MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

eeksll
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MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby eeksll » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:06 pm

Hello all, whats a good all round MTB tyre to get (preferably affordable $50 or less range)?

The best I can describe: I think Ill be doing trail riding, I won't be downhilling, really doubt Ill be keen to get out in mud. I won't be going tubeless. What other questions do I have to answer in order to pick a tyre?

At the moment I have 26 x 2.1 inch kenda nevagal. The only reason for change is I noticed one has a gash in the side wall.

A quick look at pushys the 3 tyres to choose from with the same size and < $50 are:
Maxxis Tread Lite
Maxxis Advantage
Schwalbe Rapid Rob

I know nothing about MTB'ing, I had a mate who was interested about 5 years back and I went riding with him a few times, really enjoyed it, got a 2nd hand MTB bike back then (giant trance X1 2008).

thanks in advance for any advice.

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Duck!
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby Duck! » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:25 pm

Really depends on the type of dirt. Smoother hardpack, "groomed" or capped and slightly sandy stuff is best tackled with a relatively smooth, fine-blocked tread, such as the Maxxis Crossmark, Ikon or Advantage, Schwalbe Rapid Rob (RaRo) and Racing Ralph (RaRa) or Kenda Small Block 8. Wet weather tolerance will range from barely adequate to abysmal with this type of tread.

Loose gravelly, chundery stuff is best tackled with a chunkier tread. Your current Nevegals fit squarely in this target range. Big chunky treads also handle wet weather better. Big treads get very loose and squirmy on smooth hardpack, because you're up on the tops of the tread blocks rather than having them bite in.

If you have a mixed bag of dirt, a mid-range tread can be a better bet, something like the Maxxis Ignitor or Ardent; better bite on loose stuff than the finer treads, but still roll and grip reasonably well on harder pack.

Of the three you list I'd pick the Advantage, but using the above advice, expand your options to suit your dirt. The Tread Lite is too light and finely-treaded for versatile use, really out of its depth with any kind of rough or looseness. Schwalbes have poor build consistency, short tread tread life with self-extracting knobs and appalling sidewall durability.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

eeksll
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby eeksll » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:03 am

thanks for the info Duck, from memory, i suspect the trails are more of the hard pack stuff. They are groomed trails. From that POV the advantage sounds like a good choice.

Except, I don't have any experience on these trails so thinking the ardent for a compromise till I know the lingo :P

that comes in at slightly wider at 2.25 than my current tyres, I am guessing thats not a huge concern and also new tyre to the front?

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby Duck! » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:12 am

Not always new to the front with MTB, particularly if using different tyres front & rear. Stick the one with more consistent grip on the front; you can catch the rear if it gets a bit wriggly, it's very hard to catch a loose front before it dumps you in the dirt. It would so happen if the dirt is as you describe that either of those new ones would go on the front.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:25 am

It really depends on your riding style and situation. Duck! provides good advice. I've been using Crossmarks on MTB for years on mostly groomed trails and hardpack. They roll well for the road to the trails too.

Do you hop out of the car and into the trails? or ride there. A big chunky knobbly mud/grip tyre isn't fun on the roads and will wear much quicker.

Don't forget some madd skidds to finish off your old tyre too! But don't rip up the berms and trials dong it, save it for the roads and fire trails.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

eeksll
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby eeksll » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:43 pm

bychosis wrote:It really depends on your riding style and situation.


yeah unfortunately I have to get out there to find our first :p My first question could have been, "can I ride on a tyre with a gash in the sidewall"

bychosis wrote:Do you hop out of the car and into the trails? or ride there. A big chunky knobbly mud/grip tyre isn't fun on the roads and will wear much quicker.


thats the plan, getting a car bike carrier thingy.

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:31 pm

eeksll wrote:yeah unfortunately I have to get out there to find our first :p My first question could have been, "can I ride on a tyre with a gash in the sidewall"


Where are you likely to be riding then? Could give those who have ridden there a chance for some home ground advantage recommendations.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

eeksll
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby eeksll » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:58 pm

bychosis wrote:
eeksll wrote:yeah unfortunately I have to get out there to find our first :p My first question could have been, "can I ride on a tyre with a gash in the sidewall"


Where are you likely to be riding then? Could give those who have ridden there a chance for some home ground advantage recommendations.


Good call, I am in South Australia, so places like craigburn farm, Cleland, back behind Lynton train station, those are the ones I have somewhat earmarked. Lots of them popping up around Adelaide now.

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:50 am

Another choice is to put the chunkier tyre on the front, for the reasons Duck! stated - catching a front slide is very difficult. This setup is even more important for a noob as it is more forgiving of fore-aft weight balance mistakes while you are learning cornering skills.

Perhaps keep the Nevegal (although it is pretty slow) on the front and put a Crossmark, Ikon, or Small Block 8 on the rear for the best compromise of front grip and improved rolling resistance. I use a Schwalbe Rocket Ron/Racing Ralph F/R combo on my race day wheelset and Specialized Ground Control/FastTrak on my everyday wheelset. The RaRa on the front was just too sudden to let go when there was any dust on the hardpack - I was having serious trust issues :x :wink:

The best thing to do is to ask the local riders what they use, or what they would recommend for a beginner. Gold standard could be to find a local skills coaching clinic and ask their opinion. Then weigh up the feedback and choose.

Just don't ask the uber-quick skinny XC race whippet. He will likely be one of those annoying unconsciously competent elite types and his choice would not work for you. I've seen Elites race in wet greasy mud that was worse than wet ice on semi-slicks, making constant micro-corrections for front slips - I have absolutely no idea how they do that while on the raged aerobic edge. :shock: I elected to walk rather than risk my collarbone.

The Ignitor mentioned by Duck! was an awesome all-rounder front tyre in 26x2.35. Really disappointed they didn't make it in anything wider than 2.1 for 29ers. :cry:

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby Duck! » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:09 pm

trailgumby wrote:Another choice is to put the chunkier tyre on the front, for the reasons Duck! stated - catching a front slide is very difficult.

Perhaps keep the Nevegal (although it is pretty slow) on the front and put a Crossmark, Ikon, or Small Block 8 on the rear for the best compromise of front grip and improved rolling resistance.

Very very dirt-dependent, as I suggested before. Chunkier on the front is definitely the go on looser, gravelly chundery stuff where you want it to grab hold of anything it can, but on a smooth hardpack the chunkies can get quite loose & squirmy.

Oh, and the other thing which hasn't come up yet it pressure. Run your tyres as low as you can without pinch flatting. Start around the bottom end of the manufacturer's recommended range, and drop from there is you can get away with it. Run the front a few PSI softer than the rear.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:33 pm

Duck! wrote:Very very dirt-dependent, as I suggested before... on a smooth hardpack the chunkies can get quite loose & squirmy.

Agreed. My experience though is that smooth hardpack generally only arises during races when the pack sweeps away the dust. And the

The rest of the time it usually has a layer of dust or sand over it that front tyre needs to cut through to a greater or lesser extent.

The bottom line is local advice should be sought and weighed up.

A big thumbs up to your comments regarding pressure. That's a big mistake beginners make - running their tyres too hard. Going tubeless so low pressures are practical should be done as soon as the OP feels comfortable with making the step. The improvement in confidence and the sense of connection to the trail is substantial/

eeksll
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby eeksll » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:28 pm

thanks guys, I ordered the Ardent, sounded like a bit of both worlds (and cheap) while I figure out what is what and go from there.

Maybe next time I will have a more specific query.

I remember from riding all those years ago, my mate had me running <40 psi pressures, so I kinda know low, as to how low, Ill just play around.

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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby bychosis » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:15 pm

tubeless can go as low as 22-24psi depending o tyre, rider weight terrain etc. I run 30-35 tubed, and could possibly go a little lower, but could probably go lower on the right terrain.
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Re: MTB tyre, which one for a noob?

Postby Duck! » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:42 pm

Several variables at play. I used to run tubed Crossmarks around 30psi (manufacturer-recommended minimum 35), the same tyres tubeless around 26-28, and the UST tubeless, which has stiffer sidewalls, version now as low as 18 on the front & 22-24 in the rear. But I'm only around 65kg kitted, which helps a bit.....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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