26″ Tube in a 29er wheel

If your 29er gets a flat and all you have a is a 26″ tube go ahead and use it! Check this out.

26″ tube in a 29er tire.

The trick is to hold down one side of your wheel while you work in the tire onto the rim. Make sure the tube is deflated while you’re doing this, it makes it easier to mount. After you have it mounted, you’re ready to air it up and get back on the trail. I own a handful of 26er and 29er bikes, and all I buy are 26″ tubes because they’ll work for both.

Voila! 26″ tube in the 29er wheel.

 

WTB Wolverine 2.2 Review

WTB Wolverine Tires Review

The WTB Wolverine tires came stock on the KHS XCT 555 that I reviewed. I’ve been riding with these tires for a few months now and I wanted to provide our readers a review in the event they are looking for a new set of tires to roll with.

wtb wolverine 2.2 review

Before we get started, here’s the specs:

Wolverine

USAGE:All Mountain
CONDITIONS:Moist to Dry / Hardpack to Loose
MSRP:$50 Race / $60 UST / $60 AM TCS
In the wild, wolverines are known to attack anything, often preying on much larger animals. On the trail, the Wolverine confidently tackles dicey descents, flies across flats and devours steep climbs. This fast-rolling tire’s moderately-spaced tread pattern combines plentiful working edges that cling to hardpack and outside knobs that let you shred corners. Like its namesake, the Wolverine’s slight profile belies its fierce bite.

SIZE GMS LEVEL WEIGHT DETAILS
2.2 54/52 RACE 560g aramid bead | dna rubber | lightweight casing

WTB markets this tire to be used in ALL Mountain riding conditions. Though there is a XC version of it, the set I tested are pretty XC worthy since it only weights 560g. I’ve taken these tires all through out Southern California from mild XC trails to DH race runs as well as the 4X track.

One of the things I liked about the WTB Wolverine tire is that is a low profile design, which translates to a faster rolling tire. I find that higher treads means more grip, but you sacrifice speed. However, the tread pattern and the right height makes this one fast, grippy and aggressive tire. I can easily get my speed up with these tires and take a fast corner without worrying about washing out. If I were to compare these tires to the rolling resistance of another tire, I would say its right up there with the Kenda Small Block Eight. If you’re not familiar with the SB8, that’s one FAST Tire, but you sacrifice traction when you’re in loose terrain. With the Wolverine, you get great speed and great traction.

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but if you look closely, you may see that I’ve set up my wheels as a Ghetto Tubeless. Basically I used a 24″ tube, filleted it down the middle to act as my rim liner, I then installed the WTB Wolverines, poured in some Stan’s and Voila! Tubeless.

Surprisingly the WTB Wolverines worked well for my tubeless conversion. I’ve been running them with this set up since I got the bike and it does make a difference in the tires riding capabilities. In fact I felt more confident with this set up than I did with tubes. I basically get less side to side rolling. What I mean is, if I’m taking a corner, I lean in, I feel the tires grabbing terrain and the tire doesn’t feel like its going to peel off the rim. I believe this has something to do with the rubber compound that WTB uses (DNA). Cheaper tires will often feel squishy on turns and may even washout more than better quality tires.


Flats? I’ve had a few thorns, 3 total. But since I’m running tubeless, all I did was pull them out and keep riding. I really don’t have anything negative to say about the WTB Wolverine 2.2. I think they are awesome tires, works great as a front and rear, plus they are fast! I’ve never had issues with the sidewall getting torn or punctured. If I need to remove the tire, the bead is super easy to work with. Installing is a breeze and they worked with my Ghetto Tubeless Conversion.

Review Disclaimer

And the award for the worst tires goes to….

WTB VelociRaptor !

It was voted unanimously by MtnBikeRiders.com Staff Members that the WTB VelociRaptor are THE WORST Tires we’ve ever ridden on. Why?

Well for one, they don’t grip. Each of the riders that have used these tires (mounted on the Ibex Ignition) felt like the tires didn’t offer any sidewall grip and it felt like the tire would roll under off the rim while taking a corner. As stated, sidewall grip was lacking, thus causing each rider to wash out…prime example: CLICK HERE.

Though the rear tread pattern was conducive for climbing, it does well if you’re going straight up. But we all know that when you climb that we sometimes will cover multiple lines in order to get to the top. As soon as you break your straight line and the rear tire has to utilize the sidewall treads, the tire will slip.

The front tire does the exact same thing. Straights are fine, but turns are sketchy. It is difficult to feel secure when taking a berm or maneuvering through a rock garden when tires don’t grab at all.

So from one mountain biker to another…(actually there were 3 of us that agreed that these tires suck), don’t buy them! If you get them on a new bike you just bought, replace them right away…trust us.

Kenda Small Block Eight: Review Initiated

I finally had a chance to install the Kenda Small Block Eight on the Sette Reken Single Speed.

The first thing you need to know is that this tire is WAY faster than my old set of tires, Bontrager Jones XR. Plus they are WAY faster than the Kenda Karmas that Priscilla has on her XC rig. What do I mean by faster? Well think of it this way, I immediately felt the benefit of these tires as we rode the Fullerton Loop.

Everyone that I’ve talked to about these tires said that they are supposed to be the lightest and fastest XC tires out there. So with that in mind, the Kenda tires already had set a high standard in my head. Well surprisingly, those people were right! The difference I felt was how well it rolled. Just think of it this way, the smoothness of these tires felt like I was riding on a road bike…for reals!

I’ve yet to test the handling abilities of the tires in situations such as rocky and technical sections. But from what I’ve experience, they are really nice XC tires. I’ll be reporting on the full review once I get more kick ass time on these tires.

Rubena Harpie Tires Review

Product: Rubena Harpie Tires

Specs:

Harpie 26×2.25 780 grams comes with the Cut Enemy casing. This allows us to use a stronger lighter material in preventing flats.

Cost is $45USD per tire.

Compound is a Natural 55

This is what the Czech home page says, by the way, Rubena is made by the Czech Bicycle Tyre Company.

Successive pattern to Charybdis. It’s robustness enables to drive in heavy mudy terrain. Special form of the pitch finds easy stand in hard, broken terrain (stones, roots), where the profile hooks as “clutches” of the mythical Harpie and doesn’t loose up. The milled bottom of0the profile increases the adhesion during the contact with the hindrance. The characteristically shape of Harpie is reliable also on grass and in soft surface, where the depth of the pattern secures stability along with the side reinforced pitch. Harpie in combination with the technology “CUT ENEMY” decreases the risk of puncture. It is a perfect choice for safety and long durability.

So here’s the deal, I’ve been riding the Rubena Harpie Tires for a LONG Time. I would say I’ve had these tires for over 8 months. That’s a long time considering we test things within 3 months. But these tires have been on every mountain bike that I’ve ridden. Why? It’s simple really, the tires are great. I’ve had these on the Woodstock 707, the Giant Warp, and soon, on the new Single Speed project that I’m working on.

Rubena Tires installed on this bike. This was taken at Aliso Woods, Rock IT to be exact.

How has it handled in the past few months? These tires have seen all types of terrain. From hard pack single track, rock bed, sandy and all the way down to muddy and wet conditions. These tires have proved to be the best all around tires I’ve ridden with. I USED to have a set of tires that I would rotate on my bikes, they were the Specialized Enduro. Unfortunately they stopped making them, so the last pair I have would only get used a few months out of the year…I wanted to make them last. But since getting the Rubena tires, I haven’t had the need to use any other brand or style of tires.

Santiago Oaks

What I liked about these tires are the fact that they respond well in all riding conditions. They grab/hook/grip the trail like a tapeworm would on your intestines. It also has this thing that they call “Cut Enemy.”Supposedly this is to lower the number of your flats. Well to tell you the truth, in the 8 months, I’ve had 2 flat tires. One was caused by me bunny hopping onto a side walk and I didn’t clear the rear wheel…duh! Then the second was from a pretty large thorn. But 2 flats in 8 months isn’t bad in my book.

Rolling Resistance: I’m no engineer, so I can’t really tell you if these tires are more or less efficient, if they create more friction than other tires. But I will try and amuse you with my vast knowledge of tires. To answer that question, I simply have to say….NO! I didn’t feel slower or sluggish on the bikes that had these tires. In fact I felt faster especially going down technical trails. I felt more confident on these tires than I have with other tires. I’ve ridden with Maxxis, WTB, Specialized, Sweetskinz and many more, but the Rubena Harpie tires have proven to me that they are reliable, durable and a huge confidence builder.

I bring up confidence for the fact that I never second guessed these tires would roll underneath or fall of the rim when under load, they felt great through some of the hardest parts of the trails and overall…if you haven’t caught on…. I really like these tires and I’m sure you would too.


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