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18" wheel benefit?

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I see a lot of enduro/trail guys swapping to an 18" rear wheel instead of the 19" that comes stock on a lot of bikes.  What is the benefit of the smaller diameter wheel?   I'm assuming traction has something to do with it,  but does it make enough of a difference to warrant that expense?  

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Taller sidewall for more flex in rough conditions.  If you put most 18s against a 19 you will notice the overall diameter is approximately the same.

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4 minutes ago, Chadolson said:

I see a lot of enduro/trail guys swapping to an 18" rear wheel instead of the 19" that comes stock on a lot of bikes.  What is the benefit of the smaller diameter wheel?   I'm assuming traction has something to do with it,  but does it make enough of a difference to warrant that expense?  

19" is standard for MX. 18" is standard for offroad/trail/enduro. You have a better tire selection for enduro type riding on an 18". You also have more air volume in the tire which provides better rim protection and is better for running low pressures which give you better traction. 

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So, traction would be the largest gain.   I've always ran 19" and never felt a need for more.   So, is it a big enough difference to be worth trying out?  

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1 minute ago, Chadolson said:

So, traction would be the largest gain.   I've always ran 19" and never felt a need for more.   So, is it a big enough difference to be worth trying out?  

It depends on the terrain you ride IMO. If you ride technical stuff with lots of roots, rocks, hill climbs and shit than it would be worth looking into. 

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The benefit is the same as you get with a 4wd while rock crawling.  For instance, I run 35" tires on a 15" rim on my Jeep.  I get a lot of sidewall and tread flex for traction when aired down.  If I was running something like an 18" wheel I wouldn't get nearly the flex.  Ride comfort is also improved in rough conditions.

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There are some new tire choices in w 19" that work good. The Kenda equilibrium and the Shinko 505 cheater . I was never a big fan of the 19 on the trails that I ride. Lots of roots, the 19 just didn't grip and feel all that well. Then I bought a Shinko 505 in 110/90 19 and gave it a try. Best 19 rear I have ever used.  Felt just like an 18. I would try either of the 2 tires I mentioned before swapping rims.

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What type of terrain are you riding?

Are you strictly a track rider?

There's a reason ALL off road specific models come standard with an 18" rear.

It is better suited for off road.

From trees to desert it just works better in all areas. Pinch flats, low pressures, more selection.

There is a reason ALL motocross specific models come standard with a 19"

It works better for traction, especially cornering as the tire doesn't need to roll over as far for the side lugs to grab.

Which one is better really depends on where you're riding.

Lots of people spend countless hours off road with 19" rears and never have a problem, you don't see many folks switching from an 18" to a 19" on track days either.

Once was a time when MX bikes came standard with 18" rears. Think it changed in the mid 90's

 

 

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Interesting.   I'll look into those tires.   What about the tubliss system?  That sounds promising for a traction solution also.  Anyone have a opinions about those? 

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I'm all about off-road,  roots, rocks, desert every once in a while.  Track riding just doesn't do it for me anymore.   That being said,  I've always preferred an MX setup for offroad riding.  The enduro models just feel heavy to me.   Bikes have come a long way and the older models were all 18" wheels.  I guess it's one of those "you don't know until you try it" kind of things. 

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5 minutes ago, Chadolson said:

Interesting.   I'll look into those tires.   What about the tubliss system?  That sounds promising for a traction solution also.  Anyone have a opinions about those? 

The Kenda equilibrium and shinko 505 both like low air pressure around 6 psi so there a good candidate for tubliss.  I use tubliss in the rear for that reason. 

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Good to know!   I'm looking into both of those tires and they sound very promising.  What about those fat front tires like the goldentyre?  What is the benefit of extra width in the front?  Does 10 whole millimeters make that much of a difference?

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  "Shinko" just sounds like a cheap piece of shit, or maybe a fishing lure...  but I think I'm sold on the 505 paired with a tubliss setup.

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13 minutes ago, Chadolson said:

  "Shinko" just sounds like a cheap piece of shit, or maybe a fishing lure...  but I think I'm sold on the 505 paired with a tubliss setup.

Shinko, along with Kenda, are 2 of the best kept secrets in dirt bike tires.

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4 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Shinko , along with Kenda, are 2 of the best kept secrets in dirt bike tires.

I've used a 19 Shinko 505 Cheater, great tire for off-road! This spring I swapped out my 19 for 18 with a 505 Cheater.

One thing I noticed was a better ride through the rocks and choppy stuff since the 18 has more side wall to flex and provide a more forgiving ride. 

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I was just reading that the Shinco 505 is a HEAVY tire. Something in the neighborhood of 14 lbs... Some guys are saying that they are adding teeth to the rear sprocket to get back the acceleration they feel they lose when going to that tire. I've never tried one personally, but it strikes me that this appears to be a very heavy tire. Does anyone here have first hand experience with the Shinco 505? Can you talk about the weight and any effects it had on you/your riding style/the way your bike handles? 

I'm in the process of building an 18" rear rim-just waiting on the hub to come back from powder coat at this time. When that hub is back, I'll be in the market for a tire. So, to the OP, I will be able to tell you the benefits of going from a 19" rear tire to an 18" rear tire in about 1 month. I ride mostly singe-track, sandy, with some hard pack, and limited mud. We do have lots of tree branches and sometimes downed tree crossings. I never ride tracks, and never jump anything. Is there anything that grips as well as the Shinco, but does not weigh so much? What about the Dunlop 803?

Edited by Kawabuggy
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10 hours ago, Chadolson said:

I'm all about off-road,  roots, rocks, desert every once in a while.  Track riding just doesn't do it for me anymore.   That being said,  I've always preferred an MX setup for offroad riding.  The enduro models just feel heavy to me.   Bikes have come a long way and the older models were all 18" wheels.  I guess it's one of those "you don't know until you try it" kind of things. 

Bike weight and suspension set up are two topics. Yes lighter bikes are nice off road/trail bikes. As for MX bikes or mx set up for trails. If you rode a modern "trail/enduro" bike with correct suspension settings for your weight and style of riding you will never ride an MX bike on trails again! I used to ride MX bikes on trail rides, they are generally way to stiff for absorbing massive jumps not the hard sharp bumps in enduro. The right enduro machine will allow you to enjoy the ride 100 times better than any moto x bike. Unless you do moto & trail and have found a healthy medium. I have tested loads of bikes and a well set up mx bike for trails is half as good as an average trail bike set up... Depending on riding conditions etc. 

I imagine many riders give up the sport of off road riding due to injuries or age kicking in when really a great bike may have extended their riding years another 5-10 years as happened to me. 

Edited by surfez
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Thanks surfez,   I did have some good help setting up my suspension and it's "on point" for my riding style and terrain.   Kuddos goes to RG3 for that one!   And I suppose that's why I landed on a Husky.  Enduro/off road is without a doubt, their wheelhouse, and it is so much better than my old YZ.   I did ride a couple KTM's,  A 530 six days and a 350 xc-w which I believe is their enduro models, but the ergos of the husky fit me really well.   The only thing is the 19" wheel... 

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12 hours ago, Kawabuggy said:

I was just reading that the Shinco 505 is a HEAVY tire. Something in the neighborhood of 14 lbs... Some guys are saying that they are adding teeth to the rear sprocket to get back the acceleration they feel they lose when going to that tire. I've never tried one personally, but it strikes me that this appears to be a very heavy tire. Does anyone here have first hand experience with the Shinco 505? Can you talk about the weight and any effects it had on you/your riding style/the way your bike handles? 

I'm in the process of building an 18" rear rim-just waiting on the hub to come back from powder coat at this time. When that hub is back, I'll be in the market for a tire. So, to the OP, I will be able to tell you the benefits of going from a 19" rear tire to an 18" rear tire in about 1 month. I ride mostly singe-track, sandy, with some hard pack, and limited mud. We do have lots of tree branches and sometimes downed tree crossings. I never ride tracks, and never jump anything. Is there anything that grips as well as the Shinco, but does not weigh so much? What about the Dunlop 803?

I went to a much heavier tire a couple years ago and didn't even notice the difference in acceleration or handling.  I'm now running the 6 ply Kenda Parker DT, a pretty heavy beast.

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