• This topic has 29 replies, 29 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by DanW.
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  • Tyres for fast DRY conditions
  • clanton

    Heading out to South Africa for a stage race in April. Thinking about changing my tyres for it – I have Maxxi Crossmarks USTs at the moment in fairly good nick but tempted to dry something lighter/faster. Riding will be primarily hardpack and gravel with dirt singletrack and odd rocky section. Some chance of wet conditions but not that likely.

    So I need fast rolling, lightweight UST tyres with good sidewall protection. Preferably high volume as I will be on a 26″ hardtail so want some extra comfort.

    Continental Race Kings any good?

    Other suggestions?

    Premier Icon jimilindley

    Racing Ralphs are really fast, run them fairly hard because on rocks they can pinch


    Dry tyres ???

    Sorry, but its been that long …..


    The big Small Block 8’s are worth a look if it’s properly dry and dusty.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    I can sell you some 2.35in SB8s cheap – but they are not UST and Kenda are not famed for their sturdy sidewalls!


    just stick a larsen tt on the back?


    When I was in Oz a few years back enjoying hard packed dusty trails, Larsens was the tyre to have. Dunno about the weight though… sorry.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Smallblocks (and Slants) are excellent but the sidewalls are a bit exposed because of the lack of sideknobs… They’re no less delicate than most, but they take more hits.

    b r

    I use to run a Larsen 2.35 2-ply on the rear of my HT when I lived down south – quick rolling and strong. No grip whatsoever on wet grass.

    Not sure I’d want one on the front, at all.


    Big fan of Bontys here. They come up fairly well-sized: a 2.3″ is quite large, and a 2.2″ is also pretty good. Pretty fast, reliable grip – the sidewalls are pretty good too.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    I’ve run Smallblock8’s for a few years. They let go without much warning. Two years on my knee still has nightmares. 🙂
    They come up pretty big so the 2.35’s must be huge…

    Panaracer Razer MX are pretty cool tyres. Just enough grip, but very very fast rolling.
    A lot of fun until you hit a damp patch at speed though.

    Larsen 2.0 LUST rear, racing ralph 2.25 up front works pretty well


    Nobody spotted the obvious yet?

    The conditions you describe are pretty much exactly what the Crossmark was designed for! They’re great tyres as long as the going doesn’t get wet or muddy. You don’t get much faster without going for a full on semi slick, and if you go much lighter you will sacrifice the sidewall strength.

    By all means don’t let me stop you from buying new tyres, but what you’ve got already will be very appropriate for the job in hand.


    Another vote for the Small Block 8 here. Pretty wimpy side walls but fairly light and roll really well.


    Small block too, have them on the 26 and 29er……infact I ran them through the winter on the Inbred…….


    Maxxis Larsens UST’s always work well in Southern Spain.


    I am also in Southern Spain and Larsen TT for me too and grip not too bad on wet gravel as that is all we seem to have had for months.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza

    Continental Race King UST

    But as you have mentioned South Africa, I think you need local advice. I seem to remember thorns can be a big issue out there.

    Premier Icon stumpy01

    Larsen TT…

    Schwalbe furious Fred 2.2 – big volume, very light, ludicrously fast rolling.

    Premier Icon njee20

    Furious Fred +1 if its really dry. Probably with Snakeskin sidewalls. Otherwise Ralphs, or a Ralph/Fred combo.

    Premier Icon krixmeister

    +1 for Smallblock 8’s for anything other than gloopy mud – they do great in dry. They are what I race on.

    I would second asking local advice – potentially depends partly where in the country you are going to be.

    When we were out there around Cape Town there was a lot of sand so actually running something with a bit more tread made sense. We just kept our normal Rubber Queens on and didn’t regret it – locals we were riding with rode similar and said they were a much better option than hardpack tyres.

    Run UST with sealant for the thorns.

    Premier Icon bigjim

    I really like Slant six, not sure I would put one on the front though.


    Thanks for the replies.
    As per one of the posts above – I coudl just stick with the Crossmarks – but my riding partner seems to out freewheel me on tar descents despite being much taller and in theory less aerodynamic! So that’s what got me thinking about fatser tyres (he has Bontrager 29er tyres on – but already had multiple punctures!)
    Have been looking for the SA equivalent to STW for advice, might post on “the hub”.
    Definitely going UST with sealant! I have ridden there before (with Crossmarks) and the thorns make life impossible with tubes.

    Premier Icon jonundercover

    Aspen are great! fast rolling but has nice aggressive side lugs for grips on turns.

    Furious Fred +1 if its really dry. Probably with Snakeskin sidewalls. Otherwise Ralphs, or a Ralph/Fred combo.


    Furious freds are very fast!

    also look at maxxis flyweights.. these are awesome and pretty grippy


    Specialized tyres with the Control casing would be worth a look.

    Onza Canis is very light and very fast but perhaps lacks the sidewall durability you desire.

    Ralphs would be the obviou choice if you really need a change

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