Tire Tech / Tubeless Repair / Tire Selection Guide

CX Tires

CX Tires

MTB Front Tires

MTB Front

MTB Rear Tires

MTB Rear

TIRE TECH / TUBELESS REPAIR

Tire Tech

27.5 + MTB Tires

27.5+ Tires

Fat Bike Tires

Fat Tires

Tires: Make a Good Bike BAD

$5000 Bike / Crappy Tires

The wrong Tires can take the Best Bike and ruin it. The right tires can take a crappy bike and make it better.


Just about any bicycle's "ride" can be greatly improved when you have the best tires for your riding situation. A Road Bike in the Woods, A Fat Bike on a long road ride.  Yes, it works if you have the correct tires....

For Sale: New Tires, Low Miles.

Over 30 years of riding, I have tried many, many different tires.  I spend the money, and have found many tires just suck... Many tires are on the rims for just a month. Then they come off and go in the "ever-increasing" crap pile. Anyone want to buy any NEW crappy tires? 

What Tire is Right for your Ride?

ASK...!  There are many tires, all have different attributes.  You need to know what style ride vs which tire vs which bike is best for YOU.  


The section below describes what I look for in a Tire when I ride.


CX ROAD TIRES from WTB / CTS

image4

CX Tire that is Road-Bike FAST

Search Diamond Pattern for Wet/Dry Fast Cornering tire that is Fast on the Road. This new tire from WTB meets my expectations.


I needed a Light Weight Tubeless tire with High Speed and Wet Surface handling.  Did not need a Trail Rated Tire.  I wanted a fast, sturdy, reliable, and road traction tire. This tire has all that.


Center: Bald, Flat-Face

Off-Center: Water Channels (Herring Bone Pattern)

Sides: Diamond Pattern for Wet/Dry Fast Corners

Side Knobs: Sometimes you maybe on Gravel

Side-Walls: Soft. This tire runs at 60 Pounds instead of 90 Pounds, makes a much softer ride.

image5

WTB Exposure 34c

Issue These Tires seems to puncture easily. First Ride out, a 3/16 diam Twig went straight trough the center, but the X Road Bike just by changing the Wheelset.


With a quick change of the wheelset, I can  keep pace with a road-ride group.


CON: These Tires seems to puncture easily. First Ride out, a 3/16 diam Twig went straight trough the center, but the Sub-Zero Orange sealed it. Had to patch the tire from the inside. Fourth Time out, an un-known puncture tore a 1/4 inch hole off-center. Could only hold 40 pounds of air till I got home to patch it.

image6

CTS Selecta 38cm Kevlar Road/Trail

This is one tough tire. It is thick with 27 TPI which also makes this a heavy tire, but it will last forever. This is a tire if you never want to think about flat repairs on tire wear.     


I have taken it on trails, but the steering is poor as well as the braking. But it will not pop like a road bike.  Installed on 3 different bikes, this is a tire that can be trusted. 

    

Overall Speed: 6  

Loose Braking: 4  

Rockface Traction: 5  

Loose Traction: 4  

Gravel Speed: 5  

Road Speed: 7  

Loose Speed: 4

CX Trail Rated Tire Guide

image7

Vittoria 38cm Adventure Trail Tube-Tire

I really like this one a lot. Before I went Totally Tubeless on my CX bikes, I found these were a very tough trail tire. If you want great trail rated tires at a low price... these are what you want.


The center tread sits on top of a thick rubber base which gives it superior puncture resistance. It is fast on the road, and handles trails very well.

 

Overall Speed: 8

Loose Braking: 6

Rockface Traction: 8

Loose Traction: 6

Gravel Speed: 8

Road Speed: 8

Loose Speed: 7


image8

Schwalbe CX Comp 38cm Tube-Tire

This is a Fast Road tire with Good handling in the gravel. The traction is not great because of the uniform center pattern. The corner knobs work to keep the tire in line, but the center tread is the cause of the wandering in loose conditions.


Overall Speed: 7

Loose Braking: 4

Rockface Traction: 6

Loose Traction: 4

Gravel Speed: 7

Road Speed: 8

Loose Speed: 5

image9

WTB Riddler 37cm Tubeless

 

Best Alternative to Clement Tires. Clements are Industry Standard for CX, but expensive and always out of stock. These are Fast on the Road with Confident handling in the dirt.


CON: Love these Tires, but they puncture too easy and they rip more  easily than you would hope. Do not self-seal well. I always put an inside tube patch for long term repair.  (They need Silk)


Overall Speed: 8+
Loose Braking: 6
Rockface Traction: 8
Loose Traction: 7
Gravel Speed: 8+
Road Speed: 8+
Loose Speed: 7

image10

Maxis Ravager 40cm Tubeless

Road Speed: 7 (Quiet but Restive) Best Trail Rated CX tire out there. Not as fast on the Road as others, but this one tracks on trails like a 2" MTB Tire.  This tire handles everything and climbs better than you can on most mountain bikes.


Honestly, I have had acceleration on technical and lose up-hill MTB trails where some riders spin out . The Thin Tire and Lite Weight are big factors. The small tire footprint really cuts through the loose dust and grips the hard dirt under it. Wider tires stay on top of the fluffy dirt.

 
Overall Speed: 7 

Loose Braking: 8 

Rockface Traction: 9+ 

Loose Traction: 8 

Gravel Speed: 9+ (Floats on Gravel) 

Road Speed: 7 (Quiet but Restive) 

Loose Speed: 8

image11

MAXIS Rambler / Fast and Tough

The MAXIS CX Tire line has a great liner baked into the rubber tread and sidewalls. It is Silk. At first, I did not understand how Silk could help prevent punctures. After slicing up my WTB Riddlers a few times, now I understand.


The Silk does not stop the puncture, nothing can stop that. What the Silk does is give the sealant something to work with when a hole does occur. The Silk will not separate, and the sealant will bond with the silk where it is damaged.       Brilliant...! 

image12

Rambler Review

So far I have  200+ miles ridden. Love these Tires. They are super fast on the road, very little rolling resistance, and they get up to speed fast. Gravel riding is awesome.file, which means possible traction loss on the trails. A very "Clement" like design... These are my initial ratings, as I ride, I will update my observations.


Update 9-2018: 200+ miles ridden. Love these Tires. They are super fast on the road, very little rolling resistance, and they get up to speed fast. Gravel riding is awesome.


I had a bias with the WTB Riddlers, I was wrong, buy these tires.


Overall Speed: 9
Loose Braking: 7
Rockface Traction: 8
Loose Traction: 7
Gravel Speed: 8+
Road Speed: 9
Loose Speed: 8+

MTB Tires (Front)

image13

WTB Weirwolf 2.3 Tubeless (29er)

This is the BEST Front Tire I have ever used. The Side Knobs are like Dirt-Spikes, the arraignment is tight and tapered. Really feels like you are riding on a Rail.  This tire as a Front is Always where it is supposed to be. It is also very fast.     WTB stopped production this year. I picked up 4 when I found out

image14

WTB Breakout 2.3 Tubeless (Front)

Just purchased a Second one of these for my Fully-Rigid. The Breakout is blocky and fast. A perfect Front or Rear Tire, have never felt it wash-out. It climbs Everything. 2.3" wide measures at 2.4".  Does not fit all frames.


Overall (MTB) Speed: 8 

Loose Braking: 9+ 

Rockface Traction: 9+ 

Loose Traction: 9 

Gravel Speed: 8 

Road Speed: 7 

Loose Speed: 8+

image15

Conti Cross King + Nashbar Flow

While both of these tires have drastically different tread patterns, they actually feel the same when they ride and have the same issues.


The Conti X-King is supposed to be the top of the line XC tire for Conti.  I have seen lots of folks using them on the trails, and some very good riders... But these wash out on hard corners, they push through soft turns, braking is sketchy, traction is marginal, and they are slow on dirt and road.


The NASHBAR Flow tires behave the same, but they were only $11.00 each so there is no complaints.

MTB Tires (Rear)

image16

Maxis is the Mojo Tire in Eastern Mass.

Maxis Ardent 2.25 Tubeless:  Lots of folks Love Maxis. They are the Go-To Tire for almost everyone that rips up the trails.  They are all great tires. This one slides out in hard corners. Enough that you can feel it a lot, even when you would not expect it. Otherwise, it is fast and climbs as well as most of the Maxis Line. I picked this one for review because it is supposed to be fast compared to others in the Maxis Line. 


Overall (MTB) Speed: 7    

Loose Braking: 7     

Rockface Traction: 8     

Loose Traction: 6     

Gravel Speed: 7     

Road Speed: 7     

Loose Speed: 7 

Wet Roots: 6+

image17

WTB Wolverine 2.5 Tubeless

Very Fast for a Full-Knob Rock Tire. Climbs great, only in wet leaves have I felt it slip a little on hard corners.


Because of the tread pattern, on wet roots this tire will slide the root if you do not take care.


Overall (MTB) Speed: 8+  

Loose Braking: 8+   

Rockface Traction: 9   

Loose Traction: 9   

Gravel Speed: 9   

Road Speed: 8   

Loose Speed: 8

Wet Roots: 6+

image18

WTB Trail Boss 2.2

Looking for a fast rear tire for the really tough trails that can navigate the technical trails of Eastern mass.  This tire not only climbs everything, it is fast-fast-fast, even on pavement.


 

Overall (MTB) Speed: 9  

Loose Braking: 8+   

Rockface Traction: 9   

Loose Traction: 9   

Gravel Speed: 9   

Road Speed: 9   

Loose Speed: 8+

Wet Roots: 8

MTB Tires 27.5

image19

Framed 3.0 Tubeless (27.5+)

For a No-Name Tire... WOW, this one has a lot of capability.  Ride as fast as you want, and feel like you are riding on a Rail. the only drawback is it is heavy with a 72 TPI sidewall.  Which also mean no side-wall rips. Superior Tracking in all conditions.  Climbs everything, never slips.  Only at "The Bike House" online.

image20

WTB Ranger 3.0 Tubeless (27.5+)

Great Tire, Very fast on everything. It is thin and lite. Tracks well through berms and tight turns, and ride always feels the same, no matter the tire angle. As you can see in this photo, it has equal knob

depth and spacing all over the tire. 


This as a Rear Tire slides out (a little) on loose corners, but very predictable and allows for a controlled slide through corners. Makes the ride a little more exciting. Climbs everything, never slips.

ICE READY 27.5 Plus

Ice ready 27.5 Plus

image21

Perfect Knob Spacing for studs.  I have seen some studded tires totally loaded up on too many studs. This pattern only uses 60 studs per tire. Though on tubeless rims, I went with tubes. If a stud pulls out, sealant may not be able to seal that hole.

Because of the rounded tire pattern, when these tires are pumped up to 40 pounds there is almost no stud contact with the ground. However just drop that pressure to 25 pounds, and the tire flattens out for full stud contact.

Thick Sidewalls and Big Knobs

image22

Found these sweeties for $32 each.  62 TPI sidewall and Big Knobs to hold the Auger Studs.  Perfect Snow Tires. I picked the 2.8" size to keep the tire narrow for  better snow traction.  


After riding a Fattie for 5 years in the snow, I have learned that a wide tire is not always best.  Trying to stay on top of the snow takes a lot of work.  A thinner tire has the ability to cut through the top-fluff and find solid traction underneath. 

Tungsten Auger Studs

image23

These studs were used for 2 Winters on 2 different tires.  These studs are reusable. This is the Third Installation.  These buggers are expensive at $1.00 each. But they are Tungsten so they should last forever.  I also put a few in my Riding Boots.  If you put your foot down on Ice, you will want the grip.


SEE THE SNOW VIDEOs BELOW

Stud Installation Depth

image24

Shown is an  Auger Stud installed properly on a tire knob.  As with any studded tire, you can expect to lose studs on rides.  These studs really stay put. Only one time when I had to ride on the road for a bit did I lose a couple of studs.  You do not want to ride on pavement with studded tires... trust me... plan around that.

Fat Tires

image25

Panaracer Fat-Be-Nimble 4.0

Like many others, I jumped into the Fat-Bike Craze a few years ago.  Some folks have had good luck with them. I have found I can never get them to move.  Must pedal down-hill... Really...? But they climb everything, and you can make your own trails. However, they are slow and  have a limited range.  Have tried many different tires. These Fat-Be-Nimble 4.0 Tires on 55cm Marge Lite seem to be the best for speed. As a fattie, it climbs and does everything, as a fat tire should. I see no need for a fat bike to have tires wider than 4.0 inches unless you are in snow.

image26

About Fat Bikes

Fat Bikes have their place. Winter Sports most of all.  On group rides. I have only ridden with a few folks that can ride these things fast enough for a group pace. Yes they climb everything, and they make the very hard trails a lot easier. Tires are very expensive, Tubeless is very expensive and tire selection is still limited. Even the carbon wheelsets they still have a lot of trail resistance from tire contact, and that will always slow you down.


I like that my Good-Bikes stay home safe, while I am out on snow. Shown: Vee-Rubber HillBilly 4.25 Tubed. Nothing nice to say about these tires at all. Turns Bad, Tracks Bad, Traction Great, Very-Slow

image27

Fatties in the Snow

If you like Snow, YES, get a fat bike. Expect a lot of work @1500 Calories an Hour in fresh snow, expect a heart attack if you are not in good shape. I took a pair of Vee-Rubber Mission 4.0 Tires, and made them into Studded Ice Tires. These are the only tires with knobs big-enough for Auger-Studs. Very expensive to do this. Each solid tungsten carbide stud screws into the tire, with a special tool for your Screw-Gun.  Each stud = $1.00.


Can not ride on the street at all, must be all snow/ice/trails. With the centerline studs... these have slipped on me only a few times.

Tire Tech and TUBELESS Repairs

image28

Tight Tire Installer

Tire / Rim Sizes: Some Tires and Rims are not made the same. Different standards and different Tire Bead (hook) designs. 


A few years ago a Tubeless Tire Standard was developed, but there are still many tires and rims that do not meet these standards. Tires will be Tight or nearly impossible to install on the Rim.


For these situations, you can use this Tire-Puller. (By Koolstop) A neat tool that will help you install your Tight Tire without Rim or Tire Damage.

image29

Tubeless Trail-Side Puncture Repair:

For Higher Tire Pressures over 30 pounds, some of the other Tire-Plugs would push-out of the hole you just tried to seal. Dyna-Plug claims their metal-tipped plugs solve that issue.  


For Higher Tire Pressures over 30 pounds, some of the other Tire-Plugs would push-out of the hole you just tried to seal. Dyna-Plug claims their metal-tipped plugs solve that issue.  


This tool has storage room for 10 Dyna-Plugs inside the Handle. I would guess you are having a really bad day if you ran out of plugs on one-ride.

Gorilla Tape installed: Shows signs of creasing and is surrounded by tire sealant.

Fixing that Slice in your Tubeless Tire

Black Gorilla Tape vs Standard Tire Patches. Both work fine, but maybe One is better? 


 I have found strips of Gorilla Tape to repair a Tire works very well. Even after many rides, I open the tire to check how well the patch is doing. 

 

SHOWN: (29er tire) The Tape will have some Creasing with tire sealant inside, but holds tight. (Stan's Sealant) 


A Standard Tire Patch, works good too, but have found they pull off  much easier than the tape. Have seen signs of seepage under the patches too. Standard Tire patches  will never hold up under tire flex.


I feel the Gorilla Tape is Best.  Keep you updated.


Tech Note: Always turn a Tubeless Tire Inside-Out when working on it...



Tubeless Repair Update:

Gorilla Tape is the Clear Winner.

image30

Turns out the Gorilla tape repair is way better than I could hope.   While the outside (Black) layer of the tape easily peeled off, the mesh network of glue and fibers (adhesive layer) made a tight bond with the tire surface.  The Sub-Zero Orange sealant was the catalyst that bonded it all together.   I removed the black outer layer, and tested the strength of this bond.  It will not be coming off.


Turns out the Gorilla tape repair is way better than I could hope.   While the outside (Black) layer of the tape easily peeled off, the mesh network of glue and fibers (adhesive layer) made a tight bond with the tire surface.  The Sub-Zero Orange sealant was the catalyst that bonded it all together.   I removed the black outer layer, and tested the strength of this bond.  It will not be coming off.


Update: 9-2018: Have also recently successfully repaired at 4.8" Maxis Fattie-Tire with a large side-wall puncture.  Because of Side-Wall Flex, I did not think the patch would hold.  After 2 months of use on tough New England Trails, the Inside Gorilla Tape Patch is holding fine.

Full View of the Patch

image31

The reason why this patch is so large, there were actually (2) different punctures in this same area. 


One large patch fixed both issues.  However, the reason why this tire is open, is for a 1/4 long sidewall rip. Do not feel I can repair this safely. So, this tire will be converted over to a Tube-Only tire. 

Sub-Zero Orange Sealant

image32

There is a reason why I keep plugging the Sub-Zero Orange Sealant. The Stuff Works...!


As seen in this photo, the sealant has formed a tight membrane at the tire bead where it hooks into the rim. For some reason, the sealant needed to repair an issue that went unnoticed by the rider.  This will not come off of the tire without a lot of effort, and I still will not get it all off.



VIDEO: Fat Tire Grip-Studs / Traction on Solid Ice

I have installed these on my Vee Missions, and they work exactly as this person's  Video explains.  See my mention of the Grip-Studs in the Fat-Tire section above.


You can expect to lose 1 or 2 studs each long ride. All brands of studded tires have this same issue.


Can Not Ride on Pavement, Period.  Same with most Studded Tires.


I also installed them on my Winter Boots for foot traction while Ice-Biking and Driveway Shoveling. 


CON: They are $0.99 each Stud, and you need 70 per tire.

VIDEO: Skinny Studded 29" vs Fat Bike 4.8 inch in Snow / Ice

Disclaimer: I have a BIAS against Fat-Bikes.. this video shows all the same issues i had while riding Fat Bikes.  I tried 4 different Fat Bike Tires and Wheelsets... Then I converted my Fattie to an E-Bike and now I love it.

Ka-BLAM

What is This?

image33

You are looking at a 2.8" tire with a pressure rating of 17 - 38 pounds.

This photo was taken after 50 pounds of air-pressure was applied.

YIKES!

image34

The Loudest Noise I have heard in a long time. 

Ka-Blam...! 

Worse part was the Tire Sealant.  It vaporized and exploded out in a mist-cloud. The first time I blinked my eyes, I knew I was in trouble. 

Makes a good hair gel too.

YIKES AGAIN...!

image35

62 TPI tires are very thick. 

This was one hell of an explosion.

 Be very careful.