Two very different tires with a common mission: all-around, everyday riding that includes road, dirt jump, pump, trail and teaching clinics. I’ve spent a summer with both. Here’s the report:
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Fast Trak Pro 2.2
The tire: 26×2.2 with a ridge of linked center knobs and medium-height, closely spaced corner knobs. 120tpi casing with 70/60 compound.
Intent: Trail riding and racing, especially on hard/dry
The bike: Specialized P.3 with Cane Creek Duros wheels
– I ride this tire almost every day, and I really dig it in a forget-about-it-and-rip kinda way.
– Last year I ran a set of Maxxis Larsen TTs. The Fast Traks feel just as fast-rolling but corner better, especially in the loose.
– I wring these tires out very hard, especially when I demonstrate cornering drills on pavement. After a full season the rear side knobs are almost gone, but the front tire is holding up well.
Chunder Pro 1.9
The tire: It’s a miniature, low-cut version of the Chunder downhill tread. 26×1.9 with ramped center paddles and low, well supported side knobs. 120 TPI casing with 55/65 dual compound.
Intent: XC racing on the full range of conditions: dry, hard, wet, loose, sloppy
The bike: Specialized SX with Mavic 521 rims
– I have less time on this tire, but I am very impressed with it.
– It’s very light and rolls VERY fast.
– It corners surprisingly well, even on loose dirt and in mud. The suspension on the SX probably helps.
– Believe it or not, it handles extreme cornering better than the Fast Trak. When I pump turns hard on pavement, the Fast Trak knobs tend to fold and squirm. The Chunder’s knobs hold steady.
– Crazy: It rolls so fast yet corners so well. This tire is nothing fancy to look at, but it rocks.
Which one is for you?
I get lots of email asking for a great all-around tire for street, DJ, pump and the occasional trail. These are both good choices. As always, it comes down to style.
– For dry conditions and the occasional rocks/ledges, run the Fast Trak. More volume, lots of connection with loose ground. Very long wear.
– For pavement speed and smoother conditions, run the Chunder. I know this sounds crazy based on the looks of the tires, but the Chunder 1.9 is actually the more versatile of the two. It clears mud well, and those little side knobs get it done. The craziest thing is seeing such a tiny tire on your bike. Trust it.
– Both casings are paper-thin. If you have thorns, run liners (Weightless tire liners). If you tend to pinch, run burly tubes.