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I know rim width is a polarizing debate.... but my question is pretty specific so let's see where this goes.

I'm ordering new wheels and need to pick a rim size. I like bontrager tires. I plan to run 2.4 and 2.6 tires - probably 2.6 most of the time but that could possibly change to 2.4. I currently run i30 rims and they seem fine with 2.6, but...

I see Trek recommends up to 2.4 tires on their i29 (internal) rims, and 2.6-3.0 should go on their i40 rims. They don't seem to publish this table anywhere but I found this comment when someone asked a question on their i29 wheels
we do not recommend you mount one greater than 2.40 "dimension [on i29 wheels] the dimension tire of 2.60" up to 3.0 "is recommended for widths from 40 mm rim, the problem is that they are so together flanks one occurs more distortion and the surface of ground cover drawing contact is not optimum,


So now I'm wondering if I should go 35??? 30R 35F is also an option.
 

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I see Mikesee has stated he prefers i29 to i36 for Bontrager 2.6 tires. so maybe I should just stick to what I know.

And I found this thread where a lot of folks suggested 2.6 on 35 creates a lot more issues with sidewall damage.
I run a set of Bontrager XR4 2.6 tires on i35s and have been happy with the profile and performance. I am also running a Maxxis Rekon 2.6/i29 combo on the front of my SS and that setup also works well.

If someone were to give me a new set of Industry Nine Hydros in dark green tomorrow, I would more than likely build them up with i30 rims.
 

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I have no first hand experience with this tyre, although considering getting one to try, but going from my experience with Maxxis Rekon's on i35 rims, I'd say you would be good on the i35's for the 2.6". The Rekon measures a little small, not quite 2.8", but I still wouldn't run it on anything narrower as I find it needs the support of the i35. If you like to ride fast, or have lots of fast, bermed type trails with not lots of rocks, then I'd definitely err on the side of a wider rim to give more sidewall support under heavy cornering loads at speed.
 

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I mounted up an XR4 2.6 last week on an i29 rim. Haven't ridden it yet, but left it at 30psi for a week and it is at 65.6mm. So they run true to size or slightly larger once ridden in. Compared to the 2.4's I used to run, the tread looks more squared off, yet still a nice round profile. Not sure I would want to square it off anymore, but not sure an i35 rim would do that either, i40 possibly. I really liked the 2.4's and will continue to run them along with the 2.6's, all on the i29 rims. I don't think it's worth buying a new set of rims to run them on, but if you are already set on getting a new wheel set, going up to 35id up front might be well worth looking into. I personally like the 2.6 and below on i30ish rims, 2.8 to 3.0 tires on i35-40.
 

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I have an XR2 2.6 mounted on a i30 rim and imo it was made for that rim. From what I have read the 2.4 isn't as rounded as the XR2 and i30 would be about as large as you would want. FYI I am not into the no sidewall rims hanging out in the breeze super wide trend. IME tires get too squared off, rims loose protection & that flattened tread can add some rolling resistance.
 

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I have the 2.6" SE4 front/2.4" SE4 rear mounted on i30 rims. I got my first ride on them a couple of days ago and they felt pretty great. The profile looks a bit more rounded than the DHF. On the front I had the 2.6 at 23psi and it cornered well without any sensation of folding over in hard corners.

2.6 on i30
 

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