I’m returning to my higher volume lower psi days on the rigid 29er. With no upcoming races to train for and just fun riding on the horizon I’ve decided to go with increased comfort and grip at the expense of more weight, more rolling resistance and more noise.
For the last few months, the 29er has been set-up with a Maxxis Ignitors and a front suspension fork. I consider the Ignitor to be a mid-volume sized tire at 2.1 inches wide and a claimed weight of 705 grams which is neither light nor heavy in the 29er tire world. This setup has worked as a great race front tire in So. Cal. conditions with, in my opinion, an ideal blend of volume, low rolling resistance, grip and weight.
But since I’ve gone back to rigid and I’m not racing anytime soon I’ve decided that I’d like to add a little more comfort to the equation. Because of this I slapped on a Panaracer Rampage 29 up front. The Rampage is definitely a high volume tire. At a claimed weight of 800 grams the Rampage is getting a bit portly for my normal type of riding (think XC / light AM) but because I’m going rigid I’m willing to take the weight penalty for the ability to run a lower PSI and gain the comfort of the higher volume.
Panaracer Rampage 2.35″ of rubber = high volume
I was running my Ignitor at about the 35-ish psi for the races and fast training rides prior to the race but for the Rampage I set it at just under 25 psi which feels so much better. I’d like to run it even lower but changing tires on the WTB Laserdisc wheels are a HUGE hassle so I’m careful not to run it too low and be prone to pinch flats.
I was able to get in a quick shake down ride of the Rampage / eXotic carbon 29er fork setup with Moe & RL this morning. We rode a quick 7 miles which had only 1 half mile descent. Once I got on the trail I could instantly tell the new setup would be more comfortable than the Ignitor + eXotic carbon fork setup but I really knew this to be true on that mild descent. The eXotic carbon fork does a great job muting the tiny bumps on the trail. The Rampage does a great job of muting slightly bigger bumps. Combining them together meant more comfort for my hands. I can’t wait to ride some more on it.