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1  - 16 February 2010 00:53

Hi all,

Im entering my first race in april (round 1 of the Nutcracker Series) and just need a little advice on which tyres to use. I want something that is going to last fairly well, needs to be tubed and as I doubt im going to be particularly competitive ,weight etc isnt really going to be an issue. Also what sort of tyre pressures are used for XC racing? Ive been running the tyres I have at the moment at about 45-50 psi but i tend to mainly ride on the road so guessing that racing off road the pressures might be a little lower??


2  - 16 February 2010 16:17

It is a vastly personal choice and you will get 100 different answers!

Schwalbe tyres have a big following, but they're not cheap, and not vastly durable. Nobby Nics are a good all round option.

If you just want an all round tyre something like the Continental Speed or Race King come in a variety of sizes and varieties, with some lighter than others.

Pressures are also extremely personal, I run tubeless around 30psi most of the time.

3  - 16 February 2010 17:57

Schwalbe Little Albert Snake Skin - durable and versatile.  £35 or so each, but they do last a very long time.  The "Evolution" series Schwalbes are great tyres, but as Nick says not very durable - these are the Nics, Rons, Ralphs and Freds.

Been racing on the Alberts all winter in a variety of conditions and they've been excellent.


4  - 16 February 2010 18:52

Don't forget Maxxis. For example the Advantage EXception series is a cost effective alternative to Schwalbe Nobby Nics.

Personally I run standard tyres on standard rims without tubes by using a tubeless conversion kit. I can then run at 25psi.

5  - 16 February 2010 19:13

Yep - but they aren't so durable...  Maxxis sidewalls are as bad as Schwalbe Evolutions.  Stick with Snake Skin / Protection (Continental) or similar if you want durability.

6  - 17 February 2010 09:46

How heavy are you? I'm 72 kg and can't seem to get away with ralphs and nics when running tubes. I always pinch flat unless I go up to about 50 psi which isn't much use off road.

7  - 17 February 2010 09:59

I run 30-28 rear 27.5-25 front with non-tubless rocket rons/racing ralphs running tubless, i'm 63kg. 

Any harder and you ping off everying including ants (for my weight)

Steve Wood
Sherwood Pines Cycles/The co-operative motor group RT
8  - 17 February 2010 10:44

I run tubes and tubeless depending on situation and always ride on very high pressures - pretty much 50 psi or very hard to touch. I weigh 95 kilos and when I tried lower pressures I hate the bike squirming around or the little bounce I get when pedalling. Tthe tubeless advantage for me is the puncture resistance rather than pinch punctures.

9  - 17 February 2010 13:18

Sounds like you need to work on your pedal stroke tbh glen.  You shouldn't be anywhere near that pressure.

10  - 17 February 2010 13:19

Kriss. I would recommend the Nobby Nic Double Defense. It's very grippy, quite fast rolling, not too weighty and very durable.

11  - 17 February 2010 13:55

Maxxis Ardents - best all round tyre I've ever bought at 35 psi (I'm 65kg) with tubes :-)

Beyond Mountain Bikes/Specialized/West Drayton MBC
12  - 17 February 2010 18:38

Thanks Langers - appreciate the comment. Without wanting to sound really stupid how would I work on the stroke? Is it just trying to be smoother? G

13  - 18 February 2010 09:27

glnncampbell35 it sounds stupid but think of pedalling in circles. It's not as easy as it sounds. your bobbing comes from all your power delivery coming on the downstroke, probably quite stabby in action. Assuming you are clipped in then go out and ride and focus on a smooth pedal stroke, at the bottom of the stroke pull the pedal across the bottom, pull it up on the backstroke and push it across the top before begining the downstroke again.It does not feel natural at first and will use different muscles but once you can do it naturally you will generate more power, more smoothly and less tiringly as you distribute the work across more muscles. Also because you are focussed on delivering the power in complete circles you will reduce bob. A good exercise is to do this with one leg at a time. Unclip the other foot so that you can't use it and pedal complete circles with one leg then the other, this builds strength and embeds the technique. Even if you are on flats you can improve your technique by adding the pulling across the bottom and pushing across the top of the pedal stroke (if you are racing on flats then you should seriously consider going clipped in).
50lb pressure is way too high, you'll be pinging of everything and losing traction, even with tubes 35-40lb should be adequate. On tubeless 23 - 25lb seems to be around optimum.

14  - 18 February 2010 10:27

I seem to remember that Stans (NoTubes) recommended that tubeless pressures can be calculated by dividing your weight (in lbs) by 7 and then adding 2 for the rear pressure or taking away 1 for the front pressure.

i.e. 180 / 7 = ~26. So that's 25 front and 28 rear.

It is also worth changing the psi a couple either way depending on conditions.

15  - 18 February 2010 10:49

Roffster and Langers - many thanks for that. I'll get on the turbo tonight and try that one out in private :-)

16  - 18 February 2010 12:27

turbo is good for starting off the 1 legged stuff as you can really concentrate on what you are doing.

17  - 18 February 2010 12:48

One legged cycling hurts..
The turbo is the best place for it but the Plymouth training massive were doing this a few months back along the cycle paths.
I honestly can say my pedalling feels smoother, not necessarily faster, but definately smoother.

Use a chair (on the turbo that it) to rest your other leg or you'll find your unclipped leg will be "ghost" peadalling to keep up!

We were doing 30 second sets (and then swapping) and after the first few sets of laughing i can truely saying i was suffering, and you will find strangely that one leg is def stronger than the other.


(p.s very useful if you ever get a pedal failure!)

Last edited by dabaldie (18 February 2010 12:49)

Duncan B
Been Riding since 1989, racing since 2008
Original Truro Rock Zombie Member--- 25 years and still not dead.
18  - 18 February 2010 14:04

Single leg stuff is great - I do sets of 50/60/70/80/90/100 on each leg with the resistance turned up high ish.  Godd session for technique and power.


19  - 18 February 2010 15:22

Cheers guys - really appreciate the tips and advice. It's strange that I never really thought about how I pedal - I've always assumed that the bouncy bit was weight (there is enough of it at 15 stone!) rather than mashing. It's not something I notice on climbs so will focus on more fluid motion and see how the turbo and trail sessions work out.

20  - 2 May 2016 09:22

Use a chair (on the turbo that it) to rest your other leg or you'll find your unclipped leg will be "ghost" peadalling to keep up!????

Last edited by EdnaHall (22 June 2018 15:34)

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