What's the Perfect Tire Width For All-Around Riding? - Pinkbike Poll

Dec 30, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
What do you think is the perfect tire width for all-around riding? We asked a similar question a year ago, but a lot has happened during these past 12 months. For starters, the whole plus-size thing has evolved, with not-so-bouncy 2.8-inch models becoming the go-to size for that niche. And then there's the whole plus-curious thing on the horizon. Maxxis, Schwalbe and Specialized have all recently trotted out 2.6-inch tires that are starting to gain traction—even with some riders who’ve sworn a blood oath on the forums to never, ever ride down that dark 2.8-inch, plus-sized path, but who, you know, could maybe do a little 2.6-inch action on the sly if no one was watching. So, now that things have settled a bit and more riders have had a chance to actually ride some of those fatter tires, what's your tire width of choice? Has it changed?
Specialized Storm Tire Review Photo2 Photo by Brad Walton
Photo by Brad Walton.

Let's be clear, I’m not talking about the extreme ends of the mountain biking bell curve—neither XC racing or full-on, chairlift-assisted bike park laps. I’m talking about rides that can be as steep and fast as you want, but still require that you pedal to the top. I guess you could call that trail riding or all-mountain or enduro or…I dunno, fill in the blank with the currently-hip word of your choice.

Naturally, tire choice largely boils down to your own soil conditions and riding style, but, still, I’m curious—What’s your ideal tire size?

What's the perfect front-tire width for all-around, trail riding?

What's your ideal front-tire width for general trail riding (that great range of riding between XC racing and doing hot laps at the bike park)?


What's your ideal rear-tire width for all-around riding?

Remember when it was rare to find a trail bike that’d take anything larger than a 2.1-inch tire between the chainstays? I’m dating myself here, but for the longest time, the average rider had one tire size to choose from—skinny. Sure, there was that brief late `90s Gazzaloddi dalliance, but much of mountain biking’s past was dominated by underwhelming, undernourished-looking tires. That’s all changed, obviously, in the past decade, particularly with the advent of plus-size tires and the not-quite-so-plus 2.6-inch models hitting the scene. What's your choice for general trail riding (you know, not XC racing and not doing laps at the bike park--the huge swath of riding in between those two extremes). And, no, dammit, I'm not talking about fat bikes either.




MENTIONS: @vernonfelton / @Maxxis / @schwalbe / @Specialized

Must Read This Week

305 Comments

  • + 301
 put new HRII 2.4 in the front, move the old one to the back, shred, repeat.
  • + 14
 I like your way of thinking
  • + 36
 Run magic mary till semi slick on the back and then yeah what he said
  • + 12
 I do same with 2.3 shorty, its wetter where I am..
  • + 8
 @bat-fastard: 2.3 Shorty front, dhr 2 rear. Snorted.
  • + 2
 @theriches09: 2.3 Shorty front, dhf rear. I'm on 29" though or I'd go wider, the drag is a killer and they grip like hell as it is. Still considering a wider Shorty up front but the current setup leaves little to be desired, dhf rear is magic for me. But if I had smaller wheels I'd go with the WT tyres I think.
  • + 27
 As we all know here, is no 'size' standardization in the bike tire industry. This, and most 'polls' are designed to collect marketing data from this large and opinionated community to sell to PB clients. Nevertheless, I answer the 'polls' honestly and frequently because I like to see rad videos and hear what waki shit my fellow sapiens are saying and doing. My tires rule though.
  • + 10
 2.4 HR II's Exo 3c are the shiznit
  • + 5
 The majority is so enduro Wink
  • + 7
 I do that with 2.35 DHFs. It's not perfect, but pretty good, consistent, and reliable.
  • + 103
 2.1 Smoke out back 2.1 Dart in front That'll get you over anything 1993 has to offer
  • + 10
 @kubaner: That was a great tire combo back in the day... I think I still have some in the garage somewhere I got a good laugh... Most of the younger crowd here has no idea what you're talking about. HA
  • + 13
 @oneplanka: How about Onza porcupine, Tioga Psycho, Specialized Ummagumma?
  • + 9
 @jdendy: never rode those, but panaracer fire trail WTb velociraptors, and Specialized ground controls were part of my tyre quiver back in the nineties. I preferred blackwall, hated skinwalls.. ha ha

2.1 up front and 1.95 in the rear wowza... fully rigid, or the plush Manitou 2 80 mm elastomer fork shred city.,,, Rode Downieville, Tahoe fume trail Moab,, no problemo
  • + 6
 @kubaner: an ode to Panaracers! Before Nevegals became popular:
  • + 2
 Yep, we all rode Neve's cause the Tomes rode them..
  • + 3
 so my cousin worked at maxxis and he says the best combo you can run technicaly is a minion 2.4 front tire at 26 psi and high roller ONE (not 2!!) 2.3 in the rear at 24 psi it did the best in all the tests they do on tires and has the best grip/rolling ratio and absorbs the most shock and is goodin all weather. the HRII 2.4 in the front is the most common mistake he sees, so spread the word!
  • + 2
 Same setup here, same plan. Already have fresh HRII 2.4 sitting on the shelf.
  • + 9
 @endlessblockades: Fair point. Legit question though, what data is PB selling to companies when the poll results seem to be public here?
  • + 5
 @kubaner: When did you trade in your Farmer Johns?
  • + 2
 @kubaner: gumwalls I hope...
  • + 3
 @kubaner: Ritchey Alpha Bite in front, Z-Max out back... Or IRC Mythos... or Conti Traction Pros when it got sloppy!
  • + 4
 @kubaner: loved the dart. Hated the smoke. Ran the 2.2 dart for a long time.
  • + 3
 @kubaner: I used to switch from Smoke 1.9 for the Cross Country race on Saturday to Smoke 2.1s for the DH race on Sunday. One bike, two sets of tires, all the choice you had. Times are a changing...
  • + 3
 @TinuKu: hell yeah, who needs a Judy DH. Panaracer. I still have a set of folding Spikes.
  • + 2
 @kubaner: Well, the dhf/dhr combo is based on the same idea. Directional stability and cornering traction for the front, braking/climbing traction for the rear.
And although the redesigned dhr2 is relatively new, the dhf is old enough to be considered a classic. Yet, in 2016, the most popular new gravity tyres are based on its tread pattern.
  • + 2
 Shorty/DHR2 on conditions like we have now (mud/snow).
HR2/DHR all around.
HR2/SS in summer.
  • + 1
 @kubaner: break and enter 4 lyfe.
  • + 0
 @endlessblockades: 'waki shit', what you did there, i see it.
  • + 13
 @domminator: I assume your friend at Maxxis also knows that there has never been a 2.4 Minion DHF and that they never made the original High Roller in 2.3?

Kinda hard to run the "best" combo when it doesn't even exist.
  • + 1
 @domminator: this set up. Boom.
  • + 4
 @lccomz: @domminator: yeah good luck getting an original high roller in anything other than 26" wheel size let alone a 2.3 width? and really running less air in the rear tyre, compared to the front tyre???????
  • + 2
 Same with me, but a Maxxis DHF
  • + 1
 @getschwifty: nah dude I've got 2.5 maxxis dhfr super tacky compound. Those are the shit. Kinda expensive though and they were fast
  • + 2
 @Steven4321: 2.5 Minion F and 2.35 HR2 rear for my 29er - while the upfront cost was a little imposing, they're going strong 8 months later. That was never my experience with 'zee Germans' HDs and MMs.
  • + 3
 It's the circle of life
  • + 1
 Exactly what I do! Haha
  • + 1
 @domminator: 2x minion 2.4 works great. A little heaver at first, but give it a season and wa-la the rear minion is a roller.
  • + 0
 @lccomz: dude trust me my cousin is a tire specialist and learned rubber compounding at trades school i dont think he would lie to me!!!1 you should be more open to knew ideas on the bike forum because you mite learn somethings. why would anyone make stuff up and say the wrong thing on the internet!?
  • + 1
 !!
  • + 1
 @wildthingdh1: they do exist your mistaken. ive bought like 5 of them last year cuz the combo is the best you can run acording to my cousin who works at maxxis (if you read my original post youd know that...) so yeah
  • + 1
 You're all wrong Ardent 2.4 EXO TR front and rear for snow Ardent 2.4 EXO TR front and rear for mud Ardent 2.4 EXO TR front and rear for loose Ardent 2.4 EXO TR front and rear for dry HRII 2.4 2ply for downhill All mounted on DT Swiss EX471 that's the bit you forgot
  • + 2
 @domminator: your mistaken chap the original high roller is only made in a 2.1, 2.35 and 2.5 m8, NOT 2.3 as you claim. The high roller 2 however is made in 2.3 width.
  • + 1
 @domminator: www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-467-high-roller,www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-298-122-high-roller, these are the only high rollers they make, sorry I don't see a 2.3 only width in this tyre type.
  • + 1
 @wildthingdh1: domminator, that sounds reasonable, but it also sounds like you might have the psi's switched. It also ignores the fact that people want durability and not just grip. DH tire in the back and AM in the front would be better from a puncture standpoint, so I would think it'd be kind of a tossup in the overall best combo for a lot of people.
  • + 1
 @VTwintips: psi switched !!?? must be you American reverse logic that, us Brits tend to run a lower front tyre pressure than the rear, as it gives more grip out front and prevents punctures on the rear, as that's where you body weight tends to sit over slightly more when riding.
  • + 1
 @wildthingdh1: Yah I agree with you. I meant to tag domminator who said 26psi front, 24psi rear.
  • + 109
 Depends on the brand, I like a 2.5" Maxxis but a 2.35" Schwalbe
  • + 7
 This.
  • + 27
 That's cos they're basically the same!
  • + 23
 @Nicksp894: the new 2.3 Maxxis tyres are actually 2.3 i.e just a tad smaller than a 2.35 Schwalbe but they have the benenfit of not falling to pieces the first time they see a rock.
  • + 5
 Maxxis is so inconsistent, I have 2 buddies with 2.3 DHF's (new ones) that measure less than 2.2, I have some brand new bikes in the shop that have DHF's that are true to size, Then my Process has a pair of DHF's that both measure out to almost exactly 2.3, except for that the front is suppose to be a 2.5 while the rear is a 2.3
(all of these are on I-25 to I-29 rims)

Also one of my friends that has the small DHF's has the exact rims that I do...
  • + 4
 @Buggyr333: my experience tells me that the 'new' 2.3s you speak of are in fact old ones.
4mm rim width makes a big difference.
I agree Maxxis sizes have been inconsistent but all that I've had in the last year have been spot on - Shorty and dhf 2.3s measure the same and that's just a tad smaller than a 2.35 Schwalbe on the same rims.
I may be wrong, I may have been lucky but all my Maxxis in the last year have been spot on size wise
  • + 1
 @Buggyr333: ps my guess is the 2.5 on the front of your Kona is an 'old era' Maxxis which is basically a 2.3
My opinion is they have it sorted now but you have to be careful what you buy as there are a lot of the old tyres still in the shops and even spec'd on new bikes
  • + 1
 Interesting side note, they are the exact same size. Who knew?
  • + 5
 You know, it says on the sidewall the width in millimetres. That is pretty accurate.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: I work in a shop, these tires are all from that same shop, The tires in question are from 2016 Production.

The 4mm difference in those rims highlight the inconsistency since my bike and the two other bikes with smaller measured sizes are on I25 rims, with large differences in sizes. Hell even the bike with dual I29's has inconsistent tire sizing, the front DHF's measure to 2.3, but the rear Maxxis Tomahawks (labeled 2.3) are much larger, close to 2.4. Have also seen plenty of Minion SS 2.3 measure out between 2.1 and 2.2, all of those are apparently the "new" maxxis casing,

I have also seen countless maxxis tires come through the shop that are nowhere close to their labeled size, the ones mentioned are just the ones that I have consistent access to and have measured passed the stretch period.

I'm not knocking Maxxis's build quality or overall performance, I am satisfied with my DHFs, they just really need to get a handle on the sizing.
  • + 4
 @ThomDawson: I've heard this about Schwalbe. Maybe their downhill tyres are different as mine seem to last an age and are half the price of everything else.
  • + 7
 @ermoldaker: I found them to be ok really, people exaggerate the wear rate of schwalbes imo (as did I, above) but compare them to a Maxxis and there's no competition on longevity.
  • + 4
 @ermoldaker:
I don't find the wear rate of Schwalbe tyres bad but every pair I've owned has had serious issues with the knobs cracking and tearing very quickly. I've also found them to be a little flimsier (comparing snakeskin to exo casings) but this is probably more to do with trade off between weight and durability (I.e. Schwalbe tyres tend to be a pretty competitive weight). I still like the grip of Schwalbe so run a Magic Mary front and Minion on the rear.
  • + 1
 Does anyone know the difference in carcass width between a 2.3 and 2.5? It's 1/8th of an inch. Lay a minion 2.5 wide trail flat and it's 6 inch from bead to bead do the same with a 2.3 and it's 5 7/8th. Hardly any difference at all compounds and design are going to make way more difference that width ever will.
  • + 3
 @DC1988: what do you think about the levels of traction? I'm happy to trade longevity for performance. Never thought a Maxxis excelled at anything particularly.
  • + 5
 @thenotoriousmic: also, rim width discussion is in vogue at the moment but it also makes very little difference to tyre width. Adding 3.14mm to the internal width will only add a millimetre to the external width of the tyre. You would have to go to a seriously wide rim to notice the difference in tyre spread.
  • + 3
 @ermoldaker:
I find the Magic Mary very good for traction, I haven't found it lacking grip in a number of conditions, that said I run a 2.5" super tacky Minion DHF on my hardtail and have no complaints at all about it either.
  • + 53
 2.35 is such a funny size. It's like wearing 9.75 shoes
  • + 77
 If you want we can call it a 60mm.
  • - 58
flag Pnwdak (Dec 30, 2016 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 @rubbertoe: mate there is two units of measure. The metric system and the one that got us on the moon
  • + 52
 @Pnwdak: Metric Does make more sense. Btw, metric went around the moon first.
  • + 64
 @WAtrailmaker: It was the metric system that got us to the moon too.
Scientists don't use the English system.
  • + 129
 I'll just leave this here i.imgur.com/4kpGw1k.jpg
  • + 6
 Don't anyone mention gun control or trucks!
  • + 16
 @abzillah: sometimes they use both, and then they crash into Mars instead of going around it
  • + 2
 @Bromaphobe: And China have their own sets of feet and ounces. So don't expect your feet are the same as theirs.
  • + 25
 @Bromaphobe: We tried adopting metric in the US in the late 70s. Unfortunately, too many people were confused by its logic and it didn't take off.
  • + 22
 @carym: yeah, that base 10 stuff is kinda tough to get your head around
  • + 0
 2.35 on 27.5 is perfect.. Smile
  • + 7
 @carym: no worries Canada went metric in 70s, people are still confused
  • + 1
 @kanasasa: My dad was a machinist, and he used imperial numbers like 0.059787", and I was always like, "WTF, my dad is actually a wizard, why would he not use millimeters!?".
  • + 6
 @abzillah: don't try and blame us. We ditched Imperial long ago for anything technical. Plus you Americans made up your very own version of Imperial just to mix things up even more. Razz
  • + 11
 The UK went metric in 1965... we've been inching closer to full adoption ever since Wink
  • + 1
 @hollowing2000: don't go off topic, please.
  • + 4
 @Bromaphobe: that graph hurts more because of how true it is.
  • + 2
 @Bromaphobe: this really got me. Hahahahaha
  • + 1
 @abzillah: the english dont bother much with the english system nowadays either.
  • + 2
 @timdgoodwin: i dont think the uk will ever go fully metric. Why? Because it was invented by that ancient enemy......... the french.
  • - 1
 Base 12 systems are superior. From pure mathematics. You want you units of measure to be divisible by 3 and 4. Base 10 system is a sad historical legacy.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: Base 12 system is not quick and easy for the layman. Metric is pretty simple, mostly based off multiples of 10.
  • - 2
 @stumpymidget: it is just a habit. Multiple of 12 would have been just as easy.
  • + 1
 I mean the entire system should have been changed. Add two digits to writing etc. It is more optimal from information theory standpoint.
  • + 2
 @Axxe: Speaking as a math PhD student, do what now?
  • - 1
 @WaterBear: Speaking as a long ago Ph.D - not the right place for a lecture.
Factor 3 in base is important - closest to e, which is the optimal base.
  • + 2
 @Kramz: You bring up the best point about why we use our system. In machining there are benefits in the us standard thread pitches. Most of machinists I've know are proficient in both.
  • + 1
 @timdgoodwin: wow, since 1965, sounds like an expensive exercise, who's footing the bill?
  • - 3
 Apparently Pinkbike dolts can not grasp what I am talking about. Again.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: I don't think you mean to use the word "base." You can't write numbers in non-integer base using integers. So in "base e" you'd be writing numbers whose digits aren't integers. That'd be hard to read.

At any rate, no base is favored over another. As you would know, being a Ph.D, there is no "natural choice" for the representation of numbers.
  • + 2
 @Axxe: Agreed. It's unfortunate we ended up with base 10 instead of base 12. The down votes are probably from people who don't understand that it is equally simple yet more easily divisible.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: you absolutely can use a non integer base. 1210 base e would be e^3 + 2 x e^2 + e. It would be non integer, thus less practical. Three for example will be 1.2121... or something like that. E base has the most compact float numbers representation. If you want to represent integers without fractions, base 3 is the most efficient. There even had been computers designed in base 3, but electronics necessary is impractical.
Base 12 would have been as easy as 10 to count. And it is even easy to count on hands, as four fingers have twelve knuckles. ( that is the origin of base 60 we use for seconds - Egyptians counted knuckles on one hand with a thumb, and five fingers on other hand, yielding 60.))
  • + 44
 30 psi in my Minions...
  • + 41
 I don't care about your opinion!
  • + 3
 I'm fast!
  • + 4
 Way faster than you...
  • + 4
 My kit is brand new
  • + 31
 " Maxxis, Schwalbe and Specialized have all recently trotted out 2.6-inch tires that are starting to gain traction— "

PB beating the tire pun comment train before it starts.
  • + 13
 PB beating the tire pun comment train before it starts rolling!
  • + 2
 I'm currently running a 2.6" actual tyre. This poll is destined to be lopsided, because most respondents haven't enough experience on the plus sized stuff to form an educated opinion. The results to the same poll in a couple years will look VERY different.
  • + 8
 @AllMountin: If this poll sought an educated opinion it would have asked professionals and testers
  • + 1
 @AllMountin:

Yeah, I just got a new set of tires for a long trave 29er: DHF 2.5f/DHR 2.35r. If they were available, I'd have probably tried something wider. Have been knocking around the idea of 2.8f/2.5r just to see how it rides. The trails up here in the PNW get greasy during the winter, and was wondering how that setup would work. It seems like 2.6 would be a good option. However, those tires are brand new, with limited options.
  • + 2
 @jerrytek: The Schwalbe 2.6 tires are basically wider XC Pattern tires to save weight. The Specialized looks burlier but they aren't available in 29''.
  • + 23
 3" in the rear. on the rear sorry
  • + 16
 I see whom you did there. what you did there sorry
  • + 6
 Well certainly better than 8"...
  • + 1
 Giggidy?
  • + 2
 That's a bit too little for true riding pleasure as some pollsters have pointed out above...
  • + 1
 @wowbagger: or whom did him
  • + 15
 2.4 conti black chilli kevlar side walled trail kings.... at 20 psi for everything. used for the last 12 months - not one puncture nor burp. - alps, DH courses, 45 km epics etc... etc... - ( 2000 km plus) they are about schwalbe 2.35 in true width and IMHO rather good at just about everything, except tarmac. we all have our own tyre opinions.. but if you find your tyres are OK on tarmac....for any MTB tyre set up wrong or not the right tyre for you, just saying...
  • + 6
 20 psi O_O i ran 30psi in my 2.35 schwalbe and kept burping the rear. you must be one smooth rider Smile
  • - 3
 @beatjumper: more psi more burps. 40psi is too high imo.
  • + 4
 @beatjumper: I mean 30psi is too high
  • + 2
 @Jokesterwild: the lower the psi the more chance of burping. i go sub 30 for front tyres but whenever i run around 30 in the rear i either puncture or burp then loose pretty much all air.
  • + 4
 @beatjumper: hasn't been my experience with tubeless at all. If you run close to the max of tube less your going to have a bad time
  • - 1
 @beatjumper: The reason a higher PSI will have more burping is the tire is trying to compress and the air pressure builds up and needs somewhere to go. With a lower PSI the pressure inside can build up higher when the tire deforms before needing to vacate the the tire. Especially on big hits and sharp edged hits.
  • + 13
 @Jokesterwild: depends how heavy you are. 30psi for me at 63kg is like riding a rock!
  • + 4
 @Kiwiplague: well yeah even with me at over 86kg 30 psi is too much. I run 25-27 depending on the conditions.
  • + 6
 @beatjumper: the tyre pressure you can run without burping and for maximum tractiom varies enormously depending on the rim width and profile, I've burped tyres at 35 PSI on my 23mm mavic rims, on Stan's Flow 25mm rims I've never burped even casing jumps at 18 PSI. Ordered new 29mm Flow mk3 and hoping to go even lower.
  • + 1
 @Wesley-Swipes: you would need to run the maximum pressure of the tire for that to make sense. Lower pressures increase chances fo burping. If you think this is incorrect, lower the pressure in your cars tires on one side and raise them to max on the other side. Go peel around a parking lot and see which tires lose air......... Low pressures allow the tire to move from the rim because there isnt enough pressure to keep it there. You would have to run like 60plus psi for too it to cause what youre saying and having seen that happen, its a total blow out at that point not a burp.
  • + 5
 I like how no one can agree on whether high or low pressure causes burping. Haters hate my tubes.
  • - 1
 Nothing wrong with tubes if you dont want to deal with sealant. No real debate on whether or not low or high pressure causes burping. Just people who dont know reality any better and repeat garbage bullshit.
  • + 1
 I run 26x2.6 Michelin wild grippers tubeless with about 32-35psi in the rear and 28-30 in the front depending on where I'm riding. Most of the time at bike parts I run the 35 rear and 30 front unless I'm at kicking horse. I can't stand dinging my rims ( the folding in kind especially) and am willing to sacrifice some grip for my rims sake. Hell I have a little ding from a rider error moment that blew 4 spokes at once and am already thinking of a new rim/wheelset. For those interested I'm rocking mavic ex 823 and might move over to demax ultimates or m90/10's.
  • + 18
 MAGIC MARY BEST FRONT TIRE EVER
  • + 2
 Yes
  • + 2
 AGREE
  • + 3
 Yes, seems to work nearly everywhere and lasts well on the front. Not so sure about it's cousin the Rock Razor though - seems to be wearing faster than i would have thought out back.
  • + 13
 I wonder if we'll see any serious racing on plus sizes (Enduro, DH). The reason I ask is we've had 'plus' sizes before. 2.5, 2.7 and 3.0 Gazzas. The difference is, they went up in weight dramatically. So while we had the option, you never ran them as they were so heavy.
To compare apples with apples, the Minion DHF EXO etc etc is available in 650B at 2.3 and 2.8. At 870g and 980g respectively. Now that's a great achievement on paper, only 100g difference. However my experience with say the Specialized Butcher in 2.3 Control vs Grid casing (730g vs 930g 26") is that extra 200g made a massive difference to how strong the sidewalls were. So if these new plus size tires are coming out half an inch wider, yet only 100g heavier, somethings gotta give.

Personally I never outride my tires (2.3 Minions) and I have a set of super tacky High Rollers that are like riding in sand, for special occasions (IE gondola). So the thought of wider tires with thinner sidewalls doesn't appeal at all. Why not just ride a 2.5...
  • + 3
 Doubtful, IMO. As they get heavier, they get harder to accelerate. It's like the effect of a 29er only increasingly so, as the weight of the tire is concentrated far from the axle, increasing rotational inertia. Also increased traction typically equals increased friction, aka loss of energy. These things are harder to pedal up to speed and then require more energy to overcome losses to friction. I guess I'm thinking that every time you increase traction or wheel mass, typically you lose efficiency and require more energy to reach similar speeds. In my mind there's some optimal point where the trade off between various forms of rolling resistance is worth the difficulty, and plus tires are probably past that point.
  • + 3
 I currently run 29x2.35 HR2 on my enduro bike. I tried 2.5 version of the same tires and they felt slower everywhere except for super steep stuff. My personal hypothesis is that people prefer plus sized mostly because of the larger diameter compared to 27.5, and the width is less important, which is why I'll stick to 29er + normal sized tires for now.
  • + 16
 are we talking 26 inch tires?
Maxis minnion 2.35.
FTW.
  • + 2
 That's what I'm currently on!!
  • + 1
 Agreed! Although after going Ghetto Tubeless, I want to go larger now. Something around 2.5 but not a heavy DH tire. Minion lights?
  • + 1
 I loved my 26" Minion DHF 2.5 until I ripped right through the sidewall. Not the tires fault, gnarly crash, but it was taken from me prematurely.
  • + 13
 2.35 Magic Mary Super Gravity
  • + 7
 If anyone needs the correct answers, let me know. I Dumpster dived behind the Pinkbike HQ and found the Scantron answer keys.

Amongst my groups of riding buddies, the one who has the most links to videos of armchair engineers conducting "This tire size rolls fastest of this specific type of terrain" usually wins.

One of my douchebag friends always asks for my opinion on which tires he should run at a specific location; whatever my response is he always responds with a link to a video that is 180-degrees from what I suggested.

Moral? Most people on bike forums are that friend—they always know more than you, and base their decision on one subjective ride at a single location, being as far away from the Scientific Method as a Trump loyalist.
  • + 7
 I usually run 2.4s on both my downhill bike and Enduro bike but I'm looking forward to trying 2.6 if it gets popular. I'm between bikes and I've been riding a plus bike for a little while and I'm ashamed to say it's really fun, but the tires are paper thin and still heavy. If 2.6 can bridge the gap then I'm all for it
  • + 4
 I was running 2.8" (Surly Dirt Wizards 3.0" which measure 2.8") over summer and they were great except heavy. Hence 2.6" would be a great size to get the weight down a bit but keep the insane amount of traction.
  • + 4
 Look towards maxxis wide trail tires. They are about 2.5-2.6 and are beastly good
  • + 3
 @ibishreddin: do it. running a 2.5 Minion DHF WT & 2.4 DHR WT on Ibis hoops and they are the best. wide enough for hefty traction but still run fast. i want a Minion SS WT now
  • + 3
 @connorjuliusjohnson:

I'm also holding out for a WT minion SS.

Running 2.35 dhf/ss, it's the bees knees. When they're dead im going to try a 2.5WT DHF/DHR unless they come out with a WT SS
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: dude agreed. just semi afraid the 2.3 minion ss would get too boxy on a wider rim. guess theres only one way to find out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • + 1
 no one has really even tried the new 2.6 stuff yet so of course 2.35 is going to win this poll.
  • + 1
 @connorjuliusjohnson:

I'm running them on 30.5mm internal rims, the side knobs touch the ground on the SS because it's so square. However, it absolutely rips still and the rolling resistance is MUCH lower than the 2c HR2 it replaced on back.

I'm thinking the rolling resistance would be much less on a WT SS because it would be rounder. I'm hoping a DHR WT rounds enough to have similar rolling resistance.

Maxxis, for the love. Pleas make a WT SS and stop wasting time on all these other new tires
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: im gna try the aggressor next for little more bite than the m ss.
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh:

Agressors were unobtanium when i was tire shopping last time. I want to see how agressive the sideknobs are before i try one.
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: That and it's a tire size that's still very popular in the 26" crowd which is still a very very large portion of riders.
  • + 3
 WTB Vigilante 2.3 & Breakout 2.3 (TCS Light, Tubeless on 'old' Stan's Arch EX, 29") - still get a little bit of roll at 28psi, looking to switch to wider rims soon - I think it's more about rim-width/casing-size ratio than anything, and of course PSI is directly related....
  • + 1
 Been on LB 38 for a year and never have had tire roll since. MM, m ss, xr4...
  • + 3
 Maxxis 2.8 High Roller 2 on the front of my Switchblade with 40mm IW carbon rims. Maxxis 2.8 Ikon on the rear. Overall best set up I've ever ridden. Traction up, down, and around and the best small bump compliance you can get. Fun factor of 10! Proved just about everything I thought I knew about tires wrong.

Disclaimer: I'm a trail rider and not a spring chicken anymore. I still like riding like my hair is on fire in the rough but I like to keep my tires closer to the ground these days so I can't really say how these babies would fly .
  • + 2
 I'm definitely going to upsize the rubber on my next stead... I've always ran larger-than-you-should tires, minimum 2.2 for XC, usually 2.35s. The extra grip and cornering confidence as always outweighed the gram penalty imo. there are surely diminishing returns, but with wider rims and better rubber compounds it makes sense that 2.5 - 2.8 would be the current sweet spot.
  • + 4
 In hard pack it dosnt matter really but in mud a fat tire floats like fat skis in powder causing you to slide a slightly skinnier tire around 2.35 sinks and gets grip on the ground under the mud.
  • + 5
 2.3" Maxxis Minion DHF 3c DD (or exo) up front and 2.3" Aggressor 3c DD at the rear for all round trail/enduro riding - say no more.
  • + 1
 Can't like this enough. I have the 2.3 dhf exo up front and was thinking 2.5 next time around.
  • + 2
 my new combo of choice is 2.4 Onza Ibex up front, either a 2.35 Canis or Citus on the rear depending on how much moe grip I want in the corners. A fair bit faster rolling than my previous Maxxis HRII / Ardent Race combo with more cornering grip.
  • + 2
 I currently use Schwalbe Hans dampf's with the front 2.35 trail star and rear 2.25 pace star. The combo provides front end grip with the lower height of the rear tyre helping lower the bb height and slacken the head angle slightly. The harder rear compound helps the rolling resistance also. For me a good all round combo.
  • + 2
 I used that same combo for some time,but eventually changed the rear HD for a Maxxis Agressor (2.3) and couldn't be happier. Rolls better and grips waaay better. Try it,you'll be surprised.
  • + 1
 I love the HR II, but I have been looking really hard at the Vitorria Goma. 2.4 on front and back though seem to work best for me anything bigger I feel sluggish, anything smaller I start losing confidence especially around hard corners.
  • + 1
 A true 2.4-2.5in tyre on 27 or 29in wheel already offers so much traction and performs great overall without big compromises. Going bigger will have an effect on either weight or durability. If someone makes a 2.8 tyre that's 800-900grams and as durable as a 2.3 EXO they will have a winner. The current lightweight 2.8's seem to be on the fragile side...
  • + 1
 I ride the same on the front as on the rear. Hans Dampfs 29" x 2.35" but I would like to get a pair of 2.6" on some wheels wider than my Flow EX's. I have always liked a wider tire than some weight weenie skinny tire. I'll just pedal harder to make up for the added weight.
  • + 1
 WTB Convict (F) and Breakout (R), both in 2.5 on 34mm internal rims. On the clock its the fastest combination I've tried, which I think is down to grip, stability and deformation giving traction and smoothing out trail chatter. Interested to try the new Specialized Butcher/Slaughter Grid in 2.6 though......
  • + 1
 Just mounted some vigilantes to the downhill bike. Im sold, wtb tires are amazing!!
  • + 2
 For the people voted 3+ inches!? Question says all rounder ! I'd like to see you on a downhill rig haha
I'll go for 2,4" looks like somewhere in the middle, and also enjoying the same ize for both AM and DH
  • + 1
 Actually, on the DH a bigger tire is gonna have more momentum (higher mass) and stability (more contact patch): simple physics. It's on the horizontal that larger tires lose out due to rolling resistance. Even on the climbs it comes ahead in the long run. Its extra traction will compensate for the extra weight. Maybe it's my skills but I always come up ahead of my buddies on every run on my 27.5+ 3" while they still ride their 2.35. Who knows maybe the future is FS fatties!
  • - 1
 @bushmill: we had 3" and 2.8" dh tires since 2000. All things being equal in terms of casing and weight increase (the same improvements for weight can be applied to the narrower sizes so the point is moot. Wider tires weigh more full stop). 2.8 had some popularity early on in rocky environments but pro teams tested and have hovered around 2.4 for almost 2 decades. Think about that for a bit. DH is the quickest cycling sport at the peek of speed and thats what they chose to run year in year out even with options.
  • + 1
 The inch measurments generall used are currently kind of worthless, even the tyre etrto measurment is not usefully accurate as you don't know the set up used. If they gave the set up ie 25mm ris at 30psi with the width of both casing and knobs at widest point plus the max circumference then at least we would have a comparable starting point.
  • + 1
 I think this is a difficult poll to get unbiased answers from as I'm not sure if the best tyres exist yet. I'm a big believer in high volume - at least 2.5 mark, but I'm not aware of any decent tyres in that size or bikes that can take them or tyres that take advantage of new technologies that give a better weight/rolling resistance/puncture resistance trade off. All the best ones are now 2.3-2.4 because the bests tyres only come in that size.
  • + 1
 ...add to that 26"+ rather than 27.5"+ to give the same outside size as normal 27.5" wheel setup.
  • + 1
 just put on a 26" 2.1 maxxis Medusa ( 17quid posted from CR ) on front of my dartmoor hornet hard tail for UK local mud rides. looks stupidly small. nearly took it strait back off but persevered .amazed how it found grip in the slopy turns, roots and off cambers .game changer for me
lesson learned bigger not always best
  • + 1
 I have been experimenting with various sizes on my Pivot Mach 6 and for me I am as interested in the ability to climb as go down. I tried up to 2.45 and I simply don't want some giant fat tire slowing me down. I can tear up a trail going down with a 2.25 so no need to add the extra weight and rolling resistance. If you can ride, i.e. you know what you are doing, and you also want to climb no need to go above 2.25.
  • + 2
 Minion DHF and DHR 2.3 on a wide internal hoop like an Ibis 741 carbon. Affordable and squares out the rubber without addding too much weight. Works for me and the lady's love it.
  • + 4
 In modern times: I really love my bontrager SE5 2.3's
  • + 3
 My old azonic eliminator DH rig has 24" x 3.0" Nokian "cost a "loddis loads of grip
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: that sounds like my kinda rig
  • + 1
 @jordanchaos: my 6" trail bike is an azonic avenger with 26" x 2.4 trailkings and my hot is an azonic evolution with 26" x 2.4 der barons absolutely have the most fun on each bike Everytime I ride.so to answer azonic is sponsored by me!
  • + 3
 Dude stop teasing me. Doublewides and 3.0 Gazzaloddis is my secret dream.
  • + 1
 @adam102: haha stop teasing you? I see that evil imperial in your profile pic. Now it's me that's being teased. Have seriously wanted one of those frames since I started riding long time ago
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: Haha, that's actually handmade 4130 CrMo frame from a small garage company in my country. We all want what we don't have.
  • + 1
 I'm running 2.4's but voted 2.3 because the rolling resistance is very real. I also didn't see an option for 2.0, I run a 2.0 rear on my xc bike because I got the tires for 3$ each when pricepoint shut down. I would change them, but my cheap ass wants to kill the tires I have before getting new rubber.
  • + 2
 No mention of the e13 TRS tires? Very curious about those. Currently weighing options to crank up the grip a bit while maintaining as favorable rolling as possible. Currently Hans 2.35/Ground Control Grid 2.3
  • + 1
 Been running Specialized GRID Purgatory and Slaughter combo in 2.6". Nice and grippy, not any heavier than WTB or Maxxis 2.5 tires, and can be picked up for a pretty stable $60 at a local Specialized dealer. As a former 29er rider now on 275, I really like the added momentum of the bigger tires on the smaller wheels. If I was back on a 29er trail bike I'd probably run 2.4-2.6. No replacement for displacement.
  • + 0
 Can't answer that question as presented. Rim width has at least as much to do with it in my opinion. Double Tracks and
Gazzis. were pretty good when geometry and brakes and suspension were not so great. It's a weak survey. IF we can have
26ers with tires that equate to same diameter as 29ers with a good rim support from last year, why the hell are we still fussing about a new
rim and now bigger tire to make up for what a 29er has accomplished already? I feel the options are great if we can still get the one we fell in love with a few years ago.

Not everybody changes their platform every season or two.

Cheers
  • + 1
 What about the ideal front tire width for all around riding and what about the perfect rear tire for all around trail riding and what is the difference between these two tires and the two mentioned in the survey??????
  • + 1
 Have run a Kenda nevegal in front and a a 2.35 butcher in back for years now. Seems to work really well for me,the front tire has so much traction and the rear breaks away nicely.
  • + 1
 Running a 2.5 on the front.
  • + 1
 The thing with this is that if you have not had the opportunity to try the 2.8 plus sized tyres then you don't know how good they are, the main choice of tyres at present is the 2.35/2.4, this is gonna change.......
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton

>2.6-inch tires that are starting to gain traction

What is this, the article or the comments? #iseewhatyoudidthere
  • + 1
 Didn't even read the article, just answered the poll.
  • + 1
 Currently running Minion DHF 2.5. Would really live 2.8 or 3.0 with a decent meaty tread and DH side wall. I would like to see 'motocross' tread pattern on DH mtb tyres. Eg Bridgestone 402
  • + 1
 Suck that data up, nowhere near enough of the sizes people seem to want. Not sure if its rim width holding back the larger casings but the 2.4 ardent feels like crap on the front.
  • + 1
 I went to a 3.0 on a 45mm rim.....the grip, corner speeds and braking is off the hook! And it climbs tight trails like a mountain goat. 27.5+ tears up the deer trails around here.
  • + 1
 So what will a 2.8 DD weigh? I am concerned about a 15 mile hike instead of wider tire. 2.5's are enough for my terrain. I am kind of digging my 2.3 shorty's. Awesome off camber traction.
  • + 3
 If tyre companies used standardised measuring methods then this pole might actually mean something...
  • + 4
 What ever is flavour of the month
  • + 1
 Rims have to be factored into this the wrong size rim be it too narrow or too wide will affect width and proper tread profile instead of a tire question why not a front and rear internal rim width.
  • + 2
 Biggest mountain bike tire I ever had was a 2.7", and they're pretty good, but maybe slightly drag heavy, so maybe 2.5" would be ideal if I was guessing.
  • + 2
 all mountain Magic Mary and Minion DHF fronts...all 2.35 Racing Ralph, Hans Dampf, Maxxis Ikon and Ardent rears...2.2 and 2.3
  • + 1
 This poll should be askEd in ETRTO instead of "2.something". My High roller II 2.4 has a smaller volume than my 2.25 Rocket Ron!!

57-60 is my go to width!
  • + 1
 You forgot 2.7 tires, also 2.6 aint new. I ran it on dh michelins a few years ago.. Great for rocks but a lil odd in the air.
  • + 3
 Onza Porcupine 26 X 1.95 all day, every day...
  • + 1
 E*thirteen TRS tires front and rear in the only width they offer: 2.35. They are made by Maxxis, so no wonder I love them so much.
  • - 1
 How many people are actually qualified to answer this question. Seems pretty lame to ask what is the best size, when most people have not ridden a plus bike or anything larger than a 2.35. It's pretty clear to me that plus is hear to stay, and I think by 2018 the majority of mountain bike sales will be plus compatible.
  • + 3
 Let's be real, whichever size I can get for FREE.
  • + 1
 C'mon, it's winter so 105mm-115mm underfoot works best.

(says the guy who today rode his fat bike on mellow backcountry ski trails)
  • + 2
 I'm running 2.6 front/2.3 rear Specialized Purgatories on my Thunderbolt. It rips.
  • + 1
 Magic Mary or minion 2.35 or 2.5 up front with a wide profile rim, rock razor out back 2.35 plenty of grip here in northern VA.
  • + 2
 Magic Mary (trail star casing) in the front and Knobby nic (pace star casing) in the rear out here in Durango, CO.
  • + 1
 I'm still on 24" x 3"
I like it!

Get some looks on the trails for sure.

But by 2027 is everyone gonna be riding 39 inch fat bikes or what?
  • + 1
 I'm glad I'm not the only one stuck in the past. 24'' is awesome.
  • + 1
 @adam102: we are shred bros
  • + 1
 Been enjoying the 2.4 conti x-kings front and rear. They've proved to be very durable and well matched to my riding style. Even did an 8hr xc race in them.
  • + 1
 2.35 nevegal front 2.4 HR2 rear is my favorite tread setup, unfortunately the casing on the tubeless nevegal is pretty weak so for reliability a DHF has replaced the nevegal.
  • + 4
 30mm IRW and 2.5 Minions
  • + 1
 2.4 Ardents front and rear. Rotate front to rear and buy new front. Fast roll speed, decent traction. Jack of all trades..
  • + 2
 You know what the bike industry needs?...f*cking standard fraction tire and wheel sizes to make everything crystal clear.
  • + 2
 Mavic crossmax charge all day. Roam in back on the hardback
  • + 1
 DHRII 3C in front, but what about back, is a DHRII Dual Compound more ideal than 3C?
  • + 3
 I used to run 3C in the front and the back, and didn't have a problem with it.
  • + 2
 same ,ill say i like the grip with 3C compound ,good rolling resistance and grip in many conditions Big Grin
  • + 1
 @carlomagno: Agreed. Solid all 'rounder.
  • + 1
 Running a set of Conti Baron since 2 Months, still blown away by the grip they offer.
  • + 1
 Love the barons and the trailkings as well
  • + 1
 2.3 Maxxis HRII Front, 2.3 Maxxis Minion SS Rear, or 2.35 Maxxis Ardent Race Front, and 2.35 Maxxis Ikon Rear.
  • + 1
 I run 2.4" tires, somewhere between 1 and 1.5 bar in latex tubes. I haven't tried tubeless yet.
  • + 1
 Running 2.6 rear and 2.8 front nobby nic's in apex casing with low pressures-12/16psi f/r. BOOM loads of grip!
  • + 1
 Now ask, "how much riding have you really done on anything else but a 2.3\2.35..."
  • + 1
 No such thing as all around riding. Ride what suits the terrain where you are. Same goes for the wheels you use.
  • + 2
 There you go bike industry ... stop this fat tyre shite now.
  • + 2
 2.4 trailkings are bigger than 2.4 der barons
  • + 1
 I have a Krampus so Plus makes sense to me. Please make more mid plus sizes though.
  • + 1
 Ditto and 2.6" get my vote.
  • + 2
 Ride what you like for the zone you like to ride.
  • + 1
 My 2.35 schwalbe hans dampf on a 30mm internal rim comes out around 2.55 which feels spot on.
  • + 1
 I don't believe you they never could feel spot on theirSchwalbes.
  • + 1
 Onza Ibex front is the best every conditions exept too muddy, Vittoria Jafaky or Morsa for the rear depend wet or dry Wink
  • + 1
 2.5 Shorty DD in front,Aggressor 2.35 for the rear...a combination thats really hard to beat.
  • + 1
 Kenda nevegal 2.5 front, slant six 2.35 rear. Used to have gazzaloddi Jr 2.6 front, specialized captain 2.2 rear
  • + 0
 been running the 2.8 minion on my 160 rig the last two months. Shit is amazing. plows chunder like poon at the club. on Farlow hoops of course
  • + 1
 I want a consistent naming convention! 2.7 Normal, 2.7-3.5 Plus, > 3.5 Fat?
  • + 2
 Remember when everyone rode a Tioga 2.3 front and a Coyote 2.25 rear?
Big Grin
  • + 2
 Depends on the inner rim width???
  • + 2
 40mm
  • + 1
 I remember years ago having a 3" between my monster ts it was so hard on corners
  • + 1
 I've ridden just about every tire size and I have to say 2.8s are pretty damned sick for all around riding
  • - 2
 I hope this poll will stop bicycle manufacturers from stocking their bikes with 2.1 and 2.2" tyres, as well as that tyre companies hopefully will give wider options (at least 2.35") for their faster rolling tyres.

Wider tyres have been proven to roll faster (off road) as well as create more grip and traction.
  • + 1
 air volume..... 2.5 WTB for f&r. its not always about width; height matters too! lol... Conti T.K. is my minimum.
  • + 1
 hahahaha, you'll learn one day when the fat penny drops. the world is slowly slowly slowly getting there.
  • + 1
 Your saying 2.1 to keep it old school. But I'm sure my 1st bike in the early 90's had 1.9 on front and rear
  • + 1
 If industry could deside how big a 'standard' 2,5 tire should be then maybe I could vote, '
  • - 2
 It's well known and proven that 2.5 in front and 2.3 in back is the best combo, at least for skilled riders. I have no idea what the casual weekend warrior should run but that's not really important. They're on mtbr, not pinkbike.
  • + 1
 Maxxis Minions DHF&DHR 2.5. I live in Santa Cruz and a season ticket holder at Northstar.
  • + 1
 Do you prefer this tyre combo riding locally ? say Demo, Wilder ranch etc > ? curious
  • + 1
 @oneplanka: Yes.Its the only thing i run. They work great for our loam and also works for Northstar nuttyness. Wilder is mellow, no need for the beef. Demo, you may want the beef!
  • + 1
 @surfer150: The DHR being more aggressive than the DHF annoys me, I would rather the opposite. I currently have a Kenda K-Rad on the back just to keep it rad lol, but I guess the pros must like a more aggressive rear tire for some reason.
  • + 1
 @Kramz: I think Maxxis is a victim of its own marketing here. The DHR and DHF are two different tires, the R with more pronounced braking knobs and side lugs that supposedly make it more aggressive in nature. Slower rolling, but meant to be ridden on the edge when the grip and braking benefits outweigh the rolling resistance. They do market it as to be paired with a DHF up front, but also claim the DHF is gtg on the rear. I personally always thought they were Freeride or Race tires, not front/rear.
  • + 2
 Bontrager XR4s 2.35 all the way... looks and feels slightly larger
  • + 1
 3.8 for the win everywhere
  • + 1
 Dirty Dan up front swap to bald one for summer,
  • + 1
 Is that a Specialized Storm that made the print in the picture?
  • + 1
 Inches mean nothing in reality
  • + 1
 Till the day I die minion 2.5 front n back.
  • + 1
 I slice up my pizza pies with 2.1s
  • + 1
 I ride 2.4's but we all know that for all round riding it's 2.3's!
  • + 1
 The current Maxxis 2.4 mold.
  • + 1
 26*2.35 rear = 26.7 "
26*2.50 front = 27" Wink
  • + 1
 29x2.7 Minion DHF front, 26x2.1 TT Larsen rear, so enduro
  • + 2
 2 by 4 says Norm Abram
  • + 2
 props for the Norm Abram reference... and I'm bored
  • + 1
 @oneplanka: bet your not as bored as me Frown
  • + 1
 @Earthmotherfu: 2 x board thanks for the chuckles
  • + 1
 1.95 Mythos for Marin. 2.1 Velociraptors for the Sierra.
  • + 1
 2.8 on 35 internal rim, job done.
  • + 1
 Manufacturer sponsored to prove that plus is DEAD.
  • + 1
 Maxxis ADvantage 2.4... that tire slays. Ahead of it's time for sure.
  • + 1
 2.4 dhr ii'$ on ibis 741's. Brrrrrraaaaappppp!!!!!
  • + 1
 who cares? just put some one and shred the gnar
  • + 1
 Last minute breaking news!! Eliot Jackson on Giant!!!
  • + 0
 Tires are just like women there really isn't one that does everything well.
  • + 1
 Does a 2.35 Magic Mary still count as a 2.35?
  • - 3
 So I'm assuming trail riding refers to 650b/27.5 for a wheel size? For this size, 2.3 is good and 26 I'd add an inch and 29 I'd subtract one for a general rule of thumb. Also this is relevant for the Pacific Northwest, sizes would be different for other areas of the world.
  • + 8
 Heck yeah dude 1.3 inch tires on a 29er sounds pretty rad
  • + 1
 Maybe it's just because I'm a fat boy but I love 2.5s
  • + 1
 Tires make a huge difference. It's a topic they may go on forever. Cheers
  • + 1
 2.5 Shorty for NCal winter rips
  • + 1
 Damn marketers...
  • + 1
 Dirt wizard 3.0s FTW
  • + 0
 I predict everyone will want 2.6s in 2018. Everyone.
  • + 0
 Why are 2.3 and 2.35 in the same voting category?
  • + 0
 The best tire width is whatever you have.
  • + 1
 2.35 is the god tire.
  • + 0
 59.69 mm should be the new 2.35 in. tire width standard.
  • + 0
 2.25, 2.3, 2.35
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