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plus_bike_tires

Compared to fat bike tires, plus-size tires, also known as mid-fat tires, are relatively new to mountain biking. But with more and more bike companies offering mountain bikes capable of running plus tires, plus bikes are threatening to go mainstream as riders experience the benefits of wider, burlier mountain bike tires.

Unlike fat bike tires, plus tires are classified based on a tight width range, from about 2.8 inches up to 3.0 inches. Plus bike tires are offered in three diameters–26, 27.5, and 29 inches–though 27.5 is currently the most popular. Plus wheels and tires are typically designated by adding a plus onto the diameter (26+, 27.5+, and 29+).

In researching all the plus tires on the market today, I was surprised to find there aren’t yet as many tire choices as there are for fat bikes. I found 35 plus tires on the market today, compared to the 44 fat bike tires I shared in a previous article.

 

I’ve organized this list in three different ways: tread pattern, wheel diameter, and bike fit. Note: prices and weights generally refer to the lowest price and weight among the available options for that tire.

Plus tire tread patterns

Aggressive plus tires

aggressive_plus_tires2

Aggressive plus tires are designed for extreme conditions, from chunky rocks and roots, to mud and ice.

45NRTH Wrathchild: This stud-compatible plus tire is designed for extreme and icy conditions. 45NRTH even recommends this tire for freeze-thaw conditions, but hopefully riders know to stick to the freeze side to avoid damaging trails. 27.5×3.0, $84.99 MSRP.

Duro Switch: This plus tire is one of the skinniest I found, measuring 2.75 inches wide. Oddly enough, it’s only offered in a 29-inch diameter so it’s not actually designed for plus conversions. 29×2.75, 740g.

Hutchinson Toro Koloss: Hutchinson doesn’t make fat bike tires, but they do offer a couple plus tires including the Toro Koloss. The company markets this tire for loose conditions, making it a good choice for aggressive riding. 27.5×2.8, $76.99 MSRP, 900g.

Kenda Havok Pro: The Havoc Pro plus tire is designed to handle enduro and all-mountain duty, and even muddy conditions. 27.5×2.8 and 27.5×3.0 sizes, $74.95 MSRP, 859g.

Maxxis High Roller II Plus: The venerable High Roller II is now offered in plus widths, and like the original, the plus version is ready to tackle loose and wet conditions. 27.5×2.8 and 27.5×3.0 sizes, $95 MSRP, 915g.

Maxxis Minion DHF Plus: The Minion is another Maxxis favorite that’s designed for aggressive riding in tough conditions. The DHF is the only front-specific plus tire on this list. 26×2.8, 27.5×2.8, and 27.5×3.0 sizes; $95 MSRP; 940g.

Maxxis Minion DHR Plus: This is the rear-specific Minion for all your plus biking needs. 26×2.8, 27.5×2.8, and 27.5×3.0 sizes; $95 MSRP; 940g.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic: The Nobby Nic is another tire that’s been around for a long time and has truly built up a following among XC and even enduro riders. Widely-spaced knobs allow this tire to shed mud easily, and corner knobs allow riders to rail. 27.5×2.8 and 27.5×3.0 sizes, $96 MSRP, 860g.

Specialized Butcher GRID: The Butcher tread pattern was originally designed for downhill mountain biking, so it’s super aggressive and suited for difficult conditions. The Butcher GRID is tubeless-ready and is offered not only in traditional tire widths, but also a reduced-fat 2.6-inch width. 27.5×2.8, 1010g.

Surly Dirt Wizard: Designed for loose and varied terrain, the Surly Dirt Wizard is the rare tire that is offered in all three wheel size diameters. 26×2.75, 27.5×3.0, and 29×3.0 sizes; $80 MSRP; 850g.

Surly Dirt Wizard Tire: 26+ x 2.75" 120tpi, Black
$90.00    Worldwide Cyclery   AD 

Vee T-Fatty: Vee markets the T-Fatty as an aggressive plus tire in a wide variety of sizes and at a price that’s hard to beat. 26×3.0, 27.5×2.8, 27.5×3.0, and 29×3.0 sizes; $50 MSRP; 890g.

Vittoria Cannoli: The Cannoli is one of the few dual-compound plus tires on the market, and the tread pattern is designed with loose conditions in mind. It’s also the most expensive and one of the heaviest plus tires on this list. 27.5×3.0 and 29×3.0 sizes, $105 MSRP, 1130g.

All-round plus tires

all-round-plus-tires

These all-round plus tires are meant to handle most conditions and offer a good place to start if you’re new to the plus bike scene.

Bontrager Chupacabra: Trek offers several fat bike tires but currently only one plus tire: the Chupacabra. This tire is designed to work well in most conditions, just not at the extremes. 27.5×2.8 and 29×3.0, $94.99 MSRP, 850g.

Hutchinson Taipan Koloss: The name of this tire may not roll off the tip of the tongue, but the tire itself is designed to roll through almost anything you decide to put in front of it. 27.5×2.8, $76.99 MSRP, 900g.

Maxxis Chronicle: The Chronicle was the first plus tire Maxxis introduced, so it’s designed to work well in most conditions. 27.5×3.0 and 29×3.0, $95 MSRP, 910g.

Maxxis Ikon+: The Ikon tread pattern has been around for a while and is often spec’d on new bikes because it’s so versatile. Today, Maxxis is offering a plus-size version that’s one of the lightest tires on this list. 27.5×2.8, $100 MSRP, 715g.

Panaracer Fat B Nimble: This all-rounder is a plus-size version of Panaracer’s first–and still only–fat bike tire. 29×3.0, $73.99 MSRP, 765g.

Ritchey WCS Z-Max EVO: Ritchey isn’t a name that’s normally associated with tires, but the company’s WCS Z-Max EVO tire is another option for general trail conditions. 27.5×2.8, $79.95 MSRP.

Specialized Big Roller: The Specialized Big Roller is an all-round, general conditions mountain bike tire designed specifically for kids’ bikes. 20×2.8 and 24×2.8 sizes, $25, 670g.

Specialized Ground Control: Ground Control tires are a popular choice thanks to their excellent performance in most conditions, and Specialized now offers this tread pattern in a plus size. 27.5×3.0, 1000g.

Specialized Fast Trak GRID: The Fast Trak GRID is another all-round plus tire from Specialized that’s slightly narrower than the Ground Control, making it a candidate for plus-conversions. 27.5×2.8, 900g.

Surly Knard: This tire is designed for riding dry hardpack, though it should still hook up in corners thanks to its round profile. 26×3.0 and 29×3.0, 875g.

Terrene Chunk: The Chunk is currently Terrene’s only plus tire so it’s designed to tackle most of the conditions a trail rider will encounter. 27.5×3.0, $80 MSRP, 940g.

Vee Rail Tracker: Vee says the Rail Tracker tread pattern is one their most popular, thanks to its ability to handle most conditions. 27.5×2.8, $70 MSRP, 900g.

Vee Bulldozer: The Vee Bulldozer sounds aggressive, but it’s actually marketed as an all-rounder. The Bulldozer is the widest plus tire we’ve seen, offered at widths up to 3.25-inches. 27.5×2.8, 27.5×3.0, and 29×3.25 sizes; $70 MSRP; 930g.

Vee Crown Gem: The Crown Gem is an XC/all-round plus tire. 27.5×2.8 and 27.5×3.0 sizes, $50 MSRP, 900g.

Vittoria Bomboloni: Vittoria’s all-round tire, the Bomboloni, is designed to work well in most conditions while still offering fast-rolling performance. 27.5×3.0 and 29×3.0 sizes, $105 MSRP, 905g.

Vittoria Bomboloni 27.5+ Tubeless Ready Tire
$59.99    Tree Fort Bikes   AD 

WTB Ranger: The Ranger is a do-all tire that’s offered in a ton of sizes that should work for both plus conversions and dedicated plus bike frames. 26×2.8, 26×3.0, 27.5×2.8, 27.5×3.0, and 29×3.0 sizes; $64.95 MSRP; 783g.

WTB Ranger 3.0 TCS Light Fast Rolling Tire, 29"
$59.99    Amazon   AD 

WTB Trail Boss 3.0: WTB says the Trail Boss 3.0 excels in dry to wet, and hardpack to loam conditions. 27.5×3.0, $67.95 MSRP, 1125g.

WTB Trailblazer: The Trailblazer was one of the first plus tires on the market, designed to make plus conversions possible. The tread pattern is well-suited to XC and trail riding, though its squarish profile is not ideal for aggressive cornering. 27.5×2.7, 980g, $67.95.

See Also
By Jeff Barber
 

Fast rolling plus tires

fast-rolling-plus-tires

If you’re looking for a race-day plus tire or something for rolling efficiently over dry, hardpack trails, check out these fast rolling, low resistance plus tires.

Maxxis Rekon+: If there ever was such a thing as an XC plus bike tire, the Rekon+ is it. It’s fast rolling and does well in loose-over-hard and medium conditions. 27.5x.28, $90, 780g.

Maxxis Rekon EXO/TR Tire - 27.5 Plus Black, 27.5x2.8
$66.41    Amazon   AD 

Schwalbe Rocket Ron: Like the original Rocket Ron, the Rocket Ron plus tires are fast and offer low rolling resistance. 27.5×2.8 and 27.5×3.0 sizes, $95 MSRP, 680g.

Specialized Purgatory GRID: While the Specialized Purgatory GRID tread pattern is designed to roll fast, it’s a decent all-round tire as well. 27.5×3.0, 1100g.

VEE Speedster: The Speedster is designed for… speed. This is one of the only plus tires we’ve seen that’s designed mainly for pavement. 26×2.8, 27.5×3.0, and 29×2.8 sizes; $70 MSRP; 880g.

WTB Bridger: The Bridger is a fast roller that’s equally suited for bikepacking and XC riding as it is for some trail and enduro rides. 27.5×3.0, $67.95 MSRP, 1207g.

See Also
By Aaron Chamberlain
 

Plus tires by wheel diameter

26-inches and smaller

26+ wheels are generally designed to convert regular, 27.5 bikes into plus bikes. Plus-width tires are also available in some kids bike sizes smaller than 26-inches. Mountain bikes designed specifically for 26+ tires are not very common, though there a few to choose from. All tires below are available in 26-inch diameters, except where noted.

  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR Plus
  • Specialized Big Roller (only available in 20- and 24-inch diameters)
  • Surly Dirt Wizard
  • Surly Knard
  • Vee T-Fatty
  • Vee Speedster
  • WTB Ranger

27.5-inches

There are many bikes on the market today designed around the 27.5+ tire size, though many 29er owners are also finding they can convert their bikes to plus using 27.5+ tires. As you can see from the list below, 27.5 inches is the most common plus tire diameter.

  • 45NRTH Wrathchild
  • Bontrager Chupacabra
  • Hutchinson Taipan Koloss
  • Hutchinson Toro Koloss
  • Kenda Havok Pro
  • Maxxis Chronicle
  • Maxxis Ikon+
  • Maxxis High Roller II Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II Plus
  • Maxxis Rekon+
  • Ritchey WCS Z-Max EVO
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic
  • Schwalbe Rocket Ron
  • Specialized Butcher GRID
  • Specialized Ground Control GRID
  • Specialized Fast Trak GRID
  • Specialized Purgatory GRID
  • Surly Dirt Wizard
  • Terrene Chunk
  • Vee Bulldozer
  • Vee Crown Gem
  • Vee Rail Tracker
  • Vee Speedster
  • Vee T-Fatty
  • Vittoria Bomboloni
  • Vittoria Cannoli
  • WTB Bridger
  • WTB Ranger
  • WTB Trail Boss 3.0
  • WTB Trailblazer

29-inches

29+ bikes have not proven as popular as their 27.5-inch brethren, but there are still several tire options to choose from.

  • Bontrager Chupacabra
  • Duro Switch
  • Maxxis Chronicle
  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II Plus
  • Panaracer Fat B Nimble
  • Surly Dirt Wizard
  • Surly Knard
  • Vee Bulldozer
  • Vee Speedster
  • Vee T-Fatty
  • Vittoria Bomboloni
  • Vittoria Cannoli
  • WTB Ranger

Plus tires by bike fit

Some plus tires are designed specifically with conversions in mind. For example, some 29ers will fit 27.5+ tires and some 27.5 bikes will fit 26+ tires. Generally, tires designated 2.8 inches wide are good candidates for conversions, while tires with a larger width are best suited for dedicated plus bike frames.

Conversion candidates (2.8 inches and narrower)

27.5-inch bikes, converted to 26+

  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II Plus
  • Surly Dirt Wizard
  • Vee Speedster
  • WTB Ranger

29-inch bikes, converted to 27.5+

  • Bontrager Chupacabra
  • Hutchinson Taipan Koloss
  • Hutchinson Toro Koloss
  • Kenda Havok Pro
  • Maxxis High Roller II Plus
  • Maxxis Ikon+
  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II Plus
  • Maxxis Rekon+
  • Ritchey WCS Z-Max EVO
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic
  • Schwalbe Rocket Ron
  • Specialized Butcher GRID
  • Specialized Fast Trak GRID
  • Vee Bulldozer
  • Vee Crown Gem
  • Vee Rail Tracker
  • Vee T-Fatty
  • WTB Ranger
  • WTB Trailblazer

Dedicated plus bike tires (Wider than 2.8 inches)

In addition to being compatible with the tires listed above, dedicated plus bikes can generally run the following tires as well.

26+ bikes

  • Surly Knard
  • Vee T-Fatty

27.5+ bikes

  • 45NRTH Wrathchild
  • Specialized Ground Control GRID
  • Maxxis Chronicle
  • Specialized Purgatory GRID
  • Terrene Chunk
  • Vee Speedster
  • Vittoria Bombaloni
  • Vittoria Cannoli
  • WTB Bridger
  • WTB Trail Boss 3.0

29+ bikes

  • Bontrager Chupacabra
  • Duro Switch
  • Maxxis Chronicle
  • Maxxis Minion DHF Plus
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II Plus
  • Panaracer Fat B Nimble
  • Surly Dirt Wizard
  • Surly Knard
  • Vee Bulldozer
  • Vee Speedster
  • Vee T-Fatty
  • Vittoria Bombaloni
  • Vittoria Cannoli
  • WTB Ranger

Use the following links to find additional information about any of these tires.

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# Comments

  • mongwolf

    Wow, great resource Jeff. And well organized. Thanks so much. I’ll bookmark this article for future reference. Question. In general what are the recommended rim widths for plus tires?

    • mongwolf

      Thanks Jeff.

  • damientheo

    Ikon is the fast rolling, the Rekon all around – you have them in the wrong heading. Also the Terrene Chunk sounds more aggressive then all-round from your own review. Nice list nonetheless

    • Jeff Barber

      Absolutely. There’s even a RockShox Pike version that fits a 29×3. (I’ve tested the 130mm Pike RL fork with 29×3.0 tires on the Trek Stache, though the RockShox website seems to indicate the fork is only compatible with 29er tires up to 2.8″.) I believe several of the fat bike forks can unofficially fit 29×3 tires.

      Not sure if Fox has anything…

    • JeepsAndMTBs

      Awesome, good to know.
      Thanks for the reply!

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