic at 2.25 still rolls well and seems to provide a ton of bite up front. I use both in Schwalbe's "Pace Star" compound with has harder faster rolling rubber in the middle and softer, grippier rubber on the edges. I also use the SnakeSkin sidewalls, which add a little weight, but to date I've never cut one. `

I'm going to try a few things as things dry out into the summer. Definitely going to try some Kenda Small Block Eights. Not sure if I"m brave enough to do it front and rear (perhaps 2.1 up front, 1.9 rear), but might give it a go at Chestnut. People seem to say the SB8's have a lot more traction than you'd think. I'm also interested in the new XC version of the Honey Badger for a front tire, but haven't seen in available to buy yet.

I have a different bike that I've set up a little more Trail than XC. Last fall I ran Nobby Nic's 2.35 front and rear but want to try something different. I'm taking it out to Colorado in August so thought I would play with some tire combo's on it. I'm going to try a Maxxis's 2.35 IKON on it, probably up front. A lot of people seem to really like the Ikon in 2.35, both front and rear, and apparently performs very differently than the the Ikon 2.2. It's available in a triple rubber compound with reinforced (EXO) sidewalls. Not sure what I'll put on the rear but thinking a 2.25 Nobby Nic.

fordohio
June 10th, 2014, 06:15 PM
Rocket Ron has more traction than the Ralph. And is lighter. But they are a little more fragile. I run a Nobby Nik front all the time. And rotate the rear between a Nik and Ron depending on the time of year. But, I suck though. The knobbier front tire just gives me more confidence cornering hard. My personal fastest lap at chestnut was Nik front and rear.

rupps5
June 11th, 2014, 01:32 AM
For chestnut and most other trails in OH I like the ikon front ignitor rear combo the best.

kleebs
June 11th, 2014, 10:38 AM
I ended up with a WTB Bronson Race in the back to replace a SB8 which didn't have enough traction for me. So far I have really liked it but haven't gotten a ton of miles yet.

stilesp
June 11th, 2014, 02:29 PM
I'm pretty happy with the Kozmik Lite II's....a lot better than the slant six's that I tried out before those which seem to wash out rather easily.

Kuttermax
July 10th, 2014, 10:45 PM
Following up on previous post.

Today I final got a chance to ride with a Maxxis Ikon 2.35 on the front and a Ikon 2.20 rear. Both were the 3C MaxxSpeed compound with EXO sidewalls. They were set up tubeless on my FS Niner with 24mm internal width rims. Pressure was 21 psi front, 22 psi rear. Tires were super easy to seal up tubeless.

I rode at Chestnut today which was dry and tacky for the most part. I was really impressed how fast the wheels rolled but traction was still very good. The 2.35 front offered plenty grip and has much larger side lugs compared to the 2.20. It dug in well when cornering and was quite confidence inspiring. I previously had a 2.35 Nobby Nic on this bike and, at least in the current conditions at Chestnut, I found the Ikon a better choice.

The smaller rear 2.20 was very fast rolling but still offered plenty of bite. The tire did not slip at all under power on the short rocky climbs and also seemed to handle the roots well. They did skid a little if I over braked, so that was about the only thing I had to watch out for.

For the current conditions with the trails getting nice and dry, I think this may be my new favorite tire combo. I'm going to take the set up out to Mohican on Saturday and see how it handles the heavy rooted areas and the rocky sections.

GS1
July 11th, 2014, 05:29 AM
For chestnut and most other trails in OH I like the ikon front ignitor rear combo the best.
Jeff, what size are you using for the front Icon? I currently am using igniter front/cross mark rear which I like, but the CM will need replaced soon, and I thought I would switch the igniter to the rear, and try something new on the front.

rupps5
July 11th, 2014, 07:41 AM
running a front ikon 2.2 and a rear ignitor 2.1

recently tried a rara and liked it so going to try that in the front 2.1 and the ignitor 2.1 rear for a couple of races this weekend. will report back on how the rara compares to the ikon. might put an aspen on the rear for the second race, we will see...

Kuttermax
July 12th, 2014, 07:57 PM
Rode Mohican today with the 2.35 Ikon front/2.2 Ikon rear combo and found it to be excellent. Bike felt sure footed, stable, and had a lot of traction. The slightly larger volume front handle the rocky parts really well. Nobby Nics can sometimes slip a little on the roots, but the Ikons held well. They definitely roll fast.

I ran a Racing Ralph most of last year on the rear and a Rocket Ron part of the time as well. My perception is the Ikon 2.2 provides a little more traction than the Racing Ralph, but when the leaves start to collect on the trail in the fall, the Rocket Ron, with somewhat bigger knobs, may be the best of the three.

rupps5
July 12th, 2014, 09:48 PM
I agree with the ikon having more traction than the knobby Nick. For the front

Ikon was good in the back but would break loose when braking in a corner where the igniter does not break loose in the corners when braking. That was really important for me today as I lost my front brakes 15 minutes into a 2 hour race.

Can't give a comparison on the rara vs the ikon on the front today because I was on unknown trails. But the rara did handle well after I got used to the bike and it.

rupps5
July 25th, 2014, 10:33 PM
After some time on the rara I have to give them the nod over the ikon. They just have more grip at the limit and they also take a little time to get used too. Don't know what that is about but I think they need the bike to be leaned over in the corners and weight shifted to the back tire.

FastEd
July 26th, 2014, 06:23 AM
After some time on the rara I have to give them the nod over the ikon. They just have more grip at the limit and they also take a little time to get used too. Don't know what that is about but I think they need the bike to be leaned over in the corners and weight shifted to the back tire.

I agree that they are good traction tire in a variety of conditions including snow. Durability has been mixed but my current ones seem to holding up a little better.

Bacon
July 26th, 2014, 09:28 AM
I think I may have to get a set of the ikons. Last week at chestnut/P2, the Ralph's were super sketchy. Two wipeouts from roots on P2 and a scary damp ride at Chestnut make me want to give up fast rolling for more grip.

GS1
July 26th, 2014, 11:33 AM
I decided to try an Ardent Race on the front, and moved the Ignitor to the back. So far, I really like the combo in the current dry conditions. Seems to grip and roll very well. I will probably try the Icon on the back when the Ignitor dies, but I really like it on the rear. I have been experimenting with tire pressures, and ran 27 psi rear/25 front today, and it felt really good. (Stan's Arch EX rims).

Kuttermax
July 26th, 2014, 11:00 PM
My bike with the Ikons is in the shop getting tuned and a new BB. So this gave me a chance to ride by other bike with a different tire combo. I rode Chestnut last night and Mohican today with a Racing Ralph 2.25 SS in the rear and a Rocket Ron 2.25 SS in the front. This was the first time I rode this particular combo (I had been riding the Rocket Ron in the rear and a Nobby Nic in the front on this bike).

The Rocket Ron was very good in the front and I liked it better than the Nobby Nic. It gripped well even in the loose over hard pack spots at Mohican today. It handled the roots really well and not major issues on the rocks. The Racing Racing in the rear was fine. I did lock and skid the rear tire a couple of times on the back half of the trail but overall it gripped well and rolled fast.

It's really tough to compare the RacingRalph/RocketRon combo to the Ikon2.2/2.35 combo I ran on the other bike because of the extra variables. The Ikons were on a bike with a 140mm Pike up front, so they felt a little more forgiving and better in the rocks. The Schwalbe were on a bike with 120mm Loop on the front. I was faster on the Schwalbe's (13 min faster lap time at Mohican) but hard to know if that was just the tires and not the bike, energy level. etc.

Ultimately both combo's seem vrey good and its great to have options. In two weeks I'm heading to Colorado and going to try something completely different - Ardent on the rear and High Roller II on the front....