Plus tires and XC racing...- Mtbr.com
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 107
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579

    Plus tires and XC racing...

    I already know what the perception is with plus tires and fast bikes.

    What I am trying to find is if anyone out there has put forth a decent test to find out where diminishing returns hit with tire volume.

    I've found articles claiming that 27.5+ is faster than 29 on everything except very flat fire roads and flat climbs.

    I've found articles claiming that a 2.35 width tire typically out performs a 2.1 but they did not test anything with more volume.

    I've found forum posts on here by the plus peddlers that they are faster on their plus bikes.

    There has to be a point where diminishing returns hit and your volume ends up leading to too much rotational weight and drag to be an advantage. Some have said that 2.8" tires had them rolling faster over some things and that 2.3" where faster over others. Anyone test say a 2.5 or 2.6" (very limited options I know) tire in xc? Anyone have any articles or forum posts with at least somewhat solid mathematics backing up their claims?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,094
    Haven't raced XC on either bike but my Pivot Mach 5.5 with 27.5 2.6 Rekon/Forekaster combo on ENVE M635's keeps the same speed at the same effort as my Switchblade with 2.35 rubber on a local twisty, fairly flat, rooty trail. Similar bikes other than wheel/tire size.
    Yeti SB100
    Ibis Ripmo
    Ibis Ripley LS V3
    Ibis Ripley V4
    Ibis Mojo HD4
    Pivot 429SL
    Pivot LES SS
    Colnago C60 Disc

  3. #3
    Rides all the bikes!
    Reputation: Sidewalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,915
    I think it is less the tires and more the trails. Groomed, compacted, dry, etc trails will favor the narrow tires. Roots, rocks, and sand may favor the plus tires.

    I've had a few friends try plus tires on our local trails and go back to skinny (2.35) because plus was just too vague feeling to be in control. But we are also in hard pack and chunky trails.

  4. #4
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,233
    it depends on the course

    a well beaten hardpack, skinny tire wins

    a ski area converted to a bike race with >50% soggy grass everywhere ? go fatter
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    So then is it simply the fact that most XC courses are majority well groomed and that's why you almost never see plus tired XC bikes racing?

    I would love someone to take a bike capable of both and race various types of terrain to see which they find faster. Something like what bike radar did here https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-racing-48564/ but with 29x2.6/2.8 and 27.5+ while trying to keep as many other variables controlled as much as possible.

    I also know that a big part of it is that a plus tire of decent weight is usually more flat prone than a similar weighted 29r XC tire.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,286
    You get trail bike grip with xc tread pattern. Something like a fuel ex with 2.6 rocket Ron's would be the ideal test mule.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    I already know what the perception is with plus tires and fast bikes.

    What I am trying to find is if anyone out there has put forth a decent test to find out where diminishing returns hit with tire volume.
    I can only share experience from a very fast Cat 1 Singlespeed racer. He spent alot of money on a high end Ti SS 29er build only to realize he was simply faster on 29+. That was for his riding style and was 29er with 100mm fork vs 29+ 3.0 with rigid fork. This was even more pronounced on rocky trails, but also true for smoother trails. Now he rides 29+ exclusively. he both fit and very skilled. Personally my SS race bike can fit 29+, but I like 2.35 front and 2.2. I personally am not sold on 29+ yet.

    He did not like 27.5+ for speed, but has tried it.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    So then is it simply the fact that most XC courses are majority well groomed and that's why you almost never see plus tired XC bikes racing?

    I would love someone to take a bike capable of both and race various types of terrain to see which they find faster. Something like what bike radar did here https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-racing-48564/ but with 29x2.6/2.8 and 27.5+ while trying to keep as many other variables controlled as much as possible.

    I also know that a big part of it is that a plus tire of decent weight is usually more flat prone than a similar weighted 29r XC tire.
    It's not a hard test to design and execute. I have a Hard Tail capable of both that has a power meter and lots of loops to ride that would be a repeatable test with varied terrain (by section). I'll try to track down like for like wheelsets and tires. I want to do this so I know...

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,141
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    So then is it simply the fact that most XC courses are majority well groomed and that's why you almost never see plus tired XC bikes racing?

    I would love someone to take a bike capable of both and race various types of terrain to see which they find faster. Something like what bike radar did here https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-racing-48564/ but with 29x2.6/2.8 and 27.5+ while trying to keep as many other variables controlled as much as possible.

    I also know that a big part of it is that a plus tire of decent weight is usually more flat prone than a similar weighted 29r XC tire.
    People have tested who own both bikes with mixed results, this is course dependent and person dependent. Too much feel goes into this for someone to test with any real result.

    The fact is, those tires are heavier. The lighter ones are not going to be as strong as an armored 2.35. The strong ones are heavy.

    XC racing is not an individual time trial. Here is how racing actually goes down here until you are in the pro/elite ranks:

    If you lose position and get stuck behind someone who goes around you on a climb, you may not be able to exploit your advantage in other areas. Pass them may not be an option on a downhill. Most of our downhills are Singletrack and people aren't excited to pull into cactus or buffalo grass to let you by on a descent after they just passed you on a climb, or just because you caught up to them and want to pass.

    You are really overthinking this for Cat 3 and even Cat 2. if you blow everyone out of the water in Cat 3 on your EX, start thinking about what bike you want to go after Cat 2 podiums. My buddy/competitor Blew away Cat 3 in the fall '16, Smacked us around in the spring in Cat 2 '17, and will be on the podium in cat 1 this spring. Did I mention he was on a 28 pound Camber? Point is, its the rider, no the bike as long as it is in working order.


    There are a few courses in your series here where a big volume 29er or 29+ would be fastest. One of them just got pulled form the series this year leaving you maybe 2 races where it might be faster?

  10. #10
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    10,293
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    So then is it simply the fact that most XC courses are majority well groomed and that's why you almost never see plus tired XC bikes racing?

    I would love someone to take a bike capable of both and race various types of terrain to see which they find faster. Something like what bike radar did here https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-racing-48564/ but with 29x2.6/2.8 and 27.5+ while trying to keep as many other variables controlled as much as possible.

    I also know that a big part of it is that a plus tire of decent weight is usually more flat prone than a similar weighted 29r XC tire.
    Not really.

    Most XC races are held on normal bike trails. You need to abandon your preconceived notions about XC racing; it seems they're based on misconceptions, and most of them are just wrong.

    There are plenty of XC races held on trails that also host Enduro races.

    Re: tires. My personal preference is a set of fast rolling, high volume tires on wide rims. 2.35/2.25 on 26mm ID rims. The Mezcal on the rear of my bike measures 59mm at riding pressure. That's a huge "2.25".

    Really, you need to actually race to figure out what works for YOU and what doesn't. Your riding style and terrain might not be conducive to one kind of tire vs. another.







    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,483
    It's not just width and volume, but tread and compound as well. With a big 3" tire, you just don't need as aggressive tread as you do on smaller tires.

    I've experimented and raced with tires of various sizes. Baseline setup for me was 2.35 ikons front and rear.

    General thoughts on a few of the combos I've tried on a rigid 29er singlespeed:

    2.2 ikon rear / 2.35 ikon front. Really liked the setup, but I had a few cases where the back would step out on fast corners and I wasn't able to get it to bite again before sliding out. Very fast setup on climbs and smooth trails, but on strava i just wasn't quite as fast as I was with larger tires.

    2.35 ikon front & rear = really nice fast combo. Not many downsides

    2.35 ikon rear / 2.6 knobby nic front = Slower than the ikons, but easier to handle on loose & rough trails. Compounds made a very noticeable difference. I was surprised how much faster a pace star was up front compared to the trail star.

    2.35 ikon rear / 2.5 DHF 3C max terra up front = Extremely slow in an XC racing situation. The weight and soft rubber seemed to really make it difficult to climb.

    2.6 knobby nic front & rear = Nice trail setup and rolled noticeably better over roots and rough stuff, but overall it was slower.

    3" wtb rangers front & rear = I've set PRs on my local trails with these. Huge benefits for a rigid bike over normal size tires. Sold my 29er after a few hundred miles on 29+, and won't be going back to smaller tires for on my rigid bikes.

    I'm building a 29+ full suspension trail bike at the moment. Won't be a race bike, but I'm still interested to see how the speed compares to my previous bikes. I have a feeling 29+ would be overkill for a full suspension xc race bike, and probably slower in a race environment than a normal 29er. I'd say it's probably a toss up for a hardtail depending on your ride style and trails.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Hey man! I am just asking in the pursuit of knowledge. I am already pretty sure what my wheels will look like when my XC rig get's done.

    I'm just a curious soul and am bored at work in front of a computer! Loving the information I have stuffed into my brain over the past few weeks on here.

    If I could afford two sets of wheels I'd be happy to test this all out myself, but my test would be limited by wheel/rim size to the point where the data would be a tad too objective to really satisfy.

    It would be nice to have two sets of wheels at similar enough weights, with appropriate rim sizes for a good range of tires and a set of tires that have the same tread pattern but different enough volumes. BUTTTTT I recognize that an ideal test doesn't exist as such is the nature of this lovely sport!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post

    It would be nice to have two sets of wheels at similar enough weights, with appropriate rim sizes for a good range of tires and a set of tires that have the same tread pattern but different enough volumes. BUTTTTT I recognize that an ideal test doesn't exist as such is the nature of this lovely sport!
    There are issues with that though:

    -True plus tires need wider rims than normal tires. Better profile and sidewall support, and able to run lower pressures

    -Plus tires with small fast tread have similar grip to normal tires with big tread. In a lot of conditions, my 3" rangers can be ridden like a 2.3 dhf for example, but they roll significantly faster.

    I've convinced from my own testing, but I would like to see someone else test the following:

    - Optimum size 29" tire, with optimum tread, and optimum rims = Probably a 2.3 tire, intermediate tread such as ikon, forekaster, ardent, and light carbon rim with around 26mm width

    - Optimum size 29+ tire, with optimum tread, and optimum rims = Probably a 3" tire with minimal tread and a light carbon rim between 35-40mm width

    As with any size tire, there are sweet spots with 29+ where you find the balance you need between weight, traction, and rolling resistance. For a race application, it makes no sense to test a 29+ tire that has too much grip against a typical xc 29" tire.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    863
    In 1990 when Ritchey released the 2.35 Z-Max we quickly found it to be a faster tire than the smaller versions. It was weird, how could something that big be faster than a Smoke, or Dart?

    I'm using Maxxis 2.2s and a 2.4 WTB tire as well on my 2012 Element when I'm racing, the new-ish tirees from Maxxis are amazing actually. Can't agree more with there must be a point when too wide equals slower race times, but what it is I couldn't tell you.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,286
    I think it would be interesting to set up 26" bikes with some of the modern wider stuff that is showing up now. Something like a 120mm softail with 2.6x26 rocket rons on it. I know Jamis is now offering the dragon as a 26+ bike.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    There are issues with that though:

    -True plus tires need wider rims than normal tires. Better profile and sidewall support, and able to run lower pressures

    -Plus tires with small fast tread have similar grip to normal tires with big tread. In a lot of conditions, my 3" rangers can be ridden like a 2.3 dhf for example, but they roll significantly faster.

    I've convinced from my own testing, but I would like to see someone else test the following:

    - Optimum size 29" tire, with optimum tread, and optimum rims = Probably a 2.3 tire, intermediate tread such as ikon, forekaster, ardent, and light carbon rim with around 26mm width

    - Optimum size 29+ tire, with optimum tread, and optimum rims = Probably a 3" tire with minimal tread and a light carbon rim between 35-40mm width

    As with any size tire, there are sweet spots with 29+ where you find the balance you need between weight, traction, and rolling resistance. For a race application, it makes no sense to test a 29+ tire that has too much grip against a typical xc 29" tire.
    That's what I meant by appropriate rim sizes, like 2 sets of 29r wheels with one being i25mm and the other being i35mm.

    Maybe even disregarding the XC part I've mentioned and just test a tire that covers a variety of volumes. Not sure if that exists and yeah, like you've mentioned two tires of the same tread but different amounts of contact patches, the one with the bigger plus sized contact patch will have better grip. Either way there is always going to be a flaw to the test no matter how it's performed.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeguy0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    382
    So I can provide some commentary as I have a set of Nextie 42mm external width wheels and run a Ikon/Rekon setup in 2.8 width but also raced the same bike with 29er Valor Carbon wheels and 2.2 and 2.35 tires.

    First off the bike weighs within 1/3 of a pound of each other. Because of the smaller diameter of the rims and tires the weight difference between the two as long as you get a light set of plus wheels is negligible.

    I race XC on both the plus set up and also a 27.5 hard tail with 2.35 Ardent Race F & R.

    Climbing: The plus tires roll smoother over the terrain and provide more grip than 29ers. I have more ability to just motor right over things that with a narrower tire I might have to use body english or unweight the rear so I don't ding a rim. I don't feel any difference in the rolling resistance in anything except maybe a buffed fire road section.

    Descending: Plus tires provide a TON more grip downhill and the wheel diameter is slightly smaller. I can get around switchbacks better, turn faster, and put my tires where I want them easier. The tires also give you a bit of a margin for error so it you don't nail the line exactly you have an extra 1/2 of tire that is holding you on line. I can straight line through rock gardens easier and they are more smoothed out because of the higher volume...I carry more speed as a result with less effort or tension on my back.

    Flats: Motoring on a flat with roots, rocks, etc. is much faster because you have that volume and can stay seated keeping the power down. With the 29ers they roll through this better than 26 inch wheels but because they have lower volume you have to pay attention that you don't ding a rim so you're not as smooth over them.

    Overall I think I am as fast or faster on the plus size setup so I just sold my Valors this morning. My bike is a 2016 Fuel EX 9.9 and ready to race I'm at 24.6 lbs with plus wheels, 125mm dropper, and 120mm rear 130mm front suspension. I'm sure if you're riding on very light tires there is a possible difference in climbing but to be honest I think the ability to maintain momentum at less muscular and cardio vascular cost with the plus tire negates that advantage and then you have a huge advantage in rock gardens and descending.
    My Team: Feedback Sports Racing

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,286
    When is Continental going to make a 2.6 race king protection? I don't think you can really know until a true plus tiny pin tire is made for xc racing. A plus xr1 may grab like a dhr2.
    Last edited by party_wagon; 02-09-2018 at 07:08 PM.

  19. #19
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,177
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    So then is it simply the fact that most XC courses are majority well groomed and that's why you almost never see plus tired XC bikes racing?
    I've been racing for many years. The perception that XC courses are "groomed" or "devoid of technical" is BS. Yes, in some isolated places, most likely places where the trails suck anyway, the races also suck, in terms of technical, but I've yet to to experience "groomed" XC races in any place that has good base-riding. Sometimes in our summer series we switch it up and have a short-track on smooth stuff, but then there's rooty nasty races in between, and so on.

    Bottom line is that bigger + sized tires are slower. A few people claim they are faster on fat-bikes than their regular bike, but these people are already so slow that it really doesn't make a difference and gives them a little more confidence in the loose stuff. Once you are only looking at maybe a 2.8ish tire on 27.5, it's not *that* slow and a powerful rider can do pretty well on them, but they still won't be the fastest way. To have enough strength in the tire at that size, it has to weigh significantly more (not to mention the wide rims that are usually required), and that does matter, not to most riders, but to the competitive ones looking for the edge that lets them get the win. I've finished races where things like this did matter, that .5 seconds is the difference between 2nd or 3rd place.

    The other effect I've noticed is when turning at speed, with more mass out there, I can absolutely feel the difference between a few hundred grams on both wheels/tires and I can notice where in some turns, I have to slow down before the turn, otherwise I'll "skid" towards the outside while the gyroscopic force drags my bike. This is not an issue at slow speeds, but medium-to-fast, it definitely is. Again, it causes fractions of a second to add up.

    I ride a fatbike for fun in the winter, I really like my 4.8 tires, super-fun, but not always the fastest way. We also went through some of these growing pains in DH. Back when DH started, tires went from 2.2 to 2.3, then 2.5, then 2.7, then 2.8 and 3.0, those bigger tires were slower though and the sizes shrank back to 2.3-2.5 being optimum. Sure, more tire can grip better, but it's doing things like I was discussing above, dragging the bike towards the outside of a turn, making it harder to accelerate, etc. What percentage of time in a race would you actually need the additional traction of the wider tire to maintain a line in a turn where the other effects of the weight wouldn't already have slowed it down, then how does that compare to the disadvantage all the time of the rotating mass? I'd bet if anything, the former situation would be a fraction of the overall time, way less than the latter. I know some pretty fast guys on + bikes, but I'd never choose that as the fastest way in a race, vs. traditional 2.2-2.3 XC race tires.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    6,778
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    It's not a hard test to design and execute. I have a Hard Tail capable of both that has a power meter and lots of loops to ride that would be a repeatable test with varied terrain (by section). I'll try to track down like for like wheelsets and tires. I want to do this so I know...
    +100.

    Looking forward to data and perceptions.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  21. #21
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,466
    The reality is weight matters, it really matters. As tires get bigger they get heavier and as they get bigger yoh get diminishing returns on the size.

    A durable 2.6 29er tire is going to be a tank. Its advantages might overcome this weight penalty but I do not think so.

    Now is exploring smaller rims with larger tires makes sense to me. A 26 × 2.5 might do everything that a 29 x 2.2 does and more but that ship has sailed i believe.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,924
    Think of a bell curve; on one side there's a very small number of xc courses that are so tame that you'd be better off using a cx bike. The other side would be a small number of courses that are so chunky or sandy that the bigger tires would be an advantage. 95%+ are going to be courses that favor a sweet spot which I'm guessing is in the 2.1-2.3 range.
    In fall around here we get a few cx races that are super rough by cx standards and I've done well on my 29er hardtail with my xc tires (legal in that series). A few years ago on a sandy course (beach of a lake) that was also pretty rough and choppy up/down I won a cat3 cx race with a 1.5 minute gap on my 29er with 2.2s. It's the same argument, just shifted to a cx perspective, if it's sandy enough or rocky and rough enough to slow down the skinnier tires the fat tires would be an advantage, but there's not a lot of courses like that. Next to you pre-ride a super soft and/or chunky course, consider if there's enough to give the fat tires the edge, -soft sand can really suck the power out of your legs, but there would have to be a significant amount.

    I remember the 2.3 Ritchey, I recently threw away the dead red one I had, one friend called it 'poor mans suspension' at the time.

    LMN; I probably need to invest in a lightweight wheelset if I'm going to get off 2nd place this spring!, I'm about 30 sec and 18 sec back for both races so far.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    855
    It just depends. Should it be faster than 29x2.2? Nope. But for some people or on some courses it is. The grip, confidence, rollover and cornering can, in certain situations or for certain people, overcome the weight penalty.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    I have a few honest PRs on my 4.8 tires. So that's enough to make me think this whole conversation worth having.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...A few people claim they are faster on fat-bikes than their regular bike, but these people are already so slow that it really doesn't make a difference and gives them a little more confidence in the loose stuff.
    Harsh man, HARSH.



    Seriously though, good post, I can surmise that it draws appropriate conclusions from the information we have. I think we need more data!
    Last edited by brentos; 02-10-2018 at 03:54 PM.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    378
    From what I can tell, most of the world cup racers are running 2.2s-2.3s. Somebody correct if I'm wrong. I'm sure these folks have lots of resources to do the testing and less efficient equipment don't make it on the bikes. Has anybody heard of anyone at the pro level running plus tires?

    That said, at the amateur lower class levels, I'm sure there are cases where plus tires might work better for some riders. There are so many inefficient techniques at these levels that it's possible that equipment could cover up bad riding techniques in some cases. But it's really hard to predict across riders.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeguy0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    382

    Plus tires and XC racing...

    I love the “if you’re crappy that is why wider tires are faster” comments. Classic.

    You can carry more speed with more grip right? Like the F1 cars this last year. It’s always interesting because we go to extremes. At the WC level, sure a 100 gram difference with skills being equal can make a impact but for most anyone else I don’t think it makes a difference at all. If you literally just buy a lighter part that functions the same then yes. But a part that weighs 100 grams more but also has a materially positive impact to grip and roll over I think it’s not clear cut.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    My Team: Feedback Sports Racing

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeguy0 View Post
    I love the “if you’re crappy that is why wider tires are faster” comments. Classic.

    You can carry more speed with more grip right? Like the F1 cars this last year. It’s always interesting because we go to extremes. At the WC level, sure a 100 gram difference with skills being equal can make a impact but for most anyone else I don’t think it makes a difference at all. If you literally just buy a lighter part that functions the same then yes. But a part that weighs 100 grams more but also has a materially positive impact to grip and roll over I think it’s not clear cut.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Yes, it's possible that carrying more speed can compensate, but it's really a guessing game for those of us who don't have the resources to test, isn't it?

    Look, I can't say for sure that plus tires are slower. But World cup = highly darwinistic envirionment. Everyone is pushing at their limits whether it's training, bike handling, or equipment. So any inefficiency wins you the Darwin award. When plus size tires start showing up en masse on world cup bikes, then I'll start believing that they are an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    855
    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Yes, it's possible that carrying more speed can compensate, but it's really a guessing game for those of us who don't have the resources to test, isn't it?

    Look, I can't say for sure that plus tires are slower. But World cup = highly darwinistic envirionment. Everyone is pushing at their limits whether it's training, bike handling, or equipment. So any inefficiency wins you the Darwin award. When plus size tires start showing up en masse on world cup bikes, then I'll start believing that they are an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
    That is kind of my point. They shouldn’t be faster. Guys racing WC races are technically strong enough to take advantage of the lighter, faster 29er tires. However, people with big engins but lacking in skill might find the plus tires to be faster.

  29. #29
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Someone please explain why the 0.001% of mountain bikers are what decides the best tire choice for every XC racer???? Or what is faster or not for every single XC racer???

    Not everyone can ride and train to a certain set up like WC racers so using them to tell people their experience is wrong does nothing good for the sport as a whole. Every rider and every trail is different. Skills has little bearing on tire choice.

    So lets stop degrading and comparing others to WC racers, because I highly doubt those of you doing so are any better at riding than the ones your degrading.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,286
    Something like a Santa Cruz 5010 may be faster in some locations. Chain reaction actually offers trail race bikes.

  31. #31
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    10,293
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Snip...

    Skills has little bearing on tire choice.
    Uh, what? Seriously?

    Sorry, that's ridiculous. Would you care to rephrase or attempt to explain?





    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  32. #32
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    10,293
    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    Something like a Santa Cruz 5010 may be faster in some locations. Chain reaction actually offers trail race bikes.
    What the hell is a trail race bike?

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    761
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Someone please explain why the 0.001% of mountain bikers are what decides the best tire choice for every XC racer???? Or what is faster or not for every single XC racer???

    Not everyone can ride and train to a certain set up like WC racers so using them to tell people their experience is wrong does nothing good for the sport as a whole. Every rider and every trail is different. Has little to do with skills.

    So lets stop degrading and comparing others to WC racers, because I highly doubt those of you doing so are any better at riding than the ones your degrading.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Do you realize it is the bike industry the one pushing and brainwashing you the need for new products such as plus tires? Or do you think some amateur suddenly realized plus tires are the best choice for common riders and commisioned a tire company to develop a new tire for the need of the common people?

    Companies want to sell you more stuff, one easy way of doing it is by creating new products to sell to your existing customers, business 101. 29ers, 27.5, boost, droppers, plus tires, carbon stuff, modern drivetrains, carbon wheels and the list continues were conceived to increase profits while having the latter benefit to the consumer of being better technology than its predecessor. Most of the time anyway, because sometimes they just get some things wrong that are still pushed to the consumer.

    If anything, we should be thanking professionals for how conservative they are when adopting new bike tech, as they slow down adoption in the mass market. Nothing wrong with evolving, but lately the bike industry has been pushing the consumer limits on what they can get away with in terms of change and incompatibility.

  34. #34
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Uh, what? Seriously?

    Sorry, that's ridiculous. Would you care to rephrase or attempt to explain?





    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    We're not talking a 1st rider versus life long veteran here. Talking XC racers. Their skill levels have little to do with tire choice, they are going to use what works for the trails they are racing on. If a racer has a choice (some race on a shoe string budget) they arent going to run the same tires on a wet loose trails as they are going to on trails that are smooth and dry. At least here in the states trail types and conditions vary like crazy just within 100 miles in any given direction.

    And I didnt say NOTHING to do with it, I said LITTLE to do with it. There will be exceptions to it (new lower skilled rider using way too much tire) but any serious racer will change tires based on trails they plan to race if possible.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  35. #35
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    Do you realize it is the bike industry the one pushing and brainwashing you the need for new products such as plus tires? Or do you think some amateur suddenly realized plus tires are the best choice for common riders and commisioned a tire company to develop a new tire for the need of the common people?

    Companies want to sell you more stuff, one easy way of doing it is by creating new products to sell to your existing customers, business 101. 29ers, 27.5, boost, droppers, plus tires, carbon stuff, modern drivetrains, carbon wheels and the list continues were conceived to increase profits while having the latter benefit to the consumer of being better technology than its predecessor. Most of the time anyway, because sometimes they just get some things wrong that are still pushed to the consumer.

    If anything, we should be thanking professionals for how conservative they are when adopting new bike tech, as they slow down adoption in the mass market. Nothing wrong with evolving, but lately the bike industry has been pushing the consumer limits on what they can get away with in terms of change and incompatibility.
    This is 100% true but nothing to really do with my post. Trying to clearly explain why these guys should stop degrading "lesser" riders in their eyes.

    Having a road bike, fat bike and my B+ which replaced my 29er, plus bikes HAVE A LOT OF BENEFITS. Basically a happy medium between fat at skinny tires. For my choice in riding b+ even though it weighs a few lbs more than my 25lb 29er that was am extension of me (and cost twice what my B+ did), Ive shown faster times on my B+ bike in every aspect except wide open, flowy flat trail. And that I cant say if its the fact I havent been as active as I was in previous years or the added weight /rolling resistance catches up with me at that point.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    40
    Duh, it's a bike you race on a trail!

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    Do you realize it is the bike industry the one pushing and brainwashing you the need for new products such as plus tires? Or do you think some amateur suddenly realized plus tires are the best choice for common riders and commisioned a tire company to develop a new tire for the need of the common people?

    Companies want to sell you more stuff, one easy way of doing it is by creating new products to sell to your existing customers, business 101. 29ers, 27.5, boost, droppers, plus tires, carbon stuff, modern drivetrains, carbon wheels and the list continues were conceived to increase profits while having the latter benefit to the consumer of being better technology than its predecessor. Most of the time anyway, because sometimes they just get some things wrong that are still pushed to the consumer.

    If anything, we should be thanking professionals for how conservative they are when adopting new bike tech, as they slow down adoption in the mass market. Nothing wrong with evolving, but lately the bike industry has been pushing the consumer limits on what they can get away with in terms of change and incompatibility.
    I'm an engineer, very analytical by nature, and usually skeptical of most things. I originally thought plus tires were a joke. Why would any racer want a big heavy tire with less durability?

    My perception was changed though after someone let me take one for a spin after a race on a very rocky trail, and that new perception was further backed after I built my own and set PRs on trails that I've literally ridden hundreds of times.

    I know it's not for everyone in every application, but I think most people would be surprised how fast plus is on a bike set up for racing.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Someone please explain why the 0.001% of mountain bikers are what decides the best tire choice for every XC racer???? Or what is faster or not for every single XC racer???

    Not everyone can ride and train to a certain set up like WC racers so using them to tell people their experience is wrong does nothing good for the sport as a whole. Every rider and every trail is different. Skills has little bearing on tire choice.

    So lets stop degrading and comparing others to WC racers, because I highly doubt those of you doing so are any better at riding than the ones your degrading.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Degrading? Who have I called out? Nothing I said was personal aimed at anyone in particular. It was an observation that in the the environment where there are the greatest stakes on the line, people don't run a particular piece of equipment.

    And where did anybody say that everyone should run the same tires? The point, which has been reiterated several times already by different people is that, at levels below World Cup or pro, plus tires *might* help some. You can interpret that as an insult or just an observation.

    Me personally, I am not even close to being a world class rider so I guess by your logic, I am owning myself. Even so, I still prefer to run the most efficient tire because (a) it will force me to improve my cornering skills faster rather than rely on a crutch; and (b) when I do improve beyond the need for plus tire grip, the tire won't hold me back in other ways.

  39. #39
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,466
    Back in 2010 the vast majority of racers were on 26inch bikes with tires in the 1.9 to 2.1 range. There was a push from amateur riders for either bigger tires or bigger wheels. At the time the push for bigger wheels won out, and 29ers became the bike of choice for racing. And if you remember the early 29ers had super skinny tires (1.8 and 1.9s) and were actually quite terrible.

    Since then the trend in tires has been to increase in size. Now a normal race tire width is 2.2 to 2.4. I don't think that we will see much wider then this. A 1.9 to 2.3 is a massive change in ride characteristics without a massive increase in weight. Where as a 2.3 to 2.6 is smaller change in ride characteristics but a massive increase in weight.

    The only way I see tire size going up substantially on XC bikes is if rim size comes down. A 26 XC tread 2.6-3.0 would be an experiment I would try for an XC bike. My gut tells me it would be a lot of fun but probably not faster.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,286
    They seem ideal for locations where maintaining speed is a top priority and not topping a eight Mile climb. Many pro riders are already riding tires like a thunder Bert because they are that good a bike handler.

  41. #41
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,177
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeguy0 View Post
    I love the “if you’re crappy that is why wider tires are faster” comments. Classic.

    You can carry more speed with more grip right? Like the F1 cars this last year. It’s always interesting because we go to extremes. At the WC level, sure a 100 gram difference with skills being equal can make a impact but for most anyone else I don’t think it makes a difference at all. If you literally just buy a lighter part that functions the same then yes. But a part that weighs 100 grams more but also has a materially positive impact to grip and roll over I think it’s not clear cut.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Not so clear cut, yes, usually the hot track setup is to use as small diameter wheel as possible and go wide, although in a lot of cases, a square 285 setup can be better than a staggered 305/285 setup for the over/understeer considerations, you are also talking about a track race where you make up a lot more on the turns, which I would argue is unlike most mountain biking. If we really had similar racing in MTB, a 26" wheel would be the hot ticket for the constant turning, easier to accelerate with pedal-strokes always wins over "carrying speed" (basic heavy-wheelset vs. light). Those F1 racers don't have to go over many logs, extended slow-speed climbs, etc.

    I think the comfort/fun benefit of something that is plus/fat over a skinny rigid bike could be a hands-down win (especially at slower speeds), combine that with the power-transfer of a hardtail and it can make a decent ride. Will it be "faster"? (remember, this is the XC racing forum). I don't think so and in many cases, it should be slower, for a variety of reasons. It's almost similar to how I love descending on my AM bike with it's awesome suspension. Would I ever run that in an XC race for the "advantage" on downhills? Hell no, even if on a few downhills the terrain was steep and gnarly enough to let me go a little faster in these sections on that bike, you spend so little time on such terrain in the course of a race that it's just an infinitesimally small percentage of the actual ride and the penalties otherwise more than make up for that one small advantage. But going back to what I started with, if I'm riding for fun, what bike will I choose? Most often, the AM bike, because I like ripping the descents and hitting everything I can. In that case, I'm not riding for "fastest overall".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    I don't think 27.5+ is faster than 29. Bigger tire, but also more weight with less roll over

    However 29+ is different. Pick the right tire (Chupacabra or XR2 these days) and the weight is reasonable. You get better roll over than 29 and grip. And the extra weight is not always bad on momentum bike like a SS where you want to keep your speed up and are used to muscling the bike to accelerate.

    I personally have not tried it, but the racer who put lots of time and money into experimenting with both is firmly in the 29+ camp. And is no big boy at 5'6" and 160 or so.


    I do realize this probably does not apply to 4" XC bike with gears, but for Singlespeed the 29 3.0 makes Rigid forks rideable so you save weight there and you already don't have rear suspension.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    391
    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    Do you realize it is the bike industry the one pushing and brainwashing you the need for new products such as plus tires? Or do you think some amateur suddenly realized plus tires are the best choice for common riders and commisioned a tire company to develop a new tire for the need of the common people?
    Spot on TDLover!

    WC racers may be represent only .001% of all racers... but I can tell you this, the laws of physics apply to 100% of us.

    Wide = more weight, in both rims and tires
    Grip = rolling resistance

    Grip does not equal speed. Grip may let you carry a little more speed through a very few sections, but it's adding rolling resistance 100% of the time. There are plenty of 2.1" low-profile tires that corner just fine and don't weigh 800g.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Spot on TDLover!

    WC racers may be represent only .001% of all racers... but I can tell you this, the laws of physics apply to 100% of us.

    Wide = more weight, in both rims and tires
    Grip = rolling resistance

    Grip does not equal speed. Grip may let you carry a little more speed through a very few sections, but it's adding rolling resistance 100% of the time. There are plenty of 2.1" low-profile tires that corner just fine and don't weigh 800g.
    Most cornering grip comes from the outside knobs, which have little to no impact on straight line rolling resistance. The plus tires recommended for xc actually have fairly low profile and fast center tread.

    I should have my new 29+ fs built by this weekend. Looking forward to comparing it to a 29 fs. I know it works on rigid, but very interested to see how the big tires do with suspension. Not a full on race bike but will be 120mm front and rear with a nice build and derby rims.

  45. #45
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Spot on TDLover!

    WC racers may be represent only .001% of all racers... but I can tell you this, the laws of physics apply to 100% of us.

    Wide = more weight, in both rims and tires
    Grip = rolling resistance

    Grip does not equal speed. Grip may let you carry a little more speed through a very few sections, but it's adding rolling resistance 100% of the time. There are plenty of 2.1" low-profile tires that corner just fine and don't weigh 800g.
    More grip does not equal more rolling resistance. Far from it actually. Its all dependant on tire design and air pressure. Wider can mean less deflection on rough terrain, better cornering and climbing traction. So if weight remained the same, they could be faster on any trail thats not a smooth, practially straight line.

    Cornering grip for XC racing where I live is put above straight line speed because there is very little open, high speed almost straight sections. Your dealing with roots, g-outs, step downs, rocks, sand, short punchy climbs with roots/rocks and constantly twisting through trees.

    The major penalty is weight, which I agree with. Cant get to a respectable XC racing weight by the standards that have been set.

    But at the same time I have watched guys race CAT 1 on fat bikes and finish top 10 (9th at the last one I was paying attention).

    You cant race WC XC on a fat or plus bike, but many may be shocked if they ditched that mentality and rode a plus bike in place of their 29er truly forgetting that WC riders are on feather weight 29ers.

    Personally I ride for enjoyment. Not to try and compete with top riders by being the most light weight and hopefully efficient bike possible. If I can get to toothpick skinny and spin 90rpm for 2 hours+ non stop over any modest trails then I might care. Till then its only about fun. Something I think so many riders are forgetting and getting to competitive about.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  46. #46
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Degrading? Who have I called out? Nothing I said was personal aimed at anyone in particular. It was an observation that in the the environment where there are the greatest stakes on the line, people don't run a particular piece of equipment.

    And where did anybody say that everyone should run the same tires? The point, which has been reiterated several times already by different people is that, at levels below World Cup or pro, plus tires *might* help some. You can interpret that as an insult or just an observation.

    Me personally, I am not even close to being a world class rider so I guess by your logic, I am owning myself. Even so, I still prefer to run the most efficient tire because (a) it will force me to improve my cornering skills faster rather than rely on a crutch; and (b) when I do improve beyond the need for plus tire grip, the tire won't hold me back in other ways.
    I wasnt pointing at anyone directly but as a general attitude of many posts here.

    Plus tires being substituted for "lack of skills" has been implied and clearly stated more than once so far.

    As well as basically flat out telling people that their strava etc is wrong/their riding experience is wrong (not you)

    Sorry if you thought I was calling you out, not the case. Just the general attitude here against those that have proven themselves faster on a plus bike. Never a "their faster for everyone" only accounts of "faster for me".

    Dont agree with that attitude myself and think people need to mellow out.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    495
    29x2.6 Nobby Nic (snakeskin) is 830g. That is pretty raceable, borderline at least, for courses where it does have benefits of course.

    Haven't raced it yet, it is on a winter setup.

    Considering Ikon 2.35 is around 730g depending on setup...it is not a vast difference.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    10
    Is it your only choice if a tire is fast and you get a PR?
    I switched tires on my monstercrosser from 2.0 Race Kings back to 32mm Travellings SK, I might be slower but the small tires feel much faster, cornering gives me instant feedback. I have to concentrate more on single tracks and it is much more fun.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,019
    I have read a few times from Walt (Waltworks) that he says he has been faster everywhere he rides on 3” 29+ tires and he is a former pro racer. I think as many have said it is probably course dependent as well as how big your engine is.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    391
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    More grip does not equal more rolling resistance. Far from it actually. Its all dependent on tire design and air pressure. Wider can mean less deflection on rough terrain, better cornering and climbing traction.
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    To add to your thought, there are plenty of studies for road tires and we now know that we were getting it wrong all this time... narrow and high psi isn't necessarily faster. From those studies, we now understand more about deflection and contact patch and generally that 23mm tires are too narrow and 25mm tires are faster. But this isn't to say that wider is faster, it just means that there is a sweet-spot for road tires and it's slightly wider than we commonly thought.

    Of course we are all discussing MTB tires where the variables are endless! As you point out, everyone's terrain, skill-set and motivations are different, at the end of this thread... there will be no 'pot of gold'. We all have to pick what works best for ourselves.

    For me, my sweet spot is a ~2.2" tire that rolls fast, is light with reasonable sidewall durability, and just enough side knob so as not to get too sketchy in the corners. The races I do are generally won or lost on the climbs and not in the corners.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by Goran_injo View Post
    29x2.6 Nobby Nic (snakeskin) is 830g. That is pretty raceable, borderline at least, for courses where it does have benefits of course.

    Haven't raced it yet, it is on a winter setup.

    Considering Ikon 2.35 is around 730g depending on setup...it is not a vast difference.
    It's a shame that really the NN is the only partially viable 2.6" option.

    Lots of soft evidence out there pointing to a middle ground tire 2.4<2.8 might be the best option in some race-like situations. Yet we only have a few, mostly trail or enduro oriented tread designed tires to look at.

    I feel like a 2.6" RoRo, Xr2, Ikon, etc etc might fit the bill for some people on some bikes in some races.

    EDIT : Oh nvm I see that you are talking about the b+ version as the 29+ version is over 900g each wheel.
    Last edited by drdocta; 02-13-2018 at 03:34 PM.

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeguy0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    382
    For reference see the tire weights below. So at the lightest weight comparison you have a difference of 260g total between the tires. Sure if you're running Ikon 2.2 F/R you have a decent amount of weight difference, but the grip and roll over comparison b/w a 2.2 and a 2.8 is vastly different. I now run the 2.35 Ardent Race F/R on my 27.5 HT because the grip and volume is much better than the Ikons which makes me able to carry more speed and be more confident that the tire isn't washing out.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone to ride plus, but I think there's this perception that the weight difference is much larger than it actually is. I ride these tires in Colorado in some rocky/shale trails and haven't slashed a sidewall (I don't ride like a bag of rocks though).

    One last thought. If weight and acceleration are more important than roll over and grip then why aren't we all racing 27.5 or 26.0 wheels and 2.1 tires which are lighter?

    640g Ikon 29.0 X 2.20 3C/EXO/TR
    720g Ardent Race 29.0 X 2.20 3C/EXO/TR
    740g Ikon 29.0 X 2.35 3C/EXO/TR
    745g Ardent Race 29 X 2.35 3C/EXO/TR
    Lightest Combo = 1,280g (Ikon 2.2)
    Next = 1,360 (Ikon 2.2/AR 2.2)
    Heaviest = 1,490g (AR 2.35)

    770g Ikon 27.5 X 2.80 3C/EXO/TR
    780g Rekon 27.5 X 2.80 3C/EXO/TR
    Total = 1,550g
    My Team: Feedback Sports Racing

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Side question for anyone here who races Maxxis tires. Do they measure up true to label volume? My trail maxxis tires have always been 0.2 to 0.3 inches smaller in diameter than the label on proper rim widths.

    Never tried Schwabe, but I hear they measure true to the label. Anyone who races schwabe care to confirm?
    Last edited by drdocta; 02-16-2018 at 08:28 AM.

  54. #54
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682

    Plus tires and XC racing...

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Personally I ride for enjoyment. Not to try and compete with top riders by being the most light weight and hopefully efficient bike possible. If I can get to toothpick skinny and spin 90rpm for 2 hours+ non stop over any modest trails then I might care. Till then its only about fun. Something I think so many riders are forgetting and getting to competitive about.
    Very interesting thread...thanks for all the comments. I am KEENLY interested in this info, and find it applicable to not just “XC racing”, but also “XC riding” and “XC endurance riding/racing” (I guess that is XC racing...LOL).

    Disclaimer: This quote is me. I’m not “short-loop XC racer guy”; rather, I do 12/24-hour solo SS events, and long-course races (e.g. - Epic Rides events). I “race” them to challenge myself and improve on my performance, and have FUN, but am not a podium-level racer. But I do “race”, nonetheless. I ride SS exclusively, BTW (Vassago Optimus Ti, 120 mm fork).

    With that out of the way, after trying out lots of different combos in the harsh AZ desert environment, I settled on and have spent years running an Ikon 2.35 front and Ikon 2.20 rear on Flow EX rims on my SS. Great combo for both the aforementioned “racing”, and for day-to-day trail use.

    I recently upgraded to a new, Boost Optimus Ti frame (with Plus capability), and have been mulling over and experimenting with this topic. I want the best of both worlds, so I have built up two wheelsets:
    - Flow MK3’s (i29mm) laced to Hope Pro 4’s - For “racing” (with Ikon 2.35’s front and rear) and day-to-day trail use, including long, backcountry-ish riding (currently running Rekon 2.6 front and Ardent 2.4 rear. Will continue to experiment with non-race combos).
    - sunRingle Duroc 40’s (i36mm) laced to I9’s (rear SS-specific), with WTB Ranger 3.0’s. I don’t have any miles on these yet. I have heard good things about the Rangers, similar to what coke said above in this thread, and they perform comparably to the Bonty Chupa’s, for 1/3 the cost.

    I ride hard and am reasonably fast, and like to compare my times on courses/trails/segments that I ride often. I am eager to compare my “Plus” setup with my “non-Plus” combos to really get a sense of what works best for me in various scenarios, “best” being a subjective combination of speed and fun factor. There is so much conflicting and confusing info that I can’t wait to just get out there and ride and see for myself.

    Thanks again!



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Very interesting thread...thanks for all the comments. I am KEENLY interested in this info, and find it applicable to not just “XC racing”, but also “XC riding” and “XC endurance riding/racing” (I guess that is XC racing...LOL).

    Disclaimer: This quote is me. I’m not “short-loop XC racer guy”; rather, I do 12/24-hour solo SS events, and long-course races (e.g. - Epic Rides events). I “race” them to challenge myself and improve on my performance, and have FUN, but am not a podium-level racer. But I do “race”, nonetheless. I ride SS exclusively, BTW (Vassago Optimus Ti, 120 mm fork).

    With that out of the way, after trying out lots of different combos in the harsh AZ desert environment, I settled on and have spent years running an Ikon 2.35 front and Ikon 2.20 rear on Flow EX rims on my SS. Great combo for both the aforementioned “racing”, and for day-to-day trail use.

    I recently upgraded to a new, Boost Optimus Ti frame (with Plus capability), and have been mulling over and experimenting with this topic. I want the best of both worlds, so I have built up two wheelsets:
    - Flow MK3’s (i29mm) laced to Hope Pro 4’s - For “racing” (with Ikon 2.35’s front and rear) and day-to-day trail use, including long, backcountry-ish riding (currently running Rekon 2.6 front and Ardent 2.4 rear. Will continue to experiment with non-race combos).
    - sunRingle Duroc 40’s (i36mm) laced to I9’s (rear SS-specific), with WTB Ranger 3.0’s. I don’t have any miles on these yet. I have heard good things about the Rangers, similar to what coke said above in this thread, and they perform comparably to the Bonty Chupa’s, for 1/3 the cost.

    I ride hard and am reasonably fast, and like to compare my times on courses/trails/segments that I ride often. I am eager to compare my “Plus” setup with my “non-Plus” combos to really get a sense of what works best for me in various scenarios, “best” being a subjective combination of speed and fun factor. There is so much conflicting and confusing info that I can’t wait to just get out there and ride and see for myself.

    Thanks again!



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Be sure to hit the thread back up with your findings after testing!

  56. #56
    Rides all the bikes!
    Reputation: Sidewalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,915
    My first thought was "Flow for XC? That's a lot of extra weight!"

    But if you are only competing against yourself, then it doesn't matter. Enjoy

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Very interesting thread...thanks for all the comments. I am KEENLY interested in this info, and find it applicable to not just “XC racing”, but also “XC riding” and “XC endurance riding/racing” (I guess that is XC racing...LOL)..
    Converse with Justin Kyle. He did the plus vs normal on his Mooseknucle. He settled on rigid 29plus for racing in fact.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    My first thought was "Flow for XC? That's a lot of extra weight!"

    But if you are only competing against yourself, then it doesn't matter. Enjoy
    Not sure what walt weights, but he carries it arms and shoulders and can probably snap 2x4 with his bare hands like popcicle sticks.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  59. #59
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    My first thought was "Flow for XC? That's a lot of extra weight!"

    But if you are only competing against yourself, then it doesn't matter. Enjoy
    Understood, but I have broken an Arch rear, and wouldn't even bother to try Crests. The riding I do (and courses in AZ) can be pretty rocky and rugged, and at 190 geared up, I ride it hard, even with minding my lines on a HT. I will take a slight weight penalty for a bombproof wheel.
    Ride more; post less...

  60. #60
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Converse with Justin Kyle. He did the plus vs normal on his Mooseknucle. He settled on rigid 29plus for racing in fact.
    Oh yeah; I've conversed with Justin a bunch, and got all of the same feedback you've referenced earlier in this thread. Also, alot of feedback from Tom. I'm eager to see for myself, and how it all applies to me.
    Ride more; post less...

  61. #61
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Not sure what walt weights, but he carries it arms and shoulders and can probably snap 2x4 with his bare hands like popcicle sticks.
    LOLOL...about 190 geared up, and suffice to say, I'm not built like a typical cyclist. I break shit, but no longer my wheels!
    Ride more; post less...

  62. #62
    Rides all the bikes!
    Reputation: Sidewalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,915
    I'm much lighter. But I also broke an Arch (was supposed to just be temporary until my new Flow arrived) on my first ride. That was on my Enduro though. Wondering how long the Flow will last.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    638

    Plus tires and XC racing...

    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post

    - Optimum size 29" tire, with optimum tread, and optimum rims = Probably a 2.3 tire, intermediate tread such as ikon, forekaster, ardent...
    That is what I found by doing my own reading and asking others.
    The IKON 2.35 front/2.35 rear is a nice combination.

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    223
    Here's some numbers for you nerds. I like the NN 29 x 2.35, which measures about like a Maxxis 2.5. I didn't compare Schwalbe's other compounds. I also didn't look at Ardents, which might grip about like a NN, but I'm able to trust Ikons and Rekons as a better front cornering tire than Ardents.

    Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Evolution
    27.5 x 2.6 = 910g
    29 x 2.35 = 765g
    29x 2.6 = 950g

    Maxxis Ikon 3C/EXO/TR maxx speed
    27.5 x 2.35 = 705g
    29 x 2.35 = 740g

    Maxxis Rekon
    27.5 x 2.6 = 730g 3C/EXO/TR maxx terra
    27.5 x 2.6 = 805g dual/exo/TR maxx terra
    29 x 2.6 = 780g 3C/EXO/TR maxx terra
    29 x 2.6 = 860g dual/exo/TR NOT maxx terra

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by afraid View Post
    Here's some numbers for you nerds. I like the NN 29 x 2.35, which measures about like a Maxxis 2.5. I didn't compare Schwalbe's other compounds. I also didn't look at Ardents, which might grip about like a NN, but I'm able to trust Ikons and Rekons as a better front cornering tire than Ardents.

    Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Evolution
    27.5 x 2.6 = 910g
    29 x 2.35 = 765g
    29x 2.6 = 950g

    Maxxis Ikon 3C/EXO/TR maxx speed
    27.5 x 2.35 = 705g
    29 x 2.35 = 740g

    Maxxis Rekon
    27.5 x 2.6 = 730g 3C/EXO/TR maxx terra
    27.5 x 2.6 = 805g dual/exo/TR maxx terra
    29 x 2.6 = 780g 3C/EXO/TR maxx terra
    29 x 2.6 = 860g dual/exo/TR NOT maxx terra
    Considering Maxxis usually measures small, those 29x2.6 Rekons might be a good in-between option. I'm reading people saying that they are actually only about 0.05 inches wider on appropriate rims than the 2.35 Ikons.

  66. #66
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    Considering Maxxis usually measures small, those 29x2.6 Rekons might be a good in-between option. I'm reading people saying that they are actually only about 0.05 inches wider on appropriate rims than the 2.35 Ikons.
    I’ve been running both the Rekon’s and the Ikon’s on Flow MK3’s (i29mm). The Rekon’s measure 2.50-51, and the Ikon’s measure 2.35-40.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    I’ve been running both the Rekon’s and the Ikon’s on Flow MK3’s (i29mm). The Rekon’s measure 2.50-51, and the Ikon’s measure 2.35-40.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Good to know! What are your impressions of each?

  68. #68
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    Good to know! What are your impressions of each?
    Love the Ikon front and rear or rear only. It is a proven, durable, fast tire that hooks up way better than you might think looking at it. I have thousands of AZ desert miles on Ikons and love them.

    I tried Rekons front and rear, and thought they felt a bit draggy, mostly due to the rear. After running the Ikons for a 24-hour race, I put a Rekon on the front, paired with an Ardent 2.4 in back, and it is a great front tire, particularly in loose or chunky stuff. I run a low PSI on the Flow (12.5), and weigh 190 geared up, and it hooks up great and instills much confidence. Seriously, I'm thrilled with it as a front tire at low PSI. Overkill for buff, loose over hardpack-type trails, but shines in the rough stuff.

    FWIW, I hate Ardents, and put that on just to use it up (I'll run an Ikon 2.35 long-term), but it's proven to be decent-rolling, durable and hooks up on climbs (loose or chunk) very well. I am surprised at this. And I run that at 18.5-19 PSI. Can seem a bit low, but it works.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  69. #69
    o27
    o27 is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    106
    So a 2.6 Rekon front and 2.35 Ikon rear sounds like a pretty interesting all round combo for I.e 27IW rims

  70. #70
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by o27 View Post
    So a 2.6 Rekon front and 2.35 Ikon rear sounds like a pretty interesting all round combo for I.e 27IW rims
    Absolutely!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Love the Ikon front and rear or rear only. It is a proven, durable, fast tire that hooks up way better than you might think looking at it. I have thousands of AZ desert miles on Ikons and love them.

    I tried Rekons front and rear, and thought they felt a bit draggy, mostly due to the rear. After running the Ikons for a 24-hour race, I put a Rekon on the front, paired with an Ardent 2.4 in back, and it is a great front tire, particularly in loose or chunky stuff. I run a low PSI on the Flow (12.5), and weigh 190 geared up, and it hooks up great and instills much confidence. Seriously, I'm thrilled with it as a front tire at low PSI. Overkill for buff, loose over hardpack-type trails, but shines in the rough stuff.

    FWIW, I hate Ardents, and put that on just to use it up (I'll run an Ikon 2.35 long-term), but it's proven to be decent-rolling, durable and hooks up on climbs (loose or chunk) very well. I am surprised at this. And I run that at 18.5-19 PSI. Can seem a bit low, but it works.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have no idea how you're getting away with 12.5psi weighing in at 190 + bike. Not questioning you, just trying to imagine how that would go down on my rig (not great) and I'm about 50lbs less than you. Does your geo or riding style put your weight further back in on the bike?

  72. #72
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by winters.benjamin View Post
    I have no idea how you're getting away with 12.5psi weighing in at 190 + bike. Not questioning you, just trying to imagine how that would go down on my rig (not great) and I'm about 50lbs less than you. Does your geo or riding style put your weight further back in on the bike?
    I’m actually about 185 geared up now, plus bike. I’ve arrived at the PSI gradually, but lowering it bit by bit, and measure it very carefully with a Meiser gauge. It works well for me, and I don’t get any rim strikes, either.

    Re my riding style, these are on my SS on Flow MK3 i29mm rims, and I typically ride a lot of loose, granite gravel over hardpack, but there are some very chunky and loose, pointy rocky sections also. I recently did a very rugged backcountry ride, and they performed well, with no issues. As a SS rider, I tend to pick my lines carefully, though I do ride quite hard. My SS has a HA of 69.5 degrees, and I have a roomy cockpit, so it is easy to keep my weight centered or back, depending on the terrain.

    On a side note, and new since my original post, I am also running the Rekon 2.6 on a Reynolds carbon i30mm rim on my new FS bike (Intense Primer). Now for THAT bike, I am running it at 16 PSI, because I want to be cautious with the carbon rim. I am riding this bike harder than the SS, and not worrying as much about my line. Again, no issues thus far, and I will probably lower it to 15 PSI on that bike.

    Hope this helps.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    613
    This is very helpful. You've convinced me to experiment again on the lower range in front. I've got a good handle on the rear, but I need to revisit the front.

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    231
    Interesting thread. I'm considering a plus (29"+) bike as my next bike. The opinions and thoughts expressed here (some of them at least) are similar to what I've been thinking myself.

    The only thing that annoys me a bit is that there aren't that many available options in terms of frames... I think the Trek Stache would be one of the lightest. Giant XTC (29") will take 27.5"+ tires, but not 29"+ as far as I know, but would probably be quite light too.

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Vassago makes plenty of 29+ capable frames.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chomxxo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,503
    Good thread. I've raced everything from 1.9s to 2.6s over the past 10 years, up and down the ranks, across the USA. Here are some bullet points that I think are factual:

    * You've gotta test it on the clock! A smaller tire may feel faster, lighter, more responsive, but that doesn't mean that it really is. A fatter tire may feel smoother, but that doesn't mean the whole lap time will be faster.

    * World Cup Racers respond to peer pressure more than science. This has been proven over and over again throughout WC history--one pro nuts up with a competitive advantage, while the rest stay with the mode until they catch on (call it the Kulhavy effect).

    * Scientists do, too. Einstein thought Dark Matter was a preposterous idea, and ignored it, in no small part because it came from a woman. Eventually every innovator becomes curmudgeonly, past his prime.

    * You gotta test it!

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    71
    went this year on a ~50km XC on a rigid fatbike 4.0 tyres.
    Very rocky and steep terrain, so I was leading over skinnier competitors for half of the track.
    Probably I was the only one with no punctures.

    But the second half, that was double tracks, dry compact, gravel, my speed was slower compared to competitors.

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JeT442's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Sold my 29er after a few hundred miles on 29+, and won't be going back to smaller tires for on my rigid bikes.

    ... I'd say it's probably a toss up for a hardtail depending on your ride style and trails.
    So I am looking for a new wheel setup on my HT 27.5+ singlespeed. I am heavily considering moving to 29 as I will be doing more XC riding with it. That being said, I like the feel of slightly larger tires (2.3-2.4) as I am more confident with loose packed and corners. In your experience with the aforementioned combos, what do you feel like would be ideal for a HT vs rigid?

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JeT442's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    - Flow MK3’s (i29mm) laced to Hope Pro 4’s - For “racing” (with Ikon 2.35’s front and rear) and day-to-day trail use, including long, backcountry-ish riding (currently running Rekon 2.6 front and Ardent 2.4 rear. Will continue to experiment with non-race combos).
    ...
    I ride hard and am reasonably fast, and like to compare my times on courses/trails/segments that I ride often. I am eager to compare my “Plus” setup with my “non-Plus” combos to really get a sense of what works best for me in various scenarios, “best” being a subjective combination of speed and fun factor. There is so much conflicting and confusing info that I can’t wait to just get out there and ride and see for myself.
    Thanks for your great info!

    I am looking to get a new wheel setup for my 27.5+/29 SS. I like to ride relatively aggressive as well, like a bombproof setup and will be using this for training (long xc days) and like to have fun on my bike but still like to be as fast as I can. With all of that being said, and with your extensive experience with a large array of tires/widths (especially relative to me!) what would you suggest as a 29er tire setup?

    I am currently considering FlowMK3 with 2.4 Rekon (f)/2.4 Ikon (r). I ride mostly the Wasatch front range in Utah. I would eventually like to "race" on this SS (Park City P2P) but those may be dreams. I know the setup for this would likely have to change.

    I know this is limited info, and quite vague...

  80. #80
    Downcountry AF
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    6,063
    Plus tires are 2.8" or bigger.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  81. #81
    mtbr member
    Reputation: solarplex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,537
    Hasnt it been proven the big cushy tires will wear you out on climbs? I wouldnt have thought 2.2-2.35 would have made a difference but hola my 40mm tired gravel bike climbs so much easier than my xc bike. Same weight wheels and tires are only 100g different.
    I mean bike weight is different too, climbing with my carbon farley and big studded gnarwhals is a damn chore and its as light as my FS xc.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Hasnt it been proven the big cushy tires will wear you out on climbs?
    I had a set of plus hoops last year and while they were fun but if I remember correctly I needed around 10% (don't hold me to that number but it was definitely measurable) more power to push that stuff around at the same pace. I think they were 3.0" nobby nics? Not the fastest rolling thing out there but far from teh slowest tire around.

  83. #83
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    15
    My bike handling skills aren’t as good as most. Maxxis Ikon 2.8’ (which actually measure 2.6) help me be faster than if I were on true cross country wheels. I ride a Why S7 and have plans to switch from regular tri’s to off-road tri’s. Is there anyone with that experience?

  84. #84
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OttaCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    149
    ** Completed two 25+ mile Cat 2 races on 27.5+ tire setup **
    Out of my control was given a loaner bike for two very technical races. This Tallboy had the 27.5x2.8 Maxxis Rekons front/rear on Raceface ARC40 wheels. After training all summer on 29x2.35/2.25 tires I thought this was a big handicap on the last two races of the series. Test rides were frustrating, getting the right tire pressure was so critical on these tires. After 4 rides finally got pressure dialed in but felt this bike would be very slow due to the rotational extra weight.

    Race 1 - Course is 25 miles of pounding rock, roots. No fireroad or open stretches. Tires just ate everything up, for once during that race felt better cause it wasnt taking a beating. Slower? Yes a bit at the beginning but made it up the last half. With the larger tires, picked tougher but quicker lines. Ended up winning that race and was about par on average speed versus prior years.

    Race 2 - Course is 35 miles. Mix of blown out OHV trails, loose, sand, bit of rocky singletrack with multiple half mile of fireroad sections. Tires perfect for the chunky stuff, lines just opened up for me. Where I mostly lost the race was on the fireroads, the plus tires are dogs on anything trying to maintain speed. Remember when I said pressure was critical, well small leaks on plus tires suck alot! Ended up in 3rd place, average pace was down about 1mph over prior runs mostly due to the fireroad sections.

    With a pending race this weekend and the trails expected to be rough shape (rain, washouts), thinking about running 27.5 Plus. But I think in 80% of the races I do, sticking with 29er just due to the rolling speed on open/fireroad.

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    Worth considering here is that the Rekons aren't the fastest rollers around in any size. What brand/model tire do you normally run?

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OttaCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    Worth considering here is that the Rekons aren't the fastest rollers around in any size. What brand/model tire do you normally run?
    Spring - Forekaster/Forekaster
    Late Spring/Early Summer - Forekaster/Ardent Race or Rekon
    Summer - Ardent Race/Aspen

  87. #87
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    Spring - Forekaster/Forekaster
    Late Spring/Early Summer - Forekaster/Ardent Race or Rekon
    Summer - Ardent Race/Aspen
    Unless you're running the the dual compound versions, I think the differences may be more a result of compound. The Plus versions of the Rekon are 3C MaxxTerra compound, whereas the 2.25" width of the Rekon and the other tires you have listed here are the 3C MaxxSpeed compound.

  88. #88
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OttaCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    Unless you're running the the dual compound versions, I think the differences may be more a result of compound. The Plus versions of the Rekon are 3C MaxxTerra compound, whereas the 2.25" width of the Rekon and the other tires you have listed here are the 3C MaxxSpeed compound.
    Not getting your point. Didnt have a choice in tires (since I was given the bike to use) but if I was going to run 27.5+ would run Rekon (front) / Ikon (rear). The lack of XC race tires available for 27.5+ does limit its use in certain races.

  89. #89
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    It's been over a year since I said I'd be able to test this, and I finally have the time. I want to solicit some feedback before I go and acquire the equipment. The goal is to run it with equivalent construction tires & wheels across all sizes. I'm thinking the following (based on availability of similar construction between sizes).

    Schwalbe Nobby Nic (Addix Speedgrip, SnakeSkin) on same construction rims & wheel builds:
    -27.5x2.8 on 35mm internal width rim (should I go 3.0 on 40mm?)
    -29x2.35 on 30mm internal width rim (should I go 2.25"?)
    -29x2.60 on 30mm internal width rim

    I'll do 2 rides on each setup to establish the lowest pressure possible for each that allows me to ride without rim strikes or tire roll.

    Once pressure is established, I will do timed laps of approximately 20 minutes, all in the same day (probably 2 each, maybe 3). Monitoring lap time & power (*stages power meter-meh). The laps will consist of some dirt road climbing, flowing/rolling single track, and a downhill section.

    The bike will remain the same, a Ti SS hardtail w/ 130mm fork. Gear inches will be set up as close to identical as is possible.
    Last edited by brentos; 1 Week Ago at 10:35 AM.

  90. #90
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    93

    Plus tires and XC racing...

    Great research @ottacee!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  91. #91
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    Not getting your point. Didnt have a choice in tires (since I was given the bike to use) but if I was going to run 27.5+ would run Rekon (front) / Ikon (rear). The lack of XC race tires available for 27.5+ does limit its use in certain races.
    My point is that you may have experienced the same results simply by running a MaxxTerra compound, vs MaxxSpeed in the same size you normally run. Slower on the roads, more composed in more technical sections.

  92. #92
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    It's been over a year since I said I'd be able to test this, and I finally have the time. I want to solicit some feedback before I go and acquire the equipment. The goal is to run it with equivalent construction tires & wheels across all sizes. I'm thinking the following (based on availability of similar construction between sizes).

    Schwalbe Nobby Nic (Addix Speedgrip, SnakeSkin) on same construction rims & wheel builds:
    -27.5x2.8 on 35mm internal width rim (should I go 3.0 on 40mm?)
    -29x2.35 on 30mm internal width rim (should I go 2.25"?)
    -29x2.60 on 30mm internal width rim

    I'll do 2 rides on each setup to establish the lowest pressure possible for each that allows me to ride without rim strikes or tire roll.

    Once pressure is established, I will do timed laps of approximately 20 minutes, all in the same day (probably 2 each, maybe 3). Monitoring lap time & power (*stages power meter-meh). The laps will consist of some dirt road climbing, flowing/rolling single track, and a downhill section.

    The bike will remain the same, a Ti SS hardtail w/ 130mm fork. Gear inches will be set up as close to identical as is possible.
    Good to see my old thread is still getting life!

    I love this idea. If I had the time, money, and technical know-how I would do this myself!

  93. #93
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,466
    Many years ago I was pretty anti-29er. Not because I didn't think that more rubber on the ground was a good idea, I just thought that inceasing tire size was a better choice then increasing rim size. (And to be fair at the time everybody who raced 29ers was using 1.8 or 1.9 tires).

    After spending some time on 2.5 tires I don't think that bigger tires are the way to go. Even in a 2.5 I found it really hard to find a pressure where I liked the feel and didn't smash my rim. I also did not love the weight of the tire. Even on my Enduro bike I have gone back to 2.3s, the bike just feels better with the smaller tires.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  94. #94
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    It's been over a year since I said I'd be able to test this, and I finally have the time. I want to solicit some feedback before I go and acquire the equipment. The goal is to run it with equivalent construction tires & wheels across all sizes. I'm thinking the following (based on availability of similar construction between sizes).

    Schwalbe Nobby Nic (Addix Speedgrip, SnakeSkin) on same construction rims & wheel builds:
    -27.5x2.8 on 35mm internal width rim (should I go 3.0 on 40mm?)
    -29x2.35 on 30mm internal width rim (should I go 2.25"?)
    -29x2.60 on 30mm internal width rim

    I'll do 2 rides on each setup to establish the lowest pressure possible for each that allows me to ride without rim strikes or tire roll.

    Once pressure is established, I will do timed laps of approximately 20 minutes, all in the same day (probably 2 each, maybe 3). Monitoring lap time & power (*stages power meter-meh). The laps will consist of some dirt road climbing, flowing/rolling single track, and a downhill section.

    The bike will remain the same, a Ti SS hardtail w/ 130mm fork. Gear inches will be set up as close to identical as is possible.
    Cool,
    I have tried the following on my Steel Single speed. 27.5x2.8 on 35mm wheels, 29x2.35 on 21mm wheels, 29x2.6 on 35mm wheels and 29x3.0 on 29mm wheels. All with the same gear ratio 34x19.

    I feel the fastest is 29x2.35, but that in part due to my 21mm wheels being lighter than my 35mm wheels. 2.6 on 35mm with a 100mm fork is really nice "all round" set up. 29x3.0 is a monster and pretty fast with a rigid fork on the climbs , but tougher on the descents ( could not fit the 3.0 under my 100mm fork). Remember on any SS gearing changes slightly with tire size. 19t on 2.6 is like and 18.5t on 2.35. So you have to be aware of that.

    BTW.. Don't try 2.25. No need to as both are pretty close. Do make sure you dial in pressures as this will be key. Lower pressures on bigger wheels, but you will need to dial it in to get the best of from each. Also rockiness plays a role. The more rocky chatter the better the bigger wheels will do. My 2.6 absorbs small rocky chatter so well and does well in low grip loose stuff. The 2.35 are ok. I did a short track race and did a back to back test

    2.35 on 21mm wheels with 18t cog vs 2.6 on 35mm wheels on 19t cog. The 2.6 won out that day due to loads of grip on loose rocky climb. It was not a technical climb, but so easy to break traction. Then on rocky descents I could push harder. The 19t with 2.6 is "easier" than 18t with 2.35 and given the short punchy loose climb on course was really nice. However 3 days later I put 2.35 and 18t combo on for long 66 mile ride through mostly firm or loose over hard terrain. That ride had more tech moves, but most of those were over granite boulders so tons of grip and other bits were smooth with zero chatter. Some loose marbles, but not too ban and I was happy to not drag around my heavier wheels and tires for that many miles. I guess where I am going is that I have learned that plus tires (2.6, 2.8, 3.0) are good in many situations in that they provide a little cushion and great traction, but add weight and can bind up if the ground is very hard and firm. It is very course dependent on if the extra cushion and grip is worth the rotating weight. Also 29+ not 27.5+ have better roll over than 29 and can also provide an edge in certain situations. My PR and 3rd best time up a 0.7 mil 310ft 8% grade mostly smooth climb were on 29x3.0 rigid with 34x19 gearing. This is a segment I have done 58 times on every single bike have owned in the last 5 years. The reason I was so fast on the 3.0 was there were 3 spots that always get caught up on the SS. Grade pitches up just a bit past the comfort point to 15%+ for 3-4 bike lengths and adds some embedded rocks. Very easy to stall there, but on 3.0 there was so much momentum in the wheels combined with the low pressure and rollover the bike just rolled past my pinch points and I was through to where the grade relaxed a touch. However every where else I felt like it was more work to push those tires compared to my 2.35, but the times don't lie. I tried it last week with 18t and 2.35 and while running close to PR pace just stalled when I got there. Having to walk those 3 bike lengths was a time killer. The 19t would have given me a better chance to make it, but would have had me slower else where. I could see were on the climb I was going faster than my PR pace and where I was slower.

    Anyway lots to consider.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  95. #95
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,053
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    .. Even in a 2.5 I found it really hard to find a pressure where I liked the feel and didn't smash my rim. I also did not love the weight of the tire. Even on my Enduro bike I have gone back to 2.3s, the bike just feels better with the smaller tires.
    That is a problem I had with 29x3.0 rigid. 12 psi and it would bounce all over. 10psi was plush, but hit the rim too much. 11psi was great. However +/-0.5 psi (10.5 to 11.5) range is just too narrow. Just ambient temperature changes can do that. Part of the issue was my rigid fork, but at least the weight of the fork countered the weight in the wheels. I have found with 2.6 I am not as sensitive to pressures and have more larger workable range. +/- 1psi
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  96. #96
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,682
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    After spending some time on 2.5 tires I don't think that bigger tires are the way to go. Even in a 2.5 I found it really hard to find a pressure where I liked the feel and didn't smash my rim. I also did not love the weight of the tire. Even on my Enduro bike I have gone back to 2.3s, the bike just feels better with the smaller tires.
    Yep...I’ve done multiple marathon distance and 12/24-hour solo SS races on XR2 2.6’s, which are about the fastest and lightest “mid-plus” tires out there, and have gone back to 2.35 Ikons. They just “feel” faster and lighter...and better...to me.

    Additionally, I’m downsizing my FS bike from an Intense Primer, where I was running a 2.6 Rekon front and 2.4 Ardent back, to an SB100, on which I’ll be running Rekon 2.4 WT’s for regular riding, and will probably run Ikon 2.35’s for any marathon/stage/12-24 hours solo races I do on it.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Ride more; post less...

  97. #97
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OttaCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    My point is that you may have experienced the same results simply by running a MaxxTerra compound, vs MaxxSpeed in the same size you normally run. Slower on the roads, more composed in more technical sections.
    OK - Definitely agree!

    Since this thread has my attention, decided to go 27.5 Plus in the race this weekend. Its not a "series" race so mostly for fun and practice. Will be racing Cat 2 Sport, 2 laps 15 miles total.

    Will be running 27.5x2.8 Rekon 3C MaxxTerra and 27.5x2.8 Ikon 3C MaxxSpeed in the rear on DT Swiss XM521 rims (35mm inner). Bike is a 2019 Niner Jet 9 RDO.

  98. #98
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    691
    I wonder if scientific tests proved that plus tires were faster or at least not slower, would skinny tires fade away? Physics has showed for years how unimportant bike weight is, but people spend a TON of $$$ even for a tiny weight reduction. I understand wanting every possible advantage, but the performance to dollar ratio there is certainly not in favor of the rider.

    If 3" tires are actually faster on all but the smoothest surfaces, would people accept the science and use them or are we still going to see 2.3" tires?

    I have no desire to race so my priorities are obviously different, I'm just curious what people would think. I've also ridden brevets on tires over 40mm wide because I like comfort and grip, so my bias is obvious--I don't really mess with the skinny tires anymore.

  99. #99
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,233
    if you are serious about racing you should have multiple sets of tires for different courses and on pre-ride you can determine if you want or should swap the meat around for race day. problem solved. oh and race what you train on if you can't pre-ride
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  100. #100
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,177
    I
    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I wonder if scientific tests proved that plus tires were faster or at least not slower, would skinny tires fade away? Physics has showed for years how unimportant bike weight is, but people spend a TON of $$$ even for a tiny weight reduction. I understand wanting every possible advantage, but the performance to dollar ratio there is certainly not in favor of the rider.

    If 3" tires are actually faster on all but the smoothest surfaces, would people accept the science and use them or are we still going to see 2.3" tires?

    I have no desire to race so my priorities are obviously different, I'm just curious what people would think. I've also ridden brevets on tires over 40mm wide because I like comfort and grip, so my bias is obvious--I don't really mess with the skinny tires anymore.
    If they were faster, I have no doubt cat 1 and experts would all be running them today. Those people look for any advantage possible, down to stuff that most riders never think about. You might show a faster PR, but there are so many variables that it’s almost meaningless without significant repetition and consideration for all factors. Lots of people have say they are “faster” on their fatbike, but this is because they lack confidence to bomb sections and are so slow to start with that the increased traction makes them marginally faster.

    Bike weight is hugely important. For those of us that race, a fraction of a second matters. I got second place on a race by .1s. We can race for 2 hours and only be separated at the end by a couple seconds. Bike weight is not an end-all, but the way you get competitive is to stack as many things in your favor and race as much as possible. This means training, bike weight, suspension setup, rotational weight, even aerodynamics.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 27.5 plus 2.6WT maxxis tires on plus bike
    By seamarsh in forum 26+/27.5+/29+ Plus Bikes
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-18-2018, 03:47 AM
  2. Non plus tires on a plus / 29 platform? Plus noob
    By BadgerOne in forum 26+/27.5+/29+ Plus Bikes
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-10-2017, 04:16 AM
  3. is racing a rigid bike with plus tires a bad idea for 1st timer?
    By mmullen68 in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-09-2016, 07:25 AM
  4. None Plus tires on Plus rims: 2.2~2.4" tire on 45mm internal rim width
    By onlybirdman in forum 26+/27.5+/29+ Plus Bikes
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-31-2016, 07:16 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-12-2012, 06:15 PM

Members who have read this thread: 295

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.