So I just received my new Specialized S-Works Renegade 29x1.8" tires in the mail the other day. They're freakishly narrow. So narrow in fact I only decided to mount one tire on my rear wheel to see how they hook up. Putting one on the front just seems crazy, at least for the kind of trails I'm riding now. I'm sure if it [trail] were fast and flowing hard-pack they'd do just fine, but on first impression it does take some time to get used to.
Not only are they narrower they happen to be not as tall, perceivably. They have quite a bit less volume than their 1.95" counterpart. I was expecting them to be slightly bigger, but as a rear tire it won't matter as much. They look more like a cyclo-cross tire than a mountain tire, but I guess I'm just used to the bigger volume tires I've been riding.
The tread pattern performs really well as a rear. Hardly any slippage on most terrain. The biggest gain besides less rolling resistance is how light they are. At 430 grams they spin up really fast, which is important to me considering I'm on a 29er full-suspension bike. We'll just see if it's worth the tradeoff.
I also put on a new 1.95" S-Works Renegade on the front, which I love, almost as much as the Fast Trak. I figured I'd better start getting used to my race set up now.
Ok, time to hit the trail for an extended test.