I really didn't want to start off this 4th writeup tire testing series with a limp and mauled up left wrist. Doesn't help that I'm a Southern Paw too. Ouch. So lets start with the verdict (and hear my bitching scream in caps)
NO MORE FARKING Rubber Queens for me (2.4).
2 Sundays, 2 washouts from the front. One at speed railing a berm in super dry condition. Makeup of the berm can only be described as hard-hard pack with some sandy runoff from usage. Today after the rain, it was an endo for no apparent reason after clearing a rocky double black down line with ass over rear tire . Pressure was a "relatively hard" 25psi (used to run it from 19 psi to the low 20s but been gradually upping the pressure as the tire tend to push rather than roll when at low pressure).
Though the fork has been softened by a couple of psi last night but it wasn't bottomed out at the moment of the endo.The reason could only be a front sliding washout on the slick plate-like rock at the bottom causing the bike to "t-bone" itself in a front pivoting move, catapulting the whole backend despite being weighted all the way rearwards. This is really a first for me, endo with weight back and not even feathering the brakes at all.
Had noted previously the side knobs on the RQ doesn't stick out anymore more than the sidewall. Plus I always had the nagging thoughts that the side knobs on the RQ aren't really up to the job with their relatively sparse alternating designs. Apart from having big volume making it suitable for low pressure riding, it was this reason as I wanted the tire to look for more conformity with the terrain on hard turning and banking.
Anyway at the end of the ride, was discussing with long time no see, Mr Wreck-It-All... conclusion of washing was due to the more prominent protruding sidewall which catches the terrain in a steep turn before the knobs does. He's having the same problem with the 2.4 Nobby Nic on the rear. Knob pattern aside, I realize that both the NN and RQ does indeed spot a very similar profile. High and protruding sidewall, slightly rounded instead of squarish. The side knobs in terms of size is anything but aggressive. Although having slanting knobs may give the impression that the knobs will catch more. However its too sparse...still can't quite figure out for now.
At the same time, I realized that he was using a 2.5 Prowler MX up front...verdict was that it gripped like a leech.
Something I attested to with a similar but smaller 2.3 Prowler XT for rear duty. Still maintain that at first look, this series of tires from WTB looks anything but grippy. Truth is that the secret lies with the staggered pair of transition and side knobs that will flare open when it catches onto something, effectively opening up the knobs surface area for more grip. My only rant then of the Prowler XT was that the actual size is smaller than a true 2.3. But here, the 2.5 MX sure looks good both volume and profile wise. Not heavy accounting that it is a wire bead rubber but just a tad heavy in terms of being on the bike, skewing off the weight distribution on my setup (stated weight of tire @ 952gm)..... Besides, if it lasts on Mr Wreck-It-all's bike, I reckon that's probably more than enough for me.
The other contender for a front would be the much ranted Maxxis DHF....I'm still trying to make sense of all the different models available. Got a feeling, I would still go with a WTB though.
The rubber Queen 2.4. Side knobs with a look that I was never too comfortable with. Also notice that it is lacking any proper transition knobs. On hind sight, now even the spacing between the center knobs looks too wide, just like many of the Continental tires. A further look says the sets of 3 side knobs curving inwards makes for even more side wall exposure to the terrain--no good for traction.
The more squarish 2.4 Ardent on the rear.
Note the knob profiles on both. Carcass wise, the RQ is still marginally larger but the side knobs are definitely way over the side on the Ardent. See next two pics for comparison.
Both tires with pic taken from the side. Cam angle not really similar enough to make an effective comparison but still should suffice to see the difference (ie how much knobs are protruding vs the sidewall)
Used Prowler XT (unmounted in pic). Note the side pairing transition and side knobs.
Ok...done with tires.....let's digress
Another one of those Franken-DIY on Wreck-It_All's bike.
This time its a crapped out hydraulic Joplin that's been transformed into a "mechanical" version, similar to a Gravity Dropper!
Lever-- from old vee brake
Unbelievable! Seen loads of his problem-solver mods and now this.
My only comment will be to round out the edges on that wadever-u-call-it-spring-thingie.