For the last 3 years I've been using light (800grams) tyres front and rear.

Since I've been having too many rear tyre pinch flats (tried everything: high PSI, tubeless, heavy duty tubes) I'd like to switch to a real double ply DH tyre for the rear which weights 1200 grams.

Is running a heavier tyre only on the rear suggested? Or should I switch both front and rear at once? Maybe for bike balance issues while jumping etc?

p.s. I ride mtb all mountain and downhill

  • It's not uncommon to have a larger tire on the rear, since it carries more weight, generally. I've no idea what the added weight may do to jumping, since jumping is against my religion. Jan 9, 2014 at 12:53
  • 2
    What went wrong with tubeless? There is no way to get a pinch without tubes :)
    – Papuass
    Jan 9, 2014 at 12:58
  • @Papuass: I wish this was true. What happens from a strong impact while riding downhill is that the tyre is heavily sandwitched between a rock and the rim and is cut. A 1cm cut between the knobs is enough to end the ride because the sealant cannot seal it. And even if it does, it reopens in the next 100 meters of riding.
    – cherouvim
    Jan 9, 2014 at 13:13
  • What PSI are you running? How high did you go when trying high PSI?
    – Benzo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 14:43
  • Light tyres are maxxis dhf 2.5 exo. I'd love to be riding them both at around 30 PSI but on the rear I have to go to 40 PSI, and even then I will occasionally flat it.
    – cherouvim
    Jan 9, 2014 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


There is no need to have equal tires on both wheels, except for aesthetics.

Just make sure that front tire has enough grip so you can remain in control.

As for getting pinch flats - make sure you mount tubes correctly and they are not trapped between tire and rim. Having high pressure should help you avoid pinches. More durable tire will help with punctures, not with pinch flats.

P.S. My own experience is limited to MTB XC marathons.


Matching tires is great if you spend more time showing off your ride than actually riding it, otherwise mismatch to your hearts content!

There are some effects of mismatched weight though. Bike handling will change slightly as more weight is rearward. Since your riding AM/DH, this is a good thing as it will give you a little more stability on the downs. On the other hand, it's going to mean that the front end will lift a little easier on the ups.

Same problems will affect you in the air, though to what degree depends on your riding style.

These both depend on your riding style and how sensitive you are to changes in your bike's weight/handling.

As a side note, if you have problems with both pinch flats and sidewall/tread cuts, I'd recommend the dual tube/tubeless setup. This allows you to pinch a tube, or seal a cut and still have a tube for air. Also, look for tires with a higher durometer (rubber hardness) which should be less prone to punctures, cuts, and deformation.

  • On the rear I always use harder compound for pedaling efficiency but also for $$$ reasons.
    – cherouvim
    Jan 9, 2014 at 15:03
  • Just to mention, the DH tire you guys kind of advised me towards (Continental Der Kaiser), is magical. IMHO , @cherouvim, you don't have to worry about the weight mismatch, because very soon you will be putting a heavy tire in the front also!
    – Vorac
    Jan 13, 2014 at 14:25

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