I've got stock Hutchison Python 26x2.0 (not the kevlar bead ones) on the NRS. So far both the front and rear have suffered from weak sidewalls resulting in splits. The first time it was probably a big hit on a sharp rock or stick that ripped a 2" hole in the rear tyre. The second time was today when I got my bike delivered back to me via Courier guy (the LBS is about 150km away) after the bike was serviced. The front side wall had a 1/2" scuffed in appearance split in it with pea-sized portion of tube bulging out. LBS says "Oh. Surprised that the guys didn't pick it up. They were riding around and it was OK. We have another one in stock we can sell you." The Courier guy says "It was sitting in the back of the van on top of cardboard boxes..." All I know is that it WASNT there when I washed the bike (incl. sidewalls) before taking it into the shop. Is this something that the Pythons are prone to doing, or am I just having a run of bad luck. Because I don't like having to shellout $75 every 8 weeks... While I'm at it, can anyone recommend a some decent winter tyres for me to try? Wet grass fields like a rugby pitch with a 1/2" water on it, loamy mud, sheep and cattle tracks, beech forest, coarse gravel, a small amount of yellowish hardpacked slick clay. Very much a XC style of riding. Westie!