Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
Dougtanian
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Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby Dougtanian » Wed Dec 05, 2012 18:03 pm

Hi,

Been doing a lot of XC, but recently found some nice trails.

I'm new to the place so just discovering new areas. It's near Zaragoza in Spain so it's very very dry and rocky desert conditions. The trails I've seen are narrow, hard, dusty earth with rocky, gravely climbs/descents.

I currently have what came with the bike (Rapid Robs) which are great for low rolling resistance but I find the front especially gives no confidence going into cornering.

I go out on my own and it's pretty remote, so looking for a tyre that will inspire a bit more confidence but at the same time has some decent rolling resistance (it's 16km to the trails and back home).

any ideas?

ilovedirt
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby ilovedirt » Wed Dec 05, 2012 18:12 pm

Minions. Or at least one on the front.
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bennett_346
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby bennett_346 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 18:48 pm

Agree minion up front, something fast rolling on the rear.

Dougtanian
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby Dougtanian » Wed Dec 05, 2012 18:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll check out the Minions. What's a decent fast roller for the rear, something like a Racing Ralph? Is this a good upgrade on the Robs?

ilovedirt
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby ilovedirt » Wed Dec 05, 2012 19:39 pm

High roller?
I don't have much experience with any tyres other than Maxxis.
Could be worth getting dual ply for a bit more grip and pinch-flat resistance on the really rocky stuff.
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bennett_346
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby bennett_346 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 19:46 pm

Never been a fan of high rollers front or rear, found them very unsupportive and floppy. Dual ply may solve that but it isn't without its weight penalties. I'd personally go for a specialized purgatory rear as for me it ticks all the boxes, doesn't break the bank and it held up very well in the alps this summer where other similar tyres pinched.

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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby raceface gt » Wed Dec 05, 2012 20:31 pm

Dougtanian wrote:Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll check out the Minions. What's a decent fast roller for the rear, something like a Racing Ralph? Is this a good upgrade on the Robs?


I've got 2 Racing Ralph's the performance type though if interested.

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supersonic
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby supersonic » Wed Dec 05, 2012 23:21 pm

What is your bike? Is weight a concern? How rocky is rocky?

ilovedirt
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby ilovedirt » Thu Dec 06, 2012 00:58 am

cyd190468 wrote:The specific tyre is less important the the right size. Loose over dry means narrow but knobbly tyres are needed.
Ignitors 2.1 Nevegals 2.1 Minions are great but heavy Nobby Nics are great but expensive. I personally like Ignitors for loose over hard conditions as the consistant tread pattern doesn't have a vague transition between centre and edge grip but they're not particularly fast rollers, fairly light though.

Well it kind of depends how loose... Unless he's riding actual gravel (which i doubt), narrow tyres would be pretty silly, pinch flats galore.
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Dougtanian
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby Dougtanian » Thu Dec 06, 2012 08:51 am

What is your bike? Is weight a concern? How rocky is rocky?


Cube LTD Race (Hard Tail, 26" tyres)

Weight: I'm not entering any races but at the same time I'm covering a lot of km so I'd rather keep weight down if possible.

Regarding the terrain. Almost always bone dry. The trails are in the desert mountains/hills and are along the ridges, gorges etc. Regarding how Rocky, it's narrow concrete hard dirt, with a scattering of sharp gravel and rocks. Then in some of the gorges there's some bare (smoother) rock that needs to be negotiated.

This is not me but I found a video of one of the trails (struggling to identify what tyres these guys are using)... this will give an idea of the terrain.

http://youtu.be/NMU20Z_jwjQ

As for tyre thickness it's something for me to look into. Just getting into MTB more these days and don't know enough about the pros/cons of thin/thick tyres.

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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby felix.london » Thu Dec 06, 2012 09:35 am

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The Rookie
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby The Rookie » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:41 am

For Dry, then Michelin Dry mountain 2, they are amazingly fast rolling (I usually have to brake on decents when riding in a group, sometimes even when they are pedaling I'm braking to stay with them) hard wearing yet grip really well all the time it's dry, cope just fine with light showers turning the surface slimey, work fine on wet rocks (Cannock) but wet roots and they are evil (really scary evil), clog badly in sticky mud as well.

I run them on mine when it's dry and love them, not too heavy (644g for a 2.3) lots of volume and I got the pair from on-one for £20 and in 200 dry miles have barely worn the bobbles off.

TimB34
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby TimB34 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:39 pm

Regarding the terrain. Almost always bone dry. The trails are in the desert mountains/hills and are along the ridges, gorges etc. Regarding how Rocky, it's narrow concrete hard dirt, with a scattering of sharp gravel and rocks. Then in some of the gorges there's some bare (smoother) rock that needs to be negotiated.


Can't see the vid, but I've ridden a bit in Spain over towards barcelona, and quite a bit in southern France. For dry and rocky trails I don't really like Schwalbe tyres - Racing Ralph works well, Nobby Nic felt a bit squirmy BUT they both seemed to cut up quite badly on the sharp rocks. Not catastrophic due to the SnakeSkin versions I had, but the they were both covered in oddly wet patches which seemed to be Stans seepage. I suspect that Schwalbes work better in northern Europe on softer soil.

I haven't tried the latest Michelin tyres, but I have tried a combination that a guy from St Feliu recommended to me : Maxxis Larsen TT on the back and Specialized Captain (or Maxxis Ignitor) on the front. Fast rolling, low knobs that grip without squirming about on hard dirt surfaces and rubber that doesn't cut up on sharp rocks. Both the Igntor and Captain also have a continuous profile - I couldn't get on with the Nics and the gap between centre and edge tread, it never felt like I was on the edges when cornering although this is probably due to my extreme lack of radness and rubbish cornering skills.

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supersonic
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby supersonic » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:40 pm

I'd look at these:

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 235in-9368

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kenda-tomac-sma ... -mtb-tyre/

I'd say minions are overkill for that terrain (and bike)

lostboysaint
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby lostboysaint » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:45 pm

In Canada and the States WTB Mutano are popular for that kind of surface. I've used some here in the summer and found them really, really good.
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Thewaylander
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby Thewaylander » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:53 pm

cyd190468 wrote:The specific tyre is less important the the right size. Loose over dry means narrow but knobbly tyres are needed.
Ignitors 2.1 Nevegals 2.1 Minions are great but heavy Nobby Nics are great but expensive. I personally like Ignitors for loose over hard conditions as the consistant tread pattern doesn't have a vague transition between centre and edge grip but they're not particularly fast rollers, fairly light though.


Nobby Nics are never good with any kind of rocks....

tarbot18
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby tarbot18 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 21:21 pm

I regularly ride coed y brenin s various trails , marin trail etc and never had a problem on my Nobby Nics and they are rocky greasy trails ,
have you ridden with them and if so which type, performance, evo, snakeskin etc etc
I ride with a nn 2.25 evo up front and an 2.25 snakeskin out back year round in all conditions and find them grippy as a grippy thing.
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EdW
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby EdW » Thu Dec 06, 2012 23:42 pm

You probably just need a new, grippier, front tyre. My bike came with Rocket Ron's, & I found they washed out a lot in the corners, so I got a Nobby Nic for the front. If you want to stick with Schwalbe, i'd recommend a Nobby Nic 2.25 Evo snakeskin.

The front tyre at 24sec in the video looks like a Maxxis Ardent to me, which might also be a good choice.

Dougtanian
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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby Dougtanian » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:43 am

Thanks for all the replies guys! Really helpful and I'll look into all these brands/types

Did a bit of browsing round some other lbs in my area, the one where I bought my bike is very unhelpful, after I bought the bike of course! >:-(

They seem to have a lot of the Kenda Small Block 8 or similar type treads so I'm thinking they must be quite popular with the locals.

One other thing, I'm running tubes but should I be looking to run tubeless on this terrain. No punctures so far after 500km... maybe I've just been lucky though?

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Re: Tyres for very dry hard packed trails with gravel?

Postby njee20 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:53 am

Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph 2.25" Double Defence.


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