Posted by: ChocolateThunder
Disclaimer: PNW rider, not afraid of wet, always running CushCore Pro, Mullet or full 29.
Currently on WTB Vigilante 2.6" F high grip light casing, 2.5" fast rolling tough R. I am really enjoying this setup in the moist and unpredictable. I can feel the many knobs grabbing constantly, and they do well on moist, slippery surfaces, but still outdone by der Baron Projekt on such surfaces. They feel compliant at lower pressures, and grip well in a variety of levels of dirt firmness. At higher pressures necessary to prevent corner knob folding in dry berms, they don't feel so compliant over rough surfaces, though they still are little grip fiends. The rear is wearing too fast. Front not at all. Also, the "light" 2.6" is significantly heavier (1300g) than the "tough" 2.5" (1150g), actual weights. But they roll quite well IMO.
I have also spent a little time on a Verdict Wet F (light HG) and Judge (tough FR) R, and that Verdict Wet is a madman in the loose. I'm not sure I've ridden better in loam. But this combo is not exactly fast rolling, nor is it light (1290g, 1380g, respectively). I see it as a great training setup (heavy tires -> muscles!) to inspire confidence in many conditions. I was able to get corner knobs to fold on hardpack berms without enough pressure, like the vigi, or any tire I suppose, but i was running pressures quite low (15-17 PSI, mind you with CC). But overall really a great tire for mobbin'.
I only recently found the limit of the Conti der Baron Projekt in deep mud. Otherwise they are excellent tires that grip in all things wet. I have been very impressed with their grip on wet rocks, roots, in (not-too-deep) mud, and surprisingly in the dry, too. They feel wooden and require lower pressures. They are nicely round and roll well, and aren't too heavy (1010-1050g). They hold up in corners. An excellent all-around tire, though if it was more often dry than wet, I'd look elsewhere.
Dry: Michelin Wild Rock'R2
Wet & Sloppy: WTB Verdict Wet F, Judge R
Wet. Just wet: Conti der Baron Projekt
Mixed: WTB Vigi 2.5">2.6" = Schwalbe MM F 2.35">2.6", HD 2.35" R >> Michelin Wild Enduro
I am finding that as I've been running some larger tires to get more compliance on rough ground to inspire stability and confidence, these larger tires do not corner so well at the pressures that allow that compliance, leading to an unsupported corner knob, and knob folding. Unless I want to pump up these semi-plus tires to be too hard, the way to support the corner knobs better is with a stiffer casing, which creates, for all intents and purposes, a motorcycle tire (see; Eddy Current). So I am trying to find that balance of enough tire volume for compliance and durability, but small enough that the appropriate pressure that allows compliance is still sufficient to support the corner knobs, and the casing round enough to keep the corner knobs off the ground unless I'm actually trying to corner.
First off, great write up. Thanks for the awesome insight.
I live on the island and the dirt around here is very aggregate and drains very well. Not a lot of "loam".
On my Transition Scout I run Assguy 2.5wt MaxxGrip DD front and DHRII 2.4wt MaxxGrip DD or DH rear. This combo works great year round but I suspect a DHF would be better in the dry summers.
On my Chromag Wideangle I am struggling to find a combo I love. I run CC pro and 36mm rims on this bike. On the hardtail I feel the need for larger volume tires for more compliance and cushion. So the wider rims help support the higher volume tires.
First off I tried the wheels set off my fully. Loved the grip hated the harsh ride.
I tried Specialized Eliminator 2.6 BLK DMND. Ok in hot dry conditions. Terrible in wet and the sidewalls are too stiff.
DHF 2.6wt MaxxTerra EXO. This is my favorite combo so. Great all round tire. The EXO casing with CC pro and 36mm rims corner hard and offer great cushion. They are not great in the super loose marbles that develop in some areas mid summer and deep loam, for obvious reasons. To try and get more grip in these conditions I put an Assguy 2.6wt MaxxTerra EXO+ up front. This tire is marginally better. But it appears Maxxis is not using the same high volume casing as the Minion DHF 2.6 and the Assguy is slightly smaller casing. This doesn't impress me.
The Vigilante 2.6 high grip light casing has always interested me. But I have read some odd reviews and I am hesitant to spend/waist money on unknown tires, as I have been burn a few times. Andrew Major loves them.
What are your thoughts on the Vigilante 2.6 for cushion?
Side note mrraulduke just got the Baron Projekt 2.4 and they look awesome. The 2.6 version looks to not have as aggressive side knobs and a more round profile.