New XC/Trail Tires

Forums Mountain Bike Forum New XC/Trail Tires


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    • #292570

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hey all! I’m fairly new to mountain biking(first year) and need to get some new tires for my bike. I currently have the specialized fast trak 29er 2.0 tires on the front and back and wanted to get more grip with my tires, but can only go up to 2.2 due to my rims being only 19mm. Is there any good tire combonations that give more grip on cornering and downhill, but also roll well uphill that are 2.2? I’ve heard maxxis has good tires, but don’t know which ones to get. I live in Utah where it is dry and rocky. If I could get suggestions that would be great! Thanks!</p>

    • #292575

      The Maxxis Ikon would be a good choice.

    • #292576

      I think the Maxxis Rekon comes in a 2.25

      Its a very versatile tire that rolls fast but still hooks up nicely for many trail conditions.

    • #292577

      First off,  it’s not true that you are limited to 2.2 tires because you have i19 rims.  I rode 2.4 Maxxis Ardents on i18 rims on my Specialized Epic for years and that setup worked great.  However, I wouldn’t go any wider than 2.4 on an i19 rim.  I would also want to be certain that you have enough frame clearance for 2.4 tires but it’s likely that you do.  Most modern bikes have clearance for 2.4 tires.   If in doubt, check with the local dealer of your bike.  I live in southwestern Colorado so your conditions are similar to mine – a mix of deserts and mountains.  Wider tires with aggressive tread work best in these conditions so I would be looking for some 2.3-2.4 Trail tires.  I would stay away from lightly-treaded light-casing XC tires because they don’t give much traction in loose conditions and the side walls are easily sliced.  Also stay away from the very heavy Downhill/Enduro specific tires because they can be heavy and slow rolling.   I would be looking for aggressive 2.3-2.4 Trail tires in the 800-900gm range.  Here are some tires I recommend.

      2.3 Maxxis Minion DHR

      2.4 Maxxis Ardent

      2.4 Maxxis Rekon

      2.3 Maxxis Aggressor

      2.4 Bontrager XR4

      With any of these tires you will see a huge improvement in the capability of your bike compared to the puny 2.0 XC tires you are currently riding.   Those 2.0 Fast Trak tires are almost Gravel tires.  Nearly any aggressive 2.3-2.4 Trail tire would be a vast improvement.   The wider 2.4 tires would be my first choice because you can run lower pressures which is more comfortable and they also provide more flotation on deep sand.  However, you can find 2.3 Maxxis Minion DHR’s for around $35 online if you want an inexpensive option.   Try

    • #292578

      Sorry, I strongly disagree about putting a 2.4” tire on an i19 rim.

      The 2.4” and above Maxxis tires are considered “Wide Trail” tires from Maxxis. They very clearly tell you that they are designed around a 30-35mm internal rim width.

      While it may technically work, you’re not going to get anything close to true performance from that tire.

      the air volume is going to be all wrong and tire shape will be all wrong.

      For reference, my Niner RLT 9 RDO gravel bike has i19 rims with 32mm tires (about 1.25”)  and I’m looking to bump that to something else in the i21 range because I think the rims are too narrow.

      I run a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5” up front and a Maxxis Rekon 2.4” out back on my Niner Jet 9 RDO and I love them. However,  my I9 Enduro 305 wheels have a internal measurement of 30.5mm.

      I have had 2.4” Maxxis Ardents mounted to Stans Arch MK3 wheels before and I hated it. Steering was vague and tire profile was simply too round.  Felt like I was riding around on mush unless I ran pressures much higher than I wanted to.  The Stans Flow MK3 wheels would have been better. The Enduro 305’s are perfect for the tire sizes I want to run.

      • #292605

        Not many years ago and for many years before that, nearly all Mountainbikes came with i18-23 rims and many came with 2.3-2.4 tires.   Only with the advent of the Plusbike did wider rims become common.  Do I think a 2.4 tire is better on an i30 rim?  Of course it is.  But I also know that a 2.4 tire works perfectly fine on an i20 rim.   Many Mountain bikers including myself rode 2.3-2.4 tires on i18-23 rims going way back to the 1990’s.  Just because you have narrow rims, don’t be afraid to gain the benefits of wider rubber.  The first time I mounted up a set of 29×2.4 tires on i18 rims running about 20psi tire pressures was when I truly understood what wider tires and lower pressures can do for a bike.   Of course, now I would recommend 2.6-2.8 tires on i30 rims if you are buying a new bike.  Wider is better.

    • #292588

      Do you think I could do a 2.3 on my 19mm rim? If it helps, I have my bike right

    • #292603

      I was very happy with 29×2.3 tires on a similar hardtail Stumpjumper for Colorado Front Range trails.

      I think I was using a Fast Trak Grid rear and a Ground Control front tire at that time.  You could also go with a Ground Control Grid rear and a Purgatory front tire if you want a little more grip on that bike.

      Where in Utah do you ride?


    • #292635

      I ride in Northern Utah, by Salt lake City

    • #292650

      I checked an old picture this morning.  I actually had a 2.2 Fast Trak Grid rear and a 2.3 Purgatory front on my hardtail Stumpjumper.  My bike had the same wheels as the Expert Carbon in the link you posted and I had zero problems running slightly wider tires.  I remember that bike being a great climber and surprisingly fun downhill.  The Fast Trak/Purgatory was a good combination to keep the bike quick and increase traction in the front.

      That era of Stumpjumper hardtail still had a race-oriented XC geometry, so it was much better suited to picking smooth lines than plowing through rocky sections of trail.  With that said, a Specialized Purgatory or Maxxis Ardent should be all you need on the front.  You can go with something a little less aggressive in the back to keep the bike quick and easy to pedal.





    • #293647

      So i have 2 great suggestions for you: I like the schwalbe magic mary front and nobby nic rear set up for the gnarly woods terrain here in Vermont.

      I also just bought a new pivot that came with Maxxis minions in front and rear specific models…also very good.

      either of these tires will up your game and provide maximum performance as long as you are pointed into the jaws of the most nasty, rocky, rooty, mud and sand super techy sniggle. Otherwise just get some Target tires.

    • #293668

      Checkout the Specialized Butcher and Purgatory Grid tires, ran these last year, awesome tires, priced very reasonably.

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