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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:43 am 
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Location: probably Goat Hill
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Back in April I scored a pair of Schwalbe Racing Ralph's on Chainlove.com for about $30 per tire ( cheap!). I wanted something with 1.) low weight 2.) decent grip 3.) low rolling resistance. The RR arrived and I was pretty surprised how decent the knobs appeared. The tires hooked up really well in the slop ( anyone remember the Grafton tt's?) and rolled super fast. I had been running them with tubes and noticed that I was getting way more flats than I was used to. Yesterday I was getting prepped for a ride and noticed that the sidewalls were looking pretty beat. Upon closer inspection- My tire had a black hemroid popping out of the side wall! The side walls were worn almost all the way thru and were paper thin! Kinda annoying after only 3 months of use. The tread is still 90%- but the tire is useless unless I patch everthing and hope for the best- which is not going to happen.

So did the RR's accomplish the 3 things I listed above- YES. Would I recomend them for race and non tech riding?- YES. BUT for an all around trail tire -do yourself a favor and buy something a little more burly...

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:33 pm 
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As the name implies, they are racing tires. Good traction, lightweight and fast are their forte's. Durable and long lasting they are not. I like them but they force you to pick smart lines if you want to motor thru the rocky sections.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:11 pm 
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The Snakeskin (SS EVO) models are the ones to get. Super tough sidewalls. These are the best tires I've used, easy to set up tubeless. I currently run a Nobby Nic on the front (great in mud) and a RR on the back (less rolling resistance but noticeably less traction). Bikeman just got a shipment in a couple days ago, they sell quick: http://www.bikeman.com/TR4823.html


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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:11 am 
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I think the next tire I am going to try out will be the new Conti. Trail King 2.2. As some of you know- Conti's have been "iffy" for a few years, but these look MUCH better. Beefy sidewalls, good side knobs ( no more flexy little knobs that Conti always seems to have), large volume and decen weight ( 680g) These are def. not a race tire- but then again I am def not a racer!

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:50 am 
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I've had good luck with the Bontragers. Maybe I'll post some reviews of their various flavors. I really like their 2.25" 29-3 model.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:39 am 
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My experience with Conti's has not been good. In fact, I tested their trail and race kings and I thought both tires sucked. Not very predictable and squirmy. I have a set of 26" tires you are welcome to try.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:42 am 
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LIV2RYD wrote:
I have a set of 26" tires you are welcome to try.

Oh yeah. You can disregard my comments about the Bontagers. I was thinking 29er.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:13 am 
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My opinion is to state away from the contusion too..ans the general rule is the heavier the tire the more durable. I'd try a panaracer, kenda, or maxxis. Have rarely met a European tire I like

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:25 pm 
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I agree with all the bad Conti reviews ( I've had Mountain Kings, Vertical Pros, etc.), but their new offerings appear better. Reinforced sidewalls, sticky rubber and beefier knobs. I've got a set of Kenda Nevegal 2.35 I just converted to tubeless with Stans- they roll incredibly slow, are heavy -but traction is awesome. Hopefully they are holding air for tonights tt- my rear tire had a nice gash in it that I fixed with duct tape and a tire patch prior to airing up :-O

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Mike C wrote:
my rear tire had a nice gash in it that I fixed with duct tape and a tire patch prior to airing up :-O


I've done that (duct tape and all). I've also had success using super glue and a piece of old tube. The key is the inside of the tire HAS to be clean. I find denatured alcohol does a good job getting the stans residue off.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:38 pm 
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I would suggest getting the specific Stans rim strip for your rim. They have a list on their website. If it's not there I'd email stan and ask what strip would be best. You may find that someone has already discovered and posted this via a google search.

2nd a tubeless tire always works better than a regular tire. The bead is tighter and the sidewall is not as flexy which can lead to rolling the tire at low pressure. You could probably get by with just the rim strips and regular tires. I would use wire bead tires over kevlar bead but both should work. With tubeless specific tires you will be able to run lower pressure over nontubeless tires.

I set up a pair of ghetto tubeless tires on my redline which worked fairly well but I found that they slowly lost pressure over time. You do this by stretching a 26" tube over the 29" wheel, slicing it down the middle, spreading it open, mount the tire, inflate and cut the excess tube off. It's pretty ghetto as the name suggests and you don't use a Stans valve so pouring the latex mix in can be a pain. Changing tires is a pain too.

I am a huge proponent of tubeless rims with tubeless tires such as Stans with Schwalbe or Bontrager tubeless tires. The Stans rim strips/tape are included with some new wheelsets. The beads sit super tight with just a foot pump.

I went through this whole process too Mike, bought an air compressor, mounted regular tires, got flats, rolled tires, put tubes back in, pinch flattes those. I finally got a decent setup with rim strips and Hutchinson tubeless tires but it still doesn't compare to tubeless specific rims.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:12 am 
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Yeah, if you go to stan's rims you will not be rolling the tires off. And you know the ridiculous low pressure I run!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:51 am 
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I called Stans this morning and asked them if setting up Easton Havoc wheels with the yellow tape was ok- the response was "uuhhhh no?!"- I think what he meant to say was "are you a moron or something". Per Stans I can use a rubber rim strip no problem with a non- UST tire. The yellow tape is really only for Stans rims- which is why my tire most likely self destructed last night ( also the fact that I was using yellow packing tape VS Stans tape probably did not help).

I ordered a set of new tires ( Conti's- yes I have a death wish), and rim strips. Hopefully I can get everything up and running for next weeks TT!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:28 am 
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Nice, did you actually talk with Stan the man? Rim strips with 25+ lbs of psi should keep the tire on there. A lot of people complain the rim strips are overpriced but IMO it's worth it to avoid one more frickin flat :)


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:20 am 
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I've spoken with Stan before but today I got some disgrunteled employee. The rims strips are around $22 each which is kinda pricey BUT I've probably spent about $50 on tubes so far this year- so it is def. worth it!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:46 pm 
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I'm have 3 sets of 29er wheels. On the Bontrager superstock wheels I am using a Stans 26 in rim strip with nevegals and they have worked for 6 monts so far. I run 22 psi. On the Dt Swiss wheels I am using a Stans plus 4 rim strip with Captain 2.0 control tires.
(theese are on my single speed and I run 20 psi with no problems) I also have a set of Bontrager Rythem wheels that I rode at the last TT and they are set up with two wraps of Gorilla tape and some valves that I cut out of some old tubes I have a old set of Rampages mounted on theese with 22 psi. I have never rolled a tire off of any of theese set ups. (I guess that could be because I don't push the tires that hard but I have hit every square edged rock that I tried to miss without burping a tire yet)


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