XC Tyres


Likes Dirt
Hey guys,
Well i thought that seeing ive asked for new tyre advice. It would be handy to make some sort of a sticky to put up the top of the xc forum. It is just going to be a general thing with a template or you can send all your stuff to me and ill put it in a template.

Seeing this took off so well, why dont we add roadie tyres in here aswell, sure there isnt much option but its good so we all know which tyres are performers and which tyres just arent upto scratches.

Would just be something like:
Bottom line:

Very similar to the template on www.mtbr.com. I thought this would be a good resource to come and look at when contemplating new tyre choice.

Ill get this started

Tyre: Hutchinson Python Airlight 2.00"
Strengths: The tyre rolls extremely well, minimal rolling resistance with good grip on dry hardpack, however definately not a mud tyre
Weakness: Not that greatest corner tyre.
Weight: 485g
Bottom Line: Great fast tyre, however it is a poor choice as a front tyre. Great rear tyre long lasting.

Tyre: Maxxis Crossmark 2.10"
Strengths: Low rolling resistance, Corners well
Weakness: Isn't so great on gravel, tends to flick stones up at the bike
Bottom Line: Great tyre so far, only time will tell how well it lasts as a front tyre. But no complaints as yet

Tyre: Michelin Wildgripper Comp 1.95"
Strengths: Sheds mud particularly well, handles well in dry and wet coniditions.
Weakness: The tyre didn't seem to cope to well being used as a rear tyre when being ridden to a from the trails.
Bottom Line: Great tyre when used as a front tyre,. Would buy again for use in wet muddy conditions.

If you have anything to add to this tyre chart, please pm me and ill place it in this post.
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Likes Bikes and Dirt
Tyre: Ritchey Excavader 1.9
Strength: fast rolling, very good over hard surfaces, handles jumps and drops quite well, really good over asphalt, long wearing.
Weakness: terrible in fast gravel corners.
Weight: ~400
Bottom line: very high rated except for gravel conditions

Tyre: Tioga factory XC 2.0
Strength: good in all conditions, good for mud, corners well, an
Weakness: no real weaknesses. except for some rolling resistance
Weight: ...
Bottom line: 6/10

Tyre: Maxxis Lopes Bling Bling Dual
Strength: superb rolling qualities, on par with ritchey excavaders, quite sticky, grips well
Weakness: haven't seen any yet, been riding for 1 day only, massively difficult to put on wheel, took me hours and a lot of effort.
Weight: 830g
Bottom line: 7.5/10
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Likes Bikes and Dirt
Tyres : maxxis larsen tt's 2.0
Strength: good in all conditions
Rating : my rating : 8/10
Weakness: mud and muddy gravel
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Likes Dirt
Tyre: Continental Vapor 2.1 wire bead
Strength: Cheap, wears well, good bite in all conditions
Weakness: Heavy, fidgety if over-pressured
Weight: iirc, approx 715gm wire, 580gm kevlar.
Bottom line: I paid $20au for this tire. For the price it's very effective, and it doesn't hurt to replace them. I use it mostly in dry conditions on loamy soil, gravel, rocks, pavement and hard singletrack. I've found it to be a lot more stable and grippy than the 1.95 Michelin comp S that came with my bike and seems to wear better too. The "gravity lugs" seem to dig into the softer soils rather than float over them. They also seem to wrap around rocks to reduce slippage there. Overall I'd say this is an awesome tire for Australian XC. Just don't pump it up too hard. I think the so-so reviews of this tire on MTBR are due to over or under inflation but at the price they're worth trying anyway.
5/5 value 5/5 usage
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Likes Dirt
Just woundering if any ones used the maxxis maxxlight 310's? If you have were they any good? 310grams seems pretty light!!


Likes Bikes and Dirt
Tyre: Maxxis Maxxlight 310/Flyweight 330 (used both, very similar)
Strength: weight, weight, weight - that's about it. speed is also very good due to weight and the non existant tread. keep the legs noticably fresh nearing the end of the race.
Weakness: the obvious, bad cornering (330 noticably better but still no good) and no flat protection.
Weight: claimed 310/330 - both have been under the claimed weights.
Bottom line: race day only and only smooth, open tracks at that which are very rare in oz. if you've got the money they're nice to have in the race kit for when the right track comes along otherwise don't bother.
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Likes Dirt
geax sturdy 2.1
good for climbing traction and lowish rolling resistance, largeish volume for a smoother ride
weakness on cornering on loose gravel, lack of aggressive side knobbage, thin sidewalls, pinch easily if ridden aggressively, can tear (i opened my sidewalls anyway)
rear tyre, don't know the weight


Likes Bikes
How do the maxxis crossmarks do as a front AND rear tire? or should i go with a larsen on the back?

Lastly.. are they a generous sized tire? From what i've used...

Tioga - freakin huge
Continental - miserly, much narrower than labelled
Intense - very wide...
IRC - pretty spot on..
Maxxis - ???


Likes Bikes and Dirt
I've run Crossmark 2.1s front and rear for over 3 months now, no issues. Roll very fast on hardpack dirt and tarmac. Corner moderately well in dirt. Handles crap in gravel or rocky conditions. Also, very bad in muddy or wet off road conditions. Good as an summer dry hardpack XC tyre IMO.

FR Drew

Not a custom title.
Maxxis Lopes Bling Bling 2.35 Super Tacky
Strength: Fast Rolling, Good Cornering
Weakness: Clay and Mud, tyre packs with mud and doesn't shed at all, not the best on really loose sand
Weight: around 850 so not for the weight weenies
Bottom Line: On hardpack, hard with rocks and firm brilliant front tyre for cornering with confidence. Once it gets loose or damp, pick something else.


Likes Dirt
Schwalbe Racing Ralph
Strength: Extremely fast rolling, very light for size, great on hardpack, quite good on every other surface including rocky, if the conditons are dry. Big air volume helps here too.
Weakness: Poor in wet, muddy conditions. sidewalls a bit thin but you can't have it both ways. inaccurate sizing.
Weight: (Kevlar) 2.4 - 600g, 2.25 - 550g
Bottom Line: I'm running a couple of Geax for winter, can't wait for summer when I can get some more RR's. Highly reccommended.


Pro Rider
Tyre: maxxis ranchero
Strength:low low rolling resistance, fairly grippy for size and weight, lightweight
Weakness: should imagine mud and that... not as grippy as larsons in the hardpack/gravel/soil that i ride in
Weight:wire beed, alot lighter than my wire bead larsons...
Bottom line: fast, good for hardpack track.

not going to rate them becasue it would change with the conditions of the track... no idea on price either got them on my bike... faster than the larsons (2.35) i usually run though, deffinatly not as grippy.

on a short travel air sprung bike.

FR Drew

Not a custom title.
Syncros Point n Chute 2.1 Factory (PnC 3)

Strenths: Light, low rolling resistance, good cornering grip when used up front, sticky rubber, round bag means no funny trnasitions between grippy and sketchy, controllable skid behaviour when used on rear.

Weaknesses: not really cheap, otherwise haven't found any yet...

Weight 600g for 2.1 Factory (Race is heavier)

Was looking for something that would turn well, roll fast and be pretty light. This tyre fits the bill fine on all three.
Soon I'll be buying another one for the rear.


Likes Dirt
Tyre: Hutchison Mosquito
Strength:low rolling resistance, lightweight, great grip in the wet, feels fast
Weakness: Not made anymore. Wears very fast in the dry. Not durable (when used in the dry).
Bottom line: Great wet weather tyre in either 1.9 or 2.1 versions (I usually run a 2.1 on the front and 1.9 on the rear). Sheds mud, grips well. Discontinued model so if you can find them, grab them.

I used this in the wet overnight laps in the '05 Mont and it was great. Have used it in other wet races too and never been dissapointed with how this tyre performs. If the track dries out, change it if you can because it starts to wear like crazy in the dry. knobs also tear off easy in the dry (This is not a problem in the wet).
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Likes Dirt
IRC Serac XC

Tyre: IRC Serac XC
Strengths:Great all rounder, fastish roller, plenty of bite in most terrain, good volume so rarely pinches, light for a knobby (500g)
Weakness: Not great in mud but I've seen worse. Not as fast as pythons on hard pack. Can get sketchy in the front on gravelly loose stuff.

Bottom line: I've used this as a race tyre and very happy with them. Great for enduros if you expect to cover lots of varying terrain. Feels a little like a Panaracer XC but rolls better and doesn't pinch flat nearly as easily. I've tried loads of tyres and this in the only one I will happily use for both racing and just blasting around on all day rides. Very versatile.


Likes Bikes
Maxxis Crossmark 2.1

To answer question re: performance on front and rear (in my opinion)

Rear: excellent, very fast rolling tyre, grippy enough on climbs, excellent on hard pack trails. Definetly recommend over Larsens if you want a fast tyre that grips well when climbing

Front: Again excellent for dry, hard packed trails. SUCK in sand - do not recommend on front for sandy courses

Would rate these are more similar to a python then a Larsen. Anyone agree?


for my last xc race I used a worn ritchey excavader 2.1 and a ritchey zmax 2.1 on the front which was in good condition.

THe excavader rolled extrmely fast. At the end of the race, I found it had a couple of cuts in it. However, It didn't flat.

I was runing the front at 40psi and the rear at 45psi.
I was overtaking people on straight rocky descents and found I had a lot of control as long as I didn't steer.

WHen I tried to do a corner fast, the bike totall washed out with no warning whatsoever, and I got injured. I hadn't ridden with those tyres for a long time, and was expecting them to perform like the ones on my other bike.


good in sand, gravel

Poor braking on the front due to tall knobs. THese knobs bend and lose tractions, then get traction again, then bend and lose it....... making it easy to lock up the front wheel and start the bike juddering like an ABS system on a car
not as much traction as with a fatter tyre or a tyre with bigger sideknobs
loses traction on corners without warning

low rolling resistance
good traction for climbing

not very durable

bottom line - I'll probably continue to use both for cross country races which have a road component. If the cross country races don't have a road component, I may switch to a bling bling on the front, and a tioga yellow kirin freeride tubeless tyre (run tubed) at the back.
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For aggressive cross country on my hardtail I use a
Maxxis bling bling 2.3 on the front at 30 psi
Ritchey motovader 2.6 on the back at 30psi

THe maxxis

great cornering traction
good traction on hardpack
rolls fast

packs up easily with mud

THe ritchey acts as rear suspension of sorts, and has fairly good traction when climbing.
Its very buzzy on roads though

bottom line - i'll use em till they wear out, then probably go for highrollers
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