...this is a true story...
Sunday morning, usual day at SinglTrek Pod Smrkem. I take the bike out from the car and things go wrong.
"Me: I forgot the front wheel home :| "
"The guy from the bike center:......it happens"
"Me: Do you have a wheel that can fit into my fork?"
"The guy fro the bike center:....uhhhh, no, but I have a new Trek Fuel Ex 9.8 27-5+ bike that you can try."
And this is how I end up riding the new wheel size that every mountain biking magazine is praising about: the new "Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 27.5x2.80" tire.
The bike industry is presenting this new tire size like it is the best thing in the universe, you can't ride without it.
I was expecting big things from this new tire, I believed the adverts, but the reality was a very different story.
Difficult to jump, the bike was nose diving. Even tubeless the tires are too heavy.
I had to pump a lot even for a small jump.
More speed is required for jumping.
Cornering is something very random, you want right, bike is going straight ahead(again inertia)
- Heavy, nose diving all the time when jumping. Bike manufactures will try to make components lighter. the rims for example, just to keep things in balance. There will be a lot of unreliable products on the market.
- Difficult to handle when cornering. The bike feels very numb, and require a lot more effort to steer.
- In mud, the tires are floating.
- Big tires means a lot of traction, a lot of pedalling is needed to keep a decent speed. Slower on climbs and more sluggish to accelerate.
- Precise pressure adjustment is required. Tire pressure matters more with big tires. The plus size tires feel very bouncy, this affects also how the suspension is working.
- Big tubeless tires, a lot of sealing is going in, fun to fix a flat tire. Yuck
- Easy to go over big rocks. For a beginner that will boost the confidence.
- A lot of grip.
- Heavy tires, more stable bike.
I believe this new tire is still at the beginning and more adjustments and improvements needs to be done. Maybe in a while this plus tire will be the standard, but at this moment 2.4'' tire is more than enough, unless you ride on snow or on sand. Everything bigger in size than this is too much.
Nevertheless, we had tons of fun on the trails.
- Try not to sleep when you put the bike in the car. Count the wheels(and the axle also) :)
- Don't trust bike magazines reviews about new stuff, go out and try it yourself.