Softer or Harder Compounds???????????

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Softer or Harder Compounds???????????
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Posted: Jan 8, 2022 at 14:44 Quote
Hey all I have a question that has been bothering me for a while and I can't find the answer to it, hopefully, I can get some guidance.

So my question is which would be a better tire for riding north shore, to make it a controlled test lest just focus on the Minion DHF Front and Rear.

Which is a better option a 2.3 Maxxterra or the 2.5 dual compounds? and which will give me more traction?

The 2.3 although narrower by 5 mills will have better compounds all around, they have about 35% softer compound on the side nobs and about 25% softer compound on the center nobs. Being narrower will also make them more agile.

The 2.5 will offer a wider contact patch by 5 Mill. They will also offer longevity, which is not a big factor for me. They will have better rolling because of the compound and better braking because of the contact patch. Interesting enough this option is about 5 grams Lighter probably because of the simpler construction.

More factors to consider are that the bike came with a 2.5 Front and 2.3 Rear, with 30mm rims.

Which option will be better for riding north shore. considering the dry and wet rock rolls, the slippery skinnies, roots, pedalling and muddy conditions. The rock roll on Seventh, or the rock roll on expresso, or a trail like Boundary.

To cover the question again, which do you think is the better option a smaller tire with better compound or a bigger tire that offers more contact with the ground?
Thank you.

Posted: Jan 13, 2022 at 19:29 Quote
For your location, and if you're limited to those two choices only; I'd think the 2.3 would be the way to go. I would not run a dual comp up front, and for my style, I'd want the 3CT rear as well.

Now if a 2.5 3C option were added to the mix, it would be that for me.

Posted: Jan 17, 2022 at 18:51 Quote
JaxMustang50 wrote:
For your location, and if you're limited to those two choices only; I'd think the 2.3 would be the way to go. I would not run a dual comp up front, and for my style, I'd want the 3CT rear as well.

Now if a 2.5 3C option were added to the mix, it would be that for me.

Hey bud, yes the 2.5 3C option would be the better option, take that one step higher it would be 2.6 3C which will be an ultimate option, this was a kind of a thought experiment, hence the limitations.

Thank you for your input, so you believe that the 2.3 3C will ultimately offer better traction because of the more flexible rubber rather than the bigger/harder compound, despite the bigger footprint.

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 9:14 Quote
The softer compound tire (even if smaller contact patch) will offer better grip unless you run drastically less air pressure in that firmer compound tire, so that it will conform over and around the obstacles. I.e. plus tire and fat tire bikes vs true DH.

If all are aired up to the same, the DH tire will have the softest grippiest compound rubber, but plus and fat tires use drastically less air pressure so that tire will conform combined with the lager contact patch equals greater grip/ traction. But if you were to air those plus and fat tires up to the same air pressure as the DH tire, see what happens to the traction. It will disappear.

Posted: Jan 23, 2022 at 17:00 Quote
DugS wrote:
The softer compound tire (even if smaller contact patch) will offer better grip unless you run drastically less air pressure in that firmer compound tire, so that it will conform over and around the obstacles. I.e. plus tire and fat tire bikes vs true DH.

If all are aired up to the same, the DH tire will have the softest grippiest compound rubber, but plus and fat tires use drastically less air pressure so that tire will conform combined with the lager contact patch equals greater grip/ traction. But if you were to air those plus and fat tires up to the same air pressure as the DH tire, see what happens to the traction. It will disappear.


Thanks for the insight, much appreciated mate.

Posted: Jan 25, 2022 at 18:26 Quote
Yes.
I don't believe the footprint of a 2.5 DC will be large enough to see a traction improvement over a 2.3 3CT.
I'd also wager that a 2.3 3CT will have more traction on most surfaces than a 2.6 DC.

Dug is spot on too.

There's also a myriad of other variables which effect traction. Just two are the surface, and the load distributed over the contact patch. There are many possibilities concerning what is the exact right formula for maximum traction at a given moment on a given surface. For example; a large footprint tire which will have a lower ground force per sq.in., can have less traction on a given surface than a smaller tire with a higher ground force per sq.in. It can be the other way around as well.
That's just one possibility, and they're endless because of the endless amount of variables.
It's what makes experimenting with different tires and combinations so much fun for tire nerds like me.

Generally speaking, (and I mean very generally) we usually find more traction by increasing the tire contact patch, lowering pressure, and running softer compounds.

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