First a bit of history....

The first year I raced my mountain bike was the second year of the new technology developed by Hutchinson and Mavic, UST tubeless.  There wasnt much of a choice, Mavic CrossmaxSL wheels and Hutchinson Pythons were mounted to my Giant XTC.  This new technology of tubeless was great, I dont remember ever having a flat.  Those tires eventually just wore out so as I always seem to do, if it aint broke, fix it anyways.  Adam Craig rode a Giant XTC and used Michelin tires, so some gray Michelin Drys went onto my bike.  This made sense because they matched my paint job perfectly.  One race and two flats later, I was kicking myself and switching back to Hutchinson.  (years later I learned that you dont pick tires by color).  Then Studnicki was schooling everyone on his Epic so the next year I figured Id join him and it came with Specialized FastTrak UST.  Great grip and indestructible but very heavy on a heavy bike.  Stan came out with the newest technology, so NoTubes Olympic wheels and Kenda Karma tires were mounted and pounds were saved.  Flat tires commenced.  The weight weenie in me kept me on Karmas and two years later and tons of flat tires im going 29.  Maxxis Crossmarks and 2 flats in 12miles of hell and those arent going to work.  The huge wheels weigh a ton so back on come the Kenda Karmas and Small blocks.  Bucketloads of dnf's and flat tires and after one season ive had enough.  I get some Hutchinson Python 29 tires that are heavy.  Before the winter is over I decide it would be better to ride 26 and heavy tires, which will still be lighter setup than the 29 with Karmas.  Giant XTC Advanced is rounded up and team Giant is still riding Michelin so....Kelli Emmett of Giant has nothing but great things to say about the Dry2, except "stay away from the gray one, we call it gray death", see above problem with Michelins.  Michelin comes on as my first tire sponsor and one pair lasts one race short of a season (16d nail in one side out the other).  Excellent.  That winter Michelin cancels their Team Michelin program so I go looking for another brand.  Enter Maxxis and their huge range of tires.  I sign up as a GrassRoots racer and a few weeks later I get an email from Ralph at Michelin that their program is still over but the existing racers can still get tires.  Damn, Maxxis Aspens are already in route.  It takes maybe 6 Aspens to get through the season, acceptable.  Plus I like the tires.  For the first time, I stick with the same brand for another season.  When 2011 started I had a dozen Aspens and Ikons, when it ended I had burned through all those and then some. 

When you have a hardtail and a dually you have to think about which one to ride at every race.  If you have the luxury of a large selection of tires to choose from you then have to decide which one of those is going to be best.  Inevitablly, some sort of switching is in order and you would rather be laying on the bed resting.  So I did away with the first problem, its all Scalpel all year.  The simplest and best year I ever had tire wise was Team Michelin, one choice.  So it only makes sense to go back to what works.


And the choice of Wild Racer in the dry and...

Wild Grip'r in the wet

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