Pinkbike Poll: What Size Are Your Tires?

Mar 22, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  
Crankworx Whistler 2018

We've asked it a few times before, but it seems like every season there's another tire size that's supposed to be the next big thing. Last year we saw the bigger 2.8"-3.0" plus-size tires fade away in favor of 2.6" options, while there's still a strong following of 2.4"-2.5" tires.

The XC crowd has foregone 2.2" for 2.35" in many cases, and even wider at times, and trail riders are constantly debating as to whether they want more traction or less rolling resistance. The amount of riders realizing you can pedal uphill with ease and still get down quickly on an appropriately spec'd bike has grown to the point that downcountry actually is a thing, and bikes can transfer from pedaling trail in the morning to doing laps in the bike park in the afternoon by simply throwing on a full face helmet.

No matter what you ride, tires are one of the most important elements of the experience and the width of your tires directly impacts a lot of the handling and feel of your bike.

How wide are your tires? Answer both!

What is your preferred front tire size?


What is your preferred rear tire size?



Yeti SB130 Daniel Sapp Staff Ride



159 Comments

  • 442 4
 Depends who is answering.. Maxxis says I run 2.3. Calipers say I run 2.2. And she says it's really more like 1.95, but it still gets the job done. I'm just thankful I get time to ride.
  • 10 2
 This should have way way more up votes
  • 18 1
 Nice pool: proof positive that most riders use what works not what publication and industry wants them to ride. For 27.5 the most used tires are right at 2.5-2.4/2.4-2.3 front/rear! Few ride as big as 2.6!
  • 5 3
 My Bonty SE5 29x2.6 measure up pretty well. Goldilocks tyres are the shizzle.
  • 10 0
 Just give me a true 2.5 tire. Which is sometimes hard to find.
  • 3 0
 @dobermon: Jesus. You're hung like a horse. Lotta whoosh in the replies haha
  • 5 1
 @duzzi: I was on 2.6 magicmary/ rockrazor now I'm on the 2.35 versions.

The 2.3 are just more precise the knob spacing is better and they cut and lean better. And are a 1/2 lb less rotational weight.
Anyway schwalbe 2.3 is the same as other brands 2.4/2.5.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: yes indeed I noticed that too Schwalbe's 2.3 is a lil wider than other 2.3s which I like been using their Jack of all trade Hans D. and M.Mary on my bike and like that's its a lil wider .
  • 119 2
 35x12.50R17
  • 5 0
 Hell yeah budguykid!
  • 4 12
flag brassinne (Mar 22, 2019 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 44x18.5 r16.5
  • 53 7
 69x420 bro
  • 10 5
 @MrDiamondDave: Is that a reference to the pot?
  • 1 1
 i'll up you with 37x12.5x17 on my 130..
  • 3 0
 @MrDiamondDave: is that like 28thousand 980 marijuana's?
  • 2 2
 37x13.50R20 hate the tire replacements!!!
  • 1 4
 37x13.50s are pretty cool too but I prefer stretching mine onto 26x18s cuz thats how we do it in west texas yeeehaw
  • 7 1
 Anything bigger than R15 is for mall crawlers.
  • 1 0
 @freeriderayward: You're right. We need them Weld Wheels
  • 1 0
 @damigguds: ..but not the tiny genitals. XD
  • 1 0
 @gnarnaimo: at 6'7" I can hardly say that tiny genitals affect me. You know what they say about big feet right? We have to wear big shoes. lol. Happy Trials!
  • 72 4
 Should I pick a tire width and be a dick about it?
  • 27 16
 I Soviet Russia your dick is tired about it
  • 65 0
 Don't be silly. Just be a dick, then pick a tire width.
  • 68 2
 From the initial results it looks like it could be renamed: What size are your minions?
  • 8 0
 Yeah, there was no option for my 2.35 Magic Mary
  • 20 0
 @Davec85: Yeah there was. 2.5
  • 40 0
 I don't use rubbers.
  • 40 0
 straight rimin it. bold.
  • 25 0
 You wouldn't be laughing when you see baby heads coming at ya.
  • 2 4
 @AlexS1: Yeah, f*ck it man! I can't be worried about that shit. Life goes on man!
  • 5 0
 @AlexS1: this comment rocks!
  • 36 5
 Your missing 2.35. Magic Mary 2.35 is the best trail tire hands down.
  • 16 0
 Round up to 2.4
  • 31 0
 @kevin267: Shit I rounded down to 2.3.. WHAT DO I DO??
  • 26 0
 @graham2017: Relax, the industry will let you know what size tire you like riding.
  • 1 0
 @graham2017: In tire width, always round down. They rarely if ever the stated size.
  • 5 0
 my magic mary 2.35 are way fatter than my minion 2.3 it's crazy how different tire sizes are between brands
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: except Schwalbe, where 2.35 Fat Albert, Hans Dampf, Rock Razor and Magic Mary are MUCH wider than 2.4 Conti Barons (still a great tire) and Maxxis Minion DHR/DHF.
  • 26 0
 Depends on the bike, have 3 different bikes with 3 very different sizes. I guess I should vote 3 times from different accounts?
  • 9 0
 On top of that every manufactur has different idea of 2.4 tire width my caliper noticed so the poll is kind pointless.
  • 3 0
 @kanasasa: maxxis were the worst offender but think it’s less pronounced now.
  • 5 2
 @powderturns: Nearly every old tire was a filthy liar, especially Maxxis, IRC, and Continental. A 2.7" tire that measured 2.3" and a 2.4" that measured 2.05", for example. Most new models are much more honest; Specialized may be the worst offender and even they aren't as bad as things were several years ago.

My most recent tires, all on 30 mm rims, measured at the casing:

Kenda 2.6": Exactly 2.6" (multiple models)
Vittoria 2.6": 2.55"
IRC 2.6": 2.65" (quite a change for them!)
WTB 2.5": 2.45" (Convict), 2.55" (Breakout)
  • 21 3
 People be like "huehue f*ck sram making new standards for 1% stiffer this and that" and then preffering front and rear tire widths within 0,1" (that's 2,5mm) precision #isthisreallife
  • 15 0
 I... guess 26 ain't dead?

But getting close to it. At these rates I'd be surprised in a year or two if I can still get tires. My Yeti SB66c is everything I want in a bike, so have been avoiding buying a new one.
  • 12 0
 exactly my take away. Clearly 26 is not dead. Put it back in production please.
  • 7 0
 Same here (same bike too). Check hibike.com They still sell quite a lot of 26" tires.
  • 6 0
 It’s dead because the bike industry wanted it dead. That is...... it was the best way to get #everybody to buy a new bike. 95% of suspension forks and rims are gone already too............(yet I’ll still be riding my Dartmoor Cody for 5 more years- more than happy with it still)
  • 4 0
 The second hand market for 26 is still pretty good (in the last couple of years I've bought two carbon santa cruz frames - nomad and blur LT for £300 and £500)

I've not seen a massive reduction in availability of 26" parts yet, and quite a few places still have new old stock - for example I also bought a set of sram roam 50 wheels (pre carbon) for £300 the pair off ebay new (they were £500+ each originally)
  • 2 0
 Conti have some new 26" stuff and it's really good Big Grin
  • 15 0
 Gazzaloddi should have been its own option.
  • 3 0
 Beast of a tire! Still have 1 in near mint condition 2.8 IIRC. Would be nice to see Nokian back in the game.

I mean, we've got Coninental, Michelin, Good Year, Pirelli, etc... Maybe if there were more actual tire manufacturers we'd see more new tire designs & less copies/rebrands?
  • 3 0
 We deserve them.
  • 2 0
 @m1dg3t: I'd love a beefy panaracer with solid side walls
  • 1 0
 @fries: I'd love some new rubber, skinwall, Ritchey MegaBite Zmax's...
  • 17 3
 It's not the size that matters
  • 11 0
 @taquitos It's how you use them! Wink two years ago I moved from 27.5 x 2.3 to a 27.5 x 2.6. To me it's the sweet spot.
  • 18 4
 Bring back 26" bike production...the most fun wheel size!
  • 6 11
flag bohns1 (Mar 22, 2019 at 19:39) (Below Threshold)
 @HighMountainDrifter Dude, ur reaching.... That shit ain't ever gonna happen... Time to move on
  • 3 0
 Just bung 26" wheels in a 650B frame & job's a good'un Big Grin Lighter, stiffer, stronger, better, funner, longer, lower, slacker, I'm running out of superlatives here...
  • 6 0
 Running Stans MK3 27.5 rims with Hans 2.6 front and back since last year and honestly, FUGIN AMAZING! Better grip, small bump eating, amazing cornering and honestly haven't noticed more than a VERY small increase in drag that disappears once up to speed. Anyone else running 2.6?...love to know what people are thinking on this
  • 3 0
 Totally agree. Don't have a lot of miles on them yet; seems like the sweet spot, so far. I like 'em on 35+ mm rims, though some tread patterns aren't wrapped enough to accommodate wide rims.
  • 2 0
 29x2.6 SE5s F and R. Love them.
  • 2 0
 Bontrager se4 27.5x2.6 f and r
  • 1 4
 Hans Dampf is worthless compared to Bontragers XR4 and I could argue that XR2 allows you to ride faster because although the “Laboratory test” grip maybe better for HD, the XR2 has a much more predictable breakaway. Hou can try really stupid things with XC and intermediate Bontragers and with a bit of skill you will always have time for reaction.
  • 2 0
 Been running a 27.5 x 2.6 on the front for a year or so ( Maxxis Rekon on 35mm int. rim). For trail riding, jumping and general hooning about it's the sweet spot for me. 2.4 rear for pumping out of berms though.

Haven't noticed any real world increase in drag with it just on the front.
  • 2 0
 I just feel bad for you running a Hans on the front.
  • 6 0
 I have a 3.0 24" gazzilodi on my evil imperial. f*ck this new shit. I was smart enough to buy three lol
  • 4 1
 I'm still cheesed about the shunning of the 26" that worked just fine & this "let's change because you have to because I said so because you'll be a MTB superstar if you do BS" ~ I know this will probably be downvoted, but after saving up to buy the bike I'd always wanted (SB66) just before this sucks. So, I will ride my 26" until it dies (I don't change bikes like some of you change bikes as I'm not wealthy and have to save for literally any bike I want). My next bike will be a 29" 140/150mm bike after I've worn the Yeti out... there I'm done griping now go ride will ya, you're wasting time listening to me kick the hell out of a dead horse Smile
  • 3 0
 Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 front/ Maxxis Aggressor 2.5 rear, currently... That's on a 31mm rim non boost 27.5. Feels good down hill, but sluggish uphill... I may try 2.4 in the rear.
  • 2 1
 I find the 2.5 aggressor draggy and slow, actually think the 2.4 dhrII rolls more efficient out back
  • 5 0
 really depends on the season. Summer: 27.5 - 2.4" front and rear // Winter: 26 - 4.8" front and rear.
  • 5 0
 I can tell from this article alone that PB and most readers aren't really interested in riding up the hill.
  • 1 0
 Sure we are. Just with tires that maximize the fun part: coming back down.
  • 3 1
 I wish these polls let you pick multiple, I have a 2019 Scott Ransom and 2018 Specialized Fuse. I have a wheelset with 27.5x2.8in and 29x2.6in and I use them in both bikes depending on the trails.
  • 1 0
 Building a new 29er trail bike and have been obsessing over tires all winter. Tried Minion DHF 2.5 and DHRII 2.3 last year but want to try something different so I'm going with Maxis Forecasters 2.6 front and 2.3 rear but may try a Minion SS this summer for the rear. Trying to find Minion-like grip with XC tire rolling speed. Anyone have something they like that falls in between those? Local trails are mostly hard and fast but can get some sloppy stuff and not a ton of rocks.
  • 3 0
 Try a HR II with an Aggressor out back, or even a Rekon/Rekon Race. But if it's dusty a lot the HR II won't come close to a Minion... maybe try the DHR II at the front. Works awesome in dust & wet and it rolls faster than a DHF, at least that's what Minaar says...
  • 1 1
 Ardent Race 2.35 rear, Vittoria Morsa G+ 2.3 front. Ardent is surprisingly tough for its weight, and Morsa plenty sticky. I use 27i rear and 29i front rims. Pressure matters--and prob stem length for weighting flat corners.
  • 2 0
 Specialized Eliminator 2.6 front and Aggressor 2.5 rear on big bike, great grip and rolls faster than a set of Minions.
Vittoria Morsa G+ 2.3 front/rear on XC/light trail bike. Vittoria Morsa very fast rolling tire (fast as set of Maxxis Ikons) and has pretty good cornering knobs.
  • 2 0
 The new Hans Dampf front and rear (or a Nobby Nic on the rear). Not quite minion level grip, but the new HD is really reliable and rolls faster than a DHF by a good bit. 2.45 aired up to 2.42 on my 31 IW rims.
  • 1 0
 I bought\have 27.5x2.6 & 26x2.35......but I intend to go 27.5x3.0 & 26x2.8 so that I can be around the size of a 29er up front(as well as have the benefits of greater tyre width)......which is as far & as heavy as I am willing to go relative to MTB wheel sizes... >.>
  • 2 1
 Well this poll falls a bit short of detail so I'll ammend. Preferred combos:

Park//freeride bike - 26x2.5 (regular maxxis width) front/2.4 (regular maxxis width) rear on 27mm rims
Enduro/All mtn bike - 27.5x2.5 WT front/ 27.5 2.5 WT rear on 31mm rims
DJ - 26x2.2 on 25mm rims
  • 1 0
 brand dont have the size they spec. 2.3 can be really 2.2 or 2.4 and most ppl dont know this. then its also diff on a dh or trail or xc bike. i got 2.35 measured on my trail bike and thats the max ill go because its already noticeably more effort to pedal than 2.2 or 2.1 but its nicer to ride. on a dh bike or with a lift id happily go 2.5 or 2.6. on a emtb too.
  • 3 0
 2.6 may "feel" slower but I've increased my over all speed just about everywhere
  • 3 0
 @allenfstar: you probably gain time cornering and in other traction dependent situations
  • 3 0
 @taletotell: yea cornering and climbing traction improve drastically
  • 1 0
 I'm lucky enough to be riding what came stock without regrets. Minions are great for the rough shtuff on the Ogden trails. Basically, in my mind, if you don't think about a part while you are riding it is the right part. I think about my brakes, but other than that I'm completely happy with the current set up.
  • 1 0
 No love for plus bikes, no love for fat bikes in the poll and yet companies continue to take away 27.5" options and stuff them with 2.8's and 29ers. I enjoy my Smash 29, but by far my 27.5 Roam, Decree and both custom hardtails are far more fun.
  • 2 0
 Eh, on my AM hardtail I run 2.8's on my full squish enduro I run 2.4/2.5 and on my dirt jumper I run 2.3's. This poll is dumb.
  • 3 0
 Guys wanting to keep the 26” lifestyle should just run therm on 650b rims and live that sh!t stretched and stanced.
  • 1 1
 I’d wager I’d be not the only PB’er thinking this really is a stupid F#%?ing question. The bike tire manufacturers can’t remotey figure out how to measure what they actually make in a machined mold with an international standard of measurement at their recommended tire psi and you guys want to know what size is embossed on the side of my current tire? I know what my digital calipers measure at 27 psi. Beyond that, it’s just a poseur conversation.
  • 2 0
 Schwalbes 2.35 is more like 2.4 in reality. So i went for 2.4 in the poll..... Mary is just the best tire in the front for me. In the rear only if its wet.
  • 4 2
 I feel like for any sort of aggressive tech riding or racing 2.6 front is the answer
  • 5 1
 Loic Bruni wants to know your location.
  • 4 0
 #24aintdead
  • 3 1
 IKR...mainstreamers don’t know street/park/dirt life
  • 3 0
 195/50/15 Michelin pilot sport. Best tires I've owned.
  • 1 0
 205/50 is better. More grip and better steering response
  • 2 0
 DHF 26x2.5 Wired front and rear / HR2 EXO 26x2.5 front and rear
225/45 R18 Smile
  • 1 0
 26x2.5 DHF Maxxgrip Wirebead front / DHF Single Compound EXO rear.
  • 1 2
 The question is what is my preferred size, but that differs from what I'm actually running. I think it would be nice to have some beefy 2.3-2.5's, heck maybe even some mid-fat plus whatever, but all I've got is 2". What do I say?
  • 4 0
 20x2.2 BMX for life!
  • 2 2
 2.4-.2.5 is the only tire size anyone legit needs for trail-enduro-downhill-freeride. XC and gravel guys can go smaller. feel free to throw your money away on wacky other stuff.
  • 3 3
 aree we talking what the manufacturer say its size is or actually what it is on the rims? my 2.35 Martellos come closer to a 2.5 FR and 2.4 RR
  • 3 2
 Are you talking unsprung tire width or tire width when sagged?
  • 1 0
 I don't know who's downvoting you, because that's an important question!

People used to think my old 26" x 2.7" Minion DHFs were overkill, but they measured about 2.3". I also had a 2.0" tire that came in at 1.7" - I knew I was getting a narrow, XC racing tire, but that was ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 27.5 x 2.5 front and rear. My ocd can’t handle different widths lol
  • 1 0
 Got my eyes on those Synthesis wheels..... 2.6 has been the jam for my self
  • 1 0
 My answer is depends who makes 'em. Maxxis 2.4 or 2.5, because those are equal to other brands 2.3 and 2.35
  • 2 0
 My tires is the perfect minion size, do not know how maxxis measures them
  • 2 0
 Well, got kinda force to the 27.5 and 29.....
  • 1 2
 On my TRAIL bike I have 27.5x2.2 front and 2.1 rear, in my XC bike I have 29x2.1 both and on my DH bike 26x2.35 both wheels... Pinkbike still made polls considering everyone have ONE bike...
  • 2 0
 Wait... the plus size tire was a fad?
  • 2 0
 Chuck Norris only rides with spokes
  • 2 0
 So 2.6 is goldilocks but 2.8 is novice..?
  • 1 0
 Which bike? My Hardtail trail bike has 29x2.4F 27.5x2.8R. Enduro bike 27.5x2.4F 26x2.4R. XC bike is 29x2.25F&R.
  • 1 0
 A medida varia de acordo com o estilo da pista onde vai andar. A maioria continua usando os 2.50 ( 26, 27.5 e 29 ).
  • 1 0
 Acho que a medida varia de acordo com o estilo da pista onde vai andar. Os mais usados ainda são 2.50 ( 26 / 27.5 e 29 ).
  • 1 0
 Acho que a medida varia de acordo com a pista onde vai andar. Os mais usados continuam sendo os 2.50 ( 26/27.5 e 29 ).
  • 3 2
 I've got 4 bikes and 3 different wheel sizes. Make the poll work for that?
  • 14 1
 Just roll with the one you use the most or a lot. You can figure it out.
  • 3 1
 @danielsapp: Wouldn't it be possible for you to turn the radio buttons into check boxes? You may have visitors who have more than one mountainbike or at least change to a different tire every now and then. Doing a "check all that apply" question may give more representative data. I can imagine there may be a good couple of riders on here who may ride a fatbike, but few will use it as their main bike. Just a thought.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: LOL more than one bike, what are you a bunch of Richie Riches?

And geez, if you have more than one bike shouldn't you put your favorite tire size on them all?
  • 1 0
 @danielsapp: Clearly I can't. It's why I have/ride more than 1 bike.

It may be easy for you to put yourself into a box. Not me.
  • 3 0
 @igxqrrl: Don't need to be rich. All my bikes were purchased used. I buy cars that cost less than what these crooks charge for a 'modern' bicycle.

Currently have 1 x 20", 3 x 26", and 1 x 27.5". I need to get the BMX rideable though...
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: No worries, this just may not be the poll for you. Fortunately, whether you decide to take it or not has no bearing on you getting out for ride.
  • 1 0
 The question is which size you prefer, not use. So, which size do you like best?
  • 1 0
 @danielsapp: Thank you, Cpt. Obvious Wink

Smile
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: I understand. How about you reread my post/s? Smile
  • 2 1
 29x1.95 like all other pros
  • 2 1
 275/35R18

Oh wait... That's doesn't seem like the right 275...
  • 5 1
 Bike tire sizing might be too complicated, but car tire sizes hurt my brain.
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: Minus ten southern points for you.
  • 3 1
 @danielsapp: bro are those even 35s?
  • 2 0
 Thanks PB polls are fun.
  • 2 0
 What? No 700x33c? Lol
  • 1 0
 Maxxis high roller 26x2.5f/26x2.35r for me fast and grippy
  • 3 1
 None of the above.
  • 1 0
 Are we talking casing width or tread width...
  • 1 0
 700c x 21... wait, am I in the wrong place?
  • 2 1
 you meant to say 622x21 and yes Wink
  • 1 0
 29er with 2.3 front and rear (Purgatory GRID)
  • 1 0
 29x2.1 aspens. Not on the poll.... ????????‍♂️
  • 1 0
 E Thirteen 2.35s, so a 2.6 Maxxis.
  • 1 0
 Just wait for the 29er dhr. It’s gonna be legit!
  • 1 0
 Core-county is a new tire size not included in the poll?
  • 1 0
 Run 27.5 x2.5 but would prefer if they came in 2.6 or 2.7....
  • 1 0
 2.5 all the way around. Enduro, DH and DJ bike all get big rubber
  • 1 2
 Its not the width that counts...but the angle of the dangle. Which is proportionate to the heat of the meat.
  • 1 0
 lame
  • 1 0
 255/45/18
  • 1 2
 none of the options say Lebron so...
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