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I have a panaracer rampage tyre which I have mounted on my front wheel. This tire has knobs in the centre tread which have a ramp on one side.

Panaracer Rampage

The tyre does not have a direction of rotation marked and I'm wondering which way around to mount it. I heard it can be mounted one way for 'better breaking' and the other for 'less rolling resistance'. Which way is which?

I want to set it up for less rolling resistance. When looking at the bottom of the tyre, and pushing the bike forward, should the ramped or square side of the knobs be making contact with the ground first?

I've seen this related question, but it doesn't really answer my specific query: Which way do I orient my bike tire's tread direction? and why?

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I don't own these tyres but looking at the knobs I think it's obvious which direction would have more traction for climbing - with the "sharp" edge pointing backwards and thus prevening the wheel to slide back - and the other way round for better braking and less rolling resistance.

From what I've read, some people recommend using "less rolling resistance" setting for the front wheel and "better climbing traction" for the rear - seems quite natural. But the choice is yours.

Panaracer Rampage

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I interpret the "direction of rotation" guides as specific to the forces applied. With ramped knobs like you have it's fairly easy - as Czechnology says, the steeper side will grip better than the ramped side will (arguably) roll better. So if you want better braking on the front, put the steep side of the knobs facing forwards (on the ground). For better rolling resistance, have the ramps forward. Of course, on the back you have the choice of better braking or better climbing (accelleration) but not both.

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Think about a farm tractor's rear tires. The narrow part of the tread always points forward for greatest traction. I think the least rolling resistance would be gained in this direction also.

Looking at the Panracer's you have, I believe the ramp should face forward.

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  • 2
    But those tractor wheels are the drive wheels, the OP says this is the front tyre so drive direction is irrelevant. – Chris H Apr 20 '17 at 14:21
  • Besides, you're wrong (assuming you're speaking of the tire as viewed from the ground). The biggest problem with tractor tires is "loading up", where the tread gets clogged with mud. In most circumstances the orientation should be chosen to "clear" the tread of mud. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 4 '19 at 12:44

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