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XC Tyre Help

By evan - Posted on 23 October 2006

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hiya All,

Just wondering what tyres people are using. I have a Giant XTC 2 hardtail. I'm after some help with what tyres people would recommend. I ride both fire trail and single track. Oaks as an example of fire trail. I find the tyres I have are not so grippy on braking and hill climbs, with loose stone.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



I'm pretty happy with a Maxxis Larsen TT or Crossmax on the rear and a Maxxis Ignitor or Continental Vertical Pro on the front.

Hi alchemist,

Thanks for the info. I'll go and investigate.

I ride with Ignitors as I like a little extra grip around the corners but there is a tyre out called a Nobby Nic by Schwalbe and the bike gossip is that they are very grippy and very fast.

Nobbly tyres will help with traction hill climbing but a sketchy back end is part of the hardtail experience. I have found that practicing putting my power evenly through the whole cirle of the pedal motion helps as well.


Cut the side wall of a less than 10hr old Larsen TT on exactly the trails you are talking about. Didn't hit anything or jump off anything. No popping sounds or side slides down rocks or anything. At first just put it down to bad luck but then read a letter in the current AMB about a bloke who put a brand new Larsen TT on his rear wheel just before an endurance event in the pine forests of Canberra. Less than 3k in he had the same thing happen, again claiming not to have hit anything that would do this damage. Maybe just bad luck, or maybe a dodgy batch. Can't tell either way but I will be avoiding them just the same, pity though because they really did ride well.

Hi All,

Thanks for the info and help.

Has anyone tried these Maxxis High Roller eXCeption 26 x 2.1 ?

Thanks once again

One of the dudes we met for the first time yesterday (sorry - I forget which one it was... Bruce perhaps?) had a Larsen on the rear. Had it for about a month or something?

Now, there was an arrow on the tire wall indicating direction of rotation, but this seemed to be the wrong way round for a rear tyre. The Larsen has tread kindof like a sawtooth pattern - slopped at one end and flat at the other.. like the image below (if the link is still working):

For a rear you'd think the tyre should have been fitted to have the ramp of the tread trail the 90 degree incline, so that 90 degree part dug in and bit the trail for maximum grip.

I'm thinking that if you put the tyre on this way, it's the opposite direction to what Maxxis recommend and maybe there's something weird in the design that causes these to be easily damaged in that case?

Good point mate but in my case atleast I am fairly confident to say this was not the case. The Kona had Tioga's on it that had a similar tread design, albeit a lot more aggressive, and I can't tell you the number of times it came back from a so called bike mechanic with it fitted in the opposite direction to that marked on the tire. Hence my lesson was learnt about this early on. Still a good point and something we should probably all keep an eye on, particularly when it comes back from others. Heck maybe one day someone from Maxxis will come across this forum and shed some light on this particular topic.

I've had em - smooth side forward for fast rolling (very quick) tooth side forward for bite. Smooth side has VERY little traction.

Rob, it was me with Larsen TT on the rear. Having spotted the recommended rotation marker on the Larsens it was interesting to see the reaction.
On the tyre, the rotation pointer points to the ramp side facing the direction of rotation.
Interesting comments Justin, what would you recommend as tyres ?

Has anyone used the Maxxis Cross Mark tires?

i run Larsenn TT on my Giant NRS and find them very good, nice rolling speed and good grip around fast corners. MY Anthem has Hutchison Piranhas and dont like them much, fast rolling but have next to no grip on fast corners. I will put up with them for a while but will change them in a few months and then keep them as spares.

Dyno-mites are what i use.....same as Ignitor however they are a rear tyre....its all i use on both bikes.....did i mention that i have a bike for sale?

I'm running Specialized Adrenaline Pro's on my XTC2. I picked these up mostly because they were advertised as an enduro tyre, and at the time I was doing a lot of enduro racing.

The bad:
- Cornering grip is kinda lame. I feel it 'walking' even on not-too-sharp corners. I've had one front-wheel slide at 60km/h which I was able to recover from - scared the crap out of me, nonetheless.
- They're fairly heavy.

The good:
- Very long-wearing and durable. I've got 1000km on my current set and they're maybe 25% through the tread. I've had no penetrative punctures. They have nice heavy sidewalls.
- They seem to be capable on just about any terrain, just not superb on anything.

I have had the cross marks. They weren't a bad tire but wear really quick. Having a hard tail I tend to have the tire pressures up a bit and found both the larsens and crossmarks not so grippy.


I was in Kuringai Cycles this afternoon and purchased a Continental Gravity 2.3 for the rear. $35 was pretty cheap I thought. So I will ride with this on Saturday and let anyone that is interested know how it goes.

Website is here:

They look pretty grippy Smiling Hopefully it will also roll well on the flats, and not wear out quickly on the rocky stuff we ride on.

One thing I also liked was the rigid and tough sidewall design that should withstand punctures. The tougher the better. A bit like the Ignitor 2.35 that I have recently been running. That will be shifted to the front.

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