I won't commit much mental effort to that decision since it tends to come down to which flavor is actually accessible through my LBS... but I have a pretty ragged looking MinionSS that I've been on the fence about installing on my shiny new wheels about - this has likely tipped the scales completely.
I'm just excited I can buy a heavy duty semislick in 29" that's actually available in a beefier casing than EXO. The 29x2.3DD is an impossible unicorn, and the RockRazor doesn't really exist even out here.
I've found Orange seal slightly outperforms basic Stan's, but that's in a more desert environment out here. I think the difference comes to it performing a touch better as it dries out and gradually fails, whereas Stan's is great-great-great-instantly dessicated and then I'm walking.
I totally agree that trying to recuscitate old worn out tires is probably the best acid test for sealant performance - Orange seal seems to be the leader in my experience has a slight edge, unless I go with double the amount of homebrew, in which case it's a wash.
Orange seal never comes out, but it does play nicely with other sealants, and actually does a great job of being the first sealant pass. If money was no object, fresh Minion day would also come with Orange Seal, then I'd run whatever else after that based on ease of adding more and lifetime in dry hot desert climates.
For all the hassle and effort, I've been equally disappointed with each sealant I've tried. Since this includes the basic homebrew stuff (triple the mess, but 1/3 of the price), I just go with that.
The only areas near me that feel like I'd make any appreciable ecological impact with the odd ounce of bike tire sealant are all wilderness areas replete with horse turds along each trail, so that isn't a driving decision point for sealant to me.
Cornbread and pepper are solid additives for sealing stuff up, but there are always going to be limitations when trying to seal up 6 year old Maxxis Asspen tires that somehow have immaculate bald tread areas but keep failing specatularly at the sidewalls.
The hope is that it would be addressed by eBike companies setting up grants to fund trails that are accessible to both bicycles and zero-emission motorized bicycles... but so far none of that has materialized from the sales of eBikes.
Late to the party, but I'm glad to gloat about having already posted the same thoughts that remain unchanged.
Motorized bicycles are just that - but in areas where motorized recreation is permissible and compatible with the trails in question, eBikes are going to be a thing. As the power density improves, they'll actually get to be more and more capable tools to go out and ride with.
I'm happy that the components spree coming out of this will supply my fat 110kg self with adequate brakes, cassettes, forks, and tires for the forseeable future - but the negative impact will be the response to trail access because for most land managers a fancy expensive bicycle with pedals and a motor in the downtube isn't easy to distinguish from a fancy expensive bicycle with pedals and snacks in the downtube.
I think in areas where trail advocacy and good trailbuilding has a foothold, the negative consequences aren't going to be as severe (more users, more mean miles per user - but larger user base to numerically argue from, and slightly better access for trail building in specific areas), but they'll be present.
In areas where that is tenuous, we'll see a pretty massive chilling effect on opening up trails to bicycle access which previously may not have been, or greater reliance on bike-only trails being build in parallel at greater cost within areas that are to be opened to bike access.
Like every other hobby I'm into, the rulemaking isn't driven by the compliant users, but the worst case scenario based on capability. I know how to reflash firmware on controller boards, and I could quite easily spec out >800W electronic speed controllers and motors to run with higher specific power batteries (a 6S-2P 1300mAh LiPO setup fits in a downtube fine), and for about five minutes I could rip around with that setup on 1.5bhp max. net output anywhere I please and look like any other eBike, which is plenty of opportunity to create mayhem if I wanted to be stupid about it.
In areas where a bicycle with a motor is allowed, eBikes are going to be a really cool thing - just treat them like a bicycle with a motor and most things shake out... it'll be the gits who feel entitled to demand that they take their $8000 toys anywhere who will ruin it for lots of others inevitably, which gets the game of 'misplace the blame' going full speed.
"Press Junket Lemonade" is among the best articles I've read to be honest. It captures so much of why bicycle journalism is what is it and why. Can anybody expect somebody with good riding and writing skills getting the sort of (low) direct monetary compensation on offer to remain perfectly objective when paraded through the type of treatment that only the fabulously wealthy can afford at sticker price? No. Should we expect that - obviously not.
Taking the time to fully disclose that, and document it publically before spouting out an opinion about the hardware they were taken to analyze - the correct answer that lets us draw our own conclusions.
Happens in every industry, and since there isn't enough cash feedthrough to go full Consumer Reports double-blind hidden buyer testing of bicycles that haven't even been released into the wild - this is the best we can hope for, and I'd argue Dave has achieved the top level standard for what we as readers can ask for.
To me, for semislick-knobby side rear tires, the answer I've settled on is that you need a lot of horizontal siping and paddle effect on the front tire to even it out, and if you can accept using mostly the front tire to brake (and the braking points that come with that) then the setup works great. If you miss a braking point, it's like a downforce car - you've just missed it, because late commitment
DHR2 up front, SS out back - it's stupid fast in dry conditions and with the exception of one really narrow lean angle window that exists as you transition to aggressive corners, it's got phenomenal grip.
I knocked out a couple KOMs that I had no real right to just because of how good that setup is if you can commit to it... but I also had to run mismatched rim widths (29mm front, 25mm back) to get the profiles to match up, and I'm sure the compound delta and my weight distribution mattered more than I realize.
Me, being the type of dumbass who actually rides 29x2.1 Aspens Front/Rear on snow, ice, mud, dirt, pavement - I highly recommend the experience, even if it's a total one-off.
Durability isn't great on the 2.1, but it only comes in 'I wear spandex and count grams in my cereal' casing tires, but I'm pretty optimistic that the 2.25 EXO version will actually be somewhat useful. The plan is to pair that with a 2.25 Ardent Race, and see if I can get comparable road performance, and better off-road performance.
I'm waiting for the 29x 2.8/2.6 " trend to take off - because I want to run Minions front and rear with the 2.6 SS Minion (hell, I'd take a 2.4 or 2.5 MinSS in DoubleDown - basically anything that isn't dragging the corner knobs on pavement). For my FS rig, I'm slow anywhere specific output matters, and grip limited anywhere I'm comparably fast, so that should be an ideal setup.
In all fairness, universally being a significant other is the fastest way to being a totally crap teacher. I'm objectively good at teaching a lot of things, and yet I still struggle at teaching my wife stuff. The only exception is shooting, probably because she's naturally better at that - also probably medicine, because she's also a hell of a lot better at anything related to that.
Real answer - put her on a more capable bike than you think she needs. That worked extremely well for me, even if we're on flat level bike paths, being on a slack 160mm travel 29er actually gives her the confidence to go for it... as for the rest, enjoy hitting every side squirrel trail, and practicing wheelies, cutties, and stoppies the whole way.
If you knew how many cactus spines were readily available on my convenient loops, there would be zero reason to doubt my setup.
So, why not include integral tire tube patch strip applicators and a spare link replacement or three-hex-bit side as an option? I'd argue that's enough innovation for me to want to care...
Then again I have access to a CNC lathe, and run moto brushguards anyway (along with 810 bars).
Wow, I can see an article rehash of the 2 + 2 = 4 concept on the whole 'play to strengths // play to weaknesses' angle of that, and set those as the endpoints.
I'm really curious how useful a desert specced one of these (DHR2 front, Minion SS rear) would be for my uses, since I can actually get those in DH casings.
Late to the party (sorry).
Just having the balls to put this to print with names behind it is why I've contracted most of my news gathering to here, plain and simple.