what do you guys think of trials tires?

I rode with a random guy last weekend who was running a trials tire. He sweared up and down that they were 1000x better than any knobby he had ever used. We both ride the sane terrain. Lots of rocks, roots, and hard packed sand/mud when wet. I've read that trials tires really struggle in loose sand and mud but are great on roots and rock. However, this guy was also using the tubliss system, which he said he switched to at the sane time he started using trials tires. So I'm wondering if it is the tire or the tubliss that is making such great traction, or the combo of both.

So what do are y'alls experiences with the trials tires? Worth a shot?

They're round, they're made of rubber, and they have a tread pattern.  Never used them, probably wouldn't even try them, but plenty of folks on here swear by them.  How's that for an answer?  (In other words, this has been discussed at length.)

Been using the Motoz Mtn Hybrid. Works much better in mud than a trials tire. Wears like iron!

I rode observed trials with my local club for a couple of years.  I use Dunlop D803 on a tubless rim at about 3 psi which is pretty standard for trials.  After much personal debate over the pros and cons of a trials tire on my 200 XCW, I decided to try a Pirelli MT43 tube-type.  I ran it at around 5 psi.  In some conditions it was magic.  In other conditions it was a complete disaster.  My biggest complaint was that it only hooked up if it wasn't slipping very much, or at all.  This includes acceleration and braking!  Once it started to slip, it was game over.  After struggling with it for six months, I gave up and mounted a Michelin MH3.  This tire has proven to be durable and all-purpose in a wide variety of conditions for me.  And that's the bottom line.  I want a durable all-purpose tire.  The MT43 was durable but not all-purpose.  Not even close actually.

I bought into the hype a couple of years ago and tried one. I didn't care for it, and took it off and gave it away just to get a knobby back on. My fault for believing something that I read on the internet. :rolleyes:

Don't hook up worth a damn in the loose stuff. For damp harder packed I could see them working well. Not in the michigan trails I ride though.

Look at the aa guys and see if they are using trials tires.

Edited by SilentAssassin II

Oh my, a lot of pro/con stuff. I've been running TTs for trail use for maybe six years. I also have a Trials bike with TTs. It all started when I observed Trials bikes leaving black rubber marks on underwater rocks! :thumbsup:

 

I rode with a random guy last weekend who was running a trials tire. He sweared up and down that they were 1000x better than any knobby he had ever used. We both ride the sane terrain. Lots of rocks, roots, and hard packed sand/mud when wet. I've read that trials tires really struggle in loose sand and mud but are great on roots and rock. However, this guy was also using the tubliss system, which he said he switched to at the sane time he started using trials tires. So I'm wondering if it is the tire or the tubliss that is making such great traction, or the combo of both.
So what do are y'alls experiences with the trials tires? Worth a shot?

I run the Tubliss system with TTs on the rear of all of my dirt bikes, my Trials bike has a tubeless rim and doesn't need the Tubliss system.

The secret traction is from using a radial ply Competition Trials tires, only three versions that I know of; two from Michelin and one from Dunlop, all 4.00R18 in size. The big casing provide a smoother ride over tree roots and rock debris with a lot less bike deflection than a knobby.  

This is the only tire that provides enough traction to climb wet clay hills, if the TP is less than 4psi.

 

I rode observed trials with my local club for a couple of years.  I use Dunlop D803 on a tubless rim at about 3 psi which is pretty standard for trials.  After much personal debate over the pros and cons of a trials tire on my 200 XCW, I decided to try a Pirelli MT43 tube-type.  I ran it at around 5 psi.  In some conditions it was magic.  In other conditions it was a complete disaster.  My biggest complaint was that it only hooked up if it wasn't slipping very much, or at all.  This includes acceleration and braking!  Once it started to slip, it was game over.  After struggling with it for six months, I gave up and mounted a Michelin MH3.  This tire has proven to be durable and all-purpose in a wide variety of conditions for me.  And that's the bottom line.  I want a durable all-purpose tire.  The MT43 was durable but not all-purpose.  Not even close actually.

Tires with a trials tread patterns tend to pack up with soil and slide.  Radial ply tires tend to hold traction longer before sliding and do so suddenly. So they do handle differently from a knobby and require an adjustment in riding style, and depending on the terrain you ride may not be worth the effort.

The MT 43 is a bias ply tire, not radial like the Competition Trials tires; different traction characteristics.

 

I bought into the hype a couple of years ago and tried one. I didn't care for it, and took it off and gave it away just to get a knobby back on. My fault for believing something that I read on the internet. :rolleyes:

It all depends on the terrain you ride and your expectation, also see my previous comment.

 

Don't hook up worth a damn in the loose stuff. For damp harder packed I could see them working well. Not in the michigan trails I ride though.

Yep, they pack up in the loose stuff, can make for some "white knuckle " descents. Gotta learn to use more front brake. :banghead:

 

Look at the aa guys and see if they are using trials tires.

A lot of competition rules specify tires, so not a valid argument. I know AA riders who use knobbies for competition and also ride Trials bikes for cross training.  And off road competition can be much different from technical trail riding.

I'm no longer a competitor and I want the best traction I can have for the terrain that I ride, radial ply Trials tires provide that, but they require an adjustment in riding style so may not be the best choice for all riders or terrain.

I run a radial trails tire on one of my bikes out here in So. Cal.

Excellent traction in most stuff. Flats are horrendous very difficult to ride on one.

In deep loose pea gravel they do not hook up if it's a big hill climb where you have to spin the tire. When it spins real hard in any real loose hill climbs it doesn't perform well.

I have been running trials tire on rear for about 3 years now. Love it in certain conditions like West Virginia where there is rocks roots etc. Here in Michigan it would not perform as well just different conditions mostly sand. That's why I picked up a spare rim with a knobby, changed out quick for where I am riding. I would like to check out the motoz mountain hybrid someday. One other thing about the trials you will have to get used too is it will roll in the corners at speed. It will also eat up sprockets and chains faster as you will hook up more. Don't be afraid to try it, just use it where it is intended.

Edited by Eightball64

I'd try a mountain hybrid. But I like my maxxis desert it.

Hooks up great in all but slick rocks.

I'd love to see if the mmh, will out perform it.

Edited by RLC

It's a bit sketchy on dry, loose terrain but good on rocks.

Tried the Pirelli and it was magic in Moab, UT and on very hard pack completely sucked balls on steep down hills where you had to modulate the rear brake.  Now I have switched to the Maxxis desert IT with the Tubliss at 3 psi and its magic everywhere even on slippery rock and roots.

i raced with a  tt and a tubeliss for a year  or so and got tired of failers with the tubeliss and the trials tire. called nuetec he said use a desert knobby at ultra low presures like 0-5 psi and i never looked back the low presure desert knobby is almost bomb proof and i never had another failer it hooks every where unlike the tt. i like the extra suspension the tubliss gives it soaks up trail trash very well

Edited by BrapBrap326

I rode with a random guy last weekend who was running a trials tire. He sweared up and down that they were 1000x better than any knobby he had ever used. We both ride the sane terrain. Lots of rocks, roots, and hard packed sand/mud when wet. I've read that trials tires really struggle in loose sand and mud but are great on roots and rock. However, this guy was also using the tubliss system, which he said he switched to at the sane time he started using trials tires. So I'm wondering if it is the tire or the tubliss that is making such great traction, or the combo of both.

So what do are y'alls experiences with the trials tires? Worth a shot?

 

If you are riding extremely rocky terrain, like Talihina, OK or Ouachita National Forest trails, trials tires work well.  But when it's wet and muddy, sandy, or on hard pack fire roads where the sidewall flexes, a trials tire is your enemy. 

 

Trials tires limit you, but are very effective in terrain they are engineered for: rocks, roots, tree hopping, low speed technical. 

When you post a question like this on a national forum, you will get answers that vary WILDLY. That is because riding terrain and rider experience and skill also vary WILDLY.  A trials tire gets supreme traction on rocks, roots, and harder soils. There is a reason there has been a tidal wave of people switching to them over the last 10 years ( especially in the western mountain areas) for good reason. They are NOT for all conditions ( hmmmmm just like the knobby) so you make the choice, or at least TRY one and see since you go through tires anyway.  Two things not really mentioned about them: 1. they wear waaaay longer than a knobby ( I push mine to 1500 miles or so) and  2. the traction they get  while wearing does not change or get worse from when you first put it on until you change it out ( completely opposite of a knobby) ...hard to believe but 10 years running them , I know.  Check out the way a trials grabs and engulfs a golf ball in this video ( courtesy of TT member two ply) . The roots and rocks while on the trail are grabbed like the golf ball.....

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UythUroeHbQ

 

Joe

For the type of terrain I ride in I don't think a trials tire would last an hour.  The high desert SW is some pretty harsh terrain with virtually everything you can think of.  Sandstone, shale, granite, mud. hardpack, sand, clay, cactus, pine trees, juniper/cedar trees and anything else you can list.  A 6 ply desert tire is the only thing I would think of using here.  Trials tires have their purpose, but I believe that that purpose is narrower than a good all around tire for your terrain.

Edited by cjjeepercreeper

i stuck on a Pirelli TT after my Millville bit the dust, for the riding I do it's the best choice, mostly loamy, rooty, rocky climbs. it hooks up awesome on this stuff and so far has lasted way longer than any knobbly I've ridden, can't say I have noticed any extra wear on chain and sprocks as others have. They do suffer in some muddy conditions but It's never been enough to cause problems.  I'm interested to try the hybrid next time round.

See the problem with the mountain hybrid is that they advertise it as a trials tire with the ability to have traction in the loose stuff. I bought into it and mounted one up about a month ago. It is no where comparable to a trials tire, a hard terrain knobby maybe. To say it grips on rocks like a trials is a joke, in fact I would go as far as saying a good knobby hooks better in the rocks. It does wear like iron though, and honestly gets around just like a hard terrain knobby. Don't buy it to relate it to a trials, buy it for a good hard terrain tire that wears good.

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