Why do so many riders use tires like the Intense MK’s that look bald? Dont they want traction in the dirt?
It can be tough to wrap your mind around sometimes, but when it comes to traction, sometimes, less can be more. Dirt jumpers seemed to figure this out a little before racers did, running tires like the Primo V-Monsters in the dirt way back in the early 90’s while racers were still married to chunky tires like the Comp III and the Maxxis Maxx Daddy. What riders and tire designers were figuring out was that a more dense tread pattern with lots of texture could actually find better traction on hard packed, but not perfectly smooth surfaces, like a race track or perfectly groomed trails. Of all places to find inspiration for a dirt tire, cues were taken from the road bike world where apparently smooth tires are covered with tiny beads of rubber for traction. Tires like the Micro Knobby were the result and the outcome has changed the way riders shop for dirt tires. In loose conditions, chunkier treads are still the way to go, but as a dirt jumper or racer, don’t hesitate to get on the band wagon as this trend is quickly becoming an industry standard.