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CST C-186 tire review (MSX)


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CST C-186   Tire Review I've reached about 600km with this tire, so I'd say I have gotten past the honeymoon stage by now, warranting a real review on the tire. So, to help me overcome the m

rode some km on this tire, i can confirm all the positive things said in the first post, it's a great all-round tire. i don't think will be my tire but it has really a lot of pros compared to a c

The CST-C186 is a European thing, you should search for Kenda K262 2.75-14.  This tire is nearly the same but it seems the knobbys are little shorter and this would be better in your case. 

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18 hours ago, Wolverine said:

@mrelwood Nice review, thank you! We need definitely more such content to this forum.

Thank you! I will be doing a few more tire reviews later this year.

18 hours ago, Wolverine said:

Could you please provide us picture(s) of your studded trials tire CST C-186?

54-B2-AE17-6-E7-F-45-D4-8-A6-A-D1-D8-C63

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I've just fitted this to my MSP, with a little bit of sanding it runs really smooth!

I was running my stock MSP tyre at low PSI, around 25, to prevent skittishness on gravel mainly.

You guys seem to be talking about using really high tyre pressure, I have this one set up at about 31 and its like a rock, no give at all. Is it really necessary to have such rock hard pressure?

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3 hours ago, Marc Roberts said:

Is it really necessary to have such rock hard pressure?

Depends completely on your weight, and where/how you ride, as well as how you happen to like it. As long as you don't go low enough for it to bottom out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i'm thinking to give a try to the cst 186, considering it has a 32psi max pressure i'll try it at max pressure, i usually ride around 38 on msx/msp tire.

i'm more a street speeder but i do like trails and offroad also, should i try it?

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@EMA the main benefits of AT tires like C-186 for EUC are:

  1. Better traction on loose surfaces like grass, gravel, sand.
  2. Marginally improved traction on wet surfaces like mud and snow (but they're still surfaces that you'll want to avoid).
  3. Less sensitive to steering inputs - this makes the tire easier to control at high speed (e.g.: Veteran Sherman).

If you care about #1, do it!
(If not, skip it.)

30+ psi in C-186 is horribly stiff- start with 25.

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3 minutes ago, RagingGrandpa said:

@EMA the main benefits of AT tires like C-186 for EUC are:

  1. Better traction on loose surfaces like grass, gravel, sand.
  2. Marginally improved traction on wet surfaces like mud and snow (but they're still surfaces that you'll want to avoid).
  3. Less sensitive to steering inputs - this makes the tire easier to control at high speed (e.g.: Veteran Sherman).

If you care about #1, do it!
(If not, skip it.)

30+ psi in C-186 is horribly stiff- start with 25.

really thanks @RagingGrandpa i'll give it a try, i found it easy in IT, maybe next week  i'm on it ;)

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1 hour ago, RagingGrandpa said:

 

  1. Better traction on loose surfaces like grass, gravel, sand.
  2. Marginally improved traction on wet surfaces like mud and snow

”Marginally”... :roflmao: The ”marginal” grip of the C186 is easily sufficient on snow and even mud. Ice not so much, which is why I ended up adding studs. After that I couldn’t find any surfaces that the grip wouldn’t have been good enough.

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rode some km yesterday on the new tire cst 186, good feelings, need to test the range compared to stock cst 1488

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with EMA:

1/ That tire is amazing on it's own. Maybe an answer to the Veteran success imo, among others ;)

2/ I finally switched to a  more conventional H666 on my MSX, where you can't be superman that much, but that spares me battery quite significantly && içs less tiring for long trips. You want power man wheel for very agressive riding on any ground?  grab the C-186.  You want an mix between practicability / endurance / easy-to-ride-work-home-wheel in a big city => pick the H666.

Edited by Matthieu Thegrey
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12 hours ago, Matthieu Thegrey said:

I agree with EMA:

1/ That tire is amazing on it's own. Maybe an answer to the Veteran success imo, among others ;)

2/ I finally switched to a  more conventional H666 on my MSX, where you can't be superman that much, but that spares me battery quite significantly && içs less tiring for long trips. You want power man wheel for very agressive riding on any ground?  grab the C-186.  You want an mix between practicability / endurance / easy-to-ride-work-home-wheel in a big city => pick the H666.

i'm back to cst1488, i like it and it's really good even outside the road, the knobby is too slow for my tipical use.

you can find the h666 in EU ?

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On 1/3/2020 at 4:20 PM, RagingGrandpa said:

Got one, fits great, rides great, thanks for the recommendation @mrelwood!

x76ekZM_NHTWMJQhyA-Onb6i4KMpz5Z_fGCauOJz

A followup from me:

C-186 after 3410 miles of mixed terrain:

ACtC-3d4t9KgTDPPEuLOstJn6_fXIelQ64N-bZa1

170lb riding weight; 24psi cold

Proud to have worn the sipes off the side knobs :)

It was still fun, and I planned to run it all the way down to the wear bars... but other things changed my plan :(

ACtC-3cwLt4NA1FrR9oJ7l-hconCsTaODfL0ORZhTB1aS3vmotJf08-EMX_F6UovqdiJ1id2ib4hlEV7ejG6pSB9LZEwltenjDKvs4Bi-jy7dd47USrI8NWa9S6BPwcnynXoAy9oMj9MSwGkhau-0KotnNadSA=w956-h1274-no?authuser=0

Fresh K262 going back on after motor replacement.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for the recommendation, this feels quite nice. If you pump it up hard it's super nimble. I had some case rubbing, but lowered the psi and rode few laps around the yeard and it settled and no rubbing. I'll maybe put studs or not.

 

IMG_20201225_154200.thumb.jpg.e82bc68c8f41aec97de1ae663b0bfc26.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/14/2019 at 7:49 PM, mrelwood said:

84-C229-BF-CD93-4119-8-E20-AED458-AD35-E        CST C-186   Tire Review

I've reached about 600km with this tire, so I'd say I have gotten past the honeymoon stage by now, warranting a real review on the tire.

So, to help me overcome the most prominent issues of off-roading especially in the autumn, I wanted to try a tire on my MSX that would grip better on wet mud and roots yet handle reasonably well at up to 30mph on pavement without severe degradation in battery range. Despite some fit issues my previous tire ChaoYang H-666 18x3.0 (200km review) was a good step towards that direction, but I wanted to go even further for the wet autumn. Even better if the tire would make me feel safe enough to ride - even if slowly - in the snow.

The Shinko SR241 is of a similiar design, but it would require shaving of the side knobbies to fit on the MSX. The C-186 had been fitted by another forum member without modifications. I bought the tire from a car and motorcycle tire webshop that only ships to Finland. The shop is owned by Delti, and they have multiple similiar tire shops in several European countries.

Unfortunately this specific tire is not available in sizes that would fit any other EUC than the MSX.

Tire sizing

Motorcycle tire measurement standards differ from bicycle standards in both width and height. A 18x3.0" bicycle tire is about the same size as a 2.75-14 motorcycle tire, except any knobs or other protrusions to the side are not included in the measurement. That makes many knobby 2.75 motorcycles to scrape the MSX tire well. The side knobs can however be shaved to fit if necessary, but the C-186 may be able to run without modifications. Although, I sandpapered the shell edges a bit to make sure the tire wouldn't start scraping later on.

CCD85-A11-62-EE-44-B5-92-B3-EFD09-F7-EB7

Installing

The C186 is an extremely soft tire, enough to be the softest tire of any kind that I’ve ever handled. (Well, RC car tires excluded). Besides providing a good grip in every riding situation, the softness should also makes the install process easier. I lubed the edges of the tire with dish washing liquid, and when squeezing the opposite end of the tire to the center groove of the rim, even the last part of the tire indeed popped in quite easily.

As usual, the tire had deformed a little during transit, so I let it sit at 3.0 bars overnight before deflating and re-aligning the tire to run straight. After that the fit is decent, although with barely any space for mud, pebbles, pinecones and snow to pass through. This does make it noisier for the objects to go through the tire well, but so far they haven’t caused any issues.

CST C-186 2.75-14 next to a standard 16x2.125 tire:

719-AFCC7-2-EE6-4385-B350-EC1-A6-B93541-

Turning & Carving

This tire carves very strangely. It has a delay to it’s tilting behaviour that I haven’t experienced with any other tire: When I start to lean into a turn, the wheel stays upright at first, but as I continue the turn, the wheel slowly starts to tilt. Once I ride straight again, the wheel stays tilted at first before slowly getting back in the upright position.

This behaviour is immediately noticeable, and strong enough that it could be a show stopper for some people. I am hoping that the tendency would diminish a bit once the tire breaks in. I did notice that the behaviour is less pronounced already when dropping the pressure from 2.5 to 2.4 bars. (For reference: I used 2.7 bars with the original tire, and 2.5 for the H-666.)

Due to this tilting behaviour I got my first pedal scrape on the MSX when trying tight 180• turns on pavement. It hasn’t turned out to be an issue though, as I think I have already learned to turn with the tire more effectively. Or more carefully, since I just can’t go as fast in corners as I was able to with the H-666. It was amazing in that regard.

The ground resistance to the twisting motion is a lot smaller on this C-186 tire, so the wheel is easier to balance when idling or riding at sub walking speeds.

6-DF63-FE9-F5-C3-4126-88-DF-BAEF60605-F9

Comfort

Since this tire consists of squishy blobs of soft rubber, it is of course marvellously effective in dampening the shocks and vibration from rough ground, bumps and curbs. The carving behaviour is of course a notable factor in riding comfort, so I can’t give five stars for comfort. I have to assess my feelings in the spring, wether I’ll switch back to the H-666 for the summer season. Currently I’d say that I will not change it.

I hadn’t really noticed the sound of the tire myself, but a friend noted after riding behind me that it makes a funny sound. A full-face helmet and wind seems to be enough to drown the sound at above 10mph. When I do hear it though, it sounds like an F1 race car!

Traction

Most of us know that wet mud is the #1 enemy when it comes to traction. The original ChaoYang H-5102 is the worst of them all, and my previous tire ChaoYang H-666 was a bit better than any other EUC tire I had experienced. The C-186 though? It is flat out immune! I have not been able to strip my three years of riding experience enough to push it on wet mud enough to have gotten even the slightest slip. It is unreal. I have even ridden across muddy 2 feet deep ditches with quite steep muddy inclines, and had zero issues with traction. And had to stop to laugh at it afterwards, it feels that crazy! As if I should forget everything I have learned about the laws of physics. All in all, this tire doesn’t care the slightest bit wether it’s on pavement, wet mud, moss, or anything in between. Unlike with all other tires, I’m not even able to feel which surface I’m riding on. It’s a surreal feeling!

On extremely steep dirt and fine gravel inclines the soft knobbies make the tire bounce less, resulting in better traction. This makes even the Gotway soft mode usable for such environment, where a regular tire makes the soft mode dip enough to be a bit too unnerving. The grip on soft dirt is of course better as well, but the difference isn’t as radical as with wet mud, and I was once able to make the tire skid and sink while riding up an incline that was extremy steep, and the newly laid dirt was very soft and extremely bumpy due to stupid horse-back riders that are not even allowed on that trail.

The possibilities this tire opens remains to be seen. But just like the MSX made it possible for me to ride without worrying about the little bumps and small obstacles, this tire takes it a lot further. I can now ride off-road in just a headlight short of pitch black with a decent speed without worrying about little rocks, bumps, or even puddles of wet mud.

910-DCAC9-8-D37-40-FF-98-A7-10-A845895-A

Range

To my pleasant surprise the C-186 didn’t decrease the wheel’s range nearly as much as I would’ve expected, only by about 4% on the same 50/50 off-road/on-road trip. Which is exactly what I observed when comparing the medium and soft riding modes on the previous tire. So if you are running the original tire in medium mode, the C-186 in soft mode should offer a very similiar range.

Conclusion

This is a supernaturally magnificent tire for making the MSX the off-road beast that it can only dream of with the original tire. The only downside I can think of is the tilting behaviour, as it requires several hundred kilometres to get familiar with. I'm sure most of us can tolerate the behaviour though since it is otherwise such an eye-opening experience for trails and cliffs I would never have imagined riding on. I wish that all offroad EUC riders could experience what a tire like this can do, and how wholeheartedly it can reform one’s riding style and the level of confidence and trust that it inspires. 

 

4/5, absolutely recommended!

Great review and I'm I gonna buy for my RS soon ;)  

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On 12/25/2020 at 7:14 AM, lirva said:

...I'll maybe put studs or not.

Studded, you'll be a stud (pun intended) on the ice! You'll be riding on frozen lakes/trails with more grip than on asphalt. On the other hand, ice is as hard as pavement so eating it wont be like falling on powder. However one will be sliding a lot more so maybe it ain't so bad. I've wiped out lots playing hockey but ofcos, not at any type of speeds. I plan to stud the knobbies I'm gonna put on the MCM5 for winter games.

I still remember the afternoons we spent studding our sleds aka snowmobiles (mainly arctic cats & yamis) for our expected weekend rides. More fun than any motorized vehicle I've been on except the times I hit 290+kph (or atleast thats what the speedo says) on the bike/s. I'm not sure I'd call it fun though but it was a trip for sure.

Try it. Its not difficult on such a small tire with an impact driver & removing it is even easier. Won't even wreck the tire much.

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  • 4 weeks later...
25 minutes ago, Edward Pringle said:

Hi I am looking for a knobby tire for my V11 that I could put studs into.  Would the C-186 fit.

I think @mrelwood has C-186 with studs on his V11.

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4 hours ago, Edward Pringle said:

Hi I am looking for a knobby tire for my V11 that I could put studs into.  Would the C-186 fit.

Yes, as @lirva remembered, I have the CST C-186 with studs on my V11. It does fit, but there isn’t a huge amount of space for packed snow. So when you start a ride on snow, let the tire cool down just a few minutes outside before. This is to make sure that the warm tire doesn’t melt and pack the cold snow on itself.

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  • 1 month later...

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