. . . . I'm in need of a new set of 29" mtb tyres.
Mainly forest tracks as I'm past doing technical stuff!
Are you looking for “mtb” tyres for forest tracks? Suppose it depends on the forest tracks you ride as I’ve been on some that are really rough and stoney! Also, whether you are likely to ride mud and soft a lot?
Could one of the newer gravel tyres - see other recent thread - be a good alternative? The latter certainly cope with soft off roading very well from what I read. My experience of gravel types on a hybrid is limited to the Hurricanes I’m using now (mainly for road running to be fair) and Python2s I used before as a mix on and off road. Happy with both used them on the harder gravel surfaced forest tracks without problems.
I run very aggressive tyres on my mtb meantime, but have used the likes of Maxxis Rekon for intermediate mtb stuff last year and was able to cope with a wide range of mtb conditions including black trails; happy with them. Only puncture I ever got over around 800 miles of mtb ing was due to glass.
In the past, I used the now oldie Schwalbe Smart Sams for many years for less demanding mtb territory and hard pack and really liked them and they ran well on hardpack/roads as an all rounder. I still have a pair that I put on my hybrid for past winter! Used to pick up quite a few punctures, mainly from thorns, though so have to bear that in mind. (They were not tubeless ready, nor are yet I believe though they are cheap!).
Hutchinson Pythons2 were fine, though I think now with hindsight alot of the new gravel tyres will be as good and better. Now some gravel tyres are getting wider and running at lower pressures blurs the line of suitability between gravel and mtb conditions.
TobyA’s latest gravel tyres on the other thread get good reviews. I’ll be taking a closer look for my hybrid for autumn/winter when I am likely to be back to doing more gravel type rides.
I run WTB Nano 40's on my gravel bike but they do a wider version for MTB. It's a fast rolling medium grip tyre so you kind of get the best of both ISH. Obviously not as good on hard pack as something like a G-One but the grip is much better over looser terrain and in muddier conditions like you might find in a forest. Have also got Conti G-one equivalents, only had them out for a few rides and they're fine on roads and tracks but I can't say I'd want them for anything more technical.
My limited experience suggests that 'forest track' can be anything between rooty, rutted swamps (particularly after the forestry machines have been around) through to surfaces better than some b-roads round here (Peak). Your choice will also likely be dictated by whether you want speed or security. Are your forests largely flat or hilly? With off-camber tracks? Also, do you want to fit-and-forget or are you happy to swap tyres depending on conditions/season?
I'm more of a fit-and-forget-slow-and-incompetent type (for MTB), so I'm currently running a Schwalbe MagicMary / HansDampf combination and am pretty happy with them. But then I'm also limited in choice by my 26" wheels. My gut feel is that tyre construction and rubber mix has come on massively in recent years - these tyres are a lot faster than the tread pattern would suggest (if you're not racing).