New posts

29er tires

Oct. 16, 2011, 1:31 a.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

29ers are fun. tire selection remains limited, especially for gnarly/wet conditions, but its improving. there are many i haven't tried because: a) i bought a house and i'm broke, b) i expect their performance to be predictable based on their 26" versions.

everything so far has set up tubeless quite nicely with stans rims/tape/goo. i ride everything from xc races to gnarly gnar, so most of these tires have been pushed far beyond what they were intended for, and most did just fine.

in approximate order from super-fast to slow rolling:

stans raven 2.2 - 550g
paper-thin, zero rolling resistance, very narrow and low volume (more like 2.1 size). somehow finds a bit of grip out back despite having virtually no knobs to speak of. great rear racing tire for smooth terrain if you're very gentle. survived a lap on overnight sensation on the back of my hardtail, but it was terrifying. not recommended for general riding around here (put a big hole in the tread on its first ride in whistler).

crossmark 2.1 - 650g
feels just like its 26" cousin. good volume, surprisingly robust sidewalls - they look flawless despite being horribly abused on my hardtail all summer.

racing ralph (2.25 "snakeskin" sidewall or normal sidewall 2.4, both 650g)
fast like crossmark, but a bit more traction in all directions. equally scary when wet. also excellent sidewalls.

ikon 2.2 "exo" - 610g
very narrow and low volume (smaller than crossmark 2.1). rides like a typical micro-knobby tire (good on firm terrain). despite the "exo" sidewalls, i cut mine up badly in only a week with holes too big for sealant to seal. disappointing tire.

specialized captain 2.2 with "control" casing - 700g.
awesome, especially as a rear for crazy climbing traction. rolls fast but still has solid cornering knobs. bit heavy if you're a weight weenie, but the s-works versions are all paper-thin and just get shredded around here. so far the control casing tires are holding up well. would be good front xc race tire if you don't like the looseness of most light race tires (like everything above).

specialized purgatory 2.2/2.4 (both "control" versions, 700/800g)
taller blockier knobs, not much slower than captain, and bit more traction in all directions, less scary in wet. very predictable cornering, doesn't mind being pushed a bit. the 2.4 is obese, far bigger than 2.4 ardent - for me its too tall, making it very unstable when pushed hard, even on a wide rim (stans flow).

nobby nic 2.25 snakeskin, 700g
good dry tire, predictable at everything, kinda slow, knobs get shredded quickly, expensive. new "pace-star" rubber is no better than their old rubber for wet conditions, still sucks. i burned through a pair in 2 months, and was glad to discover specialized tires and move on.

ardent 2.4 - 800g
i don't like the ardent, except run backwards in the rear, where it seems to work quite nicely. big volume, very round tread. good climbing traction, loose braking (not much worse than when its run forwards), loose but stable cornering. i've had good luck with the sidewalls, but friends running them with tubes get a lot of pinch flats.

specialized eskar 2.3 "control" - 700g
perfect shape - wide, but not too round, and not too tall that its unstable during hard cornering. like all specialized tires, it measures up to its labelled size. stickiest rubber i've found so far - labelled 55/65 but feels lower to me. widely-placed solid cornering knobs, with shorter center knobs and bit of a transition gap (similar spacing to high roller). kinda slow rolling. very predictable, can be pushed surprisingly hard in corners. feels like a mini-minion. highly recommended front winter tire.

look forward to the forthcoming minion and butcher 29er tires next year. i wish panaracer would make a rampage "SC" 29er for winter riding.

question is, 140mm 29er or 160mm 26er for next summer?

Oct. 16, 2011, 8:32 a.m.
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

for some one with no money you sure have a lot of tires!

Oct. 16, 2011, 10:05 a.m.
Posts: 1172
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

agreed about the Captain control, great tire. i have the Rampage 2.35 on the front, and its a great front tire. sure i would like this SC compound i've read about, but i still find it to be adequate, never had a scary moment, that was attributed to the tire. i'm very cautious on wet wood and avoid putting myself at the mercy of compounds to save my bacon!

someone else pointed out recently the Nevegals even in the DTC are very soft. it's the same old boring story, for most of us, most the time, Nevegals are the no think go to option for better than average damp traction, but there are always others.

Oct. 16, 2011, 6:13 p.m.
Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 11, 2002

Here's a couple reasonable opinions on the Bontrager 29-4 tire.

Oct. 16, 2011, 6:46 p.m.
Posts: 1885
Joined: Oct. 16, 2005

I've had great success with running a Schwalbe Racing Ralph Rear / Schwalbe Nobby Nic front (snake skin both) on my Single Speed. Great climbing traction, good braking traction.

My experience with the Nic in wet conditions has actually been surprisingly good, although overall opinions I have heard are mixed.

I can't believe how ridiculous the pricing on Schwalbe tires has become.

I have used the Captain S-Works as well (mine lasted two rides before the sidewall tore) and I am very tempted to try the Control version on the rear of my one speed now that Ralph has worn out, just based on price.

On my dually (and now my hardtail) I've been using Maxxis Aspens, which I greatly prefer to Crossmarks or Ikons. SUPER FAST. A bit sketchy on loose-over-hard but good every where else and SUPER FAST.

They are becoming a bit scary for winter as a front tire (the rear is okay for every but climbing the greasiest roots). Going to try a Specialized Purgatory I have already and see how that is as a front.

Definitely up for suggestions though. Has anyone tried the new Maxxis Beaver yet?


Mean People SUCK! Nice People SHOVEL!

Trails For All; Trails For Weather

Oct. 16, 2011, 7:50 p.m.
Posts: 1172
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

but what i want to know is, are the Aspen's SUPER FAST?

i've got a Beaver, yet to mount it though, real helpful eh? i think the sidewall is finally cooked on my Captain, the Bev will go on this week.

if Bogey posts, i think he's got a Beaver on his Tallboy and is very impressed with it. narrow though, it looks like a dedicated race tire.

Oct. 16, 2011, 7:58 p.m.
Posts: 15019
Joined: April 5, 2007

Anyone run a 2.2 Specialized Purgatory Front/Captain Rear Control Casing tire combo?

Why slag free swag?:rolleyes:

ummm, as your doctor i recommend against riding with a scaphoid fracture.

Oct. 16, 2011, 8:44 p.m.
Posts: 3634
Joined: Feb. 22, 2003

Anyone run a 2.2 Specialized Purgatory Front/Captain Rear Control Casing tire combo?

I'll be running a the Purgatory front and Ground Control rear in a couple of weeks…

Play : Comox Valley Mountain Biking -

Oct. 16, 2011, 9:53 p.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

Serfas makes the Krest in 29er flavour. Last I checked they where about $35 a tire. Not to bad in the glop we have for mud.

Oct. 16, 2011, 11:09 p.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

Anyone run a 2.2 Specialized Purgatory Front/Captain Rear Control Casing tire combo?

that's exactly what's on my hardtail now, good setup for general cruising.

haven't tried any recent bontrager tires. the used to be horrible. who makes them? i don't like the look of any of their current tread designs, but maybe they ride better than they look?

Oct. 17, 2011, 9:53 a.m.
Posts: 3800
Joined: April 13, 2003

2.4 Purg's for me front and rear on the Stumpy… I need max traction and bigger tires have less rolling resistance.


Oct. 17, 2011, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 3634
Joined: Feb. 22, 2003

Anyone try the Ground Control yet?

Play : Comox Valley Mountain Biking -

Oct. 17, 2011, 10:52 a.m.
Posts: 11203
Joined: Nov. 18, 2004

Minion DH-F

Oct. 17, 2011, 1:25 p.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Has anyone tried the new Maxxis Beaver yet?

I'm riding one now on the rear of a loaner bike. It corners well, even in sloppy conditions, and it climbs decently over wet roots and rocks, but its nowhere near the rolling efficiency of a Crossmark and the straight line braking is kinda meh. If it were my bike, I'd switch it to the front and maybe put an Ikon in back.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

Oct. 17, 2011, 1:35 p.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

question is, 140mm 29er or 160mm 26er for next summer?

Do they make 140mm 29ers with slacker angles and longer wheelbases? Forgive my ignorance.

I like the way they roll but the geometry feels like I'm back in the 90's.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

Forum jump: