Toughest Sidewalls for XC

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    • #189293

      I’m a short 5-8 guy that is 230 lbs and my Giant Anthem SX came with a Racing Ralph.  I liked the tire and its level of grip, but the sidewalls don’t take much abuse.  Now I’m running a Nobby Nic and I’ve cut the sidewall (still ok thanks to the Orange Seal) in a few places.

      Where I ride is rocky.  Its basalt mostly.

      Any though tires out there?  I don’t think the Nobby Nic is the “snakeskin” version.

    • #189294

      Schwalbe are notorious for having thin sidewalls. Many companies spec them stock because they are light, so it keeps the overall weight of the bike down. Good for the showroom floor, but not so good out on the trail as you have found.

      I’m a big fan of Maxxis’ tires. They have a huge selection of tread patterns. If you like the Racing Ralph, there are a few I would suggest checking out:

      Tomahawk – grips like a mofo in the corners, but the center tread rolls really fast. These do wear relatively quickly though.

      Ardent Race – a good all around XC/light-duty trail tire.

      Forekaster – this is actually a new tire, but it looks promising. Cornering blocks aren’t as stout as the Tomahawk, but larger than the Ardent Race.

      The Minion DHF, DHR II, and High Roller II are all excellent, tough tires as well, although they may be burlier than you prefer.

      Whatever tread pattern you choose, always, always, ALWAYS, opt for the EXO sidewall protection. It adds a minimal amount of weight and cost, but it makes a huge difference in sidewall durability.

      I’ve also really been digging WTB’s new tires like the Trail Boss. Their casings have proven to be quite durable as well.

      Hope that helps!


    • #189299

      Add to your list an old(er) tire, the Maxxis Aspen. Really good, really tough tire. I ran them on a Cannondale and never had a problem.

    • #189303

      +1 for WTB tires. They make the most durable tires I’ve ever seen. For example, I bought a pair of WTB velociRaptor’s for my first mountain bike in 2013. They’ve been mountain biking the entire time, and I still am running them on another bike. The original bike died out before the y did! They are on their third bike now, and are still going strong!

    • #189327

      Funny you guys mention Maxxis.  My other bikes have Maxxis, never had any issues on the same trails.  I never even thought about them.  Loved the Ignitors on my Kona.  And my kids have WTB tires (Velociraptors!).

      I’m a heavy guy, not worried about weight on the bike. 😉

      When these Nics wear out or fail, I’ll make the switch.

      Thanks guys!

    • #189328

      I hate Schwalbe in general, and the Racing Ralph and the Nobby Nic SO MUCH!!! Just say no.

    • #190552

      Interesting. I have been running a Nobby Nic rear and Hans Dampf front for over a year now with no issues. With 14 months on the front the mold casing center strip has not even wore off yet and I ride a lot. There is no shortage of rocks in my area but they are not abrasive.

    • #190555

      I have been using racing ralph on the rear and hans dampf on the front, both snakeskin sidewalls and haven’t had any issue either.  Is it because the non snakeskin models are thinner and more susceptible to tearing?

    • #190588

      We run a demo bike program and use Maxxis tires.  They’ve been pretty bombproof on every type of trail.

      I personally run Schwalbe’s top of the line Hans Dampf.  No issues so far, but we’ve got lots of flow here.  My other bike has the new Vittoria Mezcal with G+.  They are super fast and grippy and hold air with orange seal really well so guessing the sidewall is decent too.

    • #190836

      I like WTBs.  I’m 200lbs and ride agressively.  I haven’t had any issues. On my 26″ FS, I’m running Bronson’s and on my 29er I run Trail Boss on the rear and Vigilante on the front.  All are TCS and set up tubeless.  Going down to 25psi hasn’t been an issue, I did note some folding when I tried to run the Bronson’s around 20psi on the rear tire.

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