Ask Pinkbike: Wide Tires, Dirt Jumper for Whistler, and Trail Hardtails

Oct 25, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.





Hardtails and Tires

Question: Pinkbike user ddouglas asked this question in the 29ers forum: I am using a set of 30mm ext (25mm int) carbon rims on my Chromag Rootdown, which has a lot of clearance. I don't love my Ardent 2.4" tan wall tires, so I am looking at getting bigger, more all-around / mud oriented tires. Chromag suggested Minion 2.5" and they seem to get great reviews, but is there anything else out there that would compare? Big is good. I couldn't fit 3.0" tires but are there any 2.5" ones that size really big?

bigquotesWhen it comes to riding a hardtail, tire choice is so, so important. Not only is traction at a premium, but you're also depending on your rubber to provide some extra forgiveness that your bike isn't able to. Like you, I'm also not a fan of Ardents, so we're on the same page there, but you're on the right track when thinking about a set of Minions. Unfortunately, your 25mm wide (internal) rims aren't really suited for the new and very impressive Maxxis Minion 2.5'' wide WT tires that are designed for a rim around 30 to 35mm wide - there won't be enough tire sidewall support to let the tires shine as intended. When it comes to mud and high-volume rubber, my go-to choice is usually a set of 2.35'' wide Schwalbe Nobby Nics that, while not as aggressive as the Magic Mary, are a far better all-around choice. I've never been a fan of the standard Minion when things get sloppy. The Nics are basically the same width as your current 2.4'' wide Ardents that you don't like much, but you can't really go wider unless you also buy some wider rims. - Mike Levy

Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.35 - 2015
The 2.35'' Nobby Nic is a good tire choice if you're looking for something relatively large but don't have mega-wide rims. Plus, they clear mud better than the Minion.




Hardtail at Whistler?

Question: Pinkbike user @Derekscovell asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: So me and some friends are planning a trip from Calgary, AB to the Whistler Bike Park. Right now I am riding a Norco One25 as I thought it would be a smart decision to ride a bike that is as much fun to ride on street than it is on dirt jumps. With the trip coming up, I think I have two options, and I'm here to ask you guys which is better.

Option 1: Invest in a nice pair mountain wheels and get a new front brake (the stock was a mechanical). This would be the cheaper option obviously but I don't want to snap my frame or taco a rim on the first day of the three day trip. Option 2: Buy a new bike off of Pinkbike or new. By the time June rolls around I should have around $2500 to use on a new bike. Though I would love to have some left over, and go with the first option, I also don't want to kill me or my bike. PS: I also don't want to look like a joey.



bigquotesI'd strongly suggest adding another option to that list and renting a DH bike when you arrive rather than struggling to ride your dirt jumper in the bike park. Yes, it is possible to make it down the hill on a hardtail, but your fun level will increase exponentially if you're on a proper downhill bike. You'll have more control at high speeds, and it'll save your body from being rattled to pieces by the braking bumps. There are numerous shops in Whistler that have high end rentals, and many of them offer a discount for pre-booking or renting for multiple days. I'd still bring the hardtail along, though; Whistler has a great set of dirt jumps outside of the bike park that are worth hitting up.

As for not looking like a joey, as long as your helmet has a visor and you're not wearing knee pads on the outside of your jeans you should be fine. Whistler's full of riders of all shapes, sizes, and ability levels - I wouldn't worry at all about not fitting in. - Mike Kazimer

On the drops and givin her hell. Barelli might not have has the speed the other lads did but he certainly has balls.
Yoann Barelli can make it work, but for mere mortals a proper downhill bike is a better tool for riding the Whistler Bike Park.




Does the Bike I Want Exist?



Question: Pinkbike user @AyJayDoubleyou asked this question in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: I'm getting bored now that the bad weather is moving in, and thinking about a new bike. Here's what I want: a 650b hardtail with 130mm fork, carbon, 142mm rear end, a suitable 'trail' head angle of 67/68 degrees, give or take a degree or two, and a 31.6mm seat tube.

Basically, I want a trail hardtail as my second bike. Reusing parts/compatibility with my full suss drives most of the other demands. Loads of bikes meet this if I'm willing to switch materials - I'm aware of this but want a carbon bike. What's available as frame only or available second hand as a frame only?



bigquotesThe short answer is no, you can't have your cake and eat it. Framesets, especially of the rigid carbon variety are becoming rarer as complete bikes take over. But I did find a couple of options that come close to your needs:

Saracen's Mantra-X frameset is available for 799GBP and meets most of your criteria - carbon, 142mm rear axle, 68 degree head angle with a (recommended) 120mm travel fork. But it is let down by a 30.9mm seat tube. The seat post might not be an issue as the Saracen is by far the cheapest here, and the only one focused on trail riding more than XC/racing.

The second option is towards the higher end of the carbon class, the Santa Cruz Highball. The head angle is stated as 69 degrees with a 100mm fork but will be within your range with a longer 130mm travel fork up front. Unfortunately, the seatpost is a slender 27.2mm, so changing the dropper from another bike won't be an option. At 1699GBP for a frame, the savings you have made by parts sharing will probably be lost.

Another option is the Pivot LES 27.5. Again, the price is towards the top of the range and the seat post diameter is smaller than requested at 30.9mm. But it does meet the rest of your criteria and is available for 1500GBP in the UK. Finally, and a full pound cheaper than the Pivot, the Giant XTC matches your needs except for the 27.2mm post and the steep 69.5 degree head angle with a 100mm fork. - Paul Aston



Saracen HT
Saracen's Mantra X has smooth lines and is ready to hack its way through winter.
Santa Cruz HT
Santa Cruz's 27.5" Highball is in the upper echelons of hardtail hero-ing.

Giant HT
Pivot HT
Giant's XTC or Pivot's LES might the the carbon cycles you're after?




Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


153 Comments

  • 113 1
 Why the deal breaker with the Carbon frame? Plenty of rowdy hardtails to choose from in alloy and steel that will probably ride better than carbon. Nice high quality steel is the shit for AM hardtails. Tough as nails, flexes so nice, and cheap(ish) to boot...

Orange Crush, Chromag's stuff, On One 456, ... the list goes on and on.
  • 31 0
 Don't forget the NS Eccentric Cromo!
  • 24 49
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 25, 2016 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 On*one and nice quality steel... I have a steel HT from butted cro-mo 4130 (whatever that means), owned a few alu HTs and I call that steel compliance a BS. On the other hand, carbon HTs I rode were not compliant by any means. Yes vibration damping properties are theoretically there due to physics, material science, metalurgy and other sht, but it seem they apply to rather small amplitude vibrations and Rock Garden seems to play a rather different tune on your bike. HT is such a simple sht, I'd either go bottom feeder cheap or Titanium fk all.
  • 4 33
flag Tmonster2301 (Oct 25, 2016 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 Cus rust.
  • 23 0
 Cotic, DMR, Stanton, BTR... With the kind of money a carbon frame would set you back you could get something pretty special or at least proper fun.
  • 21 1
 Ditch the carbon requirement and get a Nuke Proof Scout. You won't be disappointed.
  • 15 0
 Oh yeah, and Ragley.

@Tmonster. Rust on a modern steel hardtail is as much an issue as the oxidation on an aluminium frame.
  • 11 2
 Agreed with that, i ride a Stanton Switchback which is steel and i wouldn't change it for a carbon frame if i got paid too... and this is coming from a guy who usually loves carbon
  • 6 1
 Guerilla Gravity Pedalhead, Nuke Proof Scout...
  • 6 1
 Chain reaction has ragley frames starting at about 300-400. Might be a little too much for what you're looking for but it's always a hassle when you run out of bike!
  • 10 0
 I agree that steel is MUCH better for an aggro hardtail, but the only bike that matches his discription is a Canfield EPO with 27.5 plus. All the right angles, and carbon. Technically it is a 29er though
  • 7 0
 @yeticycles : Sounds like the bike I wish Yeti would make.
  • 6 0
 I love my On-One 45650B! Rode the piss out of it for a full season. I'm 6ft tall and 240lbs and it's held up fine for me.
  • 9 0
 How bout a commencal meta ht?
  • 3 0
 @Triber66: I can't upvote this one enough...
  • 3 0
 ns surge evo is a pretty great option. i've been hucking this frame with a 130mm fork for damn near two years and she hasnt let up a bit. climbs like a goat when i have the saddle up as well.
  • 3 0
 @Triber66: @yeticycles I'd Buy it... but for now, my Canfield Bro's Nimble 9 will do. Most fun you'll have on a 29er period.
  • 1 0
 @wolff463: Sick bikes those, just built up the Deedar which is prety much the new 456, feels great so far!
  • 1 0
 @vinay: i sprayed the shit outta my steel hardtail with fishoilene. Up internal tubing before putting bb in. It works a treat! Also good for cars that are near coastal areas.
  • 4 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 26, 2016 at 6:25) (Below Threshold)
 @nudly: thank you. Fish oil to cover your pretentious steel hardtail of a bike. Best thing I read in a while Big Grin It better be fish oil from sea grass fed Norwegian Salmon.

Is your bike from single origin steel? Oh yes yes of course, I had the 1995 version of Rat Roy, it was the last one with lugs, and also last one by Joe Miles, hell yea that guy could build bikes. I had the first XTR ever on it. It wasn't as fast as current bikes but the build quality and compliance were epic.

Steel is real - fkng snobs with Slack Carbon Guilt Syndrome... Four Men riders of Yorkshire. We used to ride steel frames with lugs, cantilevers and no suspension and our father would come home, blow up our trails, throw the bike into the lake and kill a squirell. Tell it to these kids on Lil' Shredders on A-line and they would never believe you.
  • 2 0
 Canfield EPO or YelliScreamy
  • 1 0
 But riding a carbon HT set up in an aggressive trail mode is some of the funnest you can have on a bike. It's insanely light and agile, but it can plow through gnarlier stuff than you'd think. I ride a carbon RMB Vertex 990, and I haven't even considered getting an enduro or trail bike.
  • 2 0
 Why limit yourself to a carbon with tweener wheels when you can have a steel 29er.
  • 1 0
 Commencal Meta HT is steel also with aggressive geo, I dig mine.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
What is pretentious about putting fish oil in your frame? if anything it's the reverse.

But I guess you wouldn't be Waki if you didn't have something negative to say about anything hardtail. I don't even understand the point of the rest of your last post, nor do I understand what the hell you're trying to say.
  • 1 0
 To be honest I'm not sold on the fish oil thing. How many dead fish is that for a frame while it would be just fine without? The On One 456evo2 can be had in raw. It will rust, it will be fine. I ride a (obviously steel) DMR I bought in 2008 or so (when my poor steel Voodoo emerged from a crash with an insanely steep headangle I've actually been riding for a while) and it also shows some rust around the cable guides. I'm not worried.

I don't get what's pretentious about riding a hardtail either. Can I ride these trails on a hardtail? Will I be having fun? Both yes? Then go!
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: why have you become such a tosser recently? Or have you always been and I just haven't noticed? If you don't have anything constructive to say then f*ck off.

I would probably forget about Seatpost compatability as seat posts aren't too spendy, and if you want a dropper the are cheap and good!

I'll add a vote for the NS eccentric, use it for getting rowdy and bikepacking trips (yeh I'm a trend whore), not going to want to strap bags ect to your nice carbon frame!
  • 1 0
 @rabatt: My DMR takes a 26.8mm seatpost. No need to bother looking for a dropper for that one Wink . I don't mind though. I drop the saddle and stand when I ride. If I'm too knackered to stand, I stop for a picknick.

Modern steel hardtails are designed around dropper posts just as modern full sussers are. Often even with internal cable routing for stealth droppers.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: there is no need for such stupid insults. Karma will sort you out ikea boy.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: its in a aerosol can, they use all the scraps and left over crud, just an idea for you thats all.
  • 1 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 27, 2016 at 5:36) (Below Threshold)
 @nudly: you should always assume the worst when tosser like me is being a cnt using stupid insults. I wish I had the skills to ride a hardtail. You are so intelligence priviledged.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I thought what you said was funny, especially the part about the lugs.
  • 2 0
 Cheers @paul aston for answering the question I asked, and for everyone else above for showing me its a silly question and I should be looking at a metal bike. Apart from the Saracen, I think the masses are right. Bird zero and cotic soul topping the list at the moment.
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Glad to help. Even though I currently don't own one, I love Cotic. The Cotic Soul should be a beauty!
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou:
Stanton Switchback Ti
  • 1 1
 @LemonadeMoney: Hell yes. Those are beautiful.

@AyJayDoubleyou: Could you keep us all informed on this post of what you eventually buy and how it is going.
  • 40 2
 People who refer to a tyre solely by the tread pattern... The casing and compound are at least as important -the Pacestar / Snakeskin Nobby Nic is utter shite.
  • 17 2
 It's far worse than utter shite
  • 5 2
 Agreed, I've never had a Scwhalbe last that didn't have the DH casing and even then I've had various durability issues
  • 5 1
 @Travel66: Couldn't agree more, I only got about a months use out of the Nobby Nic before a number of the nobs started to rip off and one created a nice hole....other than that they were great....
  • 4 0
 Did anybody read on 2014 trailstar defect on schwalbes ? The 2015 versions (without the outline on the letters) are supposed to be better. Some people hate them because of this reputation, I personally love schwalbes as front tire, long lasting on supergravity, dh or snakeskin evo even on vertstar compound...
  • 3 0
 I haven't had any durability issues with my 2016 NNs, but they lack sidewall stability when things get rowdy. A supergravity version would be nice.
  • 4 0
 @Trailsoup: every time I have showed them to any abrasive rock they have bled sealant as if someone has used a shotgun on them...the carcasses aren't strong enough and the gap between the centre tread blocks is asking for trouble..
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: my NN's wear out way to quick for my wallet to be happy, but the do stick to things like a fly on shit. No issues with the sidewall stiffness.
  • 37 1
 was surprised the Kona Honzo wasn't in that list. Slack, dropper, carbon I think I checks all the boxes.
  • 12 0
 Except he wants 27.5
  • 10 0
 does not check the 142mm rear axle box--the Honzo Carbon is Boost. oh, and it's a 29er. but close! (I thought the same thing for a second)
  • 4 1
 @Dano-01: time to expand the horizons...
  • 18 2
 @Dano-01: Kona Explosif
  • 1 0
 Edit
  • 1 0
 @fasian: he wants carbon though. Sticking 650b wheels in a Honzo could work though
  • 28 0
 Sounds like third guy needs to talk to first guy and get a chromag. might not be carbon but they rock.
  • 2 0
 The new Surface looks the nuts.
  • 16 1
 @ddouglas Run the HR2. It sheds easier than the Minion, but has better cornering traction than just about all of the rest. Nobody who leans into corners likes ardents so you're not alone there. Maxxis users can verify below how many times they have had a tear or flat, vs how many times their friends running Schwalbe's have.....
  • 4 3
 Vittoria Morsa has been so much better for me than HRII
  • 12 0
 Honestly, I actually don't hate the Ardent. I run one as a rear on my agro hardtail, with Minion up front. The 2.5 Minion keeps the front wheel hooked and going where I am pointing, while the Ardent rear is super fast rolling, and lets me get a bit loose in corners when I push. Not a great climber at all in the wet or on roots, but super fun when pushing a bit. Can't say I would actually recommend the Ardent as I ride in a very strange way (read loose and on the juice) and it may not work for many other people, but I have no shortage of fun with that combo!
  • 12 3
 I did the maths on some nobby nics and hans dampfs that i had and it worked out about one flat every 25-30 minutes compared to a couple of flats a year on maxxis.
  • 2 2
 @Berosus: this would seem to be the case for most of the peeps I ride with... "Hey, do you have a tube in your car?". haha
  • 2 0
 @diego-b: they look like an older HR1! neat tire, price looks good too.
  • 3 1
 I've seen two maxxis sidewalls tear and zero schwalbes. Is that what you expected? I live in margy (Magic Mary) territory, so assume those outperform the Nics.
  • 4 1
 Had an ardent, ran it on the rear and it just wheelspun constantly on the steep loose climbs in my area, put it on the front et voila, zero grip when you lean in on a flat corner, tyre also rolls more due to its 'high volume'. Since stuck with am aggressor rear and high roller or dhf from in the dd casing, awesome combo. Schwalbes nobby nics are pure garbage, piss weak sidewalls and the side nobs are too small and give a vague, sketchy feeling when cornering on high speed, hardpack stuff. Had endless punctures with them, literally every ride.
  • 2 0
 I run HR2's front and rear. Best performing tyres I've ever had. (Getting hard to find in 26" though... Frown )
  • 1 0
 @diego-b: Great tire in the dry, but it's essentially a semi-slick. No good for mud or winter conditions.
  • 2 0
 @VwHarman: Agreed, I'd recommend it too - I run Ardents for my every day trail riding and like them. They are inoffensive and definitely don't deserve the bad rep people give them.

Yes, the minions I run for DH and more sporty gravity rides give me much more confidence and grip, but they are also double the weight. No surprise.

Ardents are a solid 7 or 8 all round (unless you are tipping into corners like Danny Hart), without really excelling at anything - I have no idea why people hate them so much Frown
  • 1 0
 Double post.
  • 1 0
 @powderturns: you are the outlier my friend. haha.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: apparently I am! Honestly had no idea...
  • 7 0
 Hi @Mikelevy I have some Maxxis Wide Trail 2.5 minions mounted on some 25mm internal rims and really like them. I thought the 2.3 DHF felt drifty (compared to 2.4 EXO DHF on my old 26"), so I put on the 2.5 DHF WT, and it hooked up great.. actually, started to make the HR2 in the back feel loose, so I put a DHR2 WT 2.5 on the back and really like the combo. I'd say it's worth looking into, if you like lots of grip.. They're not the lightest though.
  • 3 0
 Yep I am runnning minion 2.5 DHF wt on my 25.5 rims without any issues and tons of grip compared to my 2.3
  • 9 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 25, 2016 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 Or you can mount regular 2,5" minions to rims with 25mm internal width... Nobby Nics are indeed better than Ardents (what isn't?) but they are in a completely different league than Minions in terms of rolling resistance, weight, all sorts of grip and most importantly: durability. So depends what terrain and rider profile we are talking about. If you have a 160 bike then forget about any 1-ply schwalbe tyres, you'll tear'em to pieces. 120 bike with 120 fork - yea, why not?
  • 4 0
 I got 2.5" minions on rims that are like 21mm, they may not be the optimal shape compared to wider rims, but they work well enough for me
  • 4 0
 I also run a 2.5 Minion DHF WT on a 25mm internal rim and really like it.
  • 8 0
 Me too. Just for fun I mounted up a 2.5" WT DHF and then a 2.5" DH casing DHF back to back on the same Stans Flow EX rim (25.5 inner), and it's exactly the same tire profile, knob size, and width. Exactly the same thing. WT is a gimmick.
  • 4 6
 Can anybody explain nuances between DHR2 and DHF? Seems like DHR2 should brake better but roll slower.
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Same experience here. WT is just a successful marketing gimmick.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah pretty much, the braking difference is significant. I find that at intermediate lean angles the DHF grips a lot better. It also is more predictable/less drifty when used at higher pressures
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns:

I've run a paired DHFs on my DH bike for the last 7-10 years and will never look back. That said, I run a DHF up front and a DHR in the rear on my trail bike, seems to roll a bit better on the climbs...who knows.

All I know is I can't give up the predictable drift of the DHF up front. All around the best tire for socal loose gnar and does fairly well in the wet too (probably not mud though...not that we have much of that)

Nuances? Maybe I'm not your guy.
  • 1 1
 @dirtpedaler: I know Kevin personally, he definitely knows his shit.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns @panaphonic: I am new to DHRII and what I can see is that it provides tons of grip when braking, but only when riding straight. Try touching brakes in, as you called, "intermediate angle" and you are dead. This is a tire for drift lovers, you touch the brake and here you go - like in fast and furious. So the DHF is much more predictable indeed.
  • 1 2
 Sounds like DHR2 is HR2 with DHF side knobs... I hate HR and HR2 for the lack of intermediate grip and letting go abruptly. HR seems to have more grip than DHF, but once you take it too far, you die. Without a notice. DHF talks before it kills you. I stick with DHF...
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Did you mount them in succession, or one on each rim to compare side by side? The difference will be very subtle and hard to track between mountings. If there's a difference or not, I'm with you, I like them a lot, even on a narrower than intended wheel..
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: DHR 2 has better center knobs than HR2 as well. More stout, great for braking and they hold up over time.. original HR blew out the center too fast.. HR2 is better, but trying to be a 'lighter tire'. If you're really mobbing, the DHR2 is great. DHF side knobs and much better braking than DHF or HR2.
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: I just got a 2.5" DHF DH case for the downhill rig and set it side by side with the 2.5" DHF WT EXO that I have on the all mountain.. They actually do look different. The WT has a bit more volume and the knobs are further apart, so they wrap around the sides more.. The regular 2.5 DH case has a narrower tread pattern since the knobs aren't spaced as much.. I'd prefer running the WT tread on my DH bike too, if they made it. www.pinkbike.com/photo/14108108
  • 2 0
 @shrockie: I'm sure you're right and there's a slight difference between the two, but honestly they look almost exactly the same. I got out a set of calipers and measured as many dimensions as I could on both tires and they were almost identical. Not saying there isn't a difference, just saying A) it's probably negligible or impossible to tell on the bike, and B) the idea that the WT tire "only works" on wider rims is laughable. The tire looks fine on your 25mm inner-width rim.
  • 2 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: How are you on carbon rim front? Since the last time I saw you writing about going back to alu I managed to talk to 3 unrelated bike designers (none of which has ever been to NAHBS) who have designed a couple of carbon bikes each, aaaand they were all skeptical of carbon rims. Of all people who are not subject to post purchase trauma (and denial) it seems that only Greg Minnaar likes them...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: expensive garbage. Break easy, cost lots, ride bad.
  • 1 0
 @shrockie: You don't have calipers? They are just as important as a tire gauge!
  • 1 0
 @dirtpedaler: Yeah, man. Calipers are important to have. I like the mittutoyo ones the best. Great battery life and lightning refresh rate. Here are 2 pics. WT is about 5mm wider to the side knobs. Granted, as you get out to the sides of the tire volume, the increase in distance has them wrapping around the side more, for better traction when leaned over. It's hard to show in a photo, but visually you can see the difference when they are side by side. I have a lot more cornering confidence in the WT 2.5" vs the 2.3 DHF that was on there for all of 2 rides. I haven't spent any time on the new 2.5" DHF DH (no WT) yet to tell the difference.

I'm with TeamRobot. There's no reason not to ride the WT tires on rims that are narrower than 30mm. Love mine on 25.5mm.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14124435
www.pinkbike.com/photo/14124434
  • 2 1
 @shrockie: agreed, 2.3" Minions are garbage.
  • 1 1
 @shrockie, you must admit that the difference between Minion WT and minion standard is comparable to the case of Boost... 5mm, effectively 2,5mm to each side... bejesus... @TEAM-ROBOT - what if I told you that all this time, you were 2.5mm from kicking Luke Strobels butt... I asked two WC racers runnnig Deemaxes if they find wide rims a fad, since they seem successful on "narrow" Mavic wheels. First one said eloquently something like: eeeehm aryup, maaaa, eeeee, no, eeeerm ghooorn ghoooaaahrum. Second one was quite outspoken and said something like: Mavic makes rims that work with current tyres, and most of current tyres are not made for wide rims. And I said why? WHat is the problem with running a Magic Mary on rim with 30mm internal. And he changed to the language the previous guy used: aaaem yyyyh, aaaareeeem hyarup...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Don't forget that I beat Strobel fair and square a few times. He HATED it.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Interest comments above. It seems that 21mm internal width rims never stopped anybody from winning a Dh or Enduro race. I use 3 wheelsets that are 21, 23 and 25mm internal width and I've got to say that I can't really imagine running a Magic Mary Vertstar SG on a 30mm rim and that even on a 25mm rim it feels a touch blunt, and my preference is having it on the 23mm or 21mm front wheel. I may be in the minority however as my tyre pressures remain the same over all rim sizes as I find tyre roll in corners still occurs at the same psi.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic: it's a quite big difference between running a DH casing Magic Mary on a rim with 21mm internal and a freaking stupid Magic Mary Evo SS on such rim. I said stupid because available grip far outweighs casings durability and stability. Paperthin sidewall of Evo SS tyre requires either 10PSI more to be as stable as Gravity casing or a freaking wide rim and 5PSI more. So I'd say 30mm is one the edge of sanity for 2.5-ish tyres, everything more is a product for people who either run plus (or almost plus) tyres, which is fine. But that German philosophy with putting 2.25 Nobby Nic on 35mm internal is just fkd up. If you roll the tyre off a 25mm rim, how about you up the casing, and up your pedalling game. Perhaps 700g tyres with gravity pattern are for losers who think they save weight and cheat the laws of physics? I've been there in 2010, I was running Nobby Nics on 160mm bike. I was a twat. I do remember how I was sliding a bit with both wheels and thinking to myself: thaaat was fast - I'm progressing! NO IT WASN'T FAST. So no I will not call them stupid, maybe they are in the same transition as I am, after all human is never a finished product.

Here we run into the issue: Jared Graves runs 2-ply tyres on Enduro race where he climbs 12 000 vertical feet a day. Shall we get 2-ply tyres to be like him? To have the stability in corners, to dare go at light speed into rock gardens? That was the first scenario. Oooor shall we admit to ourselves that we will never be Jared Graves and we may as well run paper thing tyres with same pattern? That is the second scenario. But isn't it possible that second scenatio stops us from progressing? Maybe. Those thin tyres do feel wobbly. But if we mounted them to reaaaally reallly wide rims... we'd feel this 10% better about ourselves. Sorry 40mm inner for a 2.4" tyre, sounds like a statistical owner of LiteVille or Ibis...

For me personally 21mm internal for Exo or SuperGravity is a bit on the tin side. 25mm is more than great no issues. Had 28mm carbon rims for a while and yea, it's been ok. Rode 30mm inner rims for 10 mins, they were a bit rigid. 19mm Crossmaxes ST were amazing when it comes to wheel compliance and speed. But I fkd up 2 tyres on them by landing sideways.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I consider the SS Magic Mary to be largely unrideable due to its thin sidewalls. My Super gravity version is only 1050grams so I wouldn't call it Dh but rather enduro. I used to run Control casing Butcher and Purgatory and now I just couldn't. The thing with those tyres is they feel ok when they are brand new but quickly loose stability after a few rides.

I really like using a 19mm rear rim, the rolling speed is incredible with a 2.3 Highroller2 or dhr 2. But unfortunately I don't have a rim in 19mm that is strong enough to last. As a compromise I've rebuilt all my rear wheels with 21mm internal width rims and have kept the front wheels at 21, 23 and 25mm, for now. I'm thinking of rebuilding the 25mm with another 23mm rim.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic: wide 30mm rim and slight increase of the pressure makes Evo SS and Control casings manageable, but doesn't solve the issue completely. It is impossible to go around SG/GRID casing once the rider has some idea about riding and gets a bike with lots of travel and aggro tread pattern. I have no idea how nico Lau won EWS in Rotorua on Nobby Nic/Hans Dampf combo. He's a god. Depends on what trails you ride off course. I think Minion SS TR or Slaughter Control are fantastic tyres for a 100mm XC bike ( I mean XC bike, none of that nonsense with 100-120 trail bike with 160 fork and Minions)
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: This wide rim/light sidewall trend is for people who don't get flats, aka people who go slow, aka people who suck. Asking people what their preferred rim width is or preferred tire casing is sort of a litmus test for whether they suck or not. If you ride real trails with bumps and roots and maybe even rocks and you don't run real sidewalls, you will hate your life. Folding tires in turns can happen on any tire/rim combination, because if you're not folding tires now, you can always run lower pressure and then voila! you fold tires. I wouldn't ever touch a tire under 900 grams, and my preference is 1100. That's a tire you can ride hard and not flat.
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: yes. I completely agree. The interesting bit is though, I used to ride 2 ply tyres in 2004-2006, climbing like 1500-2000 vertical ft per ride. Used to make day long rides on 2 plies. At that time I had no fckng clue about riding a bike I was just tired of flats and felt more confident on DH tyres. Now around 2010 I reached the adult Pinkbike troll level and I was riding Nobby Nics thinking it's a sign of progress. Why would you carry so much weight around - I thoght. I was whining on how heavy tyres make the ride dull... the point being: I think people believe that they won't manage long climbs on heavy tyres... like they believe they need 50t cog in the rear or 22t granny. Like I believed I don't need soft tyre compounds, because I suck anyways. Got DHF in Maxx Grip recently and instantly realized that I wasted half of my biking life... PEOPLE JUST DON'T BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES (and don't deadlift enough Big Grin )
  • 2 0
 And yes I suck. My trails look like Squamish but due to lack of enough altitude difference, each downhill is done after 30 seconds and most of them feel like choking on dick, thus speeds are low, thus you cannot really utilize full on DH casing... I ride Minion Exo front, Slaughter Grid back... in real mountains where speed is on top I run full on DH casing or I'd try DD casing, which seems to be pretty much a DH casing on diet, rather than GRId or super gravity which are single casings on steroids. So I suck... but that's a good sign considering the Dunning-Kruger effect
  • 2 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Much agreed. I do think there are some pretty good riders who hold themselves back by running too low pressures. Some people have a hard time sensing when their tyres are rolling in corners/berms/G-outs but can be reasonably quick riders. These riders often tear sidewalls and praise the advantages of wide rims with low psi to anyone within earshot. I myself hate the feeling of tyre roll and while I may not be significantly more skilled than these riders but feel that I can access higher speeds that allow me to beat these people by 10%ish depending on the characteristics of the stage/race. Too low pressures also hold back your skill progression as they discourage agressive loading that is key to faster riding. I've taught quite a few people how to jump now and they all sucked until I made them put another 5-8psi in their tyres and more in their fork too. After having enough support from their tyres most riders progressed significantly every run. I've had only one that didn't progress and that was just because of a lack of balls.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic: what is your point of reference for too little pressure or too soft suspension. I tried Sam Hills setup of Lyrik for one ride 100psi, 3 tokens) and noooo thank you. Especially considering that he weighs at least 10kgs less than me. Also hardening both tyres and the fork is cool as long as you have an idea about braking. Give a hard setup to a Joey and he'll kill himself on first patch of wet roots. I get Robots point on people who suck, I admire his combination of communication, intelligence and riding skill, which is extremely rare. But some people suck because they don't really care that much about riding, they have other things to do in life (some fly F-16s or drive McLarens). To me guy who really sucks is the dude who rides for 10 years, spends loads of time and money (in percentage to his income) on bikes and still rides with elbows in, burns rotors and dismounts from half of steeps Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: A lot of the guys I ride with run their forks so soft that I can use 80 or 90% by mearly pushing down on their bars which I think is way too much and causes weight to transfer around on the bike dramatically making it hard to stay centred. On my bike I can only press down to about 50% of fork travel by the pushdown test. It's funny that you mention Sam Hills settings as I've been interested by that also. I weigh about 15kg more than Sam and I've previously used 2 tokens and 96psi in my Lyrik and was pretty happy with that until I read that he ran 3 tokens and 95psi. I decided to install a 3Rd token in my fork and maintain the 96psi setting to see if I liked my fork sitting a bit higher in its travel. Unfortunately I'm unable to test it out yet due to a minor fracture in my ankle. I'm also wanting to try out 100psi in the Lyrik and a lower stack to see how it goes. I do know that it won't make me ride like Sam and might possibly even make me slower but I'm always willing to try something new. Have you seen Sam Hills Strava? He goes to a town in Australia that he's never been to before, does a 50km lap of all its trails in one day, riding blind, and leaves a string of KOMs behind him on all the downhills. It's unreal.
  • 1 0
 Edit: 25kg more than Sam Hill.
  • 11 1
 What about a Canfield Brothers EPO
  • 4 0
 29, not 275
  • 4 0
 I'm pretty bummed that there's so few frame only options with all bikes. When there is the option it's usually just the top of the line carbon trim that costs an arm and a leg anyways. I understand that their profit margins are greater on completes and it keeps the OEM suppliers happy but it'd be great to see more custom builds out there.
  • 1 0
 it's mostly smaller frame builders who offer frame only, although santa cruz offers frame only on the aluminium and carbon, also canyon offers it for a couple of models,
  • 7 1
 forget carbon, go for a decent steel frame it's easier to find a rowdy HT in steel than carbon, as there's chromag, stanton, cotic, swarf, BTR, NS bikes, ragley, and on-one.
  • 4 0
 I rented a Norco Aurum Carbon this past summer at Whistler...they were like "do you want to purchase the insurance for it?"
My gut response was "No" ....until I saw that the bike retailed for $6k.
SO...
2 days rental wasn't so cheap...
  • 3 0
 i've got a rootdown with a HansDampf on the front and a nobby nic on the back on i25 rims. It's a really good combo and doesn't way too too much for a 29er tire. I'd like to try a 2.5 to see if it's worth it, but not sure I want to push that kinda weight around on my trails. I'm not the craziest rider, but have yet to find a time when the Dampf is out gunned. I may put one on the back too next fall.
  • 6 0
 Answering Question3: Ghost Asket. But only available as a complete bike.
  • 3 1
 Reading this made me crazy! I've got a Nukeproof Scout frame clamped in my stand and all my parts laid out on a rolling table next to it. On top of that the last parts came today, a Nobby Nic tire for the back and a Muddy Mary in the front both in 2.35 I feel even better seeing that it was just recommended here but my only hold up is because of these damn Squorxs nipples to swap my hub. So waiting for this spoke driver to arrive is killing me, I just wanna ride my bicycle.
  • 2 0
 Has anybody suggested the Santa Cruz Chameleon?? His requirement for carbon is a good thought, just not practical unless racing XC.

The chameleon is one of the lightest "hardcore" hardtails out there and is one of the most playful too. The flex of steel is nice but can sometimes be a drawback as it can kill the liveliness of the ride. I think the steel argument used to be much more valid before dropper posts. Now that droppers are a staple, when things get rough, just drop it down low and use your legs. It'll make you a better rider that will save you down trail.

As far as the chameleon goes though, the last two years have given larger tire clearance, 650b, and no eccentric bb, but swinger dropouts for ss or through bolt for 142.
  • 5 0
 To me the last question is asking for a commencal meta ht am
  • 1 0
 Re. Whistler... Yeah, rent a DH sled. The rentals available at pretty much all the shops are in darn good shape. It really does look like they take care of their rental fleet. Cannot say the same thing for Northstar here in Ca. I'd rather ride my single speed cyclocross bike than rent one of their piles of $#!t.
  • 1 0
 so many comments to check but i would say save a ton of money from the suggested article bikes and get something from on-one/planet x and save soo much money.....my winter hack carbon whippet is too steep in the head angle but there are more better suited burlier models for your requirements for very little coin.

for example meets all your requirements except the rear spacing is 135mm but is under 400 pounds!!!!!!!!!!

www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FROOC456EDP/on-one-carbon-456-evo-frame
  • 1 0
 look into the Canfield Brothers epo, a carbon hardtail with a 130 fork, and it ia absolutely bueautiful... The perfect bike for what you are looking to do. Kona also just came out with a carbon honzo, I ride the alloy with a 130 pike, It is the best hardtail I have ever ridden. !!!!!!!!!!!! this is the bike!!!!!!!!!!
  • 4 1
 Go to the hardtail threads and pose the questions above..or is that just too obvious? Real hardtail PB'ers ..
  • 2 0
 if I had the itch for a new trail bike, it'd be this m.norco.com/bikes/mountain/all-mountain/torrent-7-HT-plus/torrent-71
  • 2 1
 The best looking HT in the world...Kingdom Vendetta. ...and they even do a recycle scheme, so its not even that expensive if you can wait. Schwalbe Magic Mary is just a truly awesome tyre btw.
  • 2 0
 please take the Kona Honzo Steel for your Trail Hardtail, I wanna see more Honzo ST builds. *drool* Man I want a Honzo ST so badly.
  • 2 1
 Last Fastforward

www.last-bikes.com/products/frames/fastforward.html

Currently Mine with Minion Dhf 29x2.5 (Not WT) on rear and Shorty up Front: all i ever could want.
  • 1 1
 Never heard of Last Bikes before. Looks like they make some cool bikes!
  • 2 0
 How about a Ghost Asket? The only problem is the 31.6mm seattube, but that is easily fixed with a shim. And maybe getting one will be a problem if you live in the USA Smile
  • 1 0
 Tires: HR2 (2.4) is a great option, as is WTB Vigilante (2.3).
Personally wanting to try the e13 TRS as well. .

Didnt like Ardent either. Nor the older Nobby Nic.
  • 2 0
 If you get onto the TRS please post feedback! Would love to hear more about that tire. Also, I heard Aaron Gwin is fast, and he was riding Onza all race season long....right?
  • 1 0
 @VwHarman: e13 TRS are awesome and maybe more efficient with a narrower ID than I run. Race (triple) up front and Plus (dual) out back. They have laughed at the gnarliest rocks and probably tougher than SG Mary which I really rate yet they only weigh 900gms.

For a lighter option for this guys HT I would stick a minion 2.3 or Mary up front and a HR2 in the back
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: I know it's against the norm, but i really like HR2 up front and DHF in rear (havent yet tried the DHR2, which will be my next rear unless I likely go TRS f/r).
  • 1 0
 @SSeanS: HR2 OK up front in the dry but I would swap those round as I found that worked well.

The TRS are like a cross between the good bits of a Mary and HR2 with strength similar to SG/DH tyre. They are definitely worth having for gnar
  • 3 0
 Just get a Canfield Brother's Nimble 9 Boost
  • 2 0
 I just rode the XC and AM trails here with a Fox Transition helmet (the DJ one)... Maybe i´m look like a Joey Big Grin
  • 1 0
 on the On-One site there are some Killer tiers! Chunky Monkey! 2.4 superb in wet conditions... Especialy 60 TPi ones!!! And they are CHEAP!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 If you've got carbon money, buy a titanium frame that meets all your requirements:

www.stantonbikes.com/product/switchback-ti-mk-ii
  • 3 0
 On-one 45650c?
  • 1 0
 Ah sorry, doesn't exist in carbon. Nice in steel tho, and very good value at £144...especially if you're not buying with sterling atm
  • 2 2
 There is nothing wrong with wearing knee pads outside of jeans if you are a good rider like me. It's better than a $500 kit and no skills. No visor though? That's just nuts!
  • 2 0
 Transition TransAm. There are still a few around....super fun bikes!
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou Kona's Explosif is a steel or titanium version of what you want.
  • 2 1
 santa cruz chameleon? alu and 30.9 seat tube tho
  • 2 0
 Bird Zero AM/TR
  • 1 0
 anyone know if santa cruz has stopped making chameleons?
  • 1 0
 according to santa cruz's UK site they stopped it in 2012.
  • 2 0
 The very silently discontinued some true classics indeed. Heckler, Superlight, Bantam (maybe not so classic) and apparently the Chameleon as well. I even completely missed an official word of what Bryceland is up to next year. That company is like a Bermuda Triangle.
  • 1 0
 hmmm, i got a 2015 one... They just seemed to slowly disappear
  • 1 0
 I´ll add Transalp summitrider to the trail hardtail mix
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou you can also look at the ghost Asket carbon
  • 1 0
 Dartmoor hornet 650b
  • 1 0
 Hardtails rail tough
  • 1 0
 #canihavestickers

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