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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Do all tire manufacturers exaggerate width?

I've been trying to find the best tire for the riding I do and, at the same time, I love a good deal, so my garage is now the home of a pretty decent selection of tires. Recently, it occurred to me that putting more rubber on the rocks might be the best way to more traction (previously focused on tread pattern, figuring a tenth of an inch [or two or three] wasn't as important as the knob configuration). Thus, I started comparing the sizes of the tires I own.

Curiously, it seemed clear that there were significant differences in sizes, more than I expected due to the fact they are all labled 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, or 2.35. Here's the results of my measurements:

Conti Vert Pro claims 2.3", is actually 2.25" (pretty close!)
Bontrager Jones AC X claims 2.2", is actually 2.0"
Michelin XL claims 2.1", actually 1.7" (WOW! [not a good "wow"])
Performance Bike Terra Trac claims 2.1", actually 1.9"
Michelin Hot S claims 2.2", actually 1.7" (EVEN WORSE!)
Maxxis Minion DH claims 2.35", actually 2.25" (pretty close)

It appears Michelin is the worst about exaggerating width. Most troubling.

The Maxxis and Continentals were the closest.

The last 3 tires listed have extremely close tread patterns - they look almost identical. They are all brand new; I haven't run them yet, so I can't comment on their performance at this point.

I've run the Michelin XL; it is light and fast and responsive, but not that great on rocks. Probably due to its rounded profile. I've run 3 or 4 Conti Vert Pros and have been happy with them, but acquired these other tires when I saw them on sale. It will be interesting to see how they perform.

Premium Member
48,238 Posts
No. There is just no consistent method used for the stated size of knobby tires. Almost no tire will measure the exact size stated on the sidewall.

Even my measurements of tires is much different than yours. Check the spec charts on my Tire Site.

Also read this recent thread:

756 Posts
Found a couple

the sizes were right,but the weights were off. Maxxis Mobsters and Kenda Nevegals.
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