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I have tried several of the most popular tires this year and am not in love with any of them. It seems that am constantly compromising. I just want to find a tire I can fall in love with for trail riding and training that has good traction in most conditions, can be run tubeless successfully, has reasonable rolling resistance, and doesn't weigh as much as the donut spare tier in my car. My current choice seems to be the Specialized "The Captain" control. I liked the Sworks version more but kept tearing sidewalls so I have settled for the control until I find something better.

I have run: IRD/Panaracer XC Fire Pro, Specialized Fast track, Specialized The Captain (both Sworks version) Kenda Nevengal, Maxxis crossmark, Maxxis ignitor, Bontrager XR1

What do you love and why? I need some ideas. (As far as general conditions we are talking some mud, pretty technical, lots of roots, rocks, mainly singletrack, rarely dry and hardpack conditions, lots of climbing on medium to loose, blah, blah, blah.)
 

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gnar! gnar! gnar!
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I run Bontrager XR4's and love them. The tires use a lower duro rubber which I find to work extremely well for gripping downhills over rocks and roots. They also lean into corners with EXCELLENT grip. Their only downfalls are uphill climbs on packed gravel (which panaracer XC's were excellent for) and they don't shed fine, sand-like dirt well. The Specialized tire looks pretty sweet, but I don't know, how's the hold with that perfectly centered tread?
 

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Michelin Country Dry 2.15's roll well, feel light, and in six months, I never flatted. They will wash out in loose-terrain turns pretty quickly, though....

My present tires, on the bike for the winter, are DMR Redshift 2.25's; OMG, the TRACTION! INCREDIBLE! ONE washout, and that was 3 inches of snow OVER ICE! They do, however, lose momentum pretty quickly. They will come back off when I'm confident the snow is done.
 
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