When is the right tyre the wrong tyre?

Pick a tyre, any tyre!
Pick a tyre, any tyre…

The tyre debate comes up all too often on forums, on the trail, in the pub, in magazine letters pages etc. “What tyres do people recommend for mud/trail centres/down-hill, XC?” Delete as appropriate…

It’s the source of frustration for forum administrators (“This discussion has been moved to the tyre debate thread – along with ALL the other tyre questions.”) and I am sure magazine editors get way more letters and requests than we ever see printed.

Is it the most often posed question among the MTB community? Its certainly “up there” but may have been replaced in recent years by the wheel size debate or now the Enduro vs trail bike dilemma.

The sheer selection of tyres available to us is huge. Maxxis, Continental, Bontrager and Specialized are the main culprits for this choice but there are a handful of others such as On-One that throw a low-priced-spanner into the works every now and again to make us think even more.

Continue reading “When is the right tyre the wrong tyre?”

Specialized Storm Control 29 x 2.0

Specialized storm control

Having struggled a little to gain some traction last winter with the factory fitted Specialized Ground Control tyres that came on the Rockhopper I took the advice of my LBS and fitted a pair of Storm Control also from Specialized.

No sooner were they on, my grip improved in the wet muddy conditions. They cut through the mud well. I have left them on all year and haven’t had much in the way of problems to warrant changing them.

I mostly ride my 29er XC and on rolling terrain rather than on gnarly downhill and technical obstacles. There have been the odd sketchy moment on wet roots but I have learnt to deal with that (what tyre can truly cope with wet roots?) and the ability to beat the mud has defined these tyres for me. You won’t get one tyre that can deal with everything – but the Storm Control on my 29er has been plenty of tyre for me on this bike over the last 9 months or so. While I have been tempted to put some wider more aggressive tyres on for the summer, they rolled and rode well and with the wet weather coming they will stay put for another winter.

Butlins vs MTB Tyres


Well what a rip off this place is… Or is it?

A family ticket for the day cost £70. We used the fairground til I was sick of going round and round and up and down we used the splash pool with slides and waves etc, kids used playground and we saw a magic show and a 7 foot teddy bear.

If you paid for these activities separately it would probably quickly pas the £70 mark. But add to this an expensive lunch and you rapidly have enough for 2 Maxxis Minion DH tyres and a handful of inner tubes…


This is not how it was supposed to be

This is not how it was supposed to be.

Today’s post should have been an exciting review of the start of Wales’ 6 Nations campaign and how against all the odds we are on track again for another Grand Slam. Well it didn’t go that we’ll, at least the first half didn’t. 30 points down at one point, 30-3 I think it was just minutes into the second half as Ireland got their 3rd try. It was all over…

Or was it…?

Yes it was, but not before Wales managed to score a few tries and dominate the half. It was a superb display and twist in the tale, but a dogged Irish defence prevented the dream finish and we were left with 5 minutes on the clock and we needed 8 points, ie we needed to score twice. It didn’t happen.

Then flashes of inspiration as Wales threw everything hey had at the game turned the second half into a confidence and belief restoring 30 minutes or so and although we lost and we have 3 games on the road that we can approach with all to play for and something to prove.

Add to that the fact that Ireland weren’t as dominating as everyone expected and England had some shaky moments against Scotland and the tournament is still all to play for.

I put new tyres on my bike today too… 2.0 Specialized Storm Control for cutting through mud and getting a grip on the sloppy stuff. Tomorrow will see me give them a test.