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Old 2010-09-12, 12:43 AM   #1
Nurse Ben
XC Muni
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Cascades, USA
Age: 54
Posts: 4,644
"Official" 29er Tire Reviews Thread

It seems like the 29er needs it's own tire review thread, so here ya' go!

I'll start:
Me: 45yo, 200#, riding 2+ years, 2-3x week year round, mostly single track, some double track on a 36er, spend 3/4 of my riding on a 26er mounted with an Intense DH 2.5" I prefer tires with a stiff sidewall and a flattish profile. I ride longer cranks, prefer big torque over fast sprinning. I don't ride road.

WTB Exiwolf 2.2, lowish volume, soft sidewall, low tread, a decent tire if kept pumped up, ran these on my 29er bike, best for dry surfaces, not that sticky, lightweight, more of a bike tire than a uni tire.

Kenda Navegal 2.2, a decent tire overall, lower volume, mild DH tread, decent sidewall, an original KH 29er tire. Good for it's day, getting dated, doesn't handle low tire pressure as well as the fatter tires, runs straight.

WTB Stout 2.3, a second generation 29er tire, advertised as a quasi DH tire, but really more a freeride tire, okay volume, light sidewall, not a bad tire overall, doesn't like low tire pressure, but a pretty decent tire for some lighter weight folks, runs straight, comes in race folding bead (lighter weight) and wire bead freeride.

WTB Kodiak 2.5, advertised as a true DH tire, 1.5 side ply, sticky rubber, high volume, heavy for a 29er tire, comparable to a medium duty DH 26er, so not hardly as burly as a Dur Wildlife or Intense DH. Though the tire had promise, once I had it mounted it was very obvious that this tire was designed to be quick edge to edge on a bike, which translates into unstable on a unicycle. The center line of knobbies sits high, like a ridge, so it steers into the hill quite badly. I tried psi ranging from 12-20 and could not make it run straight. I do not recommended this tire.

Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4 EVO, a big volume freeride tire, low treat height similar to the Exiwolf, not a DH tire as it has a very lightweight build, soft flexing sidewalls. At first impressions, well, I just didn't think it was gonna work for muni, just too light and soft, but was I ever suprised! I ran it as low as 16psi and it still wasn't bottoming out over roots. A great tire, the one that is residing on my KH freeride rim!

BTW, if you aren't sure if a wider rim makes a difference, think again! The new KH 47mm freeride rim really spreads out the tire, making the profile flatter so the tire runs straighter.
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