Now that the cyclocross season is over, it is time to turn my attention to the upcoming mountain bike season. While getting my gear ready for a ride this Sunday I noticed that my Maxxis Ikon (pictured below) tires have worn to the point of meriting replacement. This got me thinking, “What tires should I put on?”.
Last year I did all of my racing and riding on Stan’s Crest wheels with Maxxis Ikon tires and I liked the combination as a do-it-all set up. Somehow a couple of weeks ago I snagged a pair or Bontrager RXL wheels in great condition for $49 so now I have another set of wheels to set up, too.
So here is my conundrum:
With two nice, lightweight sets of wheels, should I set up one wheelset with very aggressive, knobby tires, maybe Maxxis Ignitors (see below) or something similar, and set up the other wheels with some fast-rolling, low-profile, ultra-lightweight tires like the Bontrager 29-0 (see below)? (Thus giving me some options on how to address different courses and conditions)
Am I better served putting two sets more sets of Maxxis Ikons on each wheelset…dedicating one wheelset exclusively to training and another to racing? I already know I like the tire and I’m drawn to the idea of being intimately familiar with the way that the Ikons ride.
Like many other racers, I’m particular about the tires I ride on the trails. I’d be interested to hear advice from those of you on the team.
What would you advise me to do? What tires do you recommend for cross-country racing?