Sunday, June 14, 2009

Personal 29er Tire Review

OK, I have had a 29er for about a year now and have had the opportunity to ride three different tires on my local trails. My local trails are mostly silty loam with roots and very little rockiness. All three were run Ghetto Tubeless so my review includes how well they work with this setup.

Kenda Nevegal DTC 29"x2.2"
Let me start off by saying that this tire is HUGE! It actually measures out to a 2.35" width. The tire is also quite heavy at near 900 grams each (wire bead, the Kevlar bead will save you about 50 grams a tire). These tires mounted up and seal very well with the Ghetto Tubeless setup. Once sealed, there was no weeping and they held air quite nice. I ran them at 28 psi on most of my rides. This tire had more traction than you'll ever need...and then they have more. I rode these in mud, snow, ice, leaves, etc. and they held on tight. They were very slow to get up to speed, but descending they would roll over anything and everything. However, while loads of traction is awesome...these tires are simply too heavy and have too much rolling resistance. If Kenda were to make a low tread (like WTB's Weirwolf LT) version that dropped to the 700 gram range, it would be an awesome tire. Tread life was fantastic on my trails (which are very easy on tires) and I ended up trading them for some lightly used Stans NoTubes Raven tires.

IRC Mythos II 29"x2.1" Front
I found these cheap online, and I ended up using the front both front and rear. These tires are closer to a 2.0" width and I got the wire bead version as IRC is known to have weak folding bead tires and I wanted to run these tubeless. First thing, DO NOT exceed 40 psi with these tires...when mounting I blew one off the rim at just past 40 psi. While the tires mounted up OK, they continued to weep during the 3 months I rode them. They held air well, but the weeping was always a little concerning. In mixed conditions of wet, damp, and dry these tires hooked up quite well. The tire worked fine in the rear (I ran it the same direction as the front) and these tires rolled noticeably faster than the Nevegals. The wire bead versions weighed about 750 grams each and I ran them at 30psi. These are the tires I rode the MacKenzie River Trail on and they worked great. With the exception of the weeping issue, these are a great tire and exceed the performance of the 26" version (which I used to ride in the late 90's to early 00's)

Stans NoTubes Raven 29"x2.2"
The first impression of these tires are they are super light and where is the tread? Well, as light as they are, the casing is not paper thin as I assumed they would be. Its a light casing, but not paper thin. These tires mounted up super easy and sealed up almost immediately. There was no evidence of sidewall weeping and I ran them at 27psi. While they are a tad narrower than 2.2", they have a lot of volume. Installing these tires dropped 1.5lbs from my bike!!! Hitting the trails, the first thing noticed is the lightness of these tires. They feel so light and plush. But here is the big surprise, these tires stuck to the dry trails like glue! No kidding, these tires provided more than significant traction, even when standing. They cornered fantastic as well. I don't know how well these would do in the mud or snow, but for dry trails they are fantastic. I wouldn't recommend these for rocky trails as the low tread height leaves the casing vulnerable. But for hard pack or loamy trails with roots, they are awesome.

1 comment:

  1. T'is the season for tire testing. I put out a call this season to the local cycling club and we have a tire coop/swap in progress. It is a fun way of getting ride time on lots of different treads. Each person puts in his/her tires and can check out other tires.

    Those ravens just look sketchy to me. Sounds like they work well in the woods and loam out west. I couldn't run them in the rocks here in the south east.

    Nice little blog you have here.


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