Anyone racing on 2.8's?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone racing on 2.8's?

    Thinking of going to 27.5+ this season. Experimented a little with some loaners and making comparisons with my fat bike where I'm faster in certain places (loose dry conditions) then on my 6" travel bike. I'm a little concerned with rim durability. I ran 30mm ID Derbies for a few years and beat the snot out of them. I'm thinking about grabbing a LB 40mm rim with I9's. from what I understand LB and derby are the same. Anyone tried it? I'm not a little guy at 6'1 / 200lb.
    Denver, CO

  2. #2
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    I'm also 6'1" and about 200lbs and also tend to destroy rims. I've had a plus hardtail for about a year. The problem I had with plus tires a year ago was the durability of the tires themselves. They were either too fragile or too heavy. This season, I have a 2017 Enduro 29er from Specialized and built up a plus wheelset with Maxxis DHF/DHR2 EXO 2.8s on WTB Scraper i40 rims. Much better than my experience last year with the tires so far, those new Maxxis EXO 2.8s are pretty awesome. However, in my own experience, I've been much faster on the 29s, I think mainly because of the rotational weight and rolling resistance. On my 29s, I'm running the Butcher Grid 2.4 and a Minion DHR2 DD on the rear.

    Maybe the LB rims will save you some significant weight over the WTB rims I'm running and maybe that would improve things. The LB rims I was looking at for my 29er wheelset are literally 15 grams lighter (claimed weight) than the rims I chose to build up (Stan's Flow Mk3). I've destroyed too many carbon rims and seen too many destroyed to make that 15 gram weight difference make any sense.

    So, in conclusion, I *might* end up racing my plus wheelset in a more gravity oriented enduro, and maybe a dh race, but most likely, the plus wheels will only be around for fun. And they are certainly that. Fun. But I think in, say, the EWS Aspen, which I just got into, I expect at the moment to race my 29er set because I think I'll be faster.

    FYI, I finished 4th Overall in the Big Mountain Enduro Series last season, for what that's worth.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by .thumper. View Post
    I'm also 6'1" and about 200lbs and also tend to destroy rims. I've had a plus hardtail for about a year. The problem I had with plus tires a year ago was the durability of the tires themselves. They were either too fragile or too heavy. This season, I have a 2017 Enduro 29er from Specialized and built up a plus wheelset with Maxxis DHF/DHR2 EXO 2.8s on WTB Scraper i40 rims. Much better than my experience last year with the tires so far, those new Maxxis EXO 2.8s are pretty awesome. However, in my own experience, I've been much faster on the 29s, I think mainly because of the rotational weight and rolling resistance. On my 29s, I'm running the Butcher Grid 2.4 and a Minion DHR2 DD on the rear.

    Maybe the LB rims will save you some significant weight over the WTB rims I'm running and maybe that would improve things. The LB rims I was looking at for my 29er wheelset are literally 15 grams lighter (claimed weight) than the rims I chose to build up (Stan's Flow Mk3). I've destroyed too many carbon rims and seen too many destroyed to make that 15 gram weight difference make any sense.

    So, in conclusion, I *might* end up racing my plus wheelset in a more gravity oriented enduro, and maybe a dh race, but most likely, the plus wheels will only be around for fun. And they are certainly that. Fun. But I think in, say, the EWS Aspen, which I just got into, I expect at the moment to race my 29er set because I think I'll be faster.

    FYI, I finished 4th Overall in the Big Mountain Enduro Series last season, for what that's worth.

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    Thanks for the response. I have the same bike purchased from the same shop it looks like, Sam is good people. I have the carbon 29" rovals now. I'm not as concerned with weight as I am stiffness... Call me crazy but I hate aluminum rims and I always feel like I can feel the front flexing. I'm going back and forth between just buying the 27.5+ carbon rovals from them or doing a LB Rim/I9 combo. I think they're about the same price. I'd probably run the same + tires... The only time I've got to try plus' was last weekend when my wife rented a set for her hightower. I expected to feel more rolling resistance but to be honest I couldn't tell the difference (she had a WTB 3.0 front/ Chronicle 2.8 rear). I didn't get to beat on it like I would my enduro just because of the suspension setup.

    Interesting you think you're faster on 29's. I'm doing a couple races in the desert this year and in loose over hard conditions (I did some extremely scientific strava testing at buff creek) I've been faster on my fatbike with 4.8's then on my Enduro even cause I can controlled slide corners more....

    I'm torn. You feel like you use both wheel sets enough to justify them? I was planning on throwing some lightweight xc tires on my 29ers for long days putting in mileage.
    Denver, CO

  4. #4
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    Those Rovals that came with my bike have never been ridden and will probably never get put back on a bike until next season when I sell this bike. I wouldn't give up on alu rims for stiffness just yet necessarily. Those Rovals - the front wheel is 28 spokes and one side is radially laced. For dudes at 6'1" and 200lbs that ride hard - noodly for sure. The boost spacing I really think helps and I'm quite happy with the stiffness I've gotten out of the 29 wheelset I built up.

    Honestly, I'm not surprised you've seen faster times with bigger tires at buff creek. That place is loose! If there were an enduro race there, I might run the plus tires just for increased contact patch. Maybe.

    I'm not sure if it's the rolling resistance or the rotating mass difference, but I *felt* a noticeable increase in acceleration capability of the 29er set. No scientific testing here.

    In my experience, for most of the enduros I've raced, the people who are quick but can pedal the hardest are up at the front. If you are just fast but don't have the strength or fitness to pedal like crazy, you simply won't be up front. For that reason alone, the 29ers are probably my go-to wheels for this year. Plus, I'll be running Double Down casing tires on the rear which isn't an option or really feasible on the plus tires.

    However, I would bet that going either 29er set or plus set, race results would probably be similar if not the same as long as you don't have a tire/wheel issue. The rims I've got for my 29er wheelset are significantly stronger and (in my opinion) more reliable than my plus wheelset; and they're lighter.

    I expect to use both wheelsets about as often, but generally expect to race on the 29ers. However, time will tell. Maybe I won't spend much time on the plus wheels at all once the snow clears. Maybe I'll ride them more. I need more time to tell for sure. I plan to do ride a lot of areas on both wheelsets to compare.

    So far, I've done two snow races and have used the plus tires over the 29ers and am pretty happy with those (finished 2nd in Steamboat dual slalom last weekend). I really don't like fat bikes much, but the plus tires, IMO, are a good compromise for some snow riding when it's packed.

  5. #5
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    One other thing I forgot to mention that may make a big difference is the bottom bracket height. With the 27.5+ wheelset on that enduro, the bottom bracket height is quite low and I noticed a lot more pedal strikes. Something you can get used to but may be a deal breaker in a race situation.

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  6. #6
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    I raced myself, does that count? I was the guy that pedaled up to the top of a fun rough 1 min decent with a set of wheels on his pack. Did a few strava timed runs on each wheelset swapping back and forth and hiding the other set in the trees. I found that I was faster on my 29er wheelset. The track is a great test IMHO. Starts off chuncky with a couple tight turns a short flat section with a great brake check and turn down a little shoot, followed by high speed turns at the bottom. In the slower more technical turns and rocky stuff the Plus felt as good if not better then the 29 once I got the PSI sorted so it was not a bounceasorausrex. I did not notice a big increase in traction for the plus that everyone talks about. I guess if it was looser maybe, but in the 2 sandy parts it felt like......well, tires. It was at the faster harder turns at the bottom where I felt the biggest effect. I could not get the vauge feeling of the plus tires to go away. Did not feel confident stuffing the tire into the corner at speed. Just felt like it was rolling over, so I added a few PSI and the bouncy house feeling came back. I ended up being a average of 3 seconds faster on my 29er on a roughly 1 min run. Tires used were Highroller 2 on both wheels. 2.3 3c on 29er and 2.8 3c on plus.


    Short version. Kinda, and I did not like it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses. I think I'm going to stick with my 29'ers for now.
    Denver, CO

  8. #8
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    Denver, CO

  9. #9
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    dun, dun, dun, dun....... Haha so man opinions so little time. Where are you at on the front range?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    dun, dun, dun, dun....... Haha so man opinions so little time. Where are you at on the front range?
    136th/I-25. I might just have to buy a set and see for myself
    Denver, CO

  11. #11
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    If you ever make it down to the springs let me know. Down in the canyon is the only place I have found I like plus size tires more. That captain jacks gravel you need as much tire as you can get.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    Real question is if they are better on the same bike. All they are doing in that test is comparing a bike with two sets of wheels which induce a significantly different geometry ... and the timed roll-down tests did not include any extended climb section, so ... not sure I see the point

    My very limited experience is that going up they feel slower, to the point that my HD3 running DT Swiss XMC and NN 2.35/2.25 felt nicely faster than a Mojo 3 using NN 2.8. There is close to 2 pounds difference in in wheels/tires in the BikeRadar test, and 1.5 pounds in what I tried and I fail to see how starting from a bike that has great traction with "normal tires" that can help uphill ... unless you are on VERY loose and sandy ground.

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