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29" Tyre Choice

By m0k0 - Posted on 06 August 2015

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


I had a rather spectacular failure on my front tyre on Sunday. Just riding the side walk in my street at about 5kmh, sort of tried to ride off the edge of the kerb. To then wake up on the floor with a cracked helmet, few cuts and a bruised hip.

Turns out I had a spectacular failure of my front tyre, MAXXIS, IKON EXC 2.20 See photo attached. Bikes OK, I'm bruised and need a new helmet. Pretty unusual considering the riding that I often do for this to happen so spectacularly for such a minor low speed / incident. Possibly the tyre was showing its age, not too sure, there was plenty of tread on it.

Anyway, the tyres are/were.
Front: MAXXIS, IKON EXC 29 x 2.20
Rear: MAXXIS, Cross Mark 29 x 2.10

Just wanted some advice.
Should I swap the back to the front and get something different for the back?
Maybe just replace it with the equivalent Maxxis?
Better tyre to be recommended that completements me, bike, riding conditions and the Cross Mark?
Best place to shop for 29" tyres (I work in the CBD and don't seem to be able to locate a great stock of 29" tyres round here.) Online is fine as long as they ship quick.

I tend to ride Manly Dam, Lane Cove, sometimes a little tarmac, aiming to be riding the Highland fling this year and a few other events like that. So think I need a quick tyre. The bike is a Merida Big ninety.nine CF 3000, running Stans ZTR Crests.

Any assistance anyway can offer would be appreciated.


Whow. that is a rather unusual failure. Glad you are ok! I ride the same tire on ZTC Flow rims front and back. What pressures do you ride? Is the inside of your rim sharp somehow?

I've been through most popular tyres and based on advise on this site I tried specialized tyres for my 29:er. Fast Trak front and Renegade back and for me, doing XC riding on all the usual tracks around NSW and ACT, that works beautifully. For racing I use the SWorks casing and for all other riding I use cheaper versions of them. All variants works fine as tubeless tyres and they last well. So if you are looking to change, give that combo a go.

If you are unlucky you'll slice through any tyre so I would not think there is an issue with Maxxis IKON Exc, I've run it on one of my 26:ers for years as a rear tyre and it is still going strong.

Leave the crossmark on the rear, and have a look at the maxxis ignitor. I just slashed my 6 month old specialized slaughter on a stray rock and altho the tyres are supposed to be all mountain the sidewalls were super thin, hate to think how thin there xc tyres are..

Maybe irrelevant for you due to your type of riding but my 2cents anyway.

Good luck.

For me, Ardent race front, Crossmark rear. Tried various other combos but keep returning to this. Both EXO setup tubeless, even for racing as the old adage says "to finish first, first you've got to finish"

Stick an ardent on the front. More grip than the ardent race, which is more than the ikon. Given only about a third of your weight goes on the front, the rolling resistance is tiny compared to the importance of the rear. If you wash the front out on an ardent, you have to blame the pilot

Rim is fine, no scratches or signs of damage. I initially thought it had burped (badly) as I couldn't find the split.
Maxxis igniter, Ardent or Ardent race. I'll look into them, sounds good thanks. All good information.

Nobby Nik on the front
Racing Ralph on the back
Non UST running tubeless

Like Staffe I am a fan of the Fast Track/Renegade duo, and use the S-Works for racing. Great tyres.

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