27.5 or 27.5+ tires for XC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    27.5 or 27.5+ tires for XC

    Hi, first post to the forums!

    I am getting my first trail bike, but I am short (5'4") so most frames that fit in my price range are only offered in 27.5. However, a lot of bikes are offered in with 27.5+ tires standard. I'm looking for a hardtail to ride local trails for fun, nothing competitive. What experiences have people had with 27.5+ tires on beginner to intermediate trails? Are they a bridge between 27s and 29s or just a fad?

    Looking at getting a Trek X Caliber 8 or Roscoe because local bike shop is a Trek dealer and the frame is good for upgrading later.

  2. #2
    jcd's best friend
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    I ride on 27.5 x 3" tires and it's a monster truck rally on the trails. I don't feel much of a difference with regards to weight over other tire sizes. I do feel some tire drag when I ride in the streets while heading to the trailhead though. 27.5+ isn't really a fad per se nor is it a bridge between wheel sizes. Instead, it's just another tire option to try out. There are a lot of riders who enjoy the plus sized tires. I just started riding plus a couple months ago and I wished that I tried it sooner.

    If you want to have fun, I recommend giving plus tires a shot. A lot of manufacturers still make bikes that can handle plus tires. If you want to try a very versatile hardtail that can take either wheel size, I recommend checking out the Salsa Timberjack. The TJ can do a bit of everything. I have a 27.5+ and 29er wheel sets for it. I use 27.5+ for bike parks while I use my 29er wheelset for gravel rides.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  3. #3
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    27.5+ is "the" tyre size for Hardtails in my honest opinion

  4. #4
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    Just to step back, you can't find a size S in a 29er?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    My buddy is 5'5" and rides a medium Trance 29. Fantastic bike. Personally, I don't like plus tires. They do offer a bit of comfort and good on-center grip (mainly climbing traction) but they're imprecise, don't corner as well, bouncy at speed, and flimsy. However, you should demo these for yourself (if possible). You should buy whatever wheel size you like best.

  6. #6
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    The plus size is fun as long as the bike matches your physique. I tried a Rocky Mountain Sherpa and it was too heavy and not fun. Look at specialized fuze.

  7. #7
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    27.5+ is really good for a hardtail, and for a "first trail bike", in my opinion. It's also very versatile, in that you could put some 27.5x2.6 tires on it to downsize a bit, and you could likely run 29er wheels in the future.
    I have a Norco Torrent hardtail that was sold as 27.5+, but I've been riding on 29x2.8 front and 2.6 rear.... now THAT'S a monster truck rally! Lots of options... it can help that "first bike" turn into a keeper.

  8. #8
    XC iconoclast
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Just to step back, you can't find a size S in a 29er?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

    S in 29" for many if not most brands is the equivalent to M for 27.5". Many don't even have anything below 19" on a 29 bike. I'm sure you have seen that trend with Trek and others. They have been doing it for a while like that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    S in 29" for many if not most brands is the equivalent to M for 27.5". Many don't even have anything below 19" on a 29 bike. I'm sure you have seen that trend with Trek and others. They have been doing it for a while like that.
    nope. a small is a small, no matter the wheel size. some companies make their smallest bikes around smaller wheels, and that makes sense in many cases, but no brand upsizes their bikes to fit taller riders and label them as different sizes because of the wheel size. Trek only does this on the small and x-small sizes.

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