Look what I did to my tire!
I knew I hated this tire when it was on the bike originally. I tried to see if my skills had improved enough to compensate for the horrible tire, but it had not. I still found myself sliding around and I did not like the feel of it. I was either going to do something about it or throw the tire out. With money tight I kept on wondering about regrooving the tires or using a tire knife to cut grooves of some sort. It was then that I saw a post on a rock climbing forum about cutting grooves with a a set of rotary punches. I picked up a set at Harbor Freight.
I was amazed how easy it was to cut through the rubber and make the grooves. I used the next to smallest punch. It took about 30 minutes or so to do this tire. I even checked the balance when I was done and did not mess up the balance really any at all. Your results may vary.
I tried them out this past weekend with great results. I had pretty good feel out of the front tire and no real traction problems with it. I was on single track trails and double track trails where some parts were sticky clay mud and it still did well.
I understand that this could be dangerous to modify a tire. I made sure to only cut the blocks and never cut near the carcass of the tire. I will be watching it for cracks and tread separation. The cuts are also round so that they do not have any stress concentrations due to sharp cut angles.
By the way, does anyone have a Trail Wing TW301 front tire that they hate and would like to get rid of for the price of shipping?
On a side note: I am getting used to the Shinko SR241 rear tire and I think that I really like it. I was amazed how well it climbed over roots and up hills on my last ride. The only problem I had was that it spun on my aluminum ramp when I was loading it into the truck.