Tires Reviews and News


Kenda Saber Pro review


With its minimalist tread profile and 120 tpi casing, the Kenda Saber Pro is a dedicated XC race tire that is designed for fast, dry singletrack.

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Specialized Fast Trak review


Using finite element analysis, the Specialized Fast Trak tire’s consistent shoulder block layout improves cornering traction.

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Cross-country mountain bike tire shootout first look


Defining the modern cross-country tire is not easy. They must be fast and light, but also durable and grippy. It’s a lot to ask. See how these seven options measure up.

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  • David says:

    I give the schwalbes 2 rides before they rip a knob and go in the bin.

  • adaycj says:

    I’m interested in the reviews too. In the meantime can we donate towards a gift to Schwalbe? They need a new gram scale again. Hutchinson looks like they could use a new ruler too.

  • Dan says:

    mezcal FTW

  • dony says:

    Holy crow 29″ tires weighting a little more and in some cases less than my 26ers.
    No thanks !

    • Mike says:

      Riding hard XC on Rocket Rons 29×2,25 SS – 605-609g each and never failed me even once, whether on roots/rocks, hardpack or mud/sand.

  • bobsyouruncle says:

    looking forward to seeing results on this one.. thanks for the effort mtbr…

  • aa says:

    can you add the maxxis aspen? been curious about this one because it looks so sketchy

  • Midgemagnet says:

    And the winner is… Continental Race King ProTection! Or it would be if it was actually listed. For comparison, the RK ProTection is a bit like a Racing Ralph Addix Speed but with lower rolling resistance and slightly harder, tougher rubber.

    It would be interesting to see what the various widths are after the tyres have been ridden for a bit – it takes a bit more than sitting at 40psi for half an hour before they’re fully stretched out.

    • Jason says:

      I’ve given up on the Continental Race King. Too much sealant seepage on the sidewalls and I’ve had multiple casings wear through where the tire bead makes contact with the side wall.

      • Midgemagnet says:

        ProTection or RaceSport flavour carcass? The latter isn’t specified for tubeless.

        I’ve heard complaints from others in the States about the bead interface wearing out, but this doesn’t seem to be an issue here in Europe. Maybe this is something to do with regional tyre pressure preferences as it seems US riders tend to run them much softer – not something you can get away with for long on a lightweight race tyre.

  • eb1888@yahoo.com says:

    30mm inner rims and Bontrager Frank Stacy designed XR2 Team 2.2 or 2.35 are more rounded and higher volume for more cushion, bigger footprint and good traction at lower pressure. Not so retro as these on 23mm rims.

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How to pick the right mountain bike tire


Talk all you want about the benefits of upgrading wheels, brakes, or even your entire drivetrain. But pound for pound (or gram for gram), there’s no better upgrade than tires.

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CushCore 27.5+ insert launched


CushCore has a new addition to its range of tire inserts, this week launching the CushCore 27.5+ insert. It’s 50% wider than the standard 27.5 insert, yet at a weight close to the current 29er product.

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2019 WTB Vigilante, Trail Boss and Judge tires


Today, WTB launched three new tires, the brand new Judge, the redesigned Vigilante, and Trail Boss.

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Thomas Vanderham and crew talk about Squamish and racing


Thomas Vanderham talks bike setup, tire choice, and racing with Rocky Mountain Bicycles team riders Remi Gauvin and Jesse Melamed.

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Maxxis Assegai tire review


Greg Minnaar rolled years of race winning experience into a tire that holds its line, whatever the conditions. Named after a traditional zulu warrior spear, meet the Assegai.

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Continental revises King tire series


Continental is bringing a completely revised King series to market, highlighted by improved tubeless ready functionality and the addition of 2.6 widths in some models.

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  • MK says:

    Would have been useful to mention the reasons for changes and the direction they want to take their tires; what the the benefits Continental is aiming for with the changes?

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Sea Otter Goodies: Five products that caught our eye


Here are five intriguing goodies that we happened upon during our time in California: new pedals, tires, sealant, a hitch rack, and a bunch of carbon wheels.

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Maxxis Assegai tire delivers big traction


Maxxis has collaborated with downhill racing legend Greg Minnaar to create a new high traction tire.

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Panaracer Romero all-mountain tire on way


Dominating gravel tires in recent years, Panaracer is using their rubber technology knowledge to develop a new all-mountain tire.

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Vittoria Air-Liner tire insert launched


There’s yet another player getting into the MTB tire insert game. This time it’s Vittoria, which launched the Air-Liner at the Sea Otter Classic.

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Kenda unveils new MTB casings and compounds


Kenda Tire continues the revision of its tire line with the release of two new mountain bike tire casings and compounds, and the debut of a streamlined icon system.

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New Terrene Chunk 2.6 trail tire for trail and enduro use


The Terrene Chunk 2.6” tire is designed around a wide variety of trail conditions and tested to ensure that it works in the real world.

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  • Mickey says:

    What’s the point of making this announcement if you can’t buy the product? I need some new 2.5/6 tires, and I’d love to run something new to market. How about some Goodyear’s or Terrene’s. Nope. Pre-order only. Oh well. I need tires now, Maybe next year. Oh right by then I’ll have forgotten Terrene even exists.

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Goodyear launches new line of bicycle tires


Best known for its promotional blimps and extensive line of automotive tires, Goodyear has joined other major tire manufacturers by introducing a line of tires for the two-wheel, human-powered set.

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Vittoria Barzo tire review


Vittoria’s Barzo is ready to take on technical cross-country trails and extreme conditions. And it can win an XC race as well.

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Cush Core – What is it and what do users think about it?


But does it work? Is the extra weight noticeable? Does it make the bike feel differently when out on the trail? All of these questions and more have been answered by Skills with Phil.

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  • Justin says:

    How do they justify $160/pair? It’s foam. Hopefully a competitor will come out and undercut this nonsense.

    • MTB4me says:

      And hopefully you are pleased with your 1997 Huffy that you found “undercutting” the “nonsense” bike you should have paid for….What nonsense it right!

    • Phil Kmetz says:

      Justin, Economies of scales. Let’s say a mould for this product costs $100,000 (100% wild guess). If 100,000 people were to buy it, the cost of the mould across all the customers and would come down to $1 each (assuming they buy one single CushCore). 100,000 customers is most likely unrealistic, CushCore a very niche product for a specific group of riders willing. A more realistic estimation is that ~5,000 people will buy this product. That would bring the cost up to 20 dollars per person. This doesn’t factor in extra valves, raw material costs, office space, operating expenses, labor, R&D, distribution, marketing, and profit margin. Hopefully that helps clarify why a “piece of foam” can be so expensive.

  • Steve says:

    Phil,
    How long did it take to install the cushcore in real time not including adding Stan’s and airing up ?

    • Phil Kmetz says:

      Steve, the first time it took nearly 40 minutes because it was a new procedure. Now it takes me 10-15 minutes, it’s bit more involved than a standard tubeless tire install.

  • Kenny Roberts says:

    MSRP is actually $149 before tax.

  • Joe says:

    I agree, they are expensive — this is a small company and it seems they are attempting to recover their development costs.
    Same questions apply: How does Apple justify $1000 for a phone? How does Cromag justify $4400 for a Steel Hardtail? It is dictated by what the market will allow. Is it worth $160 to protect your $2000 carbon wheelset? Some people might think so.

  • EyeKickBooty says:

    Here is a concept: run this stuff called air in your tires instead of $150 worth of pipe insulation.

  • Josh Robinson says:

    After seeing this I’m tempted to cut a pool noodle in half and put it in my tires to see if I can save $160.

  • Troy says:

    FFS, people, keep your mouth shut (including me now). No one cares about your opinion unless you’ve used them. STFU already, whiny cheap skates.

  • Bill says:

    I have been running Cush Core for about one year. It definitely does mellow out the harsh hits your wheelset would normally be taking. You get a nice soft thud instead of a high pitched smack. I agree that these will definitely help people from ruining rims (both carbon and aluminum) and will save you money on cut tires. Im definitely not having as many sliced tires as before.
    The big thing everyone is talking about…. price. And weight to a lesser degree.
    yes, seemingly expensive for what it is. I do believe they will save the aggressive rider $160 in equipment, but should that be the determiner of price? Im sure there are up-front design and production expenses that are being recouped. I wonder if when those expenses are recovered we might see a more reasonable price for the average consumer.
    I am disappointed they added 1lb to the rotating weight of my bike at the very outer edge of the rotation. I can absolutely feel it. It now makes me want to build a lighter weight all mountain bike for the real “pedaly” days.
    Obviously the trade off is price and weight for more ease of mind and less money in repairs. If you ride aggressive and shuttle more than you pedal, Id say you’ll find this a very good addition to your bike.

  • Brian says:

    I do like it as it helps with cornering, smooths out harder hits, and protects the rim well but I just wish it were like 30 or so grams lighter per insert. Going from Schwalbe ProCore to CushCore, I could really notice the weight difference which makes the bike less playful. Surely they can find away to chisel away some extra weight? Make it a bit lighter and it’ll be perfect!

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VEE Tire Co. going green with eco-friendly enterprise


As part of their new 2018 Responsible for Recycling Program, VEE Tire Co. has collaborated with Tube Thailand to create unique key rings made solely from recycled tires.

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Kenda all in on e-bike tires


Tire maker has further strengthened its e-bike compatible line of tires, including added offerings in multiple mountain bike categories as well as urban/trekking models.

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Vee launches Factory version of Flow Snap


Vee Tire Co. is now offering an updated version of its Flow Snap gravity and enduro tires. The new Factory version continues to benefit from the super tacky rubber compound that’s known for its grip.

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Michelin Wild Enduro and Power Gravel tires launched


Mtbr spotted several exciting new tires from Michelin at Frostbike 2018, including a new enduro model and their highly anticipated Power Gravel offering.

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  • John Williams says:

    I don’t get this gravel brainwash.
    Friends decent MTB riders more XC scared of steeps, glued to ground.
    For yrs never talked tires or grip, nothing of the sort. Sorta weird.
    Now they’re 50+ yrs too much money gravel comes around perfect timing.
    Now all they talk is gravel grip this gravel width gravel gravel that non-stop.
    Multiple wheel sets tires and trading tires like hockey cards.

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Hans Rey joins Vittoria tire team


Famed MTB adventurer and trials star to serve as brand ambassador and assist Vittoria in tire testing and development.

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Bontrager Team Issue XR1 TLR tires review


Forward thinking tread design gives Bontrager’s XR1 wider sweet spot than just cross country racing.

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  • Tom says:

    Agree. Surprising tire. These came on my Procaliber, and I almost didn’t ride them (usual combo is XR2/XR3).

    I’m glad I did. They are faster than the XR2s, but seem to have just as much grip. Stuck with the XR3 up front, though.

  • Teleken says:

    Looks like a Specialized Fast-Trak with smaller shoulder knobs.

  • Flynbryan19 says:

    Sadly I did not have the same positive experience. Perhaps since they were original equipment on my bike (17′ Trek Top Fuel) they are a harder rubber compound… The tire is “reasonably light” and it is a very fast rolling tire. The down side for me though was traction in loose over hard (which an XC tire should be designed for) was very poor. Even with pressures as low as 20/23 front/rear respectively they have very poor traction on the climbs. They would also wash out suddenly and never catch in corners w/ the same conditions. I will say traction in damp dirt was great though. Again why I think it maybe a rubber compound issue?

    Went to a Schwalbe Rocket Ron / Racing Ralph combo and traction is MUCH improved. Also dropped rotational weight. Win/Win. They’re not a “bad” OE tire, but I would not recommend buying them to replace existing tires. There are much better options.

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Kenda opens bicycle tire test track at Ohio R&D facility


Kenda’s new testing facility in Ohio took inspiration from the Sea Otter Classic XC course, and allows for a controlled environment and consistent, repeatable tire testing.

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