Oh man. This was awesome.
Descending on a hardtail MTB is awesome and blows away any sort of non-suspended cross bike setup. I had a blast but am still way slow down the mountain.
I ran new Forte Tsali 2.2 tires, measured out at 52mm in the rear and 50mm in the front. Went with a wire bead rear, folding front to save a little money. The tires felt great traction wise, course ran the gamut from dry and sandy to slushy and wet. Snow at the higher elevations but the road surface was clear. The tires did feel a little slow when I was riding with cross bikes but overall I think the tradeoffs are worth it. Might try some smaller tires next year but hopefully I’ll be on a drop bar hardtail anyway.