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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:42 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:01 am
Posts: 228
Get the damn tractor tyres off and run some proper 1.8" XC tyres at 60 psi like it should be.

I recently ended up with Panaracer Fire XC's in 2.1" instead of the 1.8" I ordered off the internet (damn you Chain Reaction Cycles). I've never liked tractor tyres (defined as anything over 1.9") but thought I'd give them a go. They sucked. The riding round here is basically dusty/sandy or endless rock gardens and they just dragged and gave bugger all grip.

I ended up putting some old 1.8" Fire Muds on and they were much better. My theory is that they dig into the sand and loose stuff like they would do into mud and find the solid bit underneath. They're also way quicker and tend to cut through stuff that the tractor tyres were getting bogged down in.

One of the interesting things about retro bikes is that they can remind you that sometimes there is a different way to doing things to the modern full sus/wagon wheel bikes. For example, instead of running 2.3" tyres to get a softer back end, go for a top quality steel or Ti frame (very hard to find these days). I can run 60 psi 1.8" tyres fine on my old Kona because it's made from Columbus Max which takes the edge off of bumps very nicely. If you want better traction on climbs, ditch the stupid bendy bars and get a set of bar ends. Your weight distribution on the bike will be soooo much better on the ups. I took great satisfaction recently in clearing a rock garden section on a climb recently that I'd seen two guys on very expensive Santa Cruz full boingers get off and walk up the time before. The reason? Get on the bar ends, get forward on the saddle and get your weight in the right place. Feel the bumps through the frame and give it just enough grunt to get over the rocks. Can't do that on a full susser.

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