So, anyone wanna buy a used Larry
Didn’t get out quite as early I’d planned, so it was “only” a two hour ride
The trail was typical Appalachia in the winter, muddy, wet, swampy in places, rooty and rocky, so I feel l like the Devist8er was put through it’s paces; I even did some hopping
For perspective, my experience with Larry: I have ridden Larry for just over a year, most of my use has been wet weather and snow, but my son uses the Oregon as his daily ride. Before Larry I had a brief stint with a Gazz 3", which I felt was heavy and cumbersome, otherwise the Duro 3" was the fattest tire I’d ridden. When I got the Larry, well, it was amazing! Big, soft, super cushy, allowed me to ride up and over obstacles that were challenging to me on the Duro and very challenging on the Intense DH 2.5 (my preferred xc tire at the time).
I rode Larry a lot last winter, mud, snow, even some XC hardpack; I did half a twenty mile bike race with the Larry and it was alright; certainly more work than a 29er, but doable. Overall I found the Larry to be a just what it seems, a big, fluffy, obstacle absorbing tire. What I didn’t like so much about the Larry was that it was too cushy and fluffy. Larry just didn’t have any edge or resilience unless it was pumped way up, and then it became bouncy and no longer absorbed the terrain.
Enter the Devist8er. First off, it has a much different ride than Larry, not fluffy in the least bit, this tire has much more resilience and far less deflection, still a fat tire, but more like an xc or light DH tire in the feel. I started off with ~ 10psi and it seemed firmer than I was used to on the Larry; which I generally run softer when conditions are mucky, so i dropped the pressure to ~ 6psi and this certainly rode softer, but it didn’t ride as well (more on this later). So I pumped it back up to ~10psi and contd to ride.
The trail was in decent condition, we’d gotten 3-4" of rain in the prev 24 hours, but it had been torrential so much of the organics had been swept away, still it was mucky in places, some mud holes, slimy clay, and large debris clumps. And yes, I walk the mud holes becauae I am a good trail steward The Devist8er seemed to handle the trail certainly as well as the Larry, less of the autosteer typical of the Larry. Autosteer is my term for when the uni gets locked into a trajectory, left or right, and has to be forced back in line. This may be just a fat tire phenomenon. The worst offender was the Big Fat Larry, which I rode for a brief stint last spring.
What I noticed most about theDevist8er was that it was more agile than the Larry, easier to move from edge to edge, easier to ride slow, easier to start out of a stall. What this agility meant for me was that as I crawled up a rocky “ledged” hill, I was able to maneuver without as much effort as would have bee required on the Larry. It wasn’t as easy as to ride the hill as it would be on my 29 x 2.4 Ardent, but then it was too wet to ride the Ardent on the trail that day. So the Devist8er was a win on rocky uphills.
Once I attained the ridge I was riding dry single track that was slightly off camber, the kind of trail that made the Larry a lot of work; think autosteer into the downside of the trail. The Devist8er had less autosteer overall, but what was interesting about the Devist8er is that it seems to have a “tipping point” where it was either running straight or wanting to turn. Looking at the tread I noticed that it is flatter through the center 1/3, then rounds off on the outside 1/3’s. I think this transition area is what creates this turning effect. I don’t think this is a bad thing, could even be a good thing. I think this transition zone is the result of having a firmer core that allows the tire to be molded into a shape, unlike the Larry which is too soft to be anything but round.
Overall the Devist8er was pretty good on hardpack, still a lot of tire for firm conditions, but not too bad and certainly not any worse than the Larry. I contd on the firm, rolling terrain with some climbing in and out of draws, a few root scrambles and a log rollover, all of which went fairly well. At one point I decided to drop the pressure to see if the autosteer would improve. I reduced the pressure to ~8psi and headed on. I seemed to be having more trouble with riding stratight, initially put it off to getting tired, but then when I headed into the downhill I felt kinda squirelly, so bumped the pressure back up to ~10psi and the ride was noticeably improved.
Next We headed into some moderate DH, roots, rocks, switchbacks, all of which went well, better than the Larry in that I felt like I could “swoop” though the turns without having to worry about side wall flex or the tire washing out. Though the Devist8er is still a big tire, it rides more like a big muni tire, holding an edge and giving a firm ride. After clearing the ridge we rode out along the lake on some slimy, water covered trail. The Devist8er gripped the wet surfaces fine, though it was pumped up to be firmer than what I would have been running on the Larry.
The last 1/4 mile of the loop is on gravel and asphalt, which gave me a better idea of how this fat tire works with road crown. I though it would be worse, but I was suprised, the crowning effect was minimal, certainly the Devist8er did crown some, but not any more than a typical muni tire, and certainly not as much as the Larry.
So, two thumbs up on the Devist8er, nice muni tire, likely good on soft conditions like sand or snow (have not tried those surface yet), more traction than the Larry, more resilence than the Larry, less bounce than the Larry, and believe it or not it feels much more agile and less bulky than the Larry; yes, even though it is technically 20% heavier than the Larry, it rides smaller.
I think this is a good choice for general muni use, more so than the Larry due to have more structure, more traction, and what I think will be a longer lasting tread (harder rubber than Larry). For straight up snow and sand riding, the Larry is probably better, but for everything else the Devist8er would be my first choice. At a price of $60 for a full kevlar tire; bead and casing, this tire is a steal.
So don’t be put off by the extra weight, because it’s the extra weight of the Devst8er that makes this tire so much better for muni than the Larry. If you feel the weight difference is excessive, consider getting the Large Large Light rim, it is 500gm lighter than the LM XC rim, which is the OEM rim on the Oregon. Also, since Terry and I are both running a heavy DH tube, which is a~100-200 gm heavier than a light tube, I think that this is an overkill on the Devist8er and it would perfectly fine to run a normal lightweight fat tire tube or even go tubeless, so more weight loss is possible to offset the difference in weight between the Larry/Husker Du and the Devist8er.
Fat is the new black!!