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  1. #1
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    New question here. Back to 2.3" tires

    Has anybody tried out all the new big tire offerings and gone back to 2.3"?

    My stumpjumper came with 29x2.3. Since then I've tried 29x2.4, 29x2.6, 29x3.0, 27.5x3.0. I've been thinking 29x2.5 is the sweet spot for my AM riding and should get a set of 35mm wheels to match. But after tearing up all my bigger tires I put on my original 2.3s, and they don't seem to slow me down much. So now I can't decide if I want to buy wide wheels.
    2016 Fuse Pro 29/6Fattie
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  2. #2
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    If you're running higher volume tires on narrower rims then I can see why you'd think that. On 35mm IW rims it changes things quite dramatically.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
    If you're running higher volume tires on narrower rims then I can see why you'd think that. On 35mm IW rims it changes things quite dramatically.
    My wheels are 29mm IW, so not that narrow. I'm sure grip would be better with 2.5" tires on 35mm rims, but is it dramatically better than 2.3" and worth the weight?
    2016 Fuse Pro 29/6Fattie
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  4. #4
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    I'm a 2.25 O.G.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  5. #5
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    2 things to keep in mind. A 29er tire has more grip due to the longer contact patch. And wider tires have more weight at the outside edge of the wheel. This can make tight corners hard when going fast.

    If you need more grip, and are already on a grippy tire then go wider.
    I ride 2.3 most of the time without issues.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    Has anybody tried out all the new big tire offerings and gone back to 2.3"?

    My stumpjumper came with 29x2.3. Since then I've tried 29x2.4, 29x2.6, 29x3.0, 27.5x3.0. I've been thinking 29x2.5 is the sweet spot for my AM riding and should get a set of 35mm wheels to match. But after tearing up all my bigger tires I put on my original 2.3s, and they don't seem to slow me down much. So now I can't decide if I want to buy wide wheels.
    I tried 27.5 2.8 on my singlespeed. Despite being set up with proper pressures/wheels I preferred the feel of 2.35 and 2.2 29er tires. So run normal 29er tires on 21mm wheels. The frame will accept 29 3.0 tires, but I have yet to find a desire to ride them. Some guys I ride with just love the tires and even when they try to like normal 29 they just keep going back to 29+. Even so I don't think they are perfect for everyone.

    Ride what you like.
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  7. #7
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    It's not so black and white unfortunately. The roundness profile and volume designed into one 2.3 tire can be quite different from another '2.3' tire. I've got 3 seasons on 30mm iw rims with Bontrager XR1 2.2 Team 120tpi tires on a carbon SF 29 hardtail. 2.2 is the widest that frame takes. I can go 2.7 with a Panaracer FBN for the front. That 2.2 is fast rolling with good traction at lower pressures on that rim. I wouldn't run a skinnier rim with that tire. I would go with a 35mm for the XR2 2.35 Team. For a 2.7 with a round profile and 120tpi sidewall maybe 45mm. After running the 2.2 on my 30mm rim I can tell the 2.7 on that rim isn't anywhere near the same level of performance. it works fine but I'm not getting everything out of it.

  8. #8
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    Maxxis on their WT tires vs their normal 2.3 tires

    "The WT design primarily benefits larger 2.4-2.6 tires when used on wider rims. Narrower 2.3 tires set up with an optimal profile on 21-29mm inner width rims"

    My largest rim is a 46mm ID and has 3" 29er's on it.
    My XC bike has 26mm ID's and I run a 2.4 front and a 2.35 rear.
    Feels best to me
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  9. #9
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    The perfet tire, the perfect rim might help you win a race. Improving your skills is free. If in 3 months you still feel the same(need for more grip) it might help you but i would focus on improving my skills first. For my xc 29x2.3 are unbeatable, not all the time but realy most of the time.

  10. #10
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    I have found that 2.3s are great for smooth fast trails for me, but for roots and rocks it slows me down and doesn't roll over well enough. Being 230 lb, I can't run them with low enough air pressure to roll over rough stuff. The fastest rider in my group is much smaller and does great with 2.3s at 21 psi. That is about the lowest pressure I can run with a 2.6.
    2016 Fuse Pro 29/6Fattie
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    2 things to keep in mind. A 29er tire has more grip due to the longer contact patch. And wider tires have more weight at the outside edge of the wheel. This can make tight corners hard when going fast.

    If you need more grip, and are already on a grippy tire then go wider.
    I ride 2.3 most of the time without issues.
    Not necessarily - a 27.5 rim is lighter than 29 rim.

    Maxxis Rekon+ is lighter than Minion DHF.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    Has anybody tried out all the new big tire offerings and gone back to 2.3"?

    My stumpjumper came with 29x2.3. Since then I've tried 29x2.4, 29x2.6, 29x3.0, 27.5x3.0. I've been thinking 29x2.5 is the sweet spot for my AM riding and should get a set of 35mm wheels to match. But after tearing up all my bigger tires I put on my original 2.3s, and they don't seem to slow me down much. So now I can't decide if I want to buy wide wheels.
    I have 36mm IW wheels and am running a 2.3 rear tire because that is the widest Maxxis makes in DD casing. I tore up two DHR 2 WT 2.4 in a month with exo casing. I loved the grip of the wider tire but I tore up the sidewalls. I hope to get a WTB Breakout 2.5 with TCS casing soon for the rear. I'm a fan of the grip of the bigger rubber.

    I run a DHF 2.5 WT up front and it is all I will ever run in the front. Perfect tire for Colorado terrain.
    If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by poonamibaxter View Post
    I have 36mm IW wheels and am running a 2.3 rear tire because that is the widest Maxxis makes in DD casing. I tore up two DHR 2 WT 2.4 in a month with exo casing. I loved the grip of the wider tire but I tore up the sidewalls. I hope to get a WTB Breakout 2.5 with TCS casing soon for the rear. I'm a fan of the grip of the bigger rubber.

    I run a DHF 2.5 WT up front and it is all I will ever run in the front. Perfect tire for Colorado terrain.
    That's very interesting because I tear up rear tires too. I have been planning on getting some i9 360 wheels, but I have been suspicious of the sidewall exposure even with WT tires (especially the 2.4" WT). From what I have gathered, almost all of the enduro and downhill pros are staying with 30mm or smaller rims even with 2.5" tires. So maybe I'll go with the i9 305 wheel.
    2016 Fuse Pro 29/6Fattie
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  14. #14
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    I love the wide rims but am forced into the skinnier than I want tire until maxxis and wtb catch up. Running a 2.3 in these rims gets a little hairy in fast turns when you're leaning pretty far over.

    I just got this bike a few months ago and it replaced a 27.5 rig with the 305 enduros. I had the exact same problem with tires on those wheels. I have to run thick casing. I don't trust rubber that isn't at least 1000 grams.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by poonamibaxter View Post
    I love the wide rims but am forced into the skinnier than I want tire until maxxis and wtb catch up. Running a 2.3 in these rims gets a little hairy in fast turns when you're leaning pretty far over.

    I just got this bike a few months ago and it replaced a 27.5 rig with the 305 enduros. I had the exact same problem with tires on those wheels. I have to run thick casing. I don't trust rubber that isn't at least 1000 grams.


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    So why do you love the wide rims?
    2016 Fuse Pro 29/6Fattie
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  16. #16
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    Grip for days with a tire wide enough for em. The dhr2 wouldn't slip in anything when I ran em. I ran a wtb breakout 2.5 tcs rear in my 27.5 and would replace it when I wore the knobs off. The wider tires with thick casings will catch up on 29ers soon. Wtb's site shows a 29x2.5 breakout but says it's sold out. Maxxis will add double down casings in wide tires soon enough also. The technology is there, we're finally getting to the point where demand will be enough for them to produce em.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMTB'er View Post
    Not necessarily - a 27.5 rim is lighter than 29 rim.

    Maxxis Rekon+ is lighter than Minion DHF.
    Yes, but since we're in a 29er forum, Im sticking to them.

  18. #18
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    Good subject as it is very pertinent to those looking to build up their next wheel set.

    Overall, I'd pick a 2.3" for AM riding. I've found the 2.3" DHF/DHRII setup very competent. The rare time those tires break loose in a bad way is usually rider error. I've tried going bigger and things get very draggy feeling, at least for every day riding. I have recently tried the new Maxxis 2.6" tires, with the DHF 2.6 up front. They are very nice and provide immense traction, but they too are a bit draggy compared to the 2.3" Maxxis equivalents.

    There are times I might want to run the DHF WT 2.5" up front, but I think that tire would be fine on a rim smaller than the recommended i30.

    If I had to pick a rim and build a wheel right now I'd likely go with something like an i26 to i28. You can still run the traditional 2.3" tires, and likely be fine on the wider 2.5" flavors.

  19. #19
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    Some guys say the plus tires make the slow guys faster, and the fast guys slower. YMMV

  20. #20
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    My latest build I went with 27mm inner width with 2.3 rear tire and 2.4 front tire. I ride in MD, all we have is roots and rocks all over the trails. I'm happy with the choice, ran 30mm inner rims before it. Weight 210lbs.
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  21. #21
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    Going the Old Man route - bigger, soft tires.

    I have a 91 Spesh that I just bumped up to 2.2 for something a bit softer and forgiving on the rigid. It was on 1.95 commuters.

    I got the idea from going 650b+ as my newer bike of about 5 months now. Fig at my age and liking the comfort while still riding hard tail, more tire might be a nice benefit.

    Just went to a Schwalbe 2.35 on my other 26'r , a 2001 alum frame Kona h/t. Those cost me $10 each - lol .
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  22. #22
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    I recently flirted with a 27.5 plus setup on my hardtail with a 2.8f/2.6r combo (that was as big as I could get in the rear triangle). While it was a lot of fun, I recently purchased some light, big volume 2.35 tires in 29" and have decided I likely won't be swapping back anytime soon. It is just a faster setup to me and where I typically ride than the plus setup. Don't feel like I'm giving up too much on the comfort with the 2.35s over the others. Not to say it is better or worse, just works for me better right now. Kind of fun to have an extra set of wheels to play around with!

  23. #23
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    Running a 30 mm id rim with a 2.5 dfh up front. Works well on chunky rocks and root. Never ever been pedaling and said" I wish I had less grip" For me the set up work s well with 2.3 dhr out back. 26-28 psi up front, slightly more in back.

  24. #24
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    "Riders lacking skills need larger tires and more travel"

    I was on a group ride, that consisted of a blend of bikes, readying to take the most challenging portion of the run. One of the riders made this comment and initially I thought he was just trying to antagonize. He debated this with a couple other riders and made some valid points. The general consensus was ride what you feel gives you the most control & confidence while descending & don't bitch when those large tires and big travel slow you down the rest of the time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechsc1 View Post
    "Riders lacking skills need larger tires and more travel"

    I was on a group ride, that consisted of a blend of bikes, readying to take the most challenging portion of the run. One of the riders made this comment and initially I thought he was just trying to antagonize. He debated this with a couple other riders and made some valid points. The general consensus was ride what you feel gives you the most control & confidence while descending & don't bitch when those large tires and big travel slow you down the rest of the time.
    I like a title more like this;

    "Riders lacking Self Esteem announce what's wrong with everyone else or their bike"

    I think the point about riders having the choice for a best bike per their own particular style, preferred terrain or the one they can handle the best is most def for them to decide and define.

    Never thought of it this way but I guess the rides I go on are "blended rides" yet for some reason, we never get around to debating the choices, designs or a hierarchy facade. Hardtails, full sus or rigid, not to mention wheels of various sizes and tires of differing widths- All are welcome and the peddler makes em go. Sometimes the fat tire'd rigid is just perfect on the wet dirt roads that still have snow and ice up there at 8500 and beyond.
    In fact, it might be the air is just thin enough over here that we don't have the lungs to fully debate the many merits of bike designs and how many valid advantages one has can often be the valid compromise of another sort.

    Funny thing is, the group of people I ride with could easily handle a discussion like that absent the drama and emotion that leads to all the labels BUT ... there it is:

    We lack the skills to talk while peddling.

    Last edited by bachman1961; 09-05-2017 at 09:10 PM.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    So why do you love the wide rims?
    To support the wide tires to run proper pressure. What width rim and what width tires are you using? Skinny rim and fat tire means the sidewalls' exposed. Lots of opinions on this. Look at say a 30-35 mm wide rim as being a safe best for say the 2.4 to 2.8 " wide tires. Maxxis fan here. The wide rims give better tire support and the ability to run lower pressures to give the big tires an advantage. Traction and cush.

  27. #27
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    Not 29"er specific but...

    My 15 yo son has a Stumpy 6fattie set up with 27.5x3.0 tires, and I have a SC 5010c with 30mm IW rims and large Vittoria Morsa 2.3's. Both bikes are medium, relatively high end and pretty comparable overall (except for Alu vs Carbon).

    I will take my SC any day over that plus bike, and it's all due to feel at the wheels. Not weight feel, but just lack of responsiveness / muted feel. Actually I don't even like his bike, it would so much better with the standard 29"er wheels. When he outgrows it I will probably do that actually.

    IMO opinion a lot of the difference is in the rider's experience. I have been riding for 30 years, and he has been riding for 2 years. He loves the plus tires, probably for the monster-truck-ability.

    YMMV

    (patiently waiting for someone to come along and tell me the stock 6fattie rims aren't wide enough to really make a judgement...)
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  28. #28
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    Same here. 30+ years on all kinds of bikes. My son has 3.0 tires on his bike and loves them. I have 2.6 on mine and it feel like Iím writing with a crayola crayon. Iím going back to 2.35

  29. #29
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    I feel the steering feels dead, and no chance going between rocks on plus, 2.3 to 2.4 are perfect for me.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    Not 29"er specific but...

    My 15 yo son has a Stumpy 6fattie set up with 27.5x3.0 tires, and I have a SC 5010c with 30mm IW rims and large Vittoria Morsa 2.3's. Both bikes are medium, relatively high end and pretty comparable overall (except for Alu vs Carbon).

    I will take my SC any day over that plus bike, and it's all due to feel at the wheels. Not weight feel, but just lack of responsiveness / muted feel. Actually I don't even like his bike, it would so much better with the standard 29"er wheels. When he outgrows it I will probably do that actually.

    IMO opinion a lot of the difference is in the rider's experience. I have been riding for 30 years, and he has been riding for 2 years. He loves the plus tires, probably for the monster-truck-ability.

    YMMV

    (patiently waiting for someone to come along and tell me the stock 6fattie rims aren't wide enough to really make a judgement...)
    I have a 6 Fattie that I put a 29 wheelset with 2.3 tires on. It works great for me in 29 mode for most of the riding I do (which is NorCal and not often seriously technical).

    Furthermore, in response to patiently waiting about rim width, I do have a set of i45 rims, and a 3.25 tire up front, and 3.0 in the rear. For me, these huge tires provide better performance in most technical situation than the 29x2.3 format.

    But yes, there is a different feel, somewhat muted, of the trail surface with the big tires between me and the earth.

    The narrower tires are quicker to change direction, and fit in narrow slots better. Once the tires are 3.0, I am riding over stuff instead of through it. Both a good ride, one way or another.

    For that reason, I ride a hardtail with a rigid fork most of the time. Most of the trails I ride, unfortunately, are so tame, that a simpler bike is more fun to ride.

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  31. #31
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    Back to 2.3" tires

    Each tire has its application. To get the grip I like for SoCal loose rock over hard with punchy steep climbs over the same, the 2.3 tires just don't cut it. Same thing on the downs - just constant sliding around over loose golf ball / soft ball sized rocks. Currently alternating between 29x2.6 Nobby Nics and 27.5 x 2.8 Rekon plus.

  32. #32
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    Really haven't thought about it till this thread but I have gone back to 2.3 . Like everyone has pointed out there are a light of variables. I think for me at 5'8" I am too short for a 29er and I need softer compounds, big side knobbies, and a narrower profile to slash the bike around. 29ers are like a bus to me but with 2.3 at least it feels like I'm driving a mini-van.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahJohn View Post
    Some guys say the plus tires make the slow guys faster, and the fast guys slower. YMMV
    I would agree with that.

  34. #34
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    I had a chance to demo a top of the line plus bike couple of months ago. Nice bike, but to me it felt draggy compared to my 29er w 2.35's. I will say I am intrigued by the 2.6 tires on 27 wheels (ie Mach 5.5). Would like to demo that combo one day and compare.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    I am intrigued by the 2.6 tires on 27 wheels (ie Mach 5.5).
    I'm happy running 29.x2.3 F&R, but wouldn't turn down the chance to demo these 2 back to back: Mach 5.5 140mm 2.6" vs. Mojo 3 130mm 2.8"
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  36. #36
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    I've poked around a little bit as per rim size/tire width.
    I have 40mm wheels on the 27.5 plus and may stick with a 3.0 up front but try a 2.8 rear next time around.

    * Q Is 2.8 the official lower limit on narrow for these wheels ?
    Last edited by bachman1961; 09-10-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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  37. #37
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    I just went back to a 2.3 from a 2.5 I have been running all summer because I wanted to just wear the tires out at the bike park..... strangely I was shocked to say the least about how it woke the bike up with the whole back and forth changing directions.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I just went back to a 2.3 from a 2.5 I have been running all summer because I wanted to just wear the tires out at the bike park..... strangely I was shocked to say the least about how it woke the bike up with the whole back and forth changing directions.
    Interesting. I have had the same experience on smooth groomed trails.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post

    * Q Is 2.8 the official lower limit on narrow for these 40mm inner wheels ?
    It depends on the profile and volume of the tire. I'd try a 2.5 or 2.6" very rounded tire on that wheel.
    I'd even go with that rim for the high volume rounded Bontager XR2 2.35 Team. 30mm inner works fine for the 2.2.

    The wider you can go without squaring off the tread the lower the pressure you can run and the bigger footprint you can get from a lighter tire.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I just went back to a 2.3 from a 2.5 I have been running all summer because I wanted to just wear the tires out at the bike park..... strangely I was shocked to say the least about how it woke the bike up with the whole back and forth changing directions.
    I'd like to see 2.5 tires that only the side knobs get bigger.

    When I used to race Autocross. It was common to fit the widest tire that would fit. With the class rules I had to follow we had to keep the same wheel size. The car I used ran 13" wheels. Tire companies started to not make many sizes in 13" and I had to go from 235mm to 205mm wide. I thought I was going to loose badly. The course has a lot of S turns and I flew through them faster than ever. And won. The center knobs of the tire has less deflection when narrower.
    Last edited by Cerberus75; 09-14-2017 at 02:17 PM.

  41. #41
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    This is truly a refreshing thread.

    I tried 29+ and gave it a go, but I guess the truth was that for the majority of riding I do, it just wasn't necessary. The Plus format seems like a very terrain-specific application to me.

    If riding in rock-laden dry creek beds or constant sand; seems like there is benefit to the bigger tire.

    Probably true about plus making slow guy faster, and fast guy slower. lol
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
    This is truly a refreshing thread.

    I tried 29+ and gave it a go, but I guess the truth was that for the majority of riding I do, it just wasn't necessary. The Plus format seems like a very terrain-specific application to me.

    If riding in rock-laden dry creek beds or constant sand; seems like there is benefit to the bigger tire.

    Probably true about plus making slow guy faster, and fast guy slower. lol
    I agree 100%.

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