Those panaracer Fire Cross 45 are great. I've taken them some pretty stupid trails in Tucson. One the road they are a lot of work to turn, but on the trail I feel like I'm riding a jeep with all the traction. I've also been happy with IRC mythos 42c tire. They roll quick, and have most of the traction and they seem to last. The Fire Cross do wear down pretty fast if you have to ride road to get to the trail.
PS: How long did it take to trim the side nobs and what did you use?
I used a pair of dykes to trim the knobs. I don't remember how long it took. Those things flew all over the room when snipped off. Worked best if I trimmed holding the dykes perpindicular to the tire cutting down towards the rim (handle pointing away from the tire). At first I just trimmed every other one, because the knobs are staggerd. But it's nesecary to trim them all. I still have some tire rub rolling through corners on pavement but not bad. Oh, and the tire has to be deflated to get it on and off.
Josh, dirty Kanza seems fun. Never really considered it because of the length. Are there teams or is it individule?
That is a very nice looking bike you have there! After owning a few CX bikes over the years I recently sold my Poprad disc and built-up a custom 29er ti black sheep monster in order to ride further and deeper into single track sections than possible on my Poprad. Although the frame is designed specifically for off-road drops, it is clearly not what I would call a drop-bar mountain bike, and not really a monster modified CX like yours either. Regardless it does personify a bike style which favors the speed and feel of a drop bar bike with the tough nature of a mountain bike. This niche type of machine can really bridge the gap between a regular CX and a full-on mountain bike. If that gap fits where you ride, then its perfect, and your bike looks great for that kind of purpose!!
I'm so glad you posted this. I've been talking with a local frame builder about a custom steel frame that would bridge that gap between MTB and cross a little better than just putting larger tires on a cross bike. I'll probably have a 132.5 rear spacing so it can go either way, 700c or 29er with plenty of clearance for tires. I'm curious about your set up. Frame geometry, type of brakes and bars.
F-Yeah man! I just put some of those on my cross-rig. I took it into work the other morning and had fun running through folk's lawns, hopping curbs and generally riding anywhere I felt like it. It feels like a monster truck for sure...