Thursday, 13 December 2007


"I've never been wrong,-I used to work in a record store" *

This part of the blog is where I'm going to give my opinion on certain bikes,bits of bikes or kit.You may not agree with me ,but I think you will find I am usually right.Feel free to Email me.

Right .First things first. Tyres.I'm mad about tyres me .I tried riding without them .No good.
A few weeks ago when I started riding,the first MTB i ever rode had panaracer tyres.I guess it's like when citroen hook kids into a cheap deal on buying their first car ,free insurance or something,hoping they'll stick with them,y'know? Well , I like panaracer tyres.For days I wouldnt use anything else.I tried other 'premium' brands of tyres( That's where the citroen analogy falls down ),but wasnt always impressed.

In the short time I've been riding I have come to the conclusion that tyres are the single biggest factor in influencing how a bike actually rides.So you stick with what you know.Panaracer.They do a tyre,I believe it's a reissue of an old model ,called the 'smoke'.It's so good I bet the old guys could even have rode down hills without suspension.Imagine that.I wouldnt use anything else ,until a few days ago that is.

Enter the panzer division.-Contimental.

Just for a laugh ,and for the benefit of humanity(how PCs that?),(i would usually say mankind), i bunged some of their treads on.Quite a revelation.I hate to admit it,but theyre alreet.What seems like a good combination to me is to run a big fat one ,say ,the 'Diesel' in a 2.5 up front and on the back wheel a thinner 2.3 'vertical'.(Y/N)
The diesel is good on corners and absorbs bumps whilst being reassuringly weighty to cope with blunt edged hits.I think.The vertical has a (kinda)variation of the classic MX block tread,open ,cleans well and hooks up tenaciously as good as owt.Which means anything.

So,the Commencal meta comes stock from the factory with maxxis 'high rollers',the lightweight expensive ones,that come folded in a box.I'm sure they are a perfectly adequate tyre in some parts of the world,for some riders,for some bikes,but I'm not convinced.I suppose I'm nitpicking,but I did say I'm mad about tyres,and they're not bad tyres ,but theyre not great tyres ,and the meta deserves great tyres.The meta is such a capable bike that the tyres were letting the side down a bit.They were certainly grippy enough,cornered OK,climbed ,braked etc,but as soon as the pace quickened ,wallop,pinchflat.Do old schoolers call them snakebites?I had 3 in 2 weeks,which is above the national avg.They are a light tyre though,so if that's your thing they could be up your alley,maybe I'll switch camps and ride xc in a few weeks and they'll be OK for that.Whilst I've still got both feet firmly in the freeride lite camp(like regular freeride ,but better for you )i thought i'd better get some contis on ,sharpish.Since they've been on ( a month ish)i havent had a puncture ,so ,statistically i'm percentages up.Below are some pictures of tyres being swapped over.It's an easy job.All you need is some spoons.

I dont suppose any of you have any top shelf pics of panaracer smokes? Skinwall ,Oooer.

*LCD Soundsystem,-"losing my edge"

Since thinking about this article,but before actually writing it,which is a form of time-travel, I have now tried anothernother brand/type of tyre.The kenda 'nevegal'.Not the fancy expensive ones ,just regular 'cooking 'versions.They come stock on the GT Avalanche(above/below?),and in treacherous conditions performed great.They felt bulletproof and would probably suit the meta 'character' **,so i'll probably swap em over and give them a whirl just to be objective.where's me spoons?
** I will endeavor to refrain from cockishness such as this,reserving words like 'character' for wine tasting reports.


No comments:

Post a Comment