Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

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Tally Ho
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 13:04 pm

Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby Tally Ho » Fri Jan 04, 2013 01:33 am

I ride a hardtail fitted with panaracer fire xc pro's 2.1 front and back (with tubes). I love the compliance or 'suspension' feel of them but they have too much rolling resistance. I ride half my time on dry single track hardpack/rocky conditions, and the other half on pavement trails through my local hills for fitness training. I want to find a faster rolling tire that grips well but offers some suspension /compliance too. I tried kendra small block 8's (tubes), and they were great for fast rolling and decent grip, but punctured too often at lower pressures allowing more compliance. When pumped up to 35 PSI or higher it stops the pinchflats but gives a harsh ride. What tire (must be tubed) has a good suspension feel, decent grip, and is reasonably fast rolling? And it would be nice if it has a decent puncture resistance too.

Any suggestions?

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njee20
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Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby njee20 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 09:38 am

Why must it be tubed? If you go tubeless you can achieve exactly what you're after...

I'd say Racing Ralph Snakeskin 2.25".

lostboysaint
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Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby lostboysaint » Fri Jan 04, 2013 09:45 am

Wow, you are the first person I've ever heard suggest that Fire XC have too much rolling resistance!

How heavy are you? I'm 98kg and rarely pinch flat even when dropping pressures to 30psi. (I normally run 35-40psi on 2.0-2.2 width tyres which gives exactly the right balance of grip/deformation/comfort/rolling resistance.)

Njee's suggestion of Racing Ralph is a good one. Maxxis Advantage, WTB Mutano are other fast rolling offerings that have good volume.
Trail fun - Transition Bandit
Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur
Allround - Cotic Solaris

Tally Ho
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 13:04 pm

Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby Tally Ho » Fri Jan 04, 2013 13:37 pm

njee20 wrote:Why must it be tubed? If you go tubeless you can achieve exactly what you're after...

I'd say Racing Ralph Snakeskin 2.25".


Tubed because I don't think my wheels Shimano MT 15's run tubeless?...and also the hassle of setting up tubeless myself. I ride a lot and get through a rear Kendra small block 8 every 2 months (mostly due to half of it being on very hilly (occasionaly very steep!) pavement) so if the hassle of going tubeless (I'd have to do it myself as there is no bike shop nearby) would last for several months then maybe, but changing tires every couple of months seems an added hassle with tubelss. Thanks for the Racing Ralph suggestion though, sounds a good option.

Tally Ho
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 13:04 pm

Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby Tally Ho » Fri Jan 04, 2013 13:46 pm

lostboysaint wrote:Wow, you are the first person I've ever heard suggest that Fire XC have too much rolling resistance!

How heavy are you? I'm 98kg and rarely pinch flat even when dropping pressures to 30psi. (I normally run 35-40psi on 2.0-2.2 width tyres which gives exactly the right balance of grip/deformation/comfort/rolling resistance.)

Njee's suggestion of Racing Ralph is a good one. Maxxis Advantage, WTB Mutano are other fast rolling offerings that have good volume.



apologies if I was not clear in my explanation, the pinch flat and tire pressures i mentioned were about the kendra small block 8's. On the panaracer fire xc pro's, I had no problem with punctures, but compared to the small block 8's especially on the pavement sections.... they are like being glued to the road, they really drag by comparison. I Imagine the fire xc's are terrific for UK conditions where it will be a little softer terrain but for here in Hong Kong with its dry climate where we don't get mud, just rocky hardpack, they are not in their element. A great tire...but a little too knobbly for here.
And I weigh 77kg but the small block 8's definitely pinch flat more easily below 35 PSI, a few others here have had the same issue until going to 35PSI or above, and that resolved it.
Appreciate the suggestions...those three tires seem a good option.
Last edited by Tally Ho on Fri Jan 04, 2013 13:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lostboysaint
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:59 am

Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby lostboysaint » Fri Jan 04, 2013 13:49 pm

Ah, with you now!

Never used small block 8s so couldn't comment. I do use the Mutano, I discovered it on trips to Canada and the US where there's a lot of dry, rocky, gravelly riding. I set it up tubeless but it's a fantastically fast rolling tyre, good volume (despite only using the 2.2) and very grippy edges.
Trail fun - Transition Bandit
Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur
Allround - Cotic Solaris

Long Time Lurker
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Re: Best XC hardpack tires for a cushy ride

Postby Long Time Lurker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 14:00 pm

+1 for Racing Ralphs.
They are my go-to tyres for the summer months.
2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)


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