S-Works Turbo 26c is the best feeling tire I’ve ridden, but they puncture easily and have a very short life span. Makes for a big tire budget, but I’d rather pay a good amount of money for tires that give me confidence and keep me from crashing than run cheap tires and risk injury and hospital bills.
The Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ is fast, but it doesn’t feel confidence inspiring while cornering, and it I’m convinced they are made from tissue paper with how easily they go flat .
For XC, the Maxxis Aspen in 2.25 with EXO protection is my favorite tire, and it is incredibly versatile. I am running these on my Yeti SB100 with ENVE M525s (25mm internal width) at 21/23 up to 24/26 PSI depending on the terrain. The 2.2 is actually a different tire than the 2.25 in more ways than just size, and Nino co-developed the 2.25 to replace his Dugast Tubulars, so you can be sure it’s a good tire . The Rekon Race also interests me, but I have yet to try it.
For trail riding, the Ardent Race is a relatively quick rolling tire with a really predictable character. It is very different than the Ardent, so don’t confuse the two. Remember, if considering Ardent, Ar-don’t! . The 2.3 size is awesome and works great on something like a 25mm internal width rim.
For Enduro, the Maxxis Minion DHF with EXO+ and Maxx Grip in 2.5 is my front tire of choice, and the DHR II with DH casing and Maxx Grip in 2.4 is my rear tire of choice. I am running these on my SB5.5 with Stans Flow MK3 wheels (29mm internal width). Pressure varies widely with chunky and gnarly Northstar riding requiring 26/28 PSI and my recent trip to Squamish requiring 19/21 PSI.
I really like the WTB Riddler. It has really predictable handling and side knobs that simply do not let go. I just tried the Clement LAS in 33 at Renocross and was not a fan. Unpredictable handling on every part of the tire.
I really want to refine my CX tire choice. I’ve had such good luck with Maxxis on the MTB side that I want to give their Speed Terrane and Ramblers a shot. Courtenay McFadden (Pivot / Maxxis team) said she has been blown away by the predictability and comfort of the Speed Terrane.