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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like 2.6 is the hot tire size right now, having had a fat and a plus bike I always thought this size was a good compromise, but after trying one I have doubts. I put a pair of XR4's 2.3's on my Process 111 and loved them so I thought I would try and SE5 2.6 on my Enduro, but even riding where it should have been great I just didn't care for it it. It never really offered any extra traction, less actually, just a little extra cush and a lot of weight.
So I am getting ready to get my wet tire for winter, and wondering if I should give the 2.6 another shot for slick roots and rocks during the wet season or go with the tried and true 2.3ish flavor? I am a bigger guy and not a weight weenie, but of course no one wants extra weight, and a pair adds almost a pound of rolling weight. I have a warranty replacement due me from Schwalbe so it will be a Magic Mary or Hans Dampf (or is there something else in their lineup I should look at?). Thoughts?
 

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I have ridden 2.4 front / 2.25 rears for a long time on 29er's.

Acquired a set of Nobby Nic's 2.8 front / 2.6 rear 650b wheels recently and contemplating giving them a try. I am running that bike single speed for now and not sure the extra contact and weight will be a good thing on half or full day trail rides. Might wait the Autumn when it is a bit cooler in the mid-Atlantic region.
 

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I'm in a similar boat. I really liked my 2.6 XR5 on my 29'er but when summer came around I found that it just doesn't "knife" into loose terrain. It tends to float more, it feels vague with steering, and raised the front end of my bike a little too much. The extra cushion is not really needed on FS. I think it rolled well but there is the mental aspect of looking down and seeing such a huge tire.

I do however like "true" 2.6 on my aggressive 27.5+ hardtail on 35id rims, and I think I'd like it on a normal 27.5 to give a little extra diameter. I suspect that designs like the XR4/XR3 do better at higher volume- roll faster and depend more on contact patch. I feel like the extra volume works against the intermediate channel design/huge knobs of a wannabe DHF pattern.

What about 2.4-2.5? I have the new dissector coming in to replace the 2.6 se5, It looks a tad more aggressive than the XR4 yet doesn't weigh a ton like the DHF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all, this turned into a good read. gfourth, this is exactly what I didn't like about the SE5 as well. Its powder dry here now and it just pushes out in every turn and braking just doesn't work. I switched to a Trail King 2.4 on the front and put the SE5 on the rear of my 29+ hardtail. The Trail King does much better, but weighs almost as much as the 2.6 tires. I ordered the Magic Mary in 2.6 at the urging of the warranty guy I was working with. He guarantees that once I get used to it that if I go back to the 2.3 I'll crash as soon as I hit the trails.

I may have to give the Vigilantes a try, they keep coming up and i hear a lot of great things and when I had an issue with a saddle WTB was one of the best companies I'd ever dealt with, so I like to keep giving them my business whenever I can. Unrelated, but Stans had unbelievable customer service when I had an issue with a wheel, BTW.
 

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There is a reason why you hardly see any professional racers on a 2.6 width tire, be it XC, DH, Enduro.

2.6's are ponderous and slow, and while there are certain situations where these may provide more grip, these are still, well, ponderous and slow.
 

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There is a reason why you hardly see any professional racers on a 2.6 width tire, be it XC, DH, Enduro.

2.6's are ponderous and slow, and while there are certain situations where these may provide more grip, these are still, well, ponderous and slow.
You've obviously never looked at Curtis Keene or Jared Graves!?

Believe they run 2.6 Butchers...

Richie Rude runs 2.5 DHF & 2.5 Aggressor, which run pretty wide...

The Pro's certainly aren't running 2.3's.

They'll all be on tires closer to 2.6.

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2.6 MM on the front of my Patrol, 2.6 Eliminator blk diamond on the back. amazeballs tires, for the terrain in my region (which frankly, varies considerably) these are great. if i was berm ripping park riding, maybe not. this bike with these tires was also fantastic in Moab in the spring.
 

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You've obviously never looked at Curtis Keene or Jared Graves!?

Believe they run 2.6 Butchers...

Richie Rude runs 2.5 DHF & 2.5 Aggressor, which run pretty wide...

The Pro's certainly aren't running 2.3's.

They'll all be on tires closer to 2.6.

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Close to 2.6 but not quite there. The 2.5 size for Maxxis are not quite 2.6 either (you can check it yourself with a caliper).

In the same vein, I doubt you'll see racers on any rims with an internal width over 30mm.

Not sure about Curtis and Jared, as I haven't seem them have a bike check lately.

You'll see most gravity pros running 2.5's and the odd 2.4's in the rear but not 2.6. And yes, not 2.3's either, however, you will see a lot of them running 2.35 Schwalbes.

XC is a different story altogether, as you will probably see mostly 2.0 to 2.2's there.
 

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Just recently went from 2.6 DHF to 2.5 on my HD4. Big difference in height and width. Honestly, the 2.6 were pretty good. Was thinking they were a little bouncy, that's why I went to the 2.5's. Have to say that i'd have to run them back to back.
 

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I have a XR 2.6 on the way. Possibly an expensive mistake. I hope it’s not too reboundy. I’m trying to find a aggressive front tire under 1000gm. Maybe a DHR2 WT.


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I have a XR 2.6 on the way. Possibly an expensive mistake. I hope it's not too reboundy. I'm trying to find a aggressive front tire under 1000gm. Maybe a DHR2 WT.

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The nice thing about Bontrager is you could take that tire and ride it in whistler for a few weeks and still return it under their 30 day no questions asked policy. I don't think the 2.6 is for me on a 29'er wheel, but I could see why others may like it.
 

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I've been experimenting with a few 2.6's on the front. Ive found that some 2.6's are very rounded in tread profile with shorter side knobs than ideal so they dont dig in unless you really lean it, particularly your bonty se5.

specialixed Butcher (previous version not current) casing was wider than tread, which I generally dont like, and wasnt really a true 2.6 more like a 2.4 so didnt have the benefit of lower psi. Hooked up pretty good though. Newer version looks better.

Speccy Eliminator- didnt like on the front. too rounded, didnt grip on off camber. Good rear.

Wtb Vigilante- good one, true to size, very square with nice tall side knobs, seems like many 2.6's gyp you on the side knobs. However, I wish it had a continous channel with no intermediate knobs. Great for winter tacky conditions, not a sgood in loose-over-hard socal summer.

Bonty xr5- took it off after 1 ride. Way too rounded with short side knobs..works on pure hardpack/clean rocks but the edges are vague if theres any loose. will try out back. true 2.6 in size though.

Current fave for mixed conditions is dhr 2 with the widest center knobs trimmed just a bit to match the width of the other central knobs and create more of a channel to expel the loose and let the side knobs really dig in. Measures 2.56" tread 2.5" casing on a 30 mm rim. Paired with an (untrimmed) dhr 2 2.4 out back. Not quite as squared up as the 2.4 but much better than the xr5, corners and holds an edge really well. I have not tried the dhf 2.6 because of reports that it doesnt hook up like the 2.5 because the knobs are much shorter on the 2.6. Depend son your prefernces, guess I prefer a more square profile with more aggressive side knobs. Othere may prefer the rounder feel of many 2.6's.

side note: the WTB Verdict 2.5" is huge and feels almost like a 2.6" but with more aggressive tread than any 2.6". Loam and deep loose dirt specialist; its awesome in those conditions but squirms on hardpack and clean rock.

Edit: @kendunn just read you ordered a 2.6 magic mary, ive heard good things about that one
 

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I don't think the lighter casing 'mid-plus' type 2.6's are worth it. They don't provide much more cush, they're bouncier, less precise and less durable. Once my current set (XR4/Rekon) on my hardtail I'm going back to 2.3-2.5" tires. If you're an aggressive rider and want extra cushioning/damping then get inserts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think for what I got the tire for (Greasy roots and slimy rocks) it may be a good tire. Not going to win any races or KOM, which I don't care about, and sometimes its more enjoyable to focus on the fun factor and not speed. For some reason the older I get I want to take the more challenging lines!

I would never consider one for XC racing, like someone said, closer to 2.0 or so and take the beating to get max roll.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels the same way about the SE5, I think when you start noticing the same nuances as others you are hitting a higher level of riding. I am now much more in tune with tires, suspension, etc.

I don't think 2.6 on a 30mm rim is anything out of the ordinary, and probably about perfect, depending on the manufacture. As a matter of fact, according to the Schwable site at 30mm rim is about perfect for a 2.6 tire. https://www.schwalbetires.com/sites/default/files/Untitled_0.png
 

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There is a reason why you hardly see any professional racers on a 2.6 width tire, be it XC, DH, Enduro.

2.6's are ponderous and slow, and while there are certain situations where these may provide more grip, these are still, well, ponderous and slow.
That's painting with a pretty broad brush.
 
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