Often when reading tire tests, you are given little more than specs that resemble the product brochure. You simply learn what the manufacturer describes on its website or in its catalog.
We rode the Ranger 2.4 TCS Light High Grip + SG cross-country trail tire fast and hard and put it away wet. We were pleased with the results.
Field test results: Look at the contact patch of the Ranger and you will see that it’s narrow. This super-minimal contact patch makes the tire roll fast in a straight line, especially on smooth terrain. It rolls effortlessly, feeling more like a 2.0 cross-country tire than the 2.4 trail tire that it is. And, the Ranger climbs fast. The bonus is, the larger-volume tires always feel more compliant than smaller-volume cross-country race tires, providing better traction and a more comfortable ride. This is not an enduro tire, nor a race tire. The Ranger is an all-terrain tire, which is what most of the mountain bike world is actually riding. Deep sand is where the Ranger reaches its limits—more in the front than in the rear. The low knobby doesn’t provide much bite in the sand, allowing the tire to push away and tuck beneath you. But, sand isn’t what the Ranger was designed for. Where it did perform well was in the rain—the wetter the better. Fortunately, we had one of our rare Southern California rainstorms while testing, so we were able to experiment with different soil textures and moisture content.
The Ranger sheds mud consistently. We experienced no buildup on decomposed granite, clay and organic soil, and were able to actually see knobbies through the mud at all times. We never once had stacked mud buildup that shrouded the tire. In muddy conditions, this tire is amazing. The harder we pushed it in the rain, the more it stepped up and performed.
You can actually feel the three different rubber durometers doing their jobs. The center knobs are firm and fast, and, as the bike leans, you can feel the side knobs flex and bite in, especially on dry hardpack. With the Ranger, you can run different tire pressures and capture totally different experiences. In rooty and rocky terrain, you may run 10 psi fewer than on a hardpacked trail. The Ranger is one tire for many uses and is an absolutely capable trail tire that you can trust while riding fast. The tested tire weighed 1049 grams and retails for $68.
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