Winter’s around the corner, so rides are getting colder and harder to come by. I jumped at the chance of heading out for one more ride with our FAR Team (plus that ‘Turncoat’ 4mud). I had just put on some TKC70s courtesy of Pros At Work Suspensions in Bridgewater and was hoping to give them a good go off-road to see how they’d hold up. I knew they wouldn’t be as good as the TKC80s I normally have on, so I dutifully emailed Captain Shawn to inquire as to the terrain we would encounter. “Easy stuff, he said, mostly gravel and some rock, no problem”, oh and he added, “There is a muddy section, but you can go around”. Great, perfect for trying out the 70s.
Icecold Al and I finally arrived at Sean’s in Tantallon thoroughly chilled to the bone. Thank God for heated grips. As we prepped for the trail ride, I began to get an uneasy feeling this wasn’t going to be a leisurely jaunt seeing 4mud haul his knobbied KTM250 off the truck. Sure enough, just as we were leaving the subdivision we hit a 2-3 foot deep water crossing followed by a boulder strewn hill climb to START to ride. Gee, thanks Shawn, 2 minutes in and my feet are already wet and cold, and my teeth sufficiently loosened by the jarring hill climb. At that point I had to make a decision, head home and face Aggressive Al’s disapproving looks for eternity or suck it up and ride. I chose the latter. I wanted to see what these tires could do.
We continued through a mix of wet leaves, rocks, gravel and mud until we came to a hill which Shawn informed us we may have to push the bikes up. No kidding! We almost turned back as it was stupidly steep and full of boulders, but Adventurous Al and I were beyond second guessing at this point and just soldiered up with a little help from our friends. I have to say, we were pretty pumped to have made it! After that the trails became a little easier and much more fun. Oh yeah, and that section Shawn said we could avoid – we didn’t. It was truly an adventure and forced both Al and I to dig deep. That said, what fun, and what a great group of guys to ride with. We are truly blessed in this province for the terrain we get to ride and the people we get to ride it with.
Final thoughts on the tires? I’m now sold on anything Continental makes. My TKC80s are stellar off-road and surprisingly solid on-road. The one complaint is they wear out quicker (no surprise there). The 70s on the other hand are said to have longer wear, but are a little less capable off-road. They did get me through this ride, but I had to be quite tentative and stay on top of things unlike the much more forgiving 80s would have in these conditions. If you’re going to ride more challenging off-road terrain, then stick with the 80s, but if your off-road is primarily twisty dirt roads and even groomed skidoo trails, you won’t go wrong with the 70s. They are a true all-rounder with the expected compromises.