Indeed, Sky King has a new love. I happen to be quite spoiled and spend many happy hours on my ” Excellent Creative Riding” machine also known as the “Extremely Cool Ride” and for those of you who don’t know me, just call it my Surly ECR.
We ventured out in August for a S24O to Crutcher Crossing. The road/trail/path is two track, dirt and rock. The first 7 miles pass through a Juniper forest. Juniper’s are invasive species in the Owyhee Mountains and this section is currently being logged. Given that, the road had impressive ruts, especially on hilly corners. We hadn’t traveled far and as I negotiated a rutted corner my tires slipped out and boom, on the ground I go. While I don’t consider myself the most technical descender – especially on a loaded bike – I should have negotiated the corner just fine. Back on the bike, half mile down the road and boom, slipped out again. After a few choice words I take a serious look at my tires – the original Surly Knard 29+3 27tpi. Yep, the side edge tread is pretty much worn to zilch – oops.
I’ve never had a big complaint with the Surly Knard tires. Some of my riding buddies have commented on the lack of a grippy edge but I never mind hopping off and walking some of the steep. The rest of the trip I certainly paid attention and took a less aggressive approach to the rest of the rutted corners.
Did I mention I was spoiled, oh yeah, I did. A few days after the trip the Bike Hermit surprised me with a set of Maxxis Chronicles. This is a relatively new 29+3 so I had some trepidation. Ha, silly girl. The tread is perfect for a wide variety of terrain. I have the 120 TPI casing and the tire is lighter than my Surly Knards. The roll on pavement is excellent. On our very technical ride to Pipeline crossing, in the Owyhee desert the tires, hands down, out performed the Knards. The side grip is great. I didn’t have any slips, any spin outs or questionable traction issues. The Excellent Cool Ride bounced and jostled along happily – almost as if the person riding had advance to “pro” status. Look out Bike Hermit!
(Logan, over at bikepacking.com has a detailed review of the Maxxis Chronicle)