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When you think of trials tires, you probably assume that they’re for trials bikes. If so, you’re right – and wrong! Trials as a riding discipline has been around almost as long as motorcycles have, and the unique requirements of trials competitions have bred tires that are designed for a high level of traction. But just because trials tires work incredibly for trials bikes doesn’t mean that other dirt bikes can’t harness their traction as well. For years, off-road enthusiasts have been putting trials tires on their standard dirt bikes instead of traditional knobbies.
So how do you know whether you should use trials or knobbies? If you ride trails in the mountains or woods, you should definitely consider trying out a set of trials tires. They hook up where knobbies can’t. They really excel on difficult hill climbs and technical areas of the trails. When you’ve got trials tires installed on your bike, you’ll have the confidence to tackle obstacles that your buddies would never even think of trying. Another great thing about trials tires is that the tread pattern is relatively gentle on trails compared to knobbies.
Trials tires are also popular among enduro or hare scramble racers. The superb traction they provide can give your bike an edge in an off-road race. Some trials tires are also DOT approved, so there’s no problem if the course travels across public roads.
The one type of riding that isn’t as great with trials tires is motocross. In loamy track soil where traction is already optimal, trials tires won’t give the same performance that knobbies will.
Because trials tires are built a little differently, there are a few other considerations you’ll need to make when using them on your bike. You might want to switch to a heavy-duty tube (or even better – an ultra HD tube) to help prevent flats. You also need to be aware that since the tire profile is shaped differently than other types of tires, your handling won’t be the same at higher speeds or around sharper turns.
One advantage that trials tires will give you is their ability to soak up small obstacles, providing a more comfortable ride and making it easier to handle your bike.
There’s only one way to discover the difference that a trials tire makes – you’ve got to try a set for yourself! We’ve got an excellent variety of tires available from several brands and in multiple sizes. Check out the product description for more details on an individual tire, and don’t forget that you can rely on customer reviews for first-hand experience about how a specific tire worked out for other riders. Don’t put it off any longer; pick up a pair of trials tires for your dirt bike today!
Rob in Tennessee
I run a tubliss system and was under the mistaken impression that I could run 0 psi in this tire. First the good: At 0 psi this tire is absolutely amazing. I ride nothing but steep, wet, muddy rocks and this tire is perfect for that application. I was unable to find a line that I could not take. I purposely stopped on steep slippery rock gardens just to see if a zero run up line could be taken. Every time I was able to start and immediately transition into a standing position and carry my momentum. Now the bad: At 0 psi in those conditions I only made it 50 miles before the rim had sliced a hole in the side wall about 6" long. I would absolutely recommend this tire, but I would say that 5 psi is probably the minimum.Read All Reviews
WALTER in ID
I tried this on my 2008 YZ250F. Coming from an 18" Pirelli MT-43, I did not feel it worked as well. My guess was the shorter sidewall of the 19" wheel size. It went on super easy and the bead seated with a floor pump believe it or not. However, I felt that it was way too soft and wallowy at 13 PSI and any higher pressure negated the benefits of running a trials tire. Also, if you get a flat with this tire, you'll have to repair it ASAP. If it works for you, it should last forever.Read All Reviews
WALTER in ID
If you ride in harder, baked terrain with rocks thrown in, this tire works great for the money. Bump compliance is enhanced due to sidewall flex as well. Snow and deep sand are not the best to try and ride through, but overall you will be amazed at what it hooks up on. Works great in normal trail conditions that make a rider drool. If you're a spin or skid tire, it's not for you. If you're not worried about blowing up every corner out there, give it a try.Read All Reviews
John in NM
IRC TR-11 front tube-type running low with Tubliss lasted 1700 miles and 184 hours (95% dirt) but the sidewalls are just not strong enough. Eventually there was a "flex zone" along the sidewall and cuts appeared. IRC TR-11 rear is tubeless with strong sidewalls and is still running even though the knobs are down to about 2 mm. I replaced the front with a Pirelli M43 which is looking good so far.Read All Reviews
John in NM
IRC TR-11 front tube-type running low with Tubliss lasted 1700 miles and 184 hours (95% dirt) but the sidewalls are just not strong enough. Eventually there was a "flex zone" along the sidewall and cuts appeared. IRC TR-11 rear is tubeless with strong sidewalls and is still running even though the knobs are down to about 2 mm. I replaced the front with a Pirelli M43 which is looking good so far. I will soon buy the same TR-11 again to replace the rear. The tread rubber is like tough closed cell foam. Extraordinary grip. And I expect the first one will go to 2500 miles so that is not bad.Read All Reviews