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  1. #1
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    27.5 plus vs 29er onSS

    I have a Giant xtc 27.5 plus run as an SS-- 30x 18. My FS bike is a 29er xc-ish rig. I am loving the Plus ss though I am a bit slower on it right now than the geared bike. I ride rocky Tucson Az trails which have some punchy hills but not a ton of sustained climbs.

    I guess what I am wondering about is the difference between SS on the plus vs the 29er. Whether i should invest in some boost 29er wheels for the SS. I kind of feel like I am cheating a bit on the plus tires. They provide so much grip and stability which allows me stand and hammer or almost come to a halt when ratchet pedaling and figuring out a line. I figure the 29er wheels will be faster but less grippy. I may have just answered my own post. 27.5 plus vs 29er onSS-img_1268.jpg


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  2. #2
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    You could pick up some cheap boost adapters (spacers) on eBay and test your existing 29er wheels on the SS rig.

    Rear: http://www.ebay.com/itm/252230870077

    Front: http://www.ebay.com/itm/252191498198

    That said, you did answer your own question -- you will give up some speed in the flats in order to gain the confidence/speed in the descents and added traction in the climbs/corners that plus tires provide.

  3. #3
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    How do you like the giant SS+ did you ride a skinny tire SS before you bought it? Thinking maybe the only thing holding it back is maybe lighter wheels. The 27.5 B+ wheel circumference is supposedly same as a 29er skinny?

  4. #4
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    I absolutely love the bike. No prior SS experience or experience on other plus bikes. I don't think the wheels are much heavier than my 29er arch ex set but yeah they are not weight weenies.


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  5. #5
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    Circumference is pretty close to 29er but not quie


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  6. #6
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    Anbtucson how tall are you and what size XTC are you on. I'm looking at that bike as it looks pretty sweet.I like the carbon frame, dropouts and component list (except the wheels that carbon frame deserves carbon hoops...). How much does yours weight, stock? Nice yoiu can get two water bottles in there...

  7. #7
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    5'9" on a medium ... 60 mm stem. Fits great. Not sure if the weight however .... 24 lbs... took out the dropper and put in a rigid carbon post.


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  8. #8
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    I run a 29x3.0 on the front of my rigid Ti 29er SS. 29" 2.4 in back. I love the extra cush and traction of the 3.0 up front.

    My new Les 29er will be set up with 27.5+ wheels - Hadley hubs, CX Ray spokes and i40 rims. Can't wait to finish the build and ride it!

    Should be great for AZ trails.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  9. #9
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    I ride a Vassago Verhauen 29+ frame. When I bought it used the PO had 27.5+ wheels on it. I did a test ride on those wheels and liked the cushion, but did not like the extra rolling weight and soft cornering. So I bought the frame minus the wheels and put a regular set of 29er tires/wheels on it. 2.35 front 2.2 rear. I like it like that. Might consider 29+ one day, but I am happy as is. Rolls fast and is more "snappy". If I am going to have not tight a handling bike the extra roll over of 29+ might be best set-up. The problem is see with 27.5+ is more vague handling, rotating weight and no extra roll over. straight line traction is good, but I was slower when cornering on the plus tires as they tool longer to take set. That hurt most in when I need to get the bike back up to speed out of a corner.

    with 27.5+
    27.5 plus vs 29er onSS-img_1789s.jpg

    with 29
    27.5 plus vs 29er onSS-img_1917-s.jpg
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for the comments and insights


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  11. #11
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    If I'm understanding you right, OP, your SS is 27.5 boost and your FS is 29 not boost.

    There's a guy on eBay who sells boost conversion kits for like $22 each. They're 2 5mm spacers and a 6-bolt ring to move the brake disc over. For less than $50 you could test your 29er wheels on the XTC and give it a long term test.
    True, it'd be a non-refundable cost, but less than renting a bike for a day.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  12. #12
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    Do you have the link to that? I am searching but it's not coming up. My front wheel on the fs Pivot is boost.. rear is not. So I just need one wheel. Friend has a 29er wheel laying around so I think I'll try that route. I know wolf tooth makes a boostinator but I was reading something about adjusting spoke tension which is above my pay grade ...


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  13. #13
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    MTB Tools Adapter Set For 15mm x 100mm Front Hub To 15mm x 110mm Boost Fork | eBay
    27.5 plus vs 29er onSS-img_0269.jpg
    I still had the auction in my watch list. I tossed around the idea of buying a friend of mines Manitou Magnum, but ended up just sticking with my rigid fork.

    FWIW- my vote is plus wheels all the way.
    27.5 plus vs 29er onSS-img_0243.jpg
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anbtucson View Post
    Do you have the link to that? I am searching but it's not coming up. My front wheel on the fs Pivot is boost.. rear is not. So I just need one wheel. Friend has a 29er wheel laying around so I think I'll try that route. I know wolf tooth makes a boostinator but I was reading something about adjusting spoke tension which is above my pay grade ...


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    Did you even read my reply?

    (Post #2 in this thread)

    LOL...

  15. #15
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    Interesting comments JoePAz sounds like you prefer the 29er skinny set up for SS riding.
    It's winter here so doing a side by side test of 27.5+ vs 29er on a SS is tough. I was thinking the opposite that the 27.5+ would give you better cornering and more handling and what you lose a little in the flats you make up for in the corners and downs?

    "I ride a Vassago Verhauen 29+ frame. When I bought it used the PO had 27.5+ wheels on it. I did a test ride on those wheels and liked the cushion, but did not like the extra rolling weight and soft cornering. So I bought the frame minus the wheels and put a regular set of 29er tires/wheels on it. 2.35 front 2.2 rear. I like it like that. Might consider 29+ one day, but I am happy as is. Rolls fast and is more "snappy". If I am going to have not tight a handling bike the extra roll over of 29+ might be best set-up. The problem is see with 27.5+ is more vague handling, rotating weight and no extra roll over. straight line traction is good, but I was slower when cornering on the plus tires as they tool longer to take set. That hurt most in when I need to get the bike back up to speed out of a corner.

    with 27.5+"

  16. #16
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    I have bot wheels sizes, my 27.5+ collects dust, it's 29 2.35' way more prefered for me!

  17. #17
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    Geared or SS?
    Quote Originally Posted by Driverfound337 View Post
    I have bot wheels sizes, my 27.5+ collects dust, it's 29 2.35' way more prefered for me!

  18. #18
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    I finally got 29er wheels on what was originally a 27.5 plus giant xtc. Just did a short ride so time will tell but I like the 29er wheels more. They just roll faster and cover more ground. The traction on the plus and the extra cushioning is pretty cool but the rollover benefit from bigger wheels makes up for it. It seemed that in looser sections my rear tire was slipping a bit more on the 29er than with the plus but it was not that bad. If I was running gears I may enjoy the 27.5 plus set up more, especially over longer distances. I also think lighter plus sized wheels would help.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleh0rse View Post
    Did you even read my reply?

    (Post #2 in this thread)

    LOL...
    I was thinking the same thing... but I had just read thru the whole thread
    2017 Salsa Pony Rustler Carbon GX1 - XO1 12 spd, I9 hubs - carbon rims 27.5+, XT Brakes
    Building up a 2017 KM XL Blk frame

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by newking View Post
    Interesting comments JoePAz sounds like you prefer the 29er skinny set up for SS riding.
    It's winter here so doing a side by side test of 27.5+ vs 29er on a SS is tough. I was thinking the opposite that the 27.5+ would give you better cornering and more handling and what you lose a little in the flats you make up for in the corners and downs?

    "I ride a Vassago Verhauen 29+ frame. When I bought it used the PO had 27.5+ wheels on it. I did a test ride on those wheels and liked the cushion, but did not like the extra rolling weight and soft cornering. So I bought the frame minus the wheels and put a regular set of 29er tires/wheels on it. 2.35 front 2.2 rear. I like it like that. Might consider 29+ one day, but I am happy as is. Rolls fast and is more "snappy". If I am going to have not tight a handling bike the extra roll over of 29+ might be best set-up. The problem is see with 27.5+ is more vague handling, rotating weight and no extra roll over. straight line traction is good, but I was slower when cornering on the plus tires as they tool longer to take set. That hurt most in when I need to get the bike back up to speed out of a corner.

    with 27.5+"
    For me and my riding style I could not find the extra cornering speed that the plus tires can bring. Other riders have been able to use that cornering speed and are pretty fast. So it really just one riders experience.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  21. #21
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    I spent a lot of time on a rigid fork with 29+ wheels, first on i30 rims, then on i40 rims. Ironically, I've recently put some high volume 2.4s on my i30s, re-mounted my suspension fork and been riding that. Reg 29 wheels feel nimble and fast again. It rips. Equally fun to 3.0s that monster truck over everything, but very different.
    Its awful for my wallet, but I've been really curious about selling/trading the29er i40s for some 27.5+ wheels...

    i really feel like bikes that are optimized for 27.5+ and reg 29 are the future.
    29+ is fun, but not fun enough for mainstream.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  22. #22
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    I've had or ridden pretty much every wheel size there is, and for me at least, 29+ is the ultimate for a SS. I'm a fairly large guy however, so that may play into one's preference as well.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I spent a lot of time on a rigid fork with 29+ wheels, first on i30 rims, then on i40 rims. Ironically, I've recently put some high volume 2.4s on my i30s, re-mounted my suspension fork and been riding that. Reg 29 wheels feel nimble and fast again. It rips. Equally fun to 3.0s that monster truck over everything, but very different.
    Its awful for my wallet, but I've been really curious about selling/trading the29er i40s for some 27.5+ wheels...

    i really feel like bikes that are optimized for 27.5+ and reg 29 are the future.
    29+ is fun, but not fun enough for mainstream.
    Interesting. I am watching all these and considering. Right now 29er with a fork has the edge over 27.5+ with a fork. I have never tried 29+ rigid yet, but some guys I really respect love them. The rigid fork may counter some of slop and softness I felt with 27.5+. Plus the super bif 29+ rollover might be an extra benefit I did not feel on 27.5+. Still I am turned off by the cost of 29+ tires. Wheels are pretty much one time expense, but tires a constant wear item. It is interesting the feeling you are getting and makes my decisions more complex.

    BTW... I am pretty sure Justin Kyle still has that set of 27.5+ wheels. Should be an easy fit on your jabber.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  24. #24
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    Love the 29+ on the front of my rigid SS.

    Just built up a 27.5+ Les with suspension fork but haven't ridden it yet.

    Hope to get it out next eeek and compare.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    For me and my riding style I could not find the extra cornering speed that the plus tires can bring. Other riders have been able to use that cornering speed and are pretty fast. So it really just one riders experience.
    I REALLY want to try +, but this is what I am afraid of. I am slow around corners, and no I am nowhere near the tires limit before I reach my own mental block, so I just can't say if it would be worth it for me. Rode today, SS, up some 20 grade climbs, and never had a tire come loose. When the trails are a little drier, that isn't always the case, but I am usually able to make it regardless.

    I really want to try it... but maybe if I do, it'll need to be 29+ rather than 27.5+. Two ROS's in the garage, one regular, one +? Not sure I'd hate that...

  26. #26
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    Stay away from plus, it's hype, I reach for my 2.3" every time instead of 2.8". If your wealthy and bored go for it. Other than that you got it right.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driverfound337 View Post
    Stay away from plus, it's hype, I reach for my 2.3" every time instead of 2.8". If your wealthy and bored go for it. Other than that you got it right.
    Good to know. I may just try out one of (or a couple of) the new 29x2.6's that are coming out. If I don't like that, I'll know + ain't for me. That could help me in the drier months here in Boise though, without the painful expense of a new bike, but still able to get up stuff without slipping.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Good to know. I may just try out one of (or a couple of) the new 29x2.6's that are coming out. If I don't like that, I'll know + ain't for me. That could help me in the drier months here in Boise though, without the painful expense of a new bike, but still able to get up stuff without slipping.
    You won't know if you would enjoy plus tires by testing non-plus tires. You won't experience the same effects and benefits with a 2.6 that you would with a true 2.8+.

    That said, I'm stepping down to 2.6 myself after riding actual plus tires for a year. It's not that I don't notice or appreciate the benefits -- I simply want slightly more speed and believe I can deal with less traction.

    (I'm personally talking about 27.5+ above. I actually think 29+ is an entirely different story, and my next hardtail will likely be 29x3 from day one)

  29. #29
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    Also always demo or try what your interested in, can't go wrong feeling it on the trail before you dive in

  30. #30
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    Not hype for me. I am faster, more confident and more comfortable with the 3.0 vs 2.3 up front. Best upgrade I have ever done to my bike no doubt. Definitely a personal thing, but I wouldn't dismiss it outright. There are a lot of guys who would disagree with you.

  31. #31
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    I've run 3.0s, 2.25s, 2.4s and 2.6s on both ends on the same bike.
    Far and away, in every situation I was faster and more comfortable with a 3.0 up front. Even with a rigid fork, I lost speed plowing the chatter, but cornered faster and carried more speed in the 'rollover' of slow technical rock gardens.

    There was not much difference between 2.4 or 2.6 rear and 3.0 up front vs 3.0 front and rear.
    I was actually a big fan of 3.0 front, 2.4 rear and would do that if my bike didn't fit a 3.0 back there like it does.

    I absolutely attribute this due to the local trails being fast and chunky and not particularly 'twisty'. Because so much is loose and rocky, traction and 'line holding' is a premium, and 'flickability' is less important. Smooth, clean 'railing' turns, I have actual experience with the 'coasting race' versus my riding buddies. I slowly pull away from the guys on very light wheels where I didn't used to on 2.35s.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  32. #32
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    I'm faster everywhere on 29+, even trails where the flickability comes into play. But, my 29+ wheels and tires are only 300gr heavier than my regular 29er. I'm also a bigger guy, and come from a moto background, where I was used to "flicking" a 225+ pound bike around in tight east coast woods. Anyone that has trouble flicking a 30lb MTB side to side should probably hit the gym. LOL

  33. #33
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    For me, the advantage of Plus tires is not so much in the turns, but in the techy stuff. Rock gardens can be negotiated safely at higher speeds than I used to on 2.4" tires. Also, those rocky & rooty uphills where are always on the edge of loosing traction are where Plus tires shine. The tires conform to the trail features and let you put the power down to keep moving, whereas on skinnier tires, I'd be walking...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I've run 3.0s, 2.25s, 2.4s and 2.6s on both ends on the same bike.
    Far and away, in every situation I was faster and more comfortable with a 3.0 up front. Even with a rigid fork, I lost speed plowing the chatter, but cornered faster and carried more speed in the 'rollover' of slow technical rock gardens.

    There was not much difference between 2.4 or 2.6 rear and 3.0 up front vs 3.0 front and rear.
    I was actually a big fan of 3.0 front, 2.4 rear and would do that if my bike didn't fit a 3.0 back there like it does.

    I absolutely attribute this due to the local trails being fast and chunky and not particularly 'twisty'. Because so much is loose and rocky, traction and 'line holding' is a premium, and 'flickability' is less important. Smooth, clean 'railing' turns, I have actual experience with the 'coasting race' versus my riding buddies. I slowly pull away from the guys on very light wheels where I didn't used to on 2.35s.
    I have been curious about that. I've been ready to pull the trigger on something "+", but just not sure. I mainly ride for doing long climbs, and I'm afraid all that extra rubber would really add up to a lot of resistance. Looking at getting a new frame at some point and was thinking keeping a 2.3-2.4 on the back with a 3.0 in the front may be the way to go. Also considering going to a suspension fork (neck and shoulder issues...). If I do that, I don't see why anyone would want plus sized tires for regular trail riding SS. I have east coast mud, rocks, roots, trees... followed by more trees, roots, rocks, and mud... The parking lot is usually pretty smooth.

  35. #35
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    Plus isn't for everyone. SS isn't for everyone. I respect that. If you live for long grindy climbs, maybe plus isn't going to shine. I don't feel like plus wheels have a lot of drag, but there's no denying the rotational mass is notably more. It doesn't bother me, but it's there.

    For me, singlespeeding's enemy is momentum and consistent power. Those are a battle to maintain when you have little or no suspension and no gears to shift. That's what plus gives me. Rollover and momentum, and unparalleled traction.
    IME, plus makes SS better.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Yeah, why not?

  36. #36
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    Yeah, I can see that for sure. But, as I've stated in other areas on MTBR many times, I'm not a lightweight, and I never will be. So the extra 300gr I'm turning likely isn't as big a deal to me as it would be to some. And you nailed it with the momentum thing, can't tell you how many times I've had to hit my brakes coasting with riding friends on regular 29er bikes. At the end of the day, there's always a trade off; whether it's wheel size, tire size, frame material, or gearing selection, it's all a game of compromises. And when it comes to SS, a lot of that becomes even more apparent. It took four different bikes for me to find a SS that I love, and makes me want to go ride my bike, even when I may not feel 100%. But someone else may ride it 50 feet, and hate it like there's no tomorrow. Ride what makes you happy, and keeps you motivated to ride, that's all that matters.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Good to know. I may just try out one of (or a couple of) the new 29x2.6's that are coming out. If I don't like that, I'll know + ain't for me. That could help me in the drier months here in Boise though, without the painful expense of a new bike, but still able to get up stuff without slipping.
    Good advice, I like it.

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