Tire choice for Epic Rides OZ Trails

Looking for tire recommendations for the OZ Trails 50 in Bentonville. I’m hearing horror stories of so many flats from sharp rocks. Current setup is a 2018 Epic with Maxxis Aspen 2.4 (f) and Rekon Race 2.35 (r). Both are 120 tpi, Exo protection. Wheelset is DT Swiss 1200’s 30mm.

Should I be looking at 60tpi tires? Maybe Maxxis Rekons (non-race)? They’re offered in Exo+ protection and 60 tpi.

I’d like to stay with Maxxis since that’s what my LBS carries, but not mandatory.


So the horror stories you are reading about are probably from a couple years back where they basically went through the back40 with this little almost like zamboni type thing. Yes it was nice to clear the trail up but what that did was just take all the shale/flint rock up there and expose it. So you had sidewall tears left and right.

Years have passed and they learned from that event to not do that again. However, that doesn’t’ change the fact that there is a lot of sharp flint. It’s just better now.

2.4’s are for sure something you want as the terrain there is loose marble’y over hardpack. Being marble’s you are going to want something with a bit more penetrating power than an Aspen.

I think you should lean more towards the rekon race WT or the rekon or maybe either one of those on the rear and even something else just barely a tad more aggressive up front. Hard choice on front tire there trying to find the balance between speed and grip on the marble. The section of the race that will be in slaughter pen you can run basically a slick on all those trails. They are so smooth and worn you damn near could ride a road tire on them :).

Racing Ralphs front and rear would be a good choice as well, i’ve just had really bad luck with their QC lately. Like their 2.3’s wont even blow up to 2.10 and are coming in like 80g’s over weight… Great Tread and pattern, just horrible QC right now.

For casual riding up there I run a ground control front with a fast track in the rear as the GC gives me some cornering confidence in the marble part of the back 40. Come October I will prob. switch to fasttracks front and rear, but still bring the ground control just in case it rains. If it rains the trails will still be open and the b40 “rain loop” is actually part of the 50mi course so there’s that.

as far as tpi and all the side wall stuff… I am from the old school theory that if you are going to get a side wall tear, you are going to get it regardless of sidewall protection. So YMMV. I also run tubolite inserts so I don’t worry too much about puncture protection , but yes I do know inserts wont help me with sidewall.

tough question to answer, but hope i gave you a bit more info. I can tell you this… that year of the zamboni i wasn’t racing but i rode up there that weekend. I went thru 2 rear xco ikon’s , 1 racing ralph front tire, and 1 control renegade. It was horrible. I’ve been up there about 10x’s since and have survived all trips with everything under the sun including s-works tires! I’ve had s works front renegade and control rear last me thru an entire week of bentonville and eurkea springs no problem. So there’s that.

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Thanks for the response! Maybe I’ll get a Rekon 2.4WT (120tpi) for the front and keep the Rekon Race in the rear. A very experienced riding friend/teammate of mine said the key is to get a tire with a “dense” tread pattern, in order to keep the casing off the ground (so to speak). He also made your point about puncture protection materials not being as important.