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Best Tubeless MTB tyres?

two hands

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Apologies if there has been a thread on this recently, if so please just point me in its general direction... tried searching but with no luck.


I'm keen to know your thoughts on the best XC/endurance race tyre combo?


I have ridden everything out there. Okay, not quite! But close.


I loved Maxxis Crossmarks for a while. Great speed and good enough cornering. But put them to work on the Epic in 2008 and we discovered a nasty weakness on the bead, where the tyre was prone to splitting and then wouldn't seal properly because no sealant could get there. Ended up trashing 3 or 4 tyres like that (in 7 days!).


Moved to Specialized FastTrack LT and FastTrack S-Works for Epic 2009, which were great too, with much better cornering on the front. But they're a bit pricey and the wear isn't great. We went through three tyres each on the Epic.


Now I've got Schwalbe Racing Ralphs on the back and Nobby Nic's up front. Good combo but the Ralph has been getting an absurd amount of punctures and a few tyre slashes. Not very hard-wearing. The Nic is good but I'm not sure it's not the fastest front tyre out there. I like the Ralphs. Am I just unlucky?


Any thoughts/advice on tyre choice for another Epic? I'm looking for a little bit more than a brand name if you don't mind... reasons why you ove/hate a certain tyre would be helpful.


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