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Old 2010-09-12, 12:43 AM   #1
Nurse Ben
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"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.

Tires:
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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Old 2010-09-12, 01:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
I tried psi ranging from 12-20 and could not make it run straight. I do not recommended this tire.
Interesting. I guess this goes to show that tire characteristics can be just as subjective to personal preferences (like pretty much everything else) as I and others have had very different experiences with the Kodiak. I'm glad to hear the Ralph is working well for you!
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Old 2010-09-13, 12:46 AM   #3
Nurse Ben
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I agree, tire choices and riding style can vary drastically, that's why I posted my stats and preferences. I'd hoped that the Kodiak would be a good tire for me, but because of the trails I ride, nearly all being off camber sidehill styled single track, it was a real chorse keeping the uni from steering into the hill. I rode the same trail with a Stout and the RR, no similar problem.

I do wonder how the Dissent rides, but I am not the one to buy it this time, we need a volunteer:

Anyone?
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Old 2010-09-13, 11:13 AM   #4
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Terry Peterson has been riding one.
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Old 2010-09-13, 12:16 PM   #5
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Funny how you called the Racing Ralph a "freeride" tyre. I use one on my 29er, but for light xc and racing, certainly not freeride. It's really thin and I've slashed the sidewall once on a rock and had to repair it. It's nice and high volume though, so I suppose it might be OK for "careful" freeride if you don't run it too soft. I run mine at about 25psi (tubeless) for xc - any softer than that and I find it folds too easily on fast corners. I've got it on the KH "xc" rim though, not the new holey freeride one, so that probably makes a bit of a difference.

If Schwalbe made the 29x2.4 with the "snakeskin" sidewalls I'd probably go for that, but otherwise I really like it for xc (as long as you watch out for sharp rocks).

Rob
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Old 2010-09-14, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
If Schwalbe made the 29x2.4 with the "snakeskin" sidewalls I'd probably go for that, but otherwise I really like it for xc (as long as you watch out for sharp rocks).
funny you should mention that: I had my first snakebite last night, running 18#, caught a rock or something. I didn't see a cut on my sidewall, but I didn't feel like looking since I was tired from my "walk".

The question now is whether I can find something as fun to ride at the Racing Ralph while still being as durable as a DH tire.

What are you riding for freeride on a 29er?
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Old 2010-09-14, 03:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
funny you should mention that: I had my first snakebite last night, running 18#, caught a rock or something. I didn't see a cut on my sidewall, but I didn't feel like looking since I was tired from my "walk".
Bummer - hope I didn't jinx you
I'm surprised you get away with 18psi though - it feels hopelessly baggy to me at that sort of pressure and I'm a bit lighter than you (about 11st 9, or 163lbs). Perhaps the extra 10mm (?) of rim width makes a significant difference.
The cut in my sidewall wasn't from a snakebite - the wheel slipped off the side of a bit of sharp rock as I rode over it and the rock actually sliced the sidewall like a knife.

Quote:
The question now is whether I can find something as fun to ride at the Racing Ralph while still being as durable as a DH tire.
Kenda Small Block 8 looks like a similar tread to the Ralph, and probably more durable. Haven't tried it though - I only use my 29er for fast xc and racing, so the Ralph works well for me, and is extremely light.

Quote:
What are you riding for freeride on a 29er?
26x3
Although I don't know if any of my riding really counts as "freeride" - I do pretty rocky stuff, but no big drops.

Rob
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Last edited by rob.northcott; 2010-09-14 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 2010-09-14, 09:34 PM   #8
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I still like the Kodiak. I haven't currently had it on the 29er as I've been doing 15+ mi mtb races on the 29er and needed to shed a bit of weight. I went back to the Stout, but have had a rash of pinch flats until I got rid of the thin tubes.

FYI We do have a lot of off camber stuff here too. I'm about 6'1" and 160lbs. The only tire I've found to be a candidate for pulling is the Larry on a Large Marge 26" Conundrum. But that's not 29er related.
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Old 2010-09-15, 11:43 AM   #9
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Just an update on the Racing Ralph 2.4:

I've been happilly running all of my 29er tires with a standard 29er tube, no flats even with the Stout down to 16psi, was running the RR at 18psi, then I had my first snake bit on some not so rought muni terrain; sidewall was fine.

So, I installed a 26" Nokian DH tube last night, one of the really thick tubes for muni. It was a bit of a pain to install, the tube kept getting stuck between the tire bead and rim edge, but once it went on the tire filled up nicely. The sidewall feels firmer at the same PSI as I used with the 29er tube, I'll see how it does when I ride at lunch.

Anyone other than Terry riding a Dissent?

Last edited by Nurse Ben; 2010-09-15 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 2010-09-15, 05:13 PM   #10
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Those Nokian tubes are amazing for what they do to tire feel. It was a sad day when my trusty Nokian died with a torn out stem.


I have a review somewhere with the RR 2.4, WTB Prowler and Intense 29. I don't really feel like re-writing it so I will have a look to see if I can find it and re-post here.
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Old 2010-09-15, 05:52 PM   #11
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Just got back from a ride on my 29er equipped with the RR 2.4 and a Nokian DH tube. What can I say, it was awesome! The ride is much firmer, still running 18psi, didn't have any collapse, in fact it was firm enough that I slid out on a couple switchbacks

I know the sidewall is still susceptible to cutting, but the snakebite issue is no longer a serious problem at low psi. It really rides nice, might even drop the pressure to 16ps
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Old 2010-09-15, 06:21 PM   #12
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I guess it wasn't much of a review so I will just write a new one following Ben's example with stats

I am 24yrs old, 5'10" 180lbs. Ride mostly XC with some good rocky sections.

My 29" unicycle is mostly KH with a speedway Umma 50mm wide rim.


RR 2.4 - The highest volume and lightest 29" tire I have tried but I really found the tread pattern lacking grip whenever I got into any slippery clay or wet rocks. My biggest problem with this tire is the flimsy sidewalls. I just never got along that well whit this tire. When new it measured out to 2.48" but once broken in it stretched out to 2.60" weight was measured as 590g.

Intense System 29 - I have very little nice to say about this tire. The bead was loose, the tread was wobbly (even when seated properly which was a chore to do) the grip sucked on rocks, dirt, mud, and it did not roll as fast as the RR or the Prowler. Oh, did I mention that it was the heaviest tire I have tried yet on the 29 by almost 200g? New it measured out to 2.36" Weight was measured as 840g.

WTB Prowler SL - I really liked this tire. Heavier and smaller than the RR but with much better grip and nice firm but not stiff sidewalls. This tire was very predictable, tracked well and would have really predictable controllable breakaways if you pushed it beyond its limits. Not the best for rocks as it was a bit smaller but I just loved the feel of this tire otherwise. New it measured out to 2.32" weight was measured as 660g.

WTB ExiWolf 2.3 - I don't have that much time on this tire yet but so far I am liking the feel of the casing but find it doesn't quite have the same level of grip as the Prowler. I will repost about this tire once I have more experience with it. New it measured out to 2.36"


Ben a tire you might want to try is the maxxis Ardent 2.4. it looks like it has a similar but more aggressive tread to a RR is a proper high volume and decent sidewalls. I would like to try one but I think I need to get rid of some of my tires before trying new ones.
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Old 2010-09-15, 08:41 PM   #13
Nurse Ben
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Quote:
Ben a tire you might want to try is the maxxis Ardent 2.4. it looks like it has a similar but more aggressive tread to a RR is a proper high volume and decent sidewalls. I would like to try one but I think I need to get rid of some of my tires before trying new ones
Yeah, me too. Ardent 2.4 or Dissent 2.5, tough choice, may try to order both from a on-line source and pick one, return the other...

Seriously, retry the RR with a 26" DH tube, it really rides nice.
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Old 2010-09-25, 08:06 PM   #14
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More tire testing:

I picked up a "free" Conti Mountain King 29 x 2.4. The free part was only because it was covered inside and out with tubeless tire sealant that had dried in place for months. Let me suggest that tubeless be avoided unless you like cleaning up messes.

Anyways, it was so much smaller than all my other tires that I didn't do much more than mount it up and do some siz comparisons. It is comparable with a Navegal in terms of volume, thin sidewall, about the same as a Stout.

I also had a chance to look over an Ardent 29 x 2.4 and it is not a full volume tire, closer in size to a stout and the sidewall is typical XC, so thin.

Next on order is a Dissent DH FR and a Weirwolf 2.55

Word on the street is that the Weirwolf is almost as volumunous as the RR 2.4!

Check out this site for 29er and 26er tire size and volume info:
http://mtbtires.com/site2/tire-specs...00c-tire-specs

Last edited by Nurse Ben; 2010-09-25 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 2010-09-26, 07:29 AM   #15
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Check out this site for 29er and 26er tire size and volume info:
http://mtbtires.com/site2/tire-specs...00c-tire-specs
Yah Shiggy has way to much time on his hands (and a garage overflowing with tires) That is a great database though.

If you are worried about sidewall stiffness I had the impression that the WW was sort of thin but that is almost to be expected form a 29" tire eh?

Disappointing to hear about the Ardent being small and thin. It looked good in pictures.
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