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MTB Tyre Combo's


CobusD
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Hello Guys

 

Curious as to your opinion on MTB tyre combo's for getting the best Control, Stability for all round trails performance and technical routes without compromising on speed when you want to "gun" a route or segment. ;)

 

I have just changed from:

  • Front:  Specialized Ground Control (2.25)
  • Rear:  Specialized Fast Trak (2.1)

Over to:

  • Front:  Vittoria Barzo G2.0 (2.35)
  • Rear:  Vittoria Mezcal G2.0 (2.25)

Any opinions are welcome and share your experience

Edited by CobusD
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My previous combo was plenty grippy and still pretty fast. Maxxis aggresso front and back. 2.5 up front and 2.25 rear. EXO casing as a compromise between weight and confidence over sharp rocks.

 

Maxxis Agressor, 29x2.3, 60TPI, EXO/TR is 900g each.  A bit heavy for my liking.

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It is when you go to the 2.35 tyres when things get really interesting and Maxxis are not that much lighter and the I find the grip and puncture protection superior with Vittoria Barzo/Mezcal almost making it the logical choice. (still up to personal preferance)

 

Below are actual scale weights:

 

Maxxis

Ikon 29x2.35 - 748g

Forecaster 29x2.35 - 734g

Ardent 29.2.40 - 774g

 

Vittoria

Barzo - 29x2.35 (graphene 2.0) - 740g

Mezcal 29x2.35 (Cape Cobra) - 760g

 

I personally like Scwhalbe tyres more but have not fully found the characteristics and weights in their range as the Barzo/Mezcal combo - Also the casing volume on their 2.25 Racing Ralph and Rocket Ron or Racing Ray to be low. Nobby Nic has better casing volume in the same sizing.

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Excuse the long post guys but this topic and brands mentioned are constant discussions in my head.

 

Specialized do themselves an injustice by shipping bikes with that stupid 2.1 fast track at the back. Mine lasted less then 10 rides before the sidewalk tore.

 

I wasn't surprised though as I was going to change it anyway - much too slim at 2.1 and it had zero traction.

 

I did however change the front tyre from new bike day also to the ground control but I put on the 2.3 GRID. Kicking myself for not checking what the standard rear tyre was and changing that also.

 

Historically I've used your Vittoria combo exactly but the Cape Cobra versions, on both mine and my wife's bikes for years.

 

Although both bikes were running older (narrower) rims to what's standard today and I don't believe that the narrower rim actually provided the best benefits of the larger volume tyre. If i look at the 2.3 volume tyre on my new bike compared to the 2.35 on my wife's bike, mine looks double the size.! And hence better planted on the trail...

 

Mass of the tyre is not everything and I despise sidewall tears as they're a "ride-stopper" 90% of the time, hence the GRID or Cape Cobra essential versions. I used 2 plugs and ductape to get back to Broadacres from Bidon on that 2.1 fasttrack but I got there (remarkably).

 

Also, Vittoria introduced their Graphene coating / compound a few years ago which was a game changer for the rolling resistance of their tyres, reducing this considerably and putting them in the top (or bottom by number) 10 (or less ? I think 6).

 

For me, strong tyre wall, good grip and low rolling resistance are critical, more so than mass.

 

So, this combo then all the way :

* Front: Vittoria Barzo CC (2.35)

* Rear: Vittoria Mezcal CC (2.25)

 

HOWEVER, when I replaced my rear a month or so ago, I really didn't want different brand tyres Front / Rear and I'm VERY impressed with the 2.3 GC so I decided to try the wider fast track (2.3) with GRID and i must say that i am now very impressed with the combo that I have currently :

 

* Front: Spez Ground Control (2.3) GRID

* Rear: Spez Fast Trak (2.3) GRID

 

Then we also have to consider cornering grip and climbing traction :

 

The Mezcal at the rear is legendary, I climbed steep loose/ rocky single track where other tyres just spin out (obviously pressure now also comes into play). But the wider FT hasn't let me down yet on this kinda stuff also.

 

Both combinations feel great on cornering but I'm now on wider rims with the Spez than a was with the Vittoria and newer bike geometry, etc. But I was happy with Vittoria before and am equally with Spez now.

 

Going forward, if the tyres were priced the same, I'd probably stay with my Spez combo as its working great but the Vittoria are soo well priced (when on special) at about R600 a tyre that you simply cannot beat that combo.

 

PS : I'm not a Maxxis fan at all - rode their tyres for about 10 years when there wasn't much else - they're OK but not great when looking at the overall picture. Hate Schwalbe - you show them a stone and they split.

Edited by JBK
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Using Saguaro 2.25 rear, Barzo 2.35 front. The Sag is a little too fast rolling for my riding, as I do lose rear grip on loose climbs and loose corners. The barzo is great tho and sticks super well.

 

To date, and touching wood, I haven't had a single sidewall cut or serious puncture, so they're lasting really well.

 

Main driver was popularity and price, and honestly I can't see myself moving away from them while they're priced like they are. Might end up with a Barzo rear too, but we'll see how it goes.

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The 2.35 Barzo and Mezcal measure 62.5mm on my 29mm ID rims. The volume make sense on lower pressure and then the grip is excellent.

 

Confidence inspiring tyres and good fast rolling - agree the weight is negligible due to the performance and you can just send it.

Edited by s14phoenix
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I am running Ikon 2.35 front and Rekon Race 2.25 rear.

I like the size the Ikon measured 62mm so over 2.4.

Combo rolls really fast and grip has been great.

I have only been astonished by the side walls strength, this past weekend I hit a sharp rock so hard/loud coming down Black Rhino my boet thought it was him, I was waiting for that unmistakable sound of a snakebite but it never came. Stopped at the bottom and I could see on the rim where I hit it but nothing on the tyre.

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Using Saguaro 2.25 rear, Barzo 2.35 front. The Sag is a little too fast rolling for my riding, as I do lose rear grip on loose climbs and loose corners. The barzo is great tho and sticks super well.

 

To date, and touching wood, I haven't had a single sidewall cut or serious puncture, so they're lasting really well.

 

Main driver was popularity and price, and honestly I can't see myself moving away from them while they're priced like they are. Might end up with a Barzo rear too, but we'll see how it goes.

The Saguaro is actually not a fast rolling tyre at all. In fact it's almost the opposite.

 

At 2.25 you should not be losing grip - maybe try slightly lower pressures.

 

The Mezcal is the very fast rolling & low resistance cousin to the Saguaro.

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I love my Vittoria Barzo 2,35 front and Saguaro 2,2 rear.

 

Out of interest, I see people are using the Mezcal on the rear - major differences between the Mezcal and the Saguaro as a rear tyre?

See my comment above - I've ridden both - Mezcal any day over Saguaro... Much faster rolling...
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Horses for courses.

Tyres have become so terrain and bike specific now.

After 25 years of riding and racing on just about everything out there, for general trail riding (which I think fits the bill of all round grip, weight and rolling resistance) I've landed on:

Rear: Maxxis Aggressor 2,5WT EXO

Front: Maxxis DHR2 2.6 EXO

These are on 34mm wide rims, and I ride a steel hardtail with an Ohlins36 140mm fork.

I've spent days doing back to back runs with various tyre combos, and I've found that generally what one loses in perceived rolling speed is more than offset in improved climbing traction, braking and steering control. All of which equals more confidence and thus more speed.

The only time I would give that up, would be for something like a 100 Miler or a Trans Karoo type event, where hours and hours of consistent rolly pedalling is key. There I have used Michelin Wild Racer, Vredestein Spotted Cat and Schwalbe Racing Ralph with success. But then also for those events, I'm swapping out fork, stem, seatpost, chainring and lengthening my chianstays.

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