irc serac xc tire

The first time I ever purchased a replacement mountain bike tire, I chose the IRC Serac XC. I can’t even remember why, because I didn’t know anyone that ran them. I had never even seen them on anyone’s race bike.

But I got a set and you know what? They were awesome!

I have since used these tires for many years and I refuse to switch! I used the Serac XC’s with great success on a variety of terrain, from dirt roads to technical East Coast singletrack (rocks, roots, mud, etc.)

I’ve ridden some other good tires, but I just feel ‘at home’ on these tires.

The weight isn’t bad, either. The 2.1″ version of this standard tire weighs 580g. Not super light, but light enough for most people.

Why isn’t the IRC Serac XC more popular?

I’m not 100% sure. My guess is due to lack of marketing and distribution. I don’t see that many IRC tire ads, and I rarely see the tire for sale outside of PricePoint.com. This tire never seemed to get the praise it deserved.

What conditions is the IRC Serac XC good for?

irc serac xc tire

I’d say this tire is great for race courses that offer a variety of terrain. A lot of courses around here hit you with hard pack, some mud, some loose dirt, and small to large rocks. Rarely do I see a course that is 90% one type of terrain, so the Serac XC is a good fit for me.

If you have a very smooth hardpack course without loose dirt in corners, you could get by with a smoother, faster tire.

For courses with lots of rock, maybe around Moab, Utah, there are probably better tires.

Tons of deep mud, probably better options for that as well.

But the IRC Serac XC is good for variety. While some may consider it a “jack of all trades, master of none” situation, I think of it as “most mountain bike courses include a variety of terrain, so I want a tire that can handle a variety of terrain.”

Can the IRC Serac XC be used tubeless?

Kind of. Whenever I first converted some standard IRC Serac XC’s to tubeless with a Stan’s NoTubes conversion (in 2006,) it worked flawlessly.

It took some time, but it sealed. Eventually the tire bead basically glued itself to the rim strip, so even after many harsh impacts, there were no issues with air loss or popping the bead.

The second time (in 2009,) I just could not get my new Serac XC’s to seal. I tried two separate days and made no progress.

Then I noticed the Stan’s NoTubes website was updated and put IRC on the list of tires *not* recommended for use as a tubeless conversion!

Note that IRC was not listed on the “not recommended” tires list at NoTubes.com when I first used these tubeless. Now they are listed, so I advise you to heed their warning.

So I DO NOT recommend using this standard tire in a tubeless setup. (Though I have made it work in the past, but a bead failure could be catastrophic and lead to serious injury.)

Good news – I’ve also used the UST version of this tire and it rides the same, plus works much better with a Stan’s tubeless conversion.

irc serac xc tire

My final verdict is…

If you’re still using tubes on your mountain bike, and you need a good XC tire for conditions ranging from hardpack to light mud and loose soil, try the IRC Serac XC. Considering you can find it on sale at PricePoint for $15, it’s a no-brainer!

You can also get the UST version for a cheap price, if you already run tubeless tires. I have used both the regular Serac’s and the UST version, and both are excellent!

Official website: www.IRC-Tire.com

Product Review Details
Company: IRC
Product: IRC Serac XC Tire
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-10-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. Where do you even buy these anymore?

  2. @Tim

    Good question! I used to see them on PricePoint.com and that was about it. I don’t see them there anymore. I don’t even see them on Amazon.com or eBay. I don’t remember ever seeing them at PBK, Performance Bike, Nashbar, REI, etc.

    The IRC Tire website lists J&B Importers as one of their distributors though, and a lot of bike shops work with them, so your local bike shop should be able to order you the tires.

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