One thing about riding a mountain bike: I am always afraid my tyres might slip. This is probably the defining characteristic of how I ride.
Naturally, I tested all sorts of tyres, to find the ones with the most grip, to be on the safe side.
When I bought the Vitus, it came with WTB Vigilante Comp 2.3 in the front, and a WTB Trail Boss Comp 2.25 in the back.
I rode these for a good while, not knowing there could be differences.
Then autumn came and it was muddy. My neighbour Kev suggested I try the Maxxis Shorty, so I bought a Maxxis Shorty TR EXO MaxxTerra 2.5WT for the front, and a Maxxis Shorty TR EXO MaxxTerra 2.3 for the rear.
I rode that combo exactly once.
A Shorty in the back is bad. It feels like you're riding through a tar pit.
So I went to Vigilante/Trail Boss on dry days, and Shorty/Vigilante on wet days.
When dryer weather came, I read about faster rolling tyres, and I bought a Maxxis Minion SS Dual 2.3 and a Maxxis Aggressor Dual 2.3, both for the rear.
I did not like the Aggressor at all, but the Minion SS was cool.
The Minion SS rolls really well, and for what I ride - nothing too steep - the braking was ample. I used it in an old quarry in the South of France, on dry, rocky, dusty, sketchy trails, and it worked well.
In August 2019, my fork gave up. I bought a new, boost, fork, and front wheel, and a Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxTerra EXO TR 2.5WT with it. I also bought a Maxxis DHR II Dual 2.3 for the rear, to get better braking on steeper descents.
Two weeks later, my neighbour Kev gave me his Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DD 2.5WT, which has more grip, but was harder to mount on the rim.
I rode the Assegai for over a year, and I like it a lot! It is not perfect in wet wheather, but it is not spectacularly bad, either. On dry ground, it is great!
The DHR II was spectacular. On the first ride, I kept checking air pressure, because compared with a Vigilante or a Minion SS, it felt like I was riding a flat tyre! But on the way down, that thing just worked so well!
I went tubeless with this change, too, and have never looked back.
I built a fatbike in 2020. The bike sports Surly Bud in the front and Surly Lou in the back, one of the best tyre combinations out there.
They are on 100mm rims, which makes them really good with fairly low pressures.
An absolute pleasure to ride, in any conditions!
Even with snow and a lot of rain in November & December, they still make me feel safe.
When the wheather turned wet, again, I decided to look for a front tyre with more traction, but not as mud-oriented as the Shorty. We have a lot of roots and rocks around here, and the Shorty is frankly not that good on those.
I bought a Michelin Wild Enduro Front 2.4 GumX3D and a WTB Verdict 2.5 Light/High Grip.
The Wild Enduro was ok, probably slightly more confidence-inspiring than the Assegai in wet loam, mud, and on roots and rocks.
A spoke on my old, 23mm rear wheel broke three weeks later, there was an offer on a DT Swiss E 1900 Spline wheel, so I changed.
The Taival is now equipped with the WTB Verdict in the front and a WTB Judge 2.4 Tough/Fast Rolling in the back.
The Judge is rock-solid. It rolls, it accelerates, it brakes. No issues. Is it better than a DHR II? I think so, yes.
The Verdict is a rather good tyre, too.
When the (harsh) winter was over, and Verdict/Judge were too much for dry trails, I went to Wild Enduro Front, with either the Judge or the Minion SS in the back.
I do now prefer the Wild Enduro Front over the Assegai, it makes me feel more confident for some reason.
So the current setup is like this:
Fat bike: Bud & Lou, no changes there, and none to come.
Hard tail, on wet days: Verdict & Judge
Hard tail, on dry days: Wild Enduro Front & Minion SS or Judge