Will a universal tire fit a Sensation? Will handling improve?

Need tire advice: studded vs. universal on pavement and wooded

I need to replace one tire, so I'm considering changing both tires from studded to universal on my Sensation MB-6A. If both types of tires say 4.10/3.5-6, will they have the same diameter? The brake is very close to the existing tire. If I change to a universal tire, I don't want it to rub the brake.

Maybe I should ask this question too: if I want decent traction on pine needles (wooded path), but also want to have good handling on pavement, is a universal tire the one to get? The front tire (old and cracked) is actually a diamond tread. The rear tire is a studded from CST. The 3hp engine is very underpowered for me (adult, but only 145lb), and it is difficult to get moving in the pine needles. I want the kids to be able to tool around in the yard and in the path I cleared in the woods, so they don't have to ride in the street.

I don't like the pavement handling right now. The steering seems unstable--seems to wobble/oscillate sometimes and takes some strength to hold steady. I do not remember my mini bike I had as a kid having this problem. Will the handling on pavement be improved with universal tires?

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You will be fine on both accounts. The tires will both be very close in size, and should not interfere with the scrub brake. (speaking from actual experience with a Sensation)

Personally I think the studded looks better then the universals would on those bikes (and the sawtooths better then both :smile:)


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It says Knobby but it is not. I have a set of 8". This is an all around tire, street and trail. Pretty sure footed in dirt and gravel and good on the road. Not that great in mud and deep sand. Don't know about pine needles and if you have a lot of deep sand you might go with something more aggressive. It isn't a wide ratio tire, more tall and skinny type. 4 ply is good for off road
Thanks guys. Any advice on the front wheel wobble? Could that be coming from the older diamond tread tire on the front? The rubber is very hard on that tire.

I was wondering if the wobble was maybe coming from the shape of the tire cross section, since the diamond (and the studded) both have sharper shoulders than a universal? Or is the steering just unstable to start with on these bikes? I don't remember it being that way years ago on the bike I had as a kid, and that one didn't have universal tires.
I'm getting the rims and fenders sandblasted so can't try the swap. I decided to just get another studded tire (Carlisle) from OldMiniBikes. Just about every picture in the old Sensation ads show this bike with studded tires. Only one (the one with the girl riding) showed a sawtooth on front and a studded on the rear. A couple models look like they might have something like universals, but the MB-6A does not.

I'm guessing the front handling issue was coming from the old hard rubber. The bearings were a little gritty, but ok, and the fork is ok as well.

Now I need to start working on a new sprocket. The existing 60-tooth has pretty worn teeth.

Thanks for your help!