The Analyzer Presents: Top Fuel Diet Series – Tires

To say that I’m a tire dork is probably an understatement.  In the last year I’ve tried no fewer than 9 different tires from 5 different manufacturers, everything from superlight Michelin Wild Rac’r 2.0’s at 450g & old Renegade Sworks 1.95’s to beefy Maxxis Ikon EXO EXC’s at 700g+.  

Like all of us riders, I want the perfect tire, but that varies depending on where I’m riding and how the trail is riding.  Most of my training rides are at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which has no shortage of sugar sand and high speed berms & whoops.  In looking for something that excels there I settled in on the new Specialized Renegade 2Bliss ready in 29×2.3.  The new Gription casing is definitely heavier than the old Sworks 120tpi versions but the side knobs are much more substantial, coming in at 651g for the 2.3’s.  With big volume and fast rolling knobs, these tires have been a great race tire, especially when conditions at Santos and Alafia were called “sandy” by the locals.  They don’t know sand…come ride JD when it hasn’t rained in a month! Once I tried these tires I got a set for my single speed as well and they’re a pretty great option for where and how I ride.  

So, if these are so great, what’s the point of this post?  Well, we’re trying to save weight here right?  Looking at my rear tire during this process, I noticed the miles were starting to add up and the middle tread blocks were getting pretty low.  If I was going to climb up wet roots and rocks at ORAMM, I’m gonna need some fresh rubber on that back wheel to get me to the top of these climbs.  So I decided to go…skinnier. Looking at the Specialized site I saw there was a 2.1” version of these that was rated almost 100g lighter at 580g and figured I’d give it a shot.  This weight is really close to the old Fast Trak Sworks 2.2’s (which were really 2.1) that I really liked, so I was pretty excited about the prospects of this tire.  Getting the tire in I was a bit disappointed to see the weight came in 613g.  Coming in heavier is pretty common for tires in my experience, especially with ones that are a little more durable and substantial which the 2.3 version of these Specialized Renegades have  proven over 1200+ miles this year.  

While I was mounting these up, I pulled out the Stans Yellow Tape out and replaced it with some Bontrager Rim Strips. The Stans Yellow Tape is very light, however when switching tires on and off frequently, which I tend to do, occasionally the edges will peel up and cause a leak down the road. This probably will cause a small increase in weight when combined with fresh Orange Seal Endurance Sealant, but the last thing I want is to have issues when I’m in the middle of ORAMM. Oh yeah, and on Orange Seal vs Stans, I’m firmly on Team Orange Seal. It’s more expensive, but lasts better in the Florida summer heat and doesn’t ball up into Stanimals.

Going with a less aggressive tire in the rear is common, as most of the steering falls on the front tire, so saving a little weight on the rear tire shouldn’t have too many negative consequences hopefully.  I’ll get a chance to ride it this week, but I can’t replicate what wet roots and rocks are going to look like in NC so fingers crossed. Saving 44g for $55 is not too bad, but not what I had hoped for when I had ordered them.  Other good options for what I am trying to do might be the Kenda Saber Pro 29×2.2 (539g) or Schwalbe Thunder Burt RaceGuard 29×2.1 (490g).  I do have a Thunder Burt here but I’m scared to run it in a 7hr race hundreds of miles from home, so perhaps my Weight Weenie credentials should be revoked?

The bike is down to 22.62 pounds from 22.77, and that’s all I can get in before ORAMM.  I do have a few more parts coming in, but it will be after the race so I’ll just keep the posts coming as I prepare for the upcoming FSC race season.  

 

Part Weight Difference Price $/gram
Hylix 31.8×400 Carbon Seatpost (eBay) 182g 89g $54 $0.61 / g
Carbon 34.9mm Clamp (eBay) 12g 17g $20 $1.18 / g
2x Ashima Ai2 Rotors 139g 84g $40 $0.48 / g
Delete Remote Lockout 0g 118g $0 N/A
Mt Zoom 720mm Flat Bars 138g 41g $90 $2.20 / g
Trim Steerer 0g 15g $0 N/A
Mt Zoom Top Cap 5g 10g $10 $2 / g
Race Face Next SL G4 – 34t & crank boots 451g  202g $0 N/A
Race Face PF92 Bottom Bracket 71g  12g $51  $4.25 / g
Specialized Renegade 2Bliss Ready Gription 29×2.1  613g 44g $55 $1.25 / g
Total 543g $266 $0.48 / g

 

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