Mountain Bike Tire Combinations for Hero Dirt

IMG_0442If you haven’t read our blog post on front and rear tire combinations, give it a look. It presents a quick overview of how tires are expected to perform and offers several pairings we like for all around use.

Hero dirt; the name says it all. It’s the stuff KOM’s are made of, where the limits of lean angles and late braking are pushed past your usual restrictions. When perfect conditions transform your usual hardscrabble substrate into forgiving, traction-rich soil, you can ask your bike to do anything, and it will, freeing the swashbuckling daredevil that lives inside of you.

Generally, soft, forgiving dirt brings out the best features of tread designs without magnifying their negative traits. Namely, taller knobs won’t be squirmy, square-edged knobs won’t create as much resistance, and cornering knobs will dig in and sling you through turns like never before. Even tires with an empty transition zone won’t feel as vague while you angle them from center to cornering knobs. Tires that skitter and slide on hardpack will hook up positively in the softer, tacky stuff, and tires designed for loam will be absolutely miraculous. In a way, I feel silly creating an article dedicated to tire choices for hero dirt, since you could almost throw some Maxxis Hookworms on your rims and still ride fearlessly. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some of the tire combinations we like best for when the dirt lets you really ride the way you dream about.

There is less of a delineation between tread patterns for separate disciplines in hero dirt—the differences lie mainly in tire width and sidewall reinforcement. For example, both cross-country and trail/all-mountain/enduro riders could confidently rail Schwalbe Racing Ralph’s through spongy turns, but the former would opt for a 2.1″ and the latter a 2.25.”

Check out the tables for some of our recommendations, but keep in mind that hero dirt provides a lot of leeway. Remember you can go with a less aggressive design for all-around riding since there is so much inherent traction in the dirt. Conversely, for fast, critical riding, an aggressive tread will dig in and carve through turns with supreme confidence.

XC

Front

Rear

Kenda Honey Badger

Kenda Slant Six

Maxxis Ardent

Maxxis Ardent

Schwalbe Rocket Ron

Schwalbe Thunder Burt

WTB Wolverine

WTB Wolverine

Trail/All-Mountain/Enduro

Front

Rear

Continental Trail King

Continental Trail King

WTB Breakout

WTB Trail Boss

Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Mavic Crossmax Charge

Mavic Crossmax Roam

Downhill

Front

Rear

Michelin Wild Grip’R 2

Michelin Wild Grip’R 2

Maxxis Minion DHF

Maxxis Minion DHR II

Schwalbe Magic Mary

Schwalbe Magic Mary

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