I used to do all my racing on Michelin Wild Gripper....they were a smooth pimple tread in the middle with a couple of knobs on the side.Super fast and held the track well in all conditions...knobs arent always the best...unless your a porn star.
I run Crossmarks. They roll well and I haven't really run out of grip, so I need to go faster!
My shop swapped the wheels on my bike when I got it (I wanted silver rims) and they had Kenda Kinetics (a front / rear uni-directional tyre set) on them, but I haven't ridden on them yet. They seem to be pretty light and I'd expect them to be grippier than the Crossmarks.
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks
I ride and race with Tubeless Maxxis Ignitor tyres front and back. For me they have the right combination of cornering grip mixed with straight line rolling resistance. I previously rode with Hutchinson Pythons for their excellent rolling resistance, but they had a habit of letting go suddenly on corners due to the lack of grip on the sides.
What sold me on the the Maxxis Ignitors was there price and weight. Looking through the range of Maxxis tyres, the Ignitor was the lightest Tubeless tyre they offered at the time and I didn't want to convert from tubes to tubeless only to go up in weight.
The one complaint I have about the tubeless Ignitors is that they seem to develope lots of micro leaks around the tyre over time. This means the tyres stay up for the ride but are going flat by the next morning. This is annoying, as you have to run a few PSI higher than your preferred pressure to make sure you have adequate pressure for the whole ride and pumping up tyres from flat every time you want to ride sucks.
I recently tried some sealant fluid (Stans no more tubes I think) and it has pretty much eliminated that problem.
Its worth mentioning that I rarely puncture now that I ride tubeless ignitors and any punctures seem to leak at a rate low enough for me to get home anyway.
I was going to go with an ignitor on the front, though after what TLL said and reading the reviews in MTB australia I was going to go with a Larsen on the front.
That changed again though after last weekend, I was on the starting line with Elite guys and had a look at what tyres they were running, Maxxis Crossmarks, specialized fast trak LK and kenda small block eights. I've ordered crossmarks lust front and rear and will see how I go with those, wouldn't mind trying the monorails from what I've read if things loosen up a bit.
in the last week i have fitted F n R the cross+marks. so has a friend who i ride regularly with. hes more "expert" than me but we both agree they are the best tires we have both ridden on. he was on ignitors before and did like them but we both fell the cross+marks are fast, stable and turn in and hold very well in all the terrain we have thrown at them - very soft sand, packed sand, rock, dirt etc.
they also grip really well when climbing and roll great on tar.
another good feature is they don't tend to throw much debris at you off the front wheel.
at $39 for wire and $49 for folders they are excellent value
i like to pedal
I'm now prepared to say I really do like the Michelin XCR-AT that came on my new bike. Rolls well. Hooks up well on climbs. Corners predictably. Haven't tried in mud bit is more open than the Conti Vapor so I think it will do well.
They also look a bit special, with the two tone grey/black.
Has anybody tried the WTB Velociraptors? I know they're not tubeless but I'm interested in opinions, especially on how they compare against the Crossmarks and Larsen TTs.
If anybody has used the Velociraptors you'll remember them: they have dramatically differing front and rear-specific tread designs.
Thats a lot of rubber! The rear looks very similar to the 'Kona Gravy' I have in the garage. Was the stock tyre that came on my Kona. unsurprisingly
After wrecking my rear tyre the weekend I bought a pair of Maxxis Monorails to try today.
Still waiting for my Crossmarks to turn up so thought I'd give these a go in the mean time.
Last edited by Deanj on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yup, dem's da ones.
Interesting to hear your comments about them being "old school" - quite a few of the guys who ride Manly Dam I've spoken to in the last few months reckon they tried other rubber and keep coming back to them. I figure they either don't get out much (so to speak) or it's terrain specific. There's one particularly tough short climb I can think of that might be a reason.
Nevertheless, I'm interested in your thoughts on them vs the newer highly rated rubber like the ones I mention.
I'm not sure why you would need them round Manly Dam...my Maxxis set up never misses a beat there...but then I stay away from any mud cause I cant be arsed cleaning bike all day when I get home...they have also made that loop into such a road ride now that even thou I enjoy it there isn't any thing very techy anymore.Thou I don't do the big drop anymore I am on a hard tail!.Just go there from Crows Nest and go round and round.Once it dries out I will be doing it more often for some Dirt Works training.
If they are needing the back tyre for grip on the short fire trail pinch climb then they either have to much pressure in the rear or need some technique improvement.Thou I do wonder what running a 19mm rim to a 23mm rim does to the tyre profile?...
How often do you loop there JR?.
Is that the one behind A-H Public school where you have the option of turning hard right or going straight off the 2m drop?
Quite possibly both. My biggest problem is keeping the front down over one of the waterbars about halfway up. Danged thing gets me every time.
Considering the school is about 2 minutes ride from my place, not nearly often enough. If I'm not too shagged from the midweek commutes, recovering from a stupid injury (such as now), it's not raining, son's sport doesn't get in the way, or I'm not up the coast visiting my declining father, I occasionally get a lap in.
Atm, that amounts to about once a month if I'm real lucky. Not exactly the kind of regime that allows you t advance your skills. There are about 4 spots that spook me that I walk.
On the plus side I get to visit my cousin when I see dad, and we go mtbing on the trails in the forest back of his place at Old Bar. I'm the fatso on the right. My cousin, also John Hawkins, turns 70 this year. He's an inspiration.
Sorry about the hijack. What were we talking about? Oh, yeah, tyres!
Didn't know there was a school near that drop?...but I suppose that is the one...haven't done it since I sold me Dawg ...not too keen on trying it on my hard tail!.
But there is no where I walk on the loop...if you have trouble keeping your front wheel down over the water bar then you are in too low a gear ratio...try a harder gear and stand up a touch to get your weight forward just as your front wheel goes over the water bar.
If I was 2 minutes away from there I would be wearing out mtb gear way too fast!.
Let me know when you are next doing a loop and I might head over.Going to do a 5-6 lap ride in the near future to get used to being back on the mtb and to test my lower back out
I'm using a Maxxis Highroller on the rear and Continetal Vertical on the front. The Continetal Vertical is nice and predictable, the rear is not so great, but has lower rolling resistance. I figure as long as th front sticks, and the rear moves with an eliment of predictability then I can work with that. Still looking for a better option for the rear. I have to agree with other comments that it is so dependant on the surface your are riding.
Used the Maxxis Monorails for the first time in todays race front and back and thought they were a really good tyre, the track was hilly with a mixture of terrain, hard packed dirt, gravel roads, loose sandy corners and rocky sections. They rode really well all the way round and felt fast rolling, yet stable when braking hard. The grip on the outside of the tyre gave good cornering when leaning the bike over and gave a lot of confidence on the fast sandy hair pins Definatly worth a try if your after a new tyre.
Were these run tubeless needsapush?
Yeah they were Graeme, being the first time I'd ridden tubeless I played it safe with 30 front and 35 rear (size 2.1). Will drop the pressures when I go out next training and experiment a bit. Not found many reviews on them but was chatting to a guy I raced against who also had them, and said he'd changed from the crossmarks and preferred these also. Not used the crossmarks yet so can't compare but for me they felt a better all round tyre than the specialized fast trak LKs I'd been using.
I've just changed my front tyre from a UST Michelin XCR/AT 2.0 to a Maxxis Ignitor in a 2.35. Having come unstuck with the XCR/AT I figured getting some more aggressive tread on the front would help
Because the of the UST coatings the 2.35 is actually noticeably lighter too.
I stuck a 2.1 Ignitor on the front for last weeks race which was very muddy, and it worked really well. Think I ran it at 24 or 26psi??
Still using the monorail on the front with a crossmark on the rear, though wouldn't mind trying the Racing Ralphs or the small block 8s when summer gets here.
Yup, those are WTB Velociraptors. Ample grips for 2.1 size but a little heavy for sure. However the grips let you corner with confidence on trails, so maybe you can push yourself faster in those tight places. I have them. Using them in the all mountain bike.
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