Twincities MN Trails - Lebanon & ElmCreek- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Twincities MN Trails - Lebanon & ElmCreek

    Hi Guys,

    For the people who regularly drive the twincities MN trails. I have a questions for you regarding 27.5+ and 29er tires.

    For a Blue/ Intermediate trail ride at Lebanon, Murphy or Elmcreek, what tires would be advantageous - 27.5+ or 29? The trails are rooty and rocky, as you guys have experienced.

  2. #2
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    You asked a similar question in the beginner thread section with a few responses so I linked it below:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-co...s-1135019.html

    In the end, BOTH sizes will work well for you and both have their pluses and minuses so ride both and see what feels right to you. The 27.5+ will have a larger contact patch and do more “gripping” of the Trail because more tire is physically on the ground which beginners like because it feels more confident.

    I had a Trek Stache for a few years that was a 29+ with a 29x3.0 tire on it and it gripped extremely well to the trail. However for this season I went back to a full suspension 29er because I didn’t like the “wandering” feeling and slow response the huge tires had and bought a Salsa Horsethief and am now running a 29x2.4 up front and 29x2.3 in the rear, a setup that works great as well for the area.

    So in the end, there’s not a huge reason to go one over the other than what feels right to you. Talk to a local “mountain bike” shop, not just bike shop, and they’ll help you find the right setup for you.

  3. #3
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    I just moved here so I'm not sure about the other two, but Lebanon Hills blue trail is like 90% smooth hardpack, basically like riding on pavement. Last weekend I saw a guy riding on a touring bike with ~32c smooth tires and drop bars. You will be fine with any tires you want on that trail.

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    You'll be fine on roller blades on either of those trails.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocimetry View Post
    Hi Guys,

    For the people who regularly drive the twincities MN trails. I have a questions for you regarding 27.5+ and 29er tires.

    For a Blue/ Intermediate trail ride at Lebanon, Murphy or Elmcreek, what tires would be advantageous - 27.5+ or 29? The trails are rooty and rocky, as you guys have experienced.
    I ride everything in the metro on XC Hardtail 29 x 2.25 , everything at Battle Creek also. You wont need anything around here larger than 29 x 2.5/2.6 nothing that technical a few rock gardens are nice on Red loop at Leb and couple chutes at Battle Creek

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    Tire size in MN is less important than tread pattern. You want something decently gripping without being slow.

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    What do you suggest for Spirit Mountain or another trails around Duluth and Lutsen area?

    May be I will go there for twice a year, and looking to try out the intermediate.

    I am also planning on doing 2 - 3 feet of jump at Lebanon or Spirit mountain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocimetry View Post
    What do you suggest for Spirit Mountain or another trails around Duluth and Lutsen area?

    May be I will go there for twice a year, and looking to try out the intermediate.

    I am also planning on doing 2 - 3 feet of jump at Lebanon or Spirit mountain.
    Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about wheel size vs. competency in bike handling and tread pattern. If you are jumping 2-3 (vertical I assume), then you are moving out of intermediate. That suggests some bike handling skills. At least for you to ride what your feel comfortable with, wheel size wise.

    I run Teravail Coronado's on my bike and they are generally great for most of MN riding. They handle rock, gravel, smooth clay and other soil conditions.

    But that is sort of the point here. That would be a good tire for MN in 29 or 27.5+. Maxxis, WTB and other tire companies all make good, if not great, tires for MN. At the ragged edge of traction the 27.5+ might have a bit more grip, but if you are pushing a tire that hard, the fact is you have the skills to deal with a 29 tire wanting to break loose a nanosecond sooner.

    I would suggest two videos for you that talk about choices in bike setup:

    https://youtu.be/Wf5xWJV_mCs

    https://youtu.be/FLcgeqf6Fjg

  9. #9
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    I've ridden all over the state and think you'll be fine on either wheel size. It also depends on what sections you plan to ride. Yes, Lebanon has very smooth blue trails but the black and double black lines are rockier and require something that has grip on those rocks. Elm Creek is more XC race smooth and fast, so trails there you want the fastest rolling tires. If you go up to Duluth, you will find rock rolls and hard pack too depending on the trail system. My setup is a 27.5 bike with WTB 2.6 Vigilante and 2.4 Trailboss. Overkill for most trails in the metro but I'm less worried about my Strava times and more about grip in the loose and on rocks.

  10. #10
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    For Lebanon and elm, all metro trails actually, I fast rolling tire like a schwalbe Rocket Ron/racing Ralph or a maxxis ikon or rekon race, Victoria mezcal or similar tire is all you need. Anything more is over kill. The trail bed gets so hard that your tire is not digging in and any loose material on top Gets pushed off the trail. You want lots of small knobs with a good centerline for straight line rolling efficiency. If you plan on riding Duluth once and a while I would recommend just buying a set of tires specifically for it and swapping them out when you ride there. The majority (95%+) of MN trails are vastly different from Duluth.

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