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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster, mostly new to MTB; glad to be a member and appreciate all the knowledge on MTBR. Apologies in advance if I've brought up a topic that's already been debated ad nauseum.

I've ridden quite a bit road and tri, have gotten into MTB the last few years to mix it up. I have hated every FS I've tried (pedal bob just bugs the hell out of me and at 6'2" 300lbs I haven't found a fully that won't-i think i get that from riding stiff road bikes) so I've stuck with HT, currently riding XC 29er, non-boost frame with 2.3 nobby nics. As I've gotten more and more into aggressive trail riding, the short comings of the XC geo and wheels for that application are becoming more and more apparent.

As a result, I'm building up a slacked out, boost frame but having a hard time choosing the wheel size. I have not been happy with the 29er 2.3s as I tend to wash out in corners a lot and they ride pretty harsh even at 22psi... (I ride midwest trails which a lot of sandy patches/corners and plenty of chunky rock and big roots). Part of me is really interested in 27.5+ as a way to get a little more cush. I'm not that tall so I don't think I would feel like 27.5 is small and I do like the idea of throwing my bike around a little more, but I worry about folding a tire in a corner if I'm running 3.0s at 16lb or something in that range.

I don't care about actually going fast, I just want to feel like I am. I ride my bike to have fun and get my heart rate up.

So here are my questions and I realize this comes down to personal preference and a lot of other variables but, here goes: 1.) Is 29er+ a viable format? Seem's like finding a fork to fit 29er 3.0 or even 2.8s is a challenge (at least going by manufacturers specs (Pike, yes; Fox 34, no?)). Are there any advantages for bigger riders to 29+?; 2.) is 27.5+ going to give me more cornering control? Or, as a bigger guy, am I just gonna fold the tire seeing as I will probably run very low tire pressure? 3) If the answer to 2 is "yes" then i presume 29+ is not any better? or is it? If so should I just stick with a 29er in 2.6 range to maximize cornering? Does anyone run 29 2.8s or 3s? any issues to be aware of?

Trying to choose the best fork/wheel format for me and the trails I ride. Thanks.
 

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at 6'2" 300lbs ... I've gotten more and more into aggressive trail riding, the short comings of the XC geo and wheels for that application are becoming more and more apparent.

As a result, I'm building up a slacked out, boost frame but having a hard time choosing the wheel size. I have not been happy with the 29er 2.3s as I tend to wash out in corners a lot and they ride pretty harsh even at 22psi...
Personally, I think 300 lbs, aggressive riding, and plus tires don't mix for a few reasons. First, plus tires aren't the best choice for aggressive (fast) riding in general. They're less durable, less stiff, and width isn't that important for cornering traction. In a corner you're riding on the side knobs, how wide the rest of the tire is doesn't matter. A 2.3 DHF will have more cornering traction than a 2.8 Rekon on most surfaces (assuming a skilled rider). Second, all those issues compound for a heavier aggressive rider. Pressures have to increase to prevent folding and rim strikes then the tires are even more bouncy at speed. There's a reason heavier trucks use heavier duty stiffer tires. For all other vehicles, tire stiffness and how burly the casing is increases with load and speed.

I'd go regular modern 29er (2.4-2.5) and run an insert like Cushcore (or cushcore XC). This will give the support, durability, traction and more cush than what you have now. You'd be surprised how well a 29er with modern/progressive geo can handle. Something with a short chainstay will keep things playful (but less stable). Also, if you're wanting to do some aggressive riding obviously don't go rigid.
 

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demoed a Krampus at Dirt Fest this past weekend. it was a BLAST! However...I don't think I'd want a 29+ as my primary bike. It was fast and had God-level grip. But I didn't like the way it rode on flats. Had that whump whump whump kinda bouncy feel to it. And if I lowered air pressure enough to minimize that...I was getting rim strikes. Otherwise the bike was awesome.

You won't fold the tire on a 27.5+. I'm 300# and my Release is 2.8F/2.6R and I have yet to have any issues with the tire size and aggressive riding. I keep my pressures around 18-20psi front and 20-23 rear so they are a little higher than lighter riders but much better than the 35+ I'd have to run with tubes.

I was railing the Krampus pretty hard too and never felt like I was going to fold the tire. No sure the pressures but it was pretty low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, great info. Definitely appreciate the versatility of the krampus but, where does one even find a non-tapered steerer tube these days? I know these aren't the only fork manufacturers in the world but Fox, RockShox and Manitou don't seem to make a straight 1 1/8?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
...There's a reason heavier trucks use heavier duty stiffer tires. For all other vehicles, tire stiffness and how burly the casing is increases with load and speed.

I'd go regular modern 29er (2.4-2.5) and run an insert like cushcore (or cushcore XC). This will give the support, durability, traction and more cush than what you have now. You'd be surprised how well a 29er with modern/progressive geo can handle..
Great analogy and you're getting at he heart of my question... my biggest challenge is finding a fork that will work for 29+. I'd really like to try the Fox 34 but it seems like anything over 2.6 is probably not going to clear that fork. However, if what you say is true--namely that plus tires, big guys and aggressive riding don't mix, then it's a moot point. I should just get the Fox 34 and ether try 27.5+ or run 29 in 2.3 to 2.6 range.

We probably all tend to dwell on the theoretical too much, but the physics (not that I'm a physicist, or even passed physics for that matter) don't seem to add up in my head. I've been lured in by the Sirens song of plus, but in order to keep pressure high enough for cornering well, I'm concerned i'd feel like i'm bouncing around on a pair of swiss balls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
...You won't fold the tire on a 27.5+. I'm 300# and my Release is 2.8F/2.6R and I have yet to have any issues with the tire size and aggressive riding. I keep my pressures around 18-20psi front and 20-23 rear so they are a little higher than lighter riders but much better than the 35+ I'd have to run with tubes...
And finally, Nubster, thanks for this... was looking for this kind of feedback from a similar sized guy. I think I'm going to stick with my original plan: Fox 34 on a Specialized Fuse (save the groans) with 27.5+ up to 3.0s. May even do the Maxxis setup 2.8f/2.6r which seems pretty popular. If i hate it I can relace my hubs into 29r hoops and still run 2.6ish.
 

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Great analogy and you're getting at he heart of my question... my biggest challenge is finding a fork that will work for 29+. I'd really like to try the Fox 34 but it seems like anything over 2.6 is probably not going to clear that fork. However, if what you say is true--namely that plus tires, big guys and aggressive riding don't mix, then it's a moot point. I should just get the Fox 34 and ether try 27.5+ or run 29 in 2.3 to 2.6 range.

We probably all tend to dwell on the theoretical too much, but the physics (not that I'm a physicist, or even passed physics for that matter) don't seem to add up in my head. I've been lured in by the Sirens song of plus, but in order to keep pressure high enough for cornering well, I'm concerned i'd feel like i'm bouncing around on a pair of swiss balls.
Really, you just have to try it out (demo/rent/borrow). 'Aggressive riding' means different things to different people. Some riders will be fine on plus tires, others might need DH casings. Just depends on the rider and terrain.
 

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I'm somewhat lighter (270 lb) and taller (6'4") than you, and I don't think I'd go for a 29+. Main reason is that we already carry a lot of weight, and fighting the inertia of the wheels is not fun - assuming you need to sprint every now and then.

Now about your tire pressure... I'd reconsider. I used to ride 2.5" with 26 psi and used to have several washouts. 30 psi seems the sweet spot with 2.5". Now I'm riding 2.3 tires (just because these came wit the new bike), 35 psi on 29mm rims. So far so good. Plan is to use 2.5-2.6" when I replace them.

Lastly, you'll find many more parts for 29/2.6" than 29/2.8".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the feedback. You hit on another good point: I want this bike to be nimble, throw-it-around trail bike. I keep coming back to the idea of 27.5+ so there's a underlying unhappiness with my 29r on 2.3s. Current rims are probably in the 23mm id range. Maybe different rims/tires/pressures would help. Either way it's still probably worth trying a new format.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Duly noted. That's a big part of the reason im interested in the Spez Fuse. I know there are plenty of Spez haters out there and I admit it doesn't have the cache of a smaller brand, but I've always been happy with Spez eq and frames (rode a Transition tri bike for a few years). Most recently, bought a lower spec Fuse for my daughter and have been really impressed. She loves it and my wife is trying to steal it from her. That got me started on this journey. Seriously considering the krampus, trek stache and salsa timberjack along with the Fuse. All have similar geo. I keep coming back to the Fuse as it seems purpose built for the type of riding I'm doing while still providing a lot of flexibility and optionality. Not that the other frames don't, i just can't come up with a compelling reason to NOT buy the Fuse.
 

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As stated lots of variables but I've found 27.5/2.5's to be awesome running tubeless at about 20psi rear / 18psi front. I'm 6'4" / 220lbs. I've never ridden a plus bike so maybe I'm missing out but I notice right away in corners when I'm at the lower pressure limit on my 2.5's. Just a pound or two makes a big difference and that's with aggressive Maxxis Minion DHF's with tough EXO sidewalls.

If you are 300lbs and somewhat aggressive I would be concerned that plus sized tires could be an issue when cornering. That would mean you need to increase pressure which sort of takes away the idea of bigger tires smoothing out the ride. Now you're still spinning all that extra mass and not getting the full benefit. Maybe meet in the middle and go with 2.5-2.6?

Regarding diameter, I went 27.5 because an XL sized frame in new geo is a freakin' huge bike as is. This combination has been great for me in the tight techy New England trails. If I had more open high speed terrain I would consider 29.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
feedback seems to be trending towards a middle ground. And I agree- XL frame with 29+ tires would be huge and prob not handle like i want. I don't ride super techy trails, but here are plenty of tight, fast switchbacks and def do not feel nimble on current 29. I understand geo has a lot to do with that but still not sure new geo with 29 or 29+ is the answer or me. i guess I'll find out.
 
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