Official XC/AM Tire discussion

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Official XC/AM Tire discussion
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Mod Plus
Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 20:38 Quote
Ok, since everyone asks about tires I thought this would be a good idea.
Firstly you must post the following info in your post.
1) Company, Name, Width, Casing.
2) Conditions tire performed best.
3) PSI tire ran best at for your weight.
4) Bike used on.
5) General thoughts on the tire.

Like so:

All of the following were ridden on a Specialized Enduro-160mm AM rig.

Specialized Purgatory Grid 2.4
Tire has been used mainly in loose over hardpack, or loose, or rocky terrain, with one wet ride. I was able to run the tire at very low pressure 18 psi front, and 24 out back without burping, but it rolled much better with 24 front, 28 rear for my 210 lbs of fury. I liked it, but the 2.4 was so slow rolling compared to the 2.2 I have now. It was great for really rough rides, but other than it was overkill.

Purg 2.2 Control
This was a rear run tire, but it would be a good front tire as well if paired to a captain. the 2.2 has an entirely different profile from the 2.4, in that it's a much rounder tire with a smaller gap in the spacing of the tread from the center to the side knobs. It's a great rolling tire, and definitely a staple on my rig.

Specialized Eskar Control 2.3
I ran this front paired to a 2.2 Purgatory in the Control casing out back. I usually rode this in the same conditions as the 2.4 Purgs. It rolled much faster, but it did have a slight point where if un-engaged, the tire would let go. It has to be ridden with enthusiasm. You can't ride this tire softly, it has to be ridden hard. I've had no issues with the control casing thus far, and it's been down to 24-28 psi regularly up front.

Specialized Captain Control 2.2
I ran a set of these as a lighter faster rolling tire for the loose and hardpack here in AZ. It was fairly fast, and still maintained enough traction to be ridden aggressively on a 6 inch bike. I ran them at pressures from 26-32ish, I ran them a little higher than the Eskar and Purg in the same width. I like them, and still have them, but am riding more aggressive trails where a knobbier tire offers more confidence.

Maxxis Minion 2.35 Single sidewall 60A
I've been a minion guy for years, and liked these as well, the sidewalls weren't nearly what I expected, but they were decent when run with tubes. I usually had to run these a little higher due to the sidewall, 33-35+which didn't helpt he traction, but they are still a great all-rounder...

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 20:46 Quote
Specialized Captain Control 2Bliss Ready 2.2/2.0 29 inch and 26 inch, used both.
Dry and dusty /Slightly Loamy Conditions would be best
Tubeless at 28/30. 175 fully geared.
Used on a Trek Superfly 100

This tire is the whole package for trail. Respectable weight. Awesome bite on corners. Strong braking. Fast center knobs. Long life. Good price. Tubeless ready. It is the real deal, and is exactly what any trail rider wants. I will run these for a long time. They are like $50 something. 10/10 no doubt, home run tire.
Specialized Captain
Specialized Captain 2.2. Tubeless.


Bontrager XR1 Expert, 2.2/2.2 29"
Same conditions as above
Same bike as above.
Did not setup tubeless, as I was waiting to see if I liked them enough to do it. I ran like 30/32.

This is a race tire. Period. It has okay grip when you run the pressure low, but don't be expecting too much grip. They are freaking fast though. I think they serve their purpose perfectly. Lightweight and fast. The grip IS supposed to come after those two. I do like them enough to where I will use them for race season, but they aren't good for fun or training.

Mod Plus
Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 20:46 Quote
I'm hoping that this can become a resource for folks, and also a place to check for what else to try out... In my mind tires can make the biggest change to your ride. So if you think this is a good idea, feel free to post your thoughts on your tires.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:08 Quote
I'll play ... since I'm an admitted tire addict.

These are only limited to the last two seasons, since tires get updated over time in terms of rubber compounds and casings.

Specialized S-Works Sauserwind, 26 x 2.0, used on an S-Works Stumpjumper rear, 200 lb rider, 45 psi
Works great on hardpack and loose over, very stable, great cornering, great acceleration traction. Casing was very thin, hence the relatively high pressure, and due to the thin casing keeping it seated tubeless was a pain. Great tire if you live somewhere dry-ish and prefer something a little narrower.

Specialized Storm Control, 26 x 1.8, used on an S-Works Stumpjumper front and rear, 200 lb rider, 50 psi
Very soft rubber, DESTROYS any wet/loose spring/winter conditions, more predictable than other low spike tires on rocks/roots, wears pretty fast if you ride a little road to get to the trails

Specialized S-Works Purgatory, 26 x 2.2, used on an S-Works Stumpjumper front and an Enduro rear, 200 lb rider, 40 psi
Best all conditions tire I have used - loose, packed, loose over, loam, sand, anything you can think of. Predictable in wet conditions, but as a larger rider (read Fat-Ass) I might have chosen a Control casing if I had a do-over.

Specialized Purgatory Control, 26 x 2.3, used on an Enduro front, 200 lb rider, 32 psi
Excellent front tire. A lot like the Purg 2.2, except a little bigger. Definitely is wider in real life than the size would suggest.

Specialized Clutch SX, 26 x 2.3, used on an Enduro front, 200 lb rider, 30 psi
The casing on this isn't 1 ply, and isn't really 2 ply either. It's more like a 1.5 ply - moderate weight, folding bead, excellent sidewall strength if you ride in a lot of rocks (I do). Lots of dry traction, wet traction is acceptable unless you're tits deep in mud. If you're not too weight conscious or are susceptible to pinch flats, this makes a great AM tire.

Maxxis High Roller ST Wire bead single ply, 26 x 2.35, used on an Enduro Rear, 200 lb rider, 30 psi
Classic rear tire for a reason - works great on rocks, Super Tacky rubber hooks up on any solid surface, a little skatey on loose surfaces, be careful if you order online because there are about 6 versions of a 2.35 High Roller, and it's easy to mix them up.

Continential Rubber Queen (Trail King in the USA I think) Black Chili compound, 26 x 2.4", used front and rear on a Lapierre Spicy, 200 lb rider, 35 psi
Great tire dry, terrifying wet. You can be beating your riding buddies in to submission one minute, then a little rain, and you're rolling around in the rhubarb.

Continental Mountain King 26 x 2.4", Black Chili compound, used front and rear on a Lapierre Spicy, 200 lb rider, 35 psi
These tires were awesome anywhere except for extreme mud. No idea how/why these are so great, and the Rubber Queens sucked so much, because the tread and rubber should be similar in any way you can measure. Casings are stronger than they look.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:11 Quote
There are some way high pressures there....you aren't very heavy either. Like 40 PSI with a Purg? I am running 30 with a Captain...

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:21 Quote
Damn, I run 20psi 2.2 Purg control front and 25psi cap'n control rear.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:21 Quote
carpy95 wrote:
There are some way high pressures there....you aren't very heavy either. Like 40 PSI with a Purg? I am running 30 with a Captain...

Tire pressure is a funny thing. To really compare apples to apples, we need tube thickness (if applicable), rim width, and then to ride the same bike on the same terrain. You also have to look at tire volumes and compare wider to narrower.

I am man-size, and ride on a lot of rocks, such as this:

Adrian

Trails like that are 1km from home, and I do most of my riding there. I also find that with less PSI, tires roll a lot more through their sidewalls in a hard turn. I have unseated tires in the 20 PSI range a number of times ... you know, when grass and twigs end up in the bead.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:23 Quote
Why aren't you tubeless? Also, our rocks are similar to that, and in many cases burlier. I know it changes with all these variables, but assuming nothing out of the ordinary, 40 psi is nonetheless high.

Mod Plus
Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:25 Quote
hustler wrote:
carpy95 wrote:
There are some way high pressures there....you aren't very heavy either. Like 40 PSI with a Purg? I am running 30 with a Captain...

Tire pressure is a funny thing. To really compare apples to apples, we need tube thickness (if applicable), rim width, and then to ride the same bike on the same terrain.

I am man-size, and ride on a lot of rocks, such as this:

Adrian

Trails like that are 1km from home, and I do most of my riding there. I also find that with less PSI, tires roll a lot more through their sidewalls.
Very true, I was debating making wheel choice a part of the statement for the comments as well, I was aiming to make this thread more just as a reference so folks can discuss, I ride with a guy who rides 50+ psi in his on the same trails I ride. I don't roll my tires too much unless they are at the bottom of the psi range. The 18ish is as low as I can go, I use ALL of the tire, but it does offer a lot of fun in the rough trails here.
and jealous of the dirt in the pic. I haven't seen that in years... all I have is sand, and rock.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:27 Quote
carpy95 wrote:
Why aren't you tubeless? Also, our rocks are similar to that, and in many cases burlier. I know it changes with all these variables, but assuming nothing out of the ordinary, 40 psi is nonetheless high.

Show me a tubeless system that works, and I will run it.

As a background, I first ran tubeless in maybe '01 starting with UST, and have tried anything commercially available from ghetto tubeless to the full Stans system and everything in between.

The cracks in these things are deep and far enough apart (a little higher than ankle deep, and 3-6" wide) that they tend to play tricks with tubeless tires.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:29 Quote
Something is wrong then.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:30 Quote
hustler wrote:
carpy95 wrote:
Why aren't you tubeless? Also, our rocks are similar to that, and in many cases burlier. I know it changes with all these variables, but assuming nothing out of the ordinary, 40 psi is nonetheless high.

Show me a tubeless system that works, and I will run it.

As a background, I first ran tubeless in maybe '01 starting with UST, and have tried anything commercially available from ghetto tubeless to Stans and everything in between.
Bontrager Rimstrips. They are unfortunately designed only for Bonty rims. I have tried Gorilla tape and Stan's tape with no luck. These strips beaded the tire in about 5 seconds with a normal pump and have 100 percent held air.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:33 Quote
Specialized has rim strips like that too. I have tried them. I have a Mavic 819 rim currently that totally eliminates the need for sealing the rim, and I'm still not satisfied with other aspects of tubeless.

e.g. I switch tires often, seasonally and for different soil. Tubeless is not ideal for that.

Besides, the bike feels sloppy and imprecise to me at low pressure (low 20 ish psi for instance).

Through working at a bike shop from ages 16-30 I learned a fair bit about tire setup through trial and error.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:36 Quote
Rattsl wrote:
Something is wrong then.

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 21:37 Quote
hustler wrote:
Specialized has rim strips like that too. I have tried them. I have a Mavic 819 rim currently that totally eliminates the need for sealing the rim, and I'm still not satisfied with other aspects of tubeless.

e.g. I switch tires often, seasonally and for different soil. Tubeless is not ideal for that.

Besides, the bike feels sloppy and imprecise to me at low pressure (low 20 ish psi for instance).

Through working at a bike shop from ages 16-30 I learned a fair bit about tire setup through trial and error.
So run low 30's, if low 20's are too low, I agree that that is too low.

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