Photo: Chris Daniels

Editor’s Note: “Over a Beer” is a regular column written by Greg Heil. While Greg is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com, any opinions expressed in this column are his alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Singletracks.com.

When I first rode plus tires, I thought they were a gift from the mountain biking gods, sent down to earth with a mission: to rescue us from inferior traction and pinch flats.

But as time went on and I gathered more and more experience on plus-size tires, my rose colored glasses shattered in my hands. Now I’m of the firm opinion that 27.5+ tires are way overrated, and another example of a new product not standing up to the hype used to sell it. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. A Quality Plus Tire Is Too Heavy

The Terrene Chunk Tough is a good tire, but it isn’t light. Photo: Chris Daniels

Quality plus tires are just too heavy for human-powered mountain biking. It takes too much work to propel that much tire around and around and around again. The limiting factor in mountain bike design is the human body—what can a human being reasonably do? How is the human body shaped? Unless you add a motor to your frame and still try to claim it’s a bicycle, weight will continue to be a critical limiting factor for human-powered transportation.

While some plus tires do offer decent-sized knobs, few bike brands are speccing aggressive treads because they’re just too heavy. The result is that we’re left with tires with relatively low profile knobs—don’t expect to find many plus tires designed for pinning down black diamond trails.

2. Casings and Sidewalls Are Too Light and Flimsy

Since a quality plus tire with all of the durability that we’ve come to expect from respectable mountain bike tires is just too heavy, that has led most tire brands to make their plus tires lighter. However, that means that they sacrifice beefiness on the sidewalls and casings. Result: plus tires aren’t durable

One consequence of flimsy sidewalls is that while the marketing materials say, “you can run lower pressures and get tons of traction,” the reality is that you CAN’T run pressure too low because you will STILL pinch flat–even when running tubeless. And even if you are running high pressures, you can easily tear the light casings on sharp rocks.

3. They Don’t Corner Well

Another result of the light tire casing is that at low pressures, the tires are liable to fold over in the corners. That makes for an unpredictable and generally un-fun cornering experience.

4. Undamped Tire Bounce

If you think, “hey, I can handle a little tire squirm in the corners and I don’t have too many sharp rocks in my trails,” you’ll still be faced with another consequence of running low tire pressure: undamped tire bounce. As anyone who’s spent a lot of time on a fat bike knows, tuning the bounce out of a fat bike tire is an art form and requires the perfect tire pressure for the specific conditions you’re riding. If you’re still trying to achieve “traction” from a low pressure plus tire, you too will be faced with the fat biker’s dilemma of traction VS tire bounce.

5. Plus Tires Don’t Bite in Loose Conditions

Hardpack berms? Sure, you can ride a plus tire here just fine. Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Devon Balet

If you can’t have big knobs because they weigh too much, and if you’re running higher tire pressures to avoid having the casing deform in corners, pinch flat in the rocks, or bounce in the rough, here is the culmination of all these factors, the number one reason that I can’t stand plus-size tires: they don’t bite in loose conditions. In fact, plus tires tend to slide at the worst possible time.

Common sense would say, “the wider the tire, the better the traction in loose conditions,” but that’s just not the case with plus tires. Due to the relatively low profile knobs and the relatively high pressures, the tires tend to slip and slide on the surface of the loose dirt or scree, because they can’t dig in deep and find purchase.

Traction in loose conditions comes from either digging through the loose dirt to find the hard surface underneath or digging in deep enough that the tire connects with enough soil to provide some semblance of control. If the tire instead grabs the top layer and then pushes that top layer across the rest of the soft soil, the result is a crash for the mountain biker.

But aren’t plus tires good in certain conditions?

The conditions that I have found plus tires to most excel in are hardpack trails with relatively few technical features. But doesn’t every tire hook up well in hardpack conditions?

# Comments

  • kenwrightjr

    Ouch Greg! I’ve been punched in the stomach after reading that! lol. I have a Plus bike after riding a 29er and for my age (54) while giving up some certain characteristics as you mentioned above I have gained others. Maybe it has to do more with my age, lack of experience, and the certainty of most trails I ride on a regular basis but I benefit where it means the most. You begin with the theme of “human powered mountain biking” and at the end of the day it comes down to what me or anyone can and cannot push around comfortably and safely. I for one don’t find myself flying around corners and switchbacks at rates of speed where I experience many of the dilemmas you mention so I have safe travel on my Maxxis Rekon’s. To each his own I suppose but, I have never climbed better than on my Plus bike with more ease. And maybe Im giving up some speed at certain points on the trails but I for one am not out there for speed. This human body has seen better days as a young man and had I taken this up back then I’d probably have an entirely different take today. But Plus tires for me are a safe haven on the trails which allow me comfortability and safety which in turn give me great peace of mind.

    • Franklin M Gauer III

      +1 on everything you said here. Just finishing up on a Southern Colorado mountain bike vacation on my new plus size tires and they are fantastic. I don’t think the article is wrong for a class of riders. I am just not in that class of rider and could really care less about the points made. The plus tires suit my kind of riding and give me the experience I want. That’s all that matters.

    • m_wallace

      Right on Ken. I’m also um…chronologically challenged at almost 64 but I love my Stache 29+. I have a ton of mtb experience and also own a 29 HT, 29 FS, 2 fattys and I still have a couple of 26 HTs around. I ride them all and I ride the rocks, the smooth flowy single track and everything in between. Of all, I like the 29 + hands down. I totally agree with your assessment.

  • bikercr

    I prefer my Salsa Beargrease fitted with 29+ Maxxis Chronicles on the New England singletrack i ride when it’s damp and slippery. Much better traction compared to regular 29er tires, especially over wet roots and rocks.

  • mongwolf

    Hey Greg, I’ve heard that the Ibis HD4 for some reason rides really nice on the 27.5+ tires and it’s special rim. Lack of bounce. Playful and not bogged down by the weight of the tires. I think you rode the HD4. Any opinion on how the plus tires ride on it? Is it an exception? And if so, any thoughts as to why?

  • triton189

    I’m with kenwrightjr on this one, I am 56 and really appreciate the security of the plus tire over standard 27.5 or 29. I think the article is fair for the average rider under 45, but once you start to get older fat and plus tires offer sooo much peace of mind while riding. They are heavy buggers though!

  • afdelchampsiv

    Yeah I’m gonna have to disagree on this one. I have a plus sized hardtail and it’s a ton of fun. Ever since Maxxis came out with some burly plus sized options I think the plus sized platform kind of came into its own. I mean you can have a 2.8 minion dhf, cornering knobs don’t really get much bigger than that, and at 980g it’s not even that absurdly heavy. The 27.5×2.5 WT dhf (same 120 tip 3c maxxterra compound) comes in at 945g, according to Maxxis’ website. On wtb 40mm rims with a dhf 2.8 up front and a 2.8 high roller II in the back my bike is currently at 28.5 pounds. Definitely no lightweight, but also not close to the limits of human ability on a bike. I’ve been running these tires for about 4 months now and have only had one puncture on the rear tire that the sealant quickly dealt with.

    It’s true the tire pressures can be a little bit finicky, but once I got them dialed I haven’t had issues with tire bounce or squirm.

    I will say, for me at least, 3.0″ tires DID present a lot of the problems you’ve described in the article. Never had problems with punctures, I rode the same WTB Bridger 3.0s for almost 11 months before swapping them out, but it did seem almost impossible to stop squirming or bouncing. When the time came I switched to the 2.8 Maxxis tires listed above and have loved them ever since.

    • nibblecuda

      I just switched out my 3.0 Bridgers to the 2.8 Rekon Plus and went tubeless at the same time. Shaved 1.25 lbs of rotational weight off each wheel. It is like an entirely different bike. Way more grip, faster, suspension feels more behaved, less bounce. Sidewalls feel 2x thicker. This is on a Cannondale Cujo 2 hardtail. The factory rims are i35. 3.0 was probably too wide for the rim but that is how it came. I’m loving the plus bike. No regrets.

  • Jeff Barber

    I was stoked on 27.5+ for a while too, but have moved back to 29 for many of the reasons you mention. I don’t think 27.5+ is bad really… as with every choice, there are tradeoffs. Every rider has different goals and preferences which means different products work for different people. With so many choices available, we all can win!

    • ericshell

      Like always ..You have a very nice and diplomatic reply!!

  • marvinmartian

    I seem to hear people advising new riders to get a plus bike because it makes riding easier. I think that is bad advise; riding skills are a good thing to learn and probably best learned when first getting into the sport… just my opinion.
    I also hear people advising newbies to get a super slack bike so you do not go over the bars as easy and I think my statement applies there as well. I think it is better to learn the skills that would prevent endos rather than relying on the bike for that. Like many of us, I came up in the 26 inch, 2 inch tire, 71 degree headtube days; it was not that hard to learn to ride

    That said, I have only done minimal riding on a 27.5+ bike so I am not the best to comment on it. I’m sure it is fun at times, as a second bike

    • marvinmartian

      I should make sure I spell things like “advice” properly before I hit the submit button

  • Jason_milan

    I love my plus setup on my mojo 3. It does seem to be a bit more work to keep the bike rolling, but that is the only negative aspect i can think of. For xc a Rekon/Ikon seems to roll fine. For enduro/bikeparks i use a Minion DHF/Rekon (60 tpi) and have not experienced any of the issues stated above. The traction in corners and on climbs is unparalleled. They are extremely forgiving. Also, they are more fun. The low tire pressure allows me to hop, jump, and spring through the forest like a bunny. I don’t race anymore, therefore have no reason to go back to standard. Riding is about having fun!

  • jeglegs

    Yep, back in the days of Josh Bender and freeriding, I tried some aggressive tread 3.0s on my DH bike. I experienced a loss of traction in loss conditions. But the biggest reason I have completely stayed away from +tires was the undamped bounce. Every time I thought I had the perfect pressure for one trail, it was completely wrong for the next trail I rode. The net result of these tires was my bike was heavier+had less traction+ uncontrolled bounce=a horrible ride.

  • John Fisch

    All perfectly logical. Every point makes perfect sense.

    And yet, I have been on a couple plus bikes where I have had totally indescribable fun. The silly grin on my face was anything but logical, but there it was. There’s something about the uniqueness of the ride on a good plus bike that puts the childlike joy back in riding. In my case, that would be on a fully rigid plus bike rather than a fully or hard tail.

    Another condition where the mid fats shine is in the ubiquitous and seemingly bottomless gravel around Colorado Springs. Shredding Captain Jack’s was never so fun as it was on a plus bike!

  • stumpyfsr

    Greg, looks like you’ve touched the wasp nest with this article. 🙂
    I rode plus bike only for half a day and found all points you brought to be true. Second half of the day rode my 29er with more aggressive tires on the same trail and it felt much faster and better cornering.
    About human being a limiting factor, it’s all relative. Those folks who ride fat bikes, will appreciate faster and lighter plus bike with extra traction. While others who don’t ride anything but regular tires will suffer with added weight of plus bikes. As Jeff said, these bikes has its own niche.
    I’d give plus bike a try, only after swapping tires to more aggressive 2.4-2.5 width.

    • arkinet

      I agree^^^… I ride a fattie most of the time, and a plus bike just work for me. Its a work out, but hey, that’s the main reason I ride a bike. And as most say, maybe its with age too. I am more into stable and steady ride, not the scratch-my-elbow-on-the ground as I corner a berm.
      I have a NN 3.0 front and forecaster 2.6 rear.

  • John Sweeney

    I just don’t understand Greg. I am on a Cannondale bad habit 27+ for over a year. I ride rocky, rooty gnarly Northeast stuff in CT. Every new bike bought by my group of 10 in the last 2 years is a plus. It is a far superior weapon for this terrain. It has enormous traction for the technical up hills and even makes the endurance climbs easier. It grips the rocks like a claw. It is much more stable in nasty rock sections. It is better down hill with more traction and braking power. It corners beautifully with great grip. Frankly, the first day on my new bike I climbed and descended stuff I never had before and went from the back of the pack to the middle. If you use the right tire pressure, it won’t squirm. By the tires with extra sidewall protection to make them last longer. The tires are not too heavy and there are plenty with great knobs. But hey, keep telling the rest of them this silly stuff and I’ll just pass them.

    • Swampyankeecyclist

      I’m another CT rider with a 27.5+, and I echo John Sweeney’s comments. The best mtb for anyone to ride is the one they have fun on, and I have a metric shit-ton of fun on that mid-fat.

  • mtnryder

    This article has received more responses in a short period of time than any other that I recall on ST.

    • Swampyankeecyclist

      Well, yeah. A bunch of us dropped coin on 27.5+ bikes recently and have to defend our choice!

  • painless

    I so agree with John Sweeney. I ride in British Columbia, lots of steep and gnarly riding. At 62 years young plus tires have made riding fun again and a bit safer. I won’t go back to them skinny tires. I’ve also gone to 28s on my road bike and love them as well.

  • dgoodwell

    Hmmm…I have a new 2017 Stumpy 29er that can take 29 and 27.5+. I’m currently riding in the 29er config (and loving it). I’ve been contemplating getting a 2nd set of 27.5+ wheels. Now I’m not so sure it would be worth the expense. Maybe I’ll just try the new 2.6 tires. 🙂

  • christopher94

    I like the concept of a plus bike, but have never really gotten into them. A nice 2.3-2.4 29er tire fits the bill well for me on most of the terrain I ride. And when I feel like it, I have a 26×4 rigid fat bike that I can rip around on to switch it up. The 3 inch size slots right in between those, and doesn’t really give me anything I don’t already have. On paper, it’s a compromise on both ends as it’s not as fast or nimble as a 29er, and doesn’t offer the same amount of float or grip as a fat bike tire (especially in snow). Jack of all trades, master of none perhaps?

    A good next over a beer might be, “5 reasons why plus tires are awesome” to make up for some of the hate on this one.

  • ericshell

    “Quality plus tires are just too heavy for human-powered mountain biking”…Its time to turn your man card in…I see your point..sorta..on the other points. I do make those big nasty tires turn and I am an old 54 yr old human.

    The other points. I see what you are saying but I never had any issues with my 27.5 plus

  • worked

    Been riding for 20 years. Currently on a carbon stache w 29×3 tires and I’m ready to leave my wife and kids for this rig. Rip on your + bikes kids.

  • 29ersrolling

    Rode a Rocky Mountain Bikes hardtail w 27.5×3 inch tires for a few days in Colorado.
    Great bike, was awsome at powering through rocky loose and sandy trails.
    I still like my 29er a little more because it handles better at speed, the plus bike seemed a little floppy on the turns at high speed.
    Also my 29er is better at rolling over rocks as opposed to powering through them.
    Both setups are fun and worth checking out

    • stumpyfsr

      You should also check true fat bike (better with suspension) for comparison. Those plowing thru anything, but to be fair at a slower speed 🙂

    • 29ersrolling

      Gonna try to ride a true fat bike this winter in snow at Big Bear!

  • Greg Lytton

    Greg Greg Greg. This is Greg! Dude I’m now 55 and ride around 10 miles of single track 5x/wk. I’m a big 250 lb guy and the 29+ Stache I ride is perfect with my 3.0 tires. I’m not fast (8.5 mph avg) and whatever I give up i gain back in the rocks with much better lines. I guess the proof is in the times I have now… better than my time four years ago by a few minutes. I ride the bike for fun and it’s fun!

    • ericshell

      Im 54 and I ride a GT Pantera. with plus tires. I climb fine and corner fine. Im not sure about the “Too much for human power to move”

      Old dudes rule

  • xBlitzkriegx

    Is this article a rehash from 2012?

    1. Maxxis Highroller 2 – 3C/EXO/TR 27.5 x 2.8: 910g
    Maxxis Highroller 2 – 3C/EXO/TR 29 x 2.3: 920g (DD casing 1135g)
    Terrene Chunk Light 27.5 x 3: 940g – Tough casing 1060g
    Terrene Chunk Light 29 x 2.3: 880g – Tough casing 1060g

    Using lightbicycle’s website for wheelset weights, an i30 29er set up weighs 1672g. A 650B set up using i40 rim with identical parts weighs 1662g.

    Your argument about weight is invalid. You could argue the point that adding in extra sealant could tip the scales in either direction in regards to weight between the wheelsets when complete.

    Also, I use the Chunk on my bike. I’ve not experienced any problems with tire folding over, failing to have traction, or cutting sidewalls for any reason other than my stupidity. As shown above, even the Chunk is only slightly heavier than its 29er counterpart in light version and still on par with other brand’s aggro tires in tough version.

    2. First gen tires did have weaker sidewalls. Mfgs also tried to use existing pattern on plus casings and ended up having corner knobs nowhere near the side of the tire. Some mfgs still design tires this way on purpose to avoid excess weight and its up to you and 50 gallons of Stan’s/Orange/ect to keep your tire inflated. Add in the fact that people STILL try to run a i30 rim width with a 2.8-3″ wide tire at 14psi and wonder why they have squirm, vague cornering, and additional rim strikes/snake bites, and I can see why people would think this.

    A 2.8″ wide tire should be running on an i35-i40 rim and a 3″ wide tire should be i40-i50 in order to properly support the tire. Here are some rim to tire width ratios (tire size is irrelavent when considering width):

    3.0 tire on i50: 1.52
    3.0 tire on i45: 1.68
    3.0 tire on i40: 1.90
    2.8 tire on i50: 1.42
    2.8 tire on i45: 1.57
    2.8 tire on i40: 1.77
    2.8 tire on i35: 2.02
    2.6 tire on i45: 1.46
    2.6 tire on i40: 1.65
    2.6 tire on i35: 1.88
    2.6 tire on i30: 2.20

    For comparison, here are common rim widths for normal tires:

    2.4 tire on i30: 2.03
    2.4 tire on i28: 2.17
    2.4 tire on i25: 2.44
    2.3 tire on i30: 1.93
    2.3 tire on i28: 2.17
    2.3 tire on i25: 2.44

    Most plus tires are now designed specifically to be run with a wider than “Accepted” rim width. The rim width allows additional volume in the tire to help support the sidewall. A narrow rim cannot do this, hence the vague feeling. If you compare the 2.4″ on an i30 rim to a 2.8″ tire on an i35 rim and 3″ tire on an i40 rim, youll see that theyre all basically the same ratio, meaning that you’ll have the same amount of sidewall support provided the tires are constructed correctly, not just a stretched small tire tread pattern slapped on a larger carcass.

    3. Tread design and rubber durometer play a larger factor here than the myths you continue to purpotrate. Additionally, citing the aforementioned consumer (and sometimes mfg) ignorance about tire pressure and rim widths leads continued misconceptions.

    4. At the top end of biking as a sport, yes, there can be problems with tire bounce. However, AGAIN, some of this is mitigated when a proper rim width and tire pressure (for your weight) is selected. You can still have a problem with sidewalls not giving enough support during extremely high g cornering (like in bike parks or actual competitions). There is some merit to the cornering dilema but the vast majority of bikers will never experience this.

    Comparing a fat tire to a normal or plus tire is silly considering a fat tire has FAR more volume and weight than a plus tire. In fact, the gap between plus and fat is wider than it is between normal and plus. Why on earth would you even bring up a fat tire to begin with?

    5. More of the same here. Select the proper rim with for the tire and run it at a pressure that prevents rock strikes. The sqiurm will take care of itself. Yes, there can be some issue here but again, this is at profesional levels and/or at a bike park on terrain that less than 1% of the mtb community will ever see.

    Plus tires have come a LONG way since their introduction. Sadly, the understanding of their implementation has not. More education needs to take place before the old geezers with their 26″ walkers come to grips with seeing a big tire on a bike. Conversely, a plus tire is not a one size fits all solution. Just like low profile tires have their limits, so to plus tires. Theyre a situational tire that happens to fill a lot of check marks for the average rider and those that need more traction.

    Your article is full of unsubstantiated accusations and ignorant claims based on outdated info. There is very little evidence to support most claims made and even those expressed that DO have truth are taken with a grain of salt because any sane person understands that tire size, just like tread design, is situational.

    • ericshell

      WOW..What a reply. Check..Mate.

    • Rob R

      Blitz thank you for the very informative and fact based response. It is important that influential news sources such as Singletracks base their articles on facts, if not the public will seek reviews/info from other sources. Thanks again.

  • thub

    Looks like a lively conversation has been spurred. I am wrapping up my first summer on plus wheels. I’m sporting the RaceFace ARC 35’s shrouded in 2.8″ Nobby Nics. These wheels are on my Fatback Skookum. Absolutely love this set up. For Alaska trails they work great. I’m usually at a higher PSI between 11 and 15. No folding sidewalls and no squirm. I’ve cleaned technical sections of trials that I had never cleaned on my 29’r squish. It is a slower wheel set but I’m out for exercise and fresh air. Plus wheels make a ton of sense up here as we deal with a lot of rock and roots. I ran my own personal experiment on my favorite single track loop, 8 mile ride. I was 6 minutes slower on the loop but cleaned everything without putting a foot down. The Nobby Nic’s have an aggressive tread, a lower profile tire and I might match my squish bike time. Either way get out and ride any dam bike and be glad your healthy enough to do it!

  • rk97

    I’m not sure I agree with all of the points made, but they’re stated reasonably (calm down fat/plus fans) and supported logically.

    The major counterpoint I feel wasn’t addressed is cost, as compared to suspension components. Maybe I feel the need to justify my rigid fat tire bike purchase, but larger tires provide some of the benefits of suspension with virtually none of the maintenance or additional cost.

    Especially for new(er) riders who aren’t willing to drop thousands on a full squish bike, I think plus tires are at worst, a compromise, and at best, an advantage. As a rider gains skill, the ‘need’ for larger tires may diminish.

  • RobertD

    I own a plus and a fat bike. Never going back. However, I feel you should ride the bike you love and love the bike you ride.

  • Tim Krueger

    Greg –

    I think you are pretty disconnected with what the majority of riders are asking for. In the media, there is this common misperception that the industry is always trying to cram new things down customers throats, but the reality is that bicycle and parts companies are businesses, we are in the market to sell things that customers are asking for.

    Terrene is a very small startup. We don’t go investing $15k on a tire mold just for sh!ts and grins. Everything we make is the result of riding, and talking to tons of riders about what they want. The plus tires we make were the ones being asked for the most. And yes, our tires are heavier than most, and we are proud of that. Why? Most common comment we heard from riders is that they didnt care if tires were a few hundred grams heavier, they wanted a tire that would last through more than a few rides. They were tired of all the anemic tires being marketed by weight, that were so thin they didn’t hold up.

    So while plus tires may not be right for you (and thats OK), there are a lot of riders out there who desire them. “Overrated” just seems to be a term used as clickbait.

    • Jeff Barber

      Thanks Tim, this is a great perspective. I definitely think it’s in readers’ best interest for the media to remain skeptical because, like you said, bike companies are businesses and businesses need to make money. Personally I think the term “overrated” just refers to the idea that whenever there is a product to sell, the seller is going to talk up the advantages of a certain product or technology while downplaying, or more often, omitting altogether the downsides of the product. No blame, that’s just how incentives are aligned and it’s totally rational and understandable. If the media is doing its job, it will present both sides, the pros and the cons, so readers can be informed. Hopefully we can all agree there are advantages and disadvantages to plus tires (and pretty much everything else out there too.)

      Based on the discussions your company has had with riders about the types of tires they want, do you get a sense that some part of their motivation is FOMO — fear of missing out? I guess I’m really wondering what drives tech adoption in the bike industry. Some people seem to think it’s the media, others say it’s the brands, while you seem to be suggesting it is consumers. I suspect all of these feed on each other and swirl around a bit, which make it tough to know who is really driving the bus… With brands, the media, and consumers all having a say that should at least lead to a healthy market.

    • ericshell

      WELL SAID!

    • Rob R

      Jeff discussions, arguments are healthy, but careless statements and gross generalizations are not. Bold statements such as “plus tires aren’t durable”, “plus tires are too heavy”, and plus tires don’t corner well are in general irresponsible and misleading. Especially from the standpoint of the average middle aged mtb rider. Thanks.

  • arkinet

    Did we break a record yet, for the number of responses in less than a week?

  • Kevin Hawkins

    Oh wow! I am more confused than ever!
    I gave up road biking and MTB’ing 4 years ago, and have just purchased a 2011 Scott Spark 20 in mint condition.
    It is fitted with Maxxis 26 x 2.25 tyres.
    After reading this article and all the comments, am I riding on the equivalent of Henry Ford Model A tyres?
    I hasten to add I am 71 years old and stick to novice or Intermediate grade tracks so I don’t kill myself.
    Are these size tyres now classed as antiques?

  • Slee_Stack

    I ride a ‘semi plus’? 29er. A Yeti Sb95 with chinese carbons and 2.6″ NN tires.

    On average, I’m the fastest I’ve ever been with these tires. I haven’t noticed any of the negatives noted in this article. What I have noticed is much improved traction on everything which generally keeps me from spinning the back or washing out the front. Weird. Maybe I’m goldilocks.

  • gallertz

    Reasons this article is terribly inaccurate and typical of people that haven’t spent enough time riding a plus bike.
    A 27.5 plus hold much more speed than a 2.3 etc. You can break later, corner harder and generally charge on with greater speed and grip.
    The traction is similar to a DH tire, but 2.8’s can be much lighter so you can ride them XC, trail and DH (a little bit depending on your tire choice). A nobby nic and rocket ron 2.8 combo is super fast, light (960g and 785g) and good for most riding.
    Tire choice has improved since 2017 and you can find a good tire for most riding conditions. A quality tire no longer is too heavy.
    Too much bounce is because you have the wrong tire pressure.
    To say they don’t grip in the loose is not the full picture. A 2.8 or 3.0 will ‘float’ over and not get bogged down like a 2.3 does. I challenge you to wash out with a 2.8 nobby nic on the front. Good luck with that.
    I ride in NSW and its mostly loose over hard sand stone. Zero sidewall damage in 2000km.
    I have a 10kg carbon 29er I race XC on. I had to take my RM Pipeline 140mm duel suspension to a 3 hour XC race as my hard tail was at the shop. Rode it and came in second. A few months later we had a 70 min XC race there and I took the HT, My average speed was EXACTLY the same.
    What does it all mean? You can do way more on a plus bike than you can on a ‘regular 29er. If you lose anything on a climb you more than make up for it ever where else on the trail. I have 4000km of Strava data to prove it.

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