Should I run a heavier rear tire?

Hello everyone. Got a new bike and decided to go with a lighter duty rear tire then what I had on my previous bike to help with rolling resistance. So far the grip and rolling speed is great, and doesn’t feel super heavy, but I have already had a half inch tear in the tread of the tire. And also I dented my rim slightly.

I don’t want to run higher pressure, as I tried running this tire harder, but it bounced off everything. Should I run a thicker tire? I currently have a Michelin wild enduro front and wild AM rear.


Are you running tubeless?

Casing doesn’t really translate into rolling resistance except for rotating weight, the tread pattern is more important when it comes to rolling resistance. Many treads come in multiple casing like the minefield of Maxxis configurations… I switched to Maxxis EXO+ casings last year and my sidewall tear issues were solved. They are thicker than the EXO but not as thick as the DD or DH casing so the weight penalty wasn’t a huge deal. A thicker casing will help with denting rims as well. I usually run tubeless around 30-35PSI for my 160 lb weight as reference. If you’re still denting or pinching after a thicker sidewall it might be worth considering a tire insert.


I had been running a DD casing Assegai and found it to be a total slug in terms of acceleration and trail feel. It was really dead. I liked the traction, but hated the extra weight and rolling resistance of that tread pattern and the thick sidewall just made it feel awful. I am currently running EXO casing DHF 2.6 in front and an Aggressor 2.5 rear in the widest but lightest possible configuration (I think they’re about 850 gms each). I run 21 lbs of pressure up front and 26 lbs rear with tubeless, no inserts. I weigh about 160-165 and I almost never dent rims and rarely flat (of course, saying that now I’m probably screwed). I ride pretty light. Like @bent6543, I’d switch to EXO+ if I was having more issues, but I doubt I’ll ever go back to DD/DH casings.

Not to mention the fact that EXO casings mount up far easier than anything else.

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Yep, with muc off sealant

I sliced the EXO casing on the DHR that came on my bike really early last season. I Tried a pair of free used Continental Mountain Kings with the Apex protection but tore one almost right away. I got a free brand new one and once I got the pressures set right for me (20 f, 21 r) they worked okay but they wobbled and wore thin on the sidewalls rapidly. Now I run Snakeskin Schwalbe Hans Dampfs and I couldn’t be happier (19 f, 20 r) I’m 150, maybe 155 since covid.:grinning:

The other tire option I have is what I had on my old bike, which had increased rolling resistance due to more aggressive tread, and more weight due to thicker casing and pinch protection strips. I am a light guy so I run low pressures, but simply running higher pressure (anything above 25psi for most part) just takes away from any grip benefits. The casing TPI on my current rear tire is 3x60 tpi and the front tire/ same tire in my old bike, is 3x30tpi. I never had issues with the 3x33tpi casing. But I enjoy the supple ride of the thinner tire. The rear tire is about the same as maxxis EXO I think, and the wild enduro casing is similar to the maxxis DD. I would consider running an insert but find them to be not worth the weight.

I totally agree, that was my experience running my wild enduro fronts, front and rear. Super tough and supportive, but draggy as all get out. I really like it as a front tire because I can run 17psi and it not feel squirmy. The TPI 3x33 makes for a stiff sidewall which feels awesome when pushing really hard. But the bike came to life when I put a faster rolling lighter weight trail tire on the rear so I am reluctant to go back to a super draggy tire. But I also don’t want to destroy my rim lol. Thanks for the suggestions this is very helpful.

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I’ve also been trying out the Goodyear Escape tires this year, the sidewalls are comparable to EXO+ or Snakeskin and I saved over 1/2lb of rotating weight from the Maxxis. The decreased rolling resistance of the tread and weight savings was shockingly and instantly noticeable.

I don’t know how you guys can run such low pressures, I only go below 30psi on my plus size hardtail in the snow (15-20psi), otherwise I would be tearing off tires and have octagon shaped rims!


This is a cool site with great info but not a lot of tests on trail and enduro tires.

That’s all I got. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m going to give these a try too, in 29x2.6 with Cush Core inserts. The weight savings of the tire will be negated by the insert, but I won’t think twice about running low pressure and protecting my wheels.

I don’t have the tires, inserts, or wheels yet, though; will let you know what I think once all the pieces come in.

Man, entire books could, and probably have been, written on this topic. There’s too many variables for any magic bullets. Here’s some quick considerations, all assuming we’re talking tubeless here:

  • tread pattern- I prefer a shorter knob and tighter tread pattern for McIntosh Run. Why would anyone want a tall tread with wide spacing for a slickrock environment with no packy mud? Tall treads are more prone to flop over, squirm and can even tear off (!) under extreme load on the fantastic traction that MR offers.
  • tire pressure- I run about 3 psi higher in MR than say a loamier or wetter/slipperier environment. The traction is so incredible and the rock edges so square that you need a higher pressure to prevent burping and casing folding under hard braking, slickrock offcambers and cornering.
  • casing and tire weight- there’s race tires and there’s ride tires. You could run race weight tires like a Vittoria 2.25 Mezcal TLR (about 650 gms) but you’d need to bump up the pressure and ride a bit lighter. I prefer more of a trail tire (Vittoria 2.35 Agarro @ about 850 gms) for Mcintosh Run.
  • a tire liner (currently run Vittoria AirLiner) especially in the rear can help keep the rim off the rocks but it won’t entirely eliminate sidewall tears. It does allow for a couple psi lower without as much concern about sidewall flop. And you can ride out on a flat if you had to.
  • I run 20 rr, 22 rr in MR @ 145 with Agarro. I’d need 22-24’ish with a lighter raceday casing. I regularly run 18-20 in slower places like Skull or Bowater and might even drop a touch from that if it’s greasy. I often race with about 1.5-2 psi more than I train with, especially for mtb marathons. I’ve rolled the dice on low air pressure in races and it sucks to have to deal with a flat after investing hrs building a gap over the guy behind you lol
  • play with different things, find out what works for you. Different riding styles, skills levels, rider weights, tire sizes, ground conditions, the variable are endless. Some guys throw on a 1000 gm tire, pump it to 30 psi and just ride. Personally when I ride a place like MR with a 950+ grm tire it feels sluggish when accelerating or climbing faces. Try it all out and figure out what works for you.

Thanks terry, I couldn’t agree more with the number of variables. Whenever I ride at fight, especially on my XC bike I do the same as you and bump up the tire pressure. On my trail bike the casing is thicker so It’s not as important. My rear tire is 800grams which for me is pretty light duty vs my front/ old rear which is 1030g, but feels good on the trail for most part. I will keep riding my current tire until I tear it again or have issues then I will re evaluate. Thanks for the words of wisdom. See ya on the trail and race course hopefully later this year.

I’m with you TT, but at the same time, especially when dealing with sealant, I have no interest in swapping tires all the time, unless I had multiple rim setups. So, I’ve gone with something I can use everywhere–and even though the taller knobs aren’t perfect for the granite, they’re good everywhere else.

The Assegai I was running was 1254 gms! Yuck. Glad to be rid of it.


Yep, for sure you need to find that set-up that “works mostly well most of the time” since the key goal is to be riding, not screwing around w maintainance and set-up. The only time I am swapping rubber around in-season is if I’m pulling off trail rubber before a race day. Rest of the time it’s wrung whatcha brung.


Evening, I was running Minion DHR2 2.4WT Front and rear tubeless and have not had any problems with cutting side walls. I recently switched the front to a DHF 2.5WT EXO+ and so far so good.

My primary goal is fun, hassle free riding so I don’t mind living with the additional weight and drag of the minions.

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I run Minion in the front and just put a Minion on the back to replace my Aggressor.

I find for a rear, it’s fast rolling however not the best in mud. I ride primarily at Whooper and Mcintosh, I get slippage at Whooper but not at Mcintosh.

Rear seems to be wearing fast. I don’t break that hard and I only weight 128lbs.

Once I wear it out I won’t be putting another Minion in the rear.

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I have found the Minions to be great in mud, on the rare occasion that mud was unavoidable. They do wear quickly on the granite, though. If you’re primarily riding at Whopper and McIntosh Run, then I’d recommend a hardier tire. I like my Maxxis Chronicles for McIntosh Run, as they provide excellent contact grip and don’t wear as quickly as the softer tires that give more grip in dirt.

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Forkasters in 29x 2.6 great in dry, great in wet, 1500 km on them still going strong.