Poll: If 29 x 2.6 is best, what about the two other sizes?

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  1. #1
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    POLL: If 29 x 2.6 is best, what about the other two sizes?

    A lot of people now say 2.9 x 2.6 is the sweet spot in an all-around trail tire. But what about 27.5 and 26 tires? Would it also be 2.6 inch width? Well, it can't be 2.6 for 26 because that (to my knowledge) doesn't even exist. Would smaller tires have an optimal width even more than 2.6 inches? Or the same? You decide.
    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: quod Belgiae, quod Celtae, et quod Aquitainae.

  2. #2
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    It's all about personal preference and what you ride. For me the happy place is 29x2.8 or 29x3 depending on the tire. My girlfriend like 27.5x2.8. One friend likes 29x2.2ish.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    A lot of people now say 2.9 x 2.6 is the sweet spot in an all-around trail tire. But what about 27.5 and 26 tires? Would it also be 2.6 inch width? Well, it can't be 2.6 for 26 because that (to my knowledge) doesn't even exist. Would smaller tires have an optimal width even more than 2.6 inches? Or the same? You decide.
    FOMO is luring too many people onto the 29x2.6" bandwagon. These sorry victims of marketing BS don't realize that 27.5+ isn't much different characteristically. True, 27.5+ isn't the latest and greatest, so now the industry's lifeline is on 29x2.6".

    If you're racing, 29x2.6" isn't in the books. If you're just out there to have fun and skinny is to skinny and plus is too fat, maybe it's worth a try.

    Now that tires are available in pretty much every size, I wonder what's next.

    Your poll doesn't include 29x2.1" or 29x2.2" so I didn't vote.

  4. #4
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    Not 26 per se, but according to this thread you can get the equivalent. I don't know if it's optimal, but I still run 26x2.2/2.35 f/r and it works well for most of the stuff around here for the last 5-10 years (before that it was as narrow as 1.9 and tubes).

    On my 27.5 I use 2.6, but it feels slower and Strava agrees. I much prefer the 2.2-2.35 range out back unless I'm just goofing around.

    I didn't vote either since I don't even own a 29er to compare. I did demo one, but that was like 30 minutes on tires that I'm not familiar with (Specialized something or other).

  5. #5
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    Anything that's not a 2.35 tire is terrible and will probably make you crash into a ditch. Probably.

    Or just run whatever you like, there's no best.

  6. #6
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    That was the size I was looking for in an XC bike, but nothing was really available two years ago when I got my last mountain bike so I settled for 29 x 3.0 which I like a lot, but ideally would like to go a little smaller. I've been riding over roots and rocks for 25 years on skinny tires, but the bigger tire makes technical terrain easier and exploring new terrain fun. There are still not a lot of bikes designed for 29 x 2.6 tires and there's also not enough different tires that come in that size. Once there are more tire and bike options for that size it may become more popular.

  7. #7
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    I prefer a true 2.4 or 2.5. The bigger tires tend to have to much feedback and would be very heavy if made tough enough.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I prefer a true 2.4 or 2.5. The bigger tires tend to have to much feedback and would be very heavy if made tough enough.
    Yeah. But it depends on the ride.

    Most of my local rides demand something like the Maxxis 2.5WT tires. They are more durable and they are able to handle more rugged, fast riding - more of an AM tire. When leaning the bike over and digging in on chunky, rough trail those 2.5's hold on. The 2.6 tires just can't hold it together at higher speed under harsh conditions. Not only do the tear, they really do get bouncy. The sidewalls fold and they loose cornering grip. I didn't think that at first, because I was only riding them on less challenging courses at less challenging speeds. But once I stepped up my game on tougher, faster trails the 2.6 could not hold it together.

    But 2.6 tires really are great for more xc and light trail riding, or for super chunky trails where you are rock crawling, rather than blasting through. That goes for the 2.6 x 275. I've yet to try a 2.6 x 29 but I'm thinking that might be too much of a good thing. I did build up a fowl weather rig with spare parts and am trying the 2.8 x 275. I'm finding I'm _not_ a fan of the plus tires.
    Last edited by Miker J; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:05 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Yeah. But it depends on the ride.

    Most of my local rides demand something like the Maxxis 2.5WT tires. They are more durable and they are able to handle more rugged, fast riding - more of an AM tire. When leaning the bike over and digging in on chunky, rough trail those 2.5's hold on. The 2.6 tires just can't hold it together at higher speed under harsh conditions. Not only do the tear, they really do get bouncy. The sidewalls fold and they loose cornering grip. I didn't think that at first, because I was only riding them on less challenging courses at less challenging speeds. But once I stepped up my game on tougher, faster trails the 2.6 could not hold it together.

    But 2.6 tires really are great for more xc and light trail riding, or for super chunky trails where you are rock crawling, rather than blasting through. That goes for the 2.6 x 275. I've yet to try a 2.6 x 26 but I'm thinking that might be too much of a good thing. I did build up a fowl weather rig with spare parts and am trying the 2.8 x 275. I'm finding I'm _not_ a fan of the plus tires.
    I do see they have their place in bad weather., slow situations. Were the larger foot print can take the place of sticky compounds that dont work as well in cold temps. I have some 2.8s ill use when there is snow on the ground and i won't be going nearly as fast.

    Im about to try the spec Eliminator, got the 2.6 and 2.3 on the way. If the 2.6 is really 2.4 like everyone say ill probably like it.

  10. #10
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    I think I might look at it differently than a lot of people... but I dont want more grip. Seriously.

    I run sticky 2.35's and its enough to go FAST. Crazy fast. World cup fast. Its enough grip to truly do incredible things much faster than any other person. Its a sufficient level of equipment to be literally the best in the world in any mountain biking discipline.

    I dont want to go that fast, and ive been riding for a long time and im happy with where I am skillwise. No matter what happens on the trail, I know for certain its not because of the tires. Sometimes I feel like im railing it, and thats cool! Sometimes I totally blow a feature down, or a climb up, and thats cool too. Its all me though. I know, for sure, someone else could do it on these tires. If I keep trying ill make it too.

    I still enjoy finding new features and challenges, but just throwing more rim or tire at it seems... boring. Im sure a big 2.8 climbs stuff like you're not even trying. That doesnt appeal to me though.

    Maybe 2.35's arent the fastest, but I really do think they're the "best"!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I think I might look at it differently than a lot of people... but I dont want more grip. Seriously.

    I run sticky 2.35's and its enough to go FAST. Crazy fast. World cup fast. Its enough grip to truly do incredible things much faster than any other person. Its a sufficient level of equipment to be literally the best in the world in any mountain biking discipline.

    I dont want to go that fast, and ive been riding for a long time and im happy with where I am skillwise. No matter what happens on the trail, I know for certain its not because of the tires. Sometimes I feel like im railing it, and thats cool! Sometimes I totally blow a feature down, or a climb up, and thats cool too. Its all me though. I know, for sure, someone else could do it on these tires. If I keep trying ill make it too.

    I still enjoy finding new features and challenges, but just throwing more rim or tire at it seems... boring. Im sure a big 2.8 climbs stuff like you're not even trying. That doesnt appeal to me though.

    Maybe 2.35's arent the fastest, but I really do think they're the "best"!
    You sound like someone that just bought a SB150 and tried to put new tires in the back

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I think I might look at it differently than a lot of people... but I dont want more grip. Seriously.

    I run sticky 2.35's and its enough to go FAST. Crazy fast. World cup fast. Its enough grip to truly do incredible things much faster than any other person. Its a sufficient level of equipment to be literally the best in the world in any mountain biking discipline.

    I dont want to go that fast, and ive been riding for a long time and im happy with where I am skillwise. No matter what happens on the trail, I know for certain its not because of the tires. Sometimes I feel like im railing it, and thats cool! Sometimes I totally blow a feature down, or a climb up, and thats cool too. Its all me though. I know, for sure, someone else could do it on these tires. If I keep trying ill make it too.

    I still enjoy finding new features and challenges, but just throwing more rim or tire at it seems... boring. Im sure a big 2.8 climbs stuff like you're not even trying. That doesnt appeal to me though.

    Maybe 2.35's arent the fastest, but I really do think they're the "best"!
    I'm with you. After trying bigger tires, I have completed the circle and am back at 29er 2.3 DHF/DHR2s. That said, I am going to have to go 2.5 or 2.6 for my new hardtail, failing which my physiotherapist is going to be one happy and wealthy man.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I think I might look at it differently than a lot of people... but I dont want more grip. Seriously.

    I run sticky 2.35's and its enough to go FAST. Crazy fast. World cup fast. Its enough grip to truly do incredible things much faster than any other person. Its a sufficient level of equipment to be literally the best in the world in any mountain biking discipline.

    I dont want to go that fast, and ive been riding for a long time and im happy with where I am skillwise. No matter what happens on the trail, I know for certain its not because of the tires. Sometimes I feel like im railing it, and thats cool! Sometimes I totally blow a feature down, or a climb up, and thats cool too. Its all me though. I know, for sure, someone else could do it on these tires. If I keep trying ill make it too.

    I still enjoy finding new features and challenges, but just throwing more rim or tire at it seems... boring. Im sure a big 2.8 climbs stuff like you're not even trying. That doesnt appeal to me though.

    Maybe 2.35's arent the fastest, but I really do think they're the "best"!
    I agree completely, but approach from a slightly different direction.

    There's a balance between casing and tire volume. The thinnest casing is amazing on my road bike, not quite ideal on my gravel bike, and delicate bouncy nonsense on my mountain bike. 2.3-2.5 with exo-dh casings seems to cover all my uses. More than a 2.5 with a dh casing calls for riding that's beyond my ability. Thin casings with lots of volume there's either too much air or too much bounce and bottoming out.






    I bought a bunch of untested geax dhf clones off the internet once because the price was right and the weight was right. Geax had made a tire with a super thin sidewall and a heavily reinforced tread. They were stupidly supple, rolled amazingly, and didn't fold over if you kept your wheels on the ground and rode them smoothly. That's not me. I shredded and blew up tires like it was my hobby. I've given away my collection of them to more conservative riders, and they love them. Trash or treasure; whose to say?
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I'm with you. After trying bigger tires, I have completed the circle and am back at 29er 2.3 DHF/DHR2s. That said, I am going to have to go 2.5 or 2.6 for my new hardtail, failing which my physiotherapist is going to be one happy and wealthy man.
    Almost spit my morning beverage all over my keyboard...

  15. #15
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    So far, 2.4 or 2.5 inch width wins in all three tire groups. That's a bit surprising for some reason.

    You'd think the shorter the tire, the wider the tread should be to compensate for the shortness, but maybe not.
    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: quod Belgiae, quod Celtae, et quod Aquitainae.

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