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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I just got back from a trip to far northeast California canoeing rather obscure lakes and reservoirs. Because it was a boat oriented trip rather than a mountain bike trip, I took the older FSR XC with 26 x 2.0 tires. I don't like to take the newer 27.5+ when the bike would be on the camper rack while we are on the water. If a bike is to be stolen, I'd rather it were the old bike!

On these trips, I ride some afternoons after a morning paddle. I've found that this kind of wild riding on dirt roads of various quality often is not very suitable for narrow tires like those on the old bike. Narrow tires perform poorly in loose or sandy soils and loose gravels. They sink and bog down in forest duff. Also, (opinion here) I much prefer the plus tires to narrow ones on loose rocks like babyheads and I even prefer them on most trails.

Each type of tire has its place but I don't think that traditional mtb tires that perform well at the bike park or the trail system are very appropriate for adventure riding.

Any thoughts?

PS: McCoy Flat Reservoir, Dorris Reservoir, Logan Slough, and Reservoir F. Lots of water this year for often bone dry places.
 

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My wife and I just got back from a trip to far northeast California canoeing rather obscure lakes and reservoirs. Because it was a boat oriented trip rather than a mountain bike trip, I took the older FSR XC with 26 x 2.0 tires. I don't like to take the newer 27.5+ when the bike would be on the camper rack while we are on the water. If a bike is to be stolen, I'd rather it were the old bike!

On these trips, I ride some afternoons after a morning paddle. I've found that this kind of wild riding on dirt roads of various quality often is not very suitable for narrow tires like those on the old bike. Narrow tires perform poorly in loose or sandy soils and loose gravels. They sink and bog down in forest duff. Also, (opinion here) I much prefer the plus tires to narrow ones on loose rocks like babyheads and I even prefer them on most trails.

Each type of tire has its place but I don't think that traditional mtb tires that perform well at the bike park or the trail system are very appropriate for adventure riding.

Any thoughts?

PS: McCoy Flat Reservoir, Dorris Reservoir, Logan Slough, and Reservoir F. Lots of water this year for often bone dry places.
I think that is the whole reason that Fat bikes took off when they did. The desire by riders to get off the beaten path, also why gravel bikes are taking off now. Developed trail systems are great and fun but exploring is fun too but the varied conditions certainly lend themselves to fatter tires, more bottle mounts, etc. Also what DJ said.
 

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My wife and I just got back from a trip to far northeast California canoeing rather obscure lakes and reservoirs. Because it was a boat oriented trip rather than a mountain bike trip, I took the older FSR XC with 26 x 2.0 tires. I don't like to take the newer 27.5+ when the bike would be on the camper rack while we are on the water. If a bike is to be stolen, I'd rather it were the old bike!

On these trips, I ride some afternoons after a morning paddle. I've found that this kind of wild riding on dirt roads of various quality often is not very suitable for narrow tires like those on the old bike. Narrow tires perform poorly in loose or sandy soils and loose gravels. They sink and bog down in forest duff. Also, (opinion here) I much prefer the plus tires to narrow ones on loose rocks like babyheads and I even prefer them on most trails.

Each type of tire has its place but I don't think that traditional mtb tires that perform well at the bike park or the trail system are very appropriate for adventure riding.

Any thoughts?

PS: McCoy Flat Reservoir, Dorris Reservoir, Logan Slough, and Reservoir F. Lots of water this year for often bone dry places.
On my 26" ibis Mojo C I used 2.5 tires. On my Hd3 I mostly do 2.6 front and 2.35 back. I would not go bigger than that on your wife's bike but 2.0 tires are not even used in many cross country races nowadays! Get a set of 2.25-2.35 tires and the bike will work much better on loose soil.
 

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2.0 are pretty narrow these days. I consider typical XC tires to be 2.2 to 2.3, Plus tires are 2.8 and large, but there also in between tires are 2.4, 2.5, 2.6. There is a difference between 2.3 and 2.6 even for the same tire on the same bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that is the whole reason that Fat bikes took off when they did. The desire by riders to get off the beaten path, also why gravel bikes are taking off now. Developed trail systems are great and fun but exploring is fun too but the varied conditions certainly lend themselves to fatter tires, more bottle mounts, etc. Also what DJ said.
You're right on the fat bikes. I bought a fatboy five years ago for the snow but I really liked it for sandy desert and pumice rides. I didn't, however, like the self steer on the huge tires (4.6) when riding pavement or firm trails and the ride was harsh on the same rocky trails that the big tires are so good at.

I then bought a 27.5+ full suspension and I like it a whole lot. I have down sized the tires to 2.8 to gain a little more mud clearance. I don't like ruining trails riding mud but even dry trails can have some muddy places. The 27.5+ is the best bike so far, at least until the next one.
 
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