CX Tires / MTB Tires / Rims / Tubeless Tire Tech

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Tire Tech

27.5 + MTB Tires

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Fat Bike Tires

Fat Tires

Hidden Performance found in the Rim Width

TCS Tubeless / Tubeless Compatible System WTB i23 29" Rim

What is Rim Width?

Rim width is a direct mechanical measurement of the inside of the wheel rim. A tire must be off the rim to make this measurement. Rim width affects how much tire is in contact with the road or trail surface.  All bicycles benefit from having a proper size rim width. Tubeless is another benefit to performance. It reduces the rotational weight of the wheel assembly, often up to 1 pound for each wheel.

Why is Rim Width Important? 

A tire will achieve more surface contact and the tire surface becomes more square to the ground as Rim Width increases. Good for Trails, Bad for Roads.  

Road tires want as little contact with the road as possible.  A narrow rim helps reduce weight and it keeps the tire round to have just the center of the tire in contact with the ground. 

NOTE: The Road-Tire contact pattern thoughts are currently in dispute. See the attached link to the video below:  Road Tire Pattern 

MTB's like as much width as possible. A 27mm wide rim can increase the amount of tire contact with the trail. Want more traction, go wider. Want a faster trail tire, keep a rounder tire with a narrower 23mm rim. 

Your ride can be greatly affected by Rim Width.  A wide MTB tire (2.3 inches) on a narrow 19mm rim is an unstable tire combination. It will have bad cornering, over steering, and a loss of traction. Some MTB's have 21mm to 23mm rim width, which is still too narrow.  A 2.3 inch tire should have between 25mm and 30mm inside Rim Width for best tire performance.

Important Note: You can go too wide on a rim size. What will happen is the tire bead will not seat correctly, and the tire will pop off the rim, which is a very bad situation. 

Look for Max Rim Width information on some tires.

Road Bike Rim Width

Road Bikes have tires that range from 23mm to 32mm wide. Max Rim Width for a road bike is 19mm. A rounded tire profile is preferred. Road bikes want as little tire/road contact as possible to reduce road resistance.

CX Bike Rim Width

CX Bikes have tire sizes from 30mm to 42mm. Most CX bikes have braking + traction issues on dirt trails, so you want the tire to sit as square as possible on the trail.  MAX Rim Width is 23mm for CX tires 30mm to 35mm. If you are running 35mm to 42mm tires you can go up to 27mm inside width.

Mountain Bike Rim Width

Mountain Bike tire sizes run from 1.9" to 2.5".  Mountain bikes have greatly improved steering, braking, and handling performance with wider rims.  Proper rim width for these tires is 25mm to 29mm.

Plus-Bike Rim Width

At the moment, 27.5 / Plus Bikes seem to have just (2) Tire sizes. 2.8" and 3.0" wide.  I have both 45mm and 50mm wide rims with 3.0 tires.  Honestly 3.0 tires are so good for traction and handling, I can not tell the difference between the 45mm and 50mm rims.  So, I would say, save some weight and go with the 45mm rims.

Fat Bike Rim Width

Rims on Fat Bikes range from 63mm to 83mm . Tire sizes range from 4.0 inches to 5.0 inches. Once again, with the huge width of the tires on Fat Bikes, Fat Bikes will never have traction problems.  The Tires will always have Weight Problems. The Tires will always have surface contact resistance problems. But some folks Love-Them... so that is what really matters.

Do I need a TUBELESS wheelset?

Who knew Tires could be so complicated!

Tire Selection and Tubeless Wheelsets:
Tires are the most important part of your bike. Tires win races and tires lose races.  You can squabble over hard-tail vs suspension, or gearing and geometry for what makes a better bike for you.  It is important to know all these factors , and many others are swamped out by Tire Selection. Your tires make your bike better, or they can make your bike worse. 

Tubeless is one of the best options for your bike.  Many of the newly sold MTB's are running tubeless tires.  If you do choose to go tubeless, you must use tubeless specific rims with tubeless tires. You can get non-tubeless specific rims to seal, and hold air, but that will not last forever. A tubeless rim has a special hook design that matches the new tire designs to keep the tire from burping or worse. A tire could come off the rim completely. On a fast downhill, that is big trouble.

Since the introduction of tubeless, Pinch Flats have almost been illuminated.  (AKA: Snake-Bites because of the double holes they leave in the tube) Pinch flats often come from low tire pressure and overly aggressive trail riding.  After thorns, pinch flats were the second most common type of tube flat.

CX / Gravel Bikes: Tubeless is a huge benefit for CX bikes. Still, not many folks use them.  With the very thin CX tire castings, tread patterns, and super lite weight, these tires are very prone to thorns and snake-bites equally.  Your CX bike would really benefit from a Tubeless conversion.  Almost 2 pounds of weight loss shedding the tubes, and you can run lower tire pressure for a softer ride and better traction.    CX tires gain a lot of traction in the 30 - 40 pound inflation range.

Note: On my long 40+ mile CX rides with tube tires, almost 1 tube change per ride. Since going CX tubeless stopping for tire issues is almost eliminated. 

Not everything is perfect: One main downside of tubeless tires is Sidewall Slicing. Sidewalls on mountain bikes are soft and flexible. This is a design feature for better traction.  As trail riding dynamics apply force to the tire during a bounce or jump, the tire will bulge under compression.  As this happens the sidewalls of the tires expand outwards beyond the width of the tire tread.  If a rock surface or other object is properly placed, it could slice through your tire's sidewall.  CX tire sidewalls slice just as nice.

Experienced tubeless riders know this happens more than once.  These incidents take a great tire and makes it junk in seconds, while ending your ride. Sidewall slices can not be repaired.  For this reason, always carry a spare tube with any tubeless wheelset. It is messy putting a tube in, but it will get you going again.

This was not an issue on Tubed Tires. With a tube in the tire, the sidewall is not nearly as flexible, and tire pressures run higher to avoid pinch flats. Also when tube tires were popular, the tire manufactures did not put a lot of focus on the weight of their tires. So a lot of tires had thick sidewall castings. Slight sidewall tears were also compensated for with the tube.  You would never know a slice occurred unless it was severe enough to penetrate the tube, which was a very rare occurrence... if ever. Many tire manufactures are all working on these sidewall issues, all trying to make sidewalls better as tubeless tires mature.

Sealant: Tubeless tires are also self sealing for small puncture holes. Could be from thorns or glass or sharp rocks.  About 3 oz of fluid sealant is resting inside the tire waiting for any exposure to fresh air.  As the puncture lets air out of the tire, a small amount of sealant fills the hole and quickly seals it.  This is great for MTB's that run low tire pressure.  On CX tires, you are running between 40 and 60 pounds of pressure.  Sealant has a much harder time keeping the hole sealed at these pressures. It gets pushed out, even after it has sealed for an hour.  

Tubeless Repair Kit: Recently a few manufactures have come up with a way to plug your tire while on the trails.  These plugs simply push into the tire, and when you pull the tool out, a rubber plug remains in the tire's hole. Then simply cut away the extra plug sticking out to make it flush with the rest of the tire, and you are good to go with a permanent tire repair.  (See below for these tools)

Tire Castings:

Casting is the method a manufacture uses to form a tire.  Because of sidewall slicing, it is highly recommended you get Thicker Casting Tires for the Rear. Front tires do not get sidewall slices nearly as often as the rear.  Mostly because at faster speeds your riding weight is shifted back over the rear wheel.   Shifting your weight back also helps your steering control at faster speeds. Fast speeds and tire bulge on transients means more odds of sidewall rock contact. 

Most tubeless tire manufactures offer their tires in both thick and thin castings.  The Thinner Castings saves weight. You are only talking a few hundred grams, but rotational weight has a multiplier effect. So the weight difference can be noticed.  Thinner castings also have a bit more traction in off-angle turns.  The sidewall flex helps the tire conform to the trail.  These statements are not ghosts.  There is an immediate and noticeable difference in tire castings.  Thicker castings are more slice resistant. Stiffer riding, and the sidewalls are not as flexible. 

TPI means what??

Tire thickness is often described in the terms of  TPI.  Threads Per Inch. Example: 120 tpi (thin) and 60 tpi (thick) sizes. 

Fitting 60 strands of rubber in one inch means the strands need to be large and thick. Fitting 120 threads per inch means much smaller strands to fit 120 of them all together in 1 inch. TPI is a number just like a wire gauge size. A higher number means a smaller diameter. For a lighter tire, each strand of rubber that is pressed together to make a round tire, is thinner @ 120 tpi than a thicker strand @ 62 tpi.  Often just a single weave is found on thin casting tires.  The Thicker rear tires not only have thicker strands, they may also double weave the strands in 2 different directions to give the tire more sidewall strength. 

Advice:  Do not get caught up in the tire weight game.  Get the thicker tires in the rear. Most tubeless tires are $50 - $70.  Thickness does not change the price. You can go thinner in the front. Long distance rides will feel a bit easier and steering more responsive.  If you are doing Rock Gardens, Down Hilling, and other risky riding, then get thicker tires in the front too.

Why Go tubeless?

ROAD Tire - rim width / tire size video

You have been wrong about Road Tires all these years: This video supports the conclusions I came to with the WTB Exposure 34c CX Road Tire.  My CX bike is a lightning-bolt on the road with the 34c tires. (see the tires below) They also sell a 30c version, without all the extra traction stuff.

The point of this video is the 23 - 25 cm wide road tires are losing speed vs 28 - 32 cm tires. Mostly do to the road surface contact pattern. Seems the slightly wider tires have a better footprint for corners, acceleration and braking. 

A typical road tire contact pattern is inherent to traction issues on turns and a rough rumbling ride from the higher tire pressures.  Something I have discovered many years ago as a former long distance road cyclist.  On even the slightest wet roads, road bikers know not to turn too fast, or SLAM Time. Thin tires seem like an inherently unstable design. 


SUBZERO ORANGE Tubeless Sealant


This is the only stuff that really works. Stan's does not work anymore, they lost the recipe. This stuff works when it is cold, and this stuff will seal that new tire that refuses to seal. Whenever I mention sealant, it is always SUBZERO ORANGE

CON: Do not leave this stuff in your sealant injector for too long or you will need to throw it away. 

About Sealant: Sealant is added to a tire to help seal the tire to the rim, and to seal any punctures the tire may incur. Sealant is not maintenance free. Let a bike sit stationary for too long and the sealant will pool up at the bottom of the tire, and start to solidify. Tubeless tires must be rotated at least every 2-4 weeks. After an entire season of use, the sealant may be mostly cured, so an extra 2 oz is probably needed at the start of the next season. It is impossible to kow how much sealant you have in your tire without opening the tire.

Tires: Make a Good Bike BAD

$5000 Bike / Crappy Tires

The wrong tires can take a great bike and ruin it. The right tires can take a crappy bike and make it fun.

Just about any bicycle's "ride" can be greatly improved when you have the best tires for your riding situation. A Road Bike in the Woods,  or a Fat Bike on a long road ride.  Yes, it works if you have the correct tires....

For Sale: New Tires, Low Miles.

Over 30 years of riding on roads, trails and bike paths.  I have tried many, many different tires.  I spend the money, and have found many tires just suck... Many tires are on the rims for just a month. Then they come off and go in the  crap pile. Hype has a lot to do with bad choices.    ASK your local bike dealer...!  There are many tires, all have different attributes.  You need to know what style ride vs which tire vs which bike is best for YOU.  

About the Tire Rating Guide Below...

The following rating guide below describes what I look for in a Tire when I ride. I created this rating system for tires based on what each tire type is expected to do.  At this moment, I literally have over 40 different sets of rubber. Means over 80 tires.... I have a lot of experience with traction under every condition.

Scales: A Road tire rated as 9 (fast) and a MTB tire rated as 9 (fast) are apples to oranges.  A "9" MTB tire is not as fast as a "9" Road tire, not even close.  Traction ratings for CX is de-rated 50% compared to the traction of a MTB. (Except Maxis Ravager)

The following rating system is only for the CX tires and the standard size MTB tires. 


Plus Bike tires and Fat Bike tires are in  their own category.  These types of tires all have tons of traction, and they all are restive to speed. I call them pedal to go downhill tires. Instead of a rating system, I just give a basic description of feel and handling. 

If you really wants ratings.... I can rate every tire in this category a 9 for Traction, 9 for Gravel, 9 for loose. 6 for speed. Plus tires are a bit faster than fatties, they get a 7+.



CX Tire that is Road-Bike FAST

Searched a long time for a fast CX road tire. 

This new tire from WTB (Exposure) meets my expectations.

This Light Weight Tubeless tire is great for high speed cornering even on wet surfaces.  This is not a Trail Rated Tire. It is a fast, sturdy, reliable tire, with great road traction. 

This tire features a side-wall Diamond Pattern for Wet/Dry safe cornering and it is Fast on the Road.  This tire feels strongly connected to the road on fast corners. You do not feel it ready to break into a slide. The lower running tire pressure helps this a lot.  

Center: Bald, Flat-Face

Off-Center: Water Channels (Herring Bone Pattern)

Sides: Diamond Pattern for Wet/Dry Fast Corners

Side Knobs: Sometimes you maybe on Gravel

Side-Walls: Soft. This tire runs at 60 Pounds instead of 90 Pounds, makes a much softer / secure ride.


WTB Exposure 34c

Pro:  I can keep pace with a road-ride group with the comfort, strength, and safety of a CX bike..

Very lite, spools up fast, hold top speed easily. Soft Ride. 

CON: Advertised as a gravel tire. I disagree with those thoughts. These Tires seems to puncture easily. First Ride out, a 3/16 diam Twig went straight trough the center, but 

Sub-Zero Orange sealed it. After the ride, I had to patch the tire from the inside for a long term fix. Fourth Time out, an unknown puncture tore a 1/4 inch hole off-center. Could only hold 40 pounds of air till I got home to patch it.


CTS Selecta 38cm Kevlar Road/Trail

This is one tough tire. It is thick with 27 TPI which also makes this a heavy tire, but it is super safe, and it will last forever. This is a tire if you never want to think about flat repairs or tire wear.  Use this tire if you plan to tour across the country.    

I have taken it on trails, but the steering is poor as well as the braking. But it will not pop like a road bike.  Installed on 3 different bikes, this is a tire that can be trusted. 


Overall Speed: 6+  

Loose Braking: 4  

Rockface Traction: 5  

Loose Traction: 4  

Gravel Speed: 6  

Road Speed: 7  

Loose Speed: 4

CX Trail Rated Tire Guide


Vittoria 38cm Adventure Trail Tube-Tire

I really like this one a lot. Before I went Totally Tubeless on my CX bikes, I found these were a very tough trail tire. If you want great trail rated tires at a low price... these are what you want.

The center tread sits on top of a thick rubber base which gives it superior puncture resistance. It is fast on the road, and handles trails very well.


Overall Speed: 7

Loose Braking: 6

Rockface Traction: 8

Loose Traction: 6

Gravel Speed: 8

Road Speed: 7

Loose Speed: 7


Schwalbe CX Comp 38cm Tube-Tire

This is a Fast Road tire with Good handling in the gravel. The traction is not great because of the uniform center pattern. The corner knobs work to keep the tire in line, but the center tread is the cause of the wandering in loose conditions.

Overall Speed: 7

Loose Braking: 4

Rockface Traction: 6

Loose Traction: 4

Gravel Speed: 7+

Road Speed: 8

Loose Speed: 5


WTB Riddler 37cm Tubeless


Good Alternative to Clement Tires. Clements are Industry Standard for CX, but expensive and always out of stock. These are Fast on the Road with Confident handling in the dirt. The Mountain Bike version of these tires are not as good as these thinner CX versions.

CON: Love these Tires, but the 120TPI puncture too easy and they also rip more  easily than you would hope. Do not self-seal well. I always put an inside tube patch for long term repair.  

(They need Silk > see Maxis)

Overall Speed: 8
Loose Braking: 6
Rockface Traction: 8
Loose Traction: 7
Gravel Speed: 8
Road Speed: 8+
Loose Speed: 7


Maxis Ravager 40cm Tubeless

 Best Trail Rated CX Tire out there. Not as fast on the Road as others, but this one tracks on trails like a 2" MTB Tire.  This tire handles everything and climbs hills better than you can on most mountain bikes.  

Honestly, I have had acceleration on technical and lose up-hill MTB trails where some riders on MTB's spin out . The Thin Tire and Lite Weight are big factors. The small tire footprint really cuts through the loose dust on top of the trails to grip the hard dirt under it. Wider tires stay on top of the fluffy dirt. 

CON: Great Traction, not sure how long this tires will last. Lots of side-knob damage after extra rough trails. Put some rubber cement to the torn knobs, will report back how that works out. I only have ~300 miles on these, and there is lots of rubber damage.

Overall Speed: 7 

Loose Braking: 9 

Rockface Traction: 9+ 

Loose Traction: 8+ 

Gravel Speed: 7 

Road Speed: 7 (Quiet but Resistive) 

Loose Speed: 7


MAXIS Rambler 38cm/ Fast and Tough

The MAXIS CX Tire line has a great liner baked into the rubber tread and sidewalls. It is Silk. At first, I did not understand how Silk could help prevent punctures. After slicing up my WTB Riddlers a few times, now I understand.

The Silk does not stop the puncture: Nothing can stop that. What the Silk does is give the sealant something to work with when a hole does occur. A silk web forms over the rip. 

The Silk will not separate, and the sealant will bond with the silk where the tire is damaged.       



Rambler: My Favorite CX Tire (for now)

So far I have  200+ miles ridden on these. Love these Tires. They are super fast on the road, very little rolling resistance, and they get up to speed fast. Gravel riding is awesome.  Was a little leery of the round tire design. To me it means a possible traction loss on the trails. These tires have a very "Clement" like design... 

Update 9-2019: 500+ miles ridden. Still Love these Tires. 

 They do wash out a little on the harder corners, as expected for a skinny tire on a rigid frame.  As for the rest of the ride, I do not think many other tires will keep pace with this set. They spit gravel over 10mph, which attest to the tread traction.

I had a +bias with the WTB Riddlers, I was wrong, buy these tires.

Overall Speed: 8+
Loose Braking: 7
Rockface Traction: 8
Loose Traction: 7+
Gravel Speed: 8+ (Floats)
Road Speed: 9
Loose Speed: 7+

Mountain bike Tires (Front)


WTB Weirwolf 2.3 Tubeless (29er)

This is the BEST Front Tire I have ever used. The Side Knobs are like Dirt-Spikes, the arraignment is tight and tapered. Really feels like you are riding on a Rail.  This tire as a Front is Always where it is supposed to be. It is also very fast.     WTB stopped production this year. I picked up 4 when I found out


Overall (MTB) Speed: 8 

Loose Braking: 9 

Rockface Traction: 9 

Loose Traction: 7

Hard Dirt Speed 8+ 

Gravel Speed: 8 

MTB Road Speed: 9 (18mph easily)

Loose Speed: 7

Wet Roots: 6


WTB Breakout 2.3 Tubeless (Front)

Just purchased a Second one of these for my Fully-Rigid. The Breakout is blocky and fast. A perfect Front or Rear Tire, have never felt it wash-out. It climbs Everything. 2.3" wide measures at 2.4"   Does not fit all frames because of the large side blocks..

Overall (MTB) Speed: 8 

Loose Braking: 9+ 

Rockface Traction: 9+ 

Loose Traction: 9

Hard Dirt Speed 8 

Gravel Speed: 8 

MTB Road Speed: 7+ 

Loose Speed: 8

Wet Roots 7


Conti Cross King + Nashbar Flow

While both of these tires have drastically different tread patterns, they actually feel the same when they ride and have the same issues.

The Conti X-King is supposed to be the top of the line XC tire for Conti.  I have seen lots of folks using them on the trails, and some very good riders... But these wash out on hard corners, they push through soft turns, braking is sketchy, traction is marginal, and they are slow on dirt and road. 

I will admit I have a Bias against the Tubeless version of Conti's. They all leak sealant through the side walls of the tire, everywhere! New, old, does not matter.  They weep sealant and you have no way to know how much is left inside the tire. If it is sealing holes, then the tire is gaining weight too... Just bad vibes....

The NASHBAR Flow tires ride feels the same, but they were only $11.00 each so there are no complaints. They do have a similar tread pattern compared to the Maxis Ardent. Which also gets low rating from my time riding with them. 

(PS: These tires don't weep like Conti's... because they use tubes)

Mountain bike Tires (Rear)


Maxis is the Mojo Tire in Eastern Mass.

Maxis Ardent 2.25 Tubeless:  Lots of folks Love the Maxis brand. They are the Go-To Tire for almost everyone that rips up the trails here in the North-east.  Many great tires, and I have some I ride with. The Ardent on the rear slides out in hard corners. Enough that you can feel it a lot, even when you would not expect it. Otherwise, it is fast and climbs as well as most of the Maxis Line. I picked this one for review because it is supposed to be fast compared to others in the Maxis Line.  I have 3 of these and rode many different trails. They did not rate high for me.

Overall (MTB) Speed: 7    

Loose Braking: 7     

Rockface Traction: 8     

Loose Traction: 6

Hard Dirt Speed 8     

Gravel Speed: 7     

MTB Road Speed: 7     

Loose Speed: 6+ 

Wet Roots: 6


WTB Wolverine 2.5 Tubeless

Very Fast for a Full-Knob Rock Tire. Climbs great, only in wet leaves have I felt it slip a little on hard corners.

Because of the tread pattern, on wet roots this tire will slide the root if you do not take care. 

CON: Sidewalls rip easy stay away from rock gardens.

Overall (MTB) Speed: 8+  

Loose Braking: 8+   

Rockface Traction: 9   

Loose Traction: 7+

Hard Dirt Speed 8+   

Gravel Speed: 8+   

MTB Road Speed: 8   

Loose Speed: 8

Wet Roots: 6


WTB Trail Boss 2.2

Looking for a fast rear tire for the really tough trails that can navigate the technical trails of Eastern mass.  This tire not only climbs everything, it is also fast-fast-fast. Even on pavement.


Overall (MTB) Speed: 8+  

Loose Braking: 8+   

Rockface Traction: 9   

Loose Traction: 7

Hard Dirt Speed 8+   

Gravel Speed: 8+   

MTB Road Speed: 8+ (18mph easily)

Loose Speed: 8

Wet Roots: 7+

Mountain bike Tires 27.5+ (plus)


Framed 3.0 Tubeless (27.5+)

For a No-Name Tire... WOW, this one has a lot of capability.  Ride as fast as you want, and feel like you are riding on a Rail. the only drawback is it is heavy with a 72 TPI sidewall.  Which also mean no side-wall rips. Superior Tracking in all conditions.  Climbs everything, never slips.  Only at "The Bike House" online. After a few years, the tire bead refused to stay sealed.


WTB Ranger 3.0 Tubeless (27.5+)

Great Tire, Very fast on everything. It is thin and lite. Tracks well through berms and tight turns, and ride always feels the same, no matter the tire angle.  As you can see in this photo, it has equal knob depth and spacing all over the tire. Put about 400 miles on these before this photo.  Suffered a couple of tire slices, one I repaired one I could not.

This as a Rear Tire slides out (a little) on loose corners, but very predictable and allows for a controlled slide through corners. Makes the ride a little more exciting. 

Climbs everything, never slips. Center Knob life seems to be shorter than other tires, or maybe worn because I liked sliding corners...??


Schwalbe Nobby Nic (27.5+) (New design for 2019)

 I think Schwalbe may have finally figured it out with the new re-introduction of the Nobby Nic. As you may have read from my other tire reviews, I have been  disappointed with the easy side-wall rips on the Schwalbe and WTB tires.   This new tire claims to have greatly improved the sidewall and  puncture protection.  

Warning: These tires mounted on 50mm rims = 3.11" wide tires, too wide for some frames.

The Nobby Nic's are exactly that... Nobby.  Of all the 3.0" tires I have seen, this one has the deepest and biggest knobs. Deepest is good for us here in the North East. I expect superior traction over the other 3.0 tires I have ridden with.  I really like the WTB Rangers, especially the controlled slide in corners. It is tons of fun doing a side-slide... But that also means the Rangers have a speed limit, I expect the Nobby Nic's to pass that limit. 

I like to go fast...and fast depends on the tires.

Just put these Nic's on my Plus Bike.

Rode only 60 miles so far on the Nic's, so I will update you when I get 200 miles on these. Lucky enough to hit a rain storm while I was out putting the last 15 miles on them. It was an excellent test for the wet Root Handling ability, and I was very impressed. These tires feel like they really dig into the dirt too. Have not had any traction issues, except too much traction in a couple of cases. 

Con: Feels a little slow in the downs, but not even close to the friction of a fat bike tire. They do not feel heavy, but they do not get up to speed as quick as thinner 2.3 tires.  

These are probably the best down-hill tires you can get for a 27.5 Plus. 

ICE READY 27.5 Plus

Ice ready 27.5 Plus


Perfect Knob Spacing for studs.  I have seen some studded tires totally loaded up on too many studs. This pattern only uses 60 studs per tire. Though on tubeless rims, I went with tubes. If a stud pulls out, sealant may not be able to seal that hole.

Because of the rounded tire pattern, when these tires are pumped up to 40 pounds there is almost no stud contact with the ground. However just drop that pressure to 25 pounds, and the tire flattens out for full stud contact.

Thick Sidewalls and Big Knobs


Found these sweeties for $32 each.  62 TPI sidewall and Big Knobs to hold the Auger Studs.  Perfect Snow Tires. I picked the 2.8" size to keep the tire narrow for  better snow traction.  

After riding a Fattie for 5 years in the snow, I have learned that a wide tire is not always best.  Trying to stay on top of the snow takes a lot of work.  A thinner tire has the ability to cut through the top-fluff and find solid traction underneath. 

Tungsten Auger Studs


These studs were used for 2 Winters on 2 different tires.  These studs are reusable. This is the Third Installation.  These buggers are expensive at $1.00 each. But they are Tungsten so they should last forever.  I also put a few in my Riding Boots.  If you put your foot down on Ice, you will want the grip.


Stud Installation Depth


Shown is an  Auger Stud installed properly on a tire knob.  As with any studded tire, you can expect to lose studs on rides.  These studs really stay put. Only one time when I had to ride on the road for a bit did I lose a couple of studs.  You do not want to ride on pavement with studded tires... trust me... plan around that.

Fat Tires


Panaracer Fat-Be-Nimble 4.0

Like many others, I jumped into the Fat-Bike Craze near 2013.  Some folks have had good luck with them. I have found I can never get them to move.  Must pedal down-hill... Really...? But they climb everything, and you can make your own trails. However, they are slow and  have a limited range.  Have tried many different tires. These Fat-Be-Nimble 4.0 Tires on 55cm Marge Lite seem to be the best for speed. As a fattie, it climbs and does everything, as a fat tire should. I see no need for a fat bike to have tires wider than 4.0 inches unless you are in snow.


About Fat Bikes

Fat Bikes have their place. Winter Sports most of all.  On group rides. I have only ridden with a few folks that can ride these things fast enough for a group pace. Yes they climb everything, and they make the very hard trails a lot easier. Tires are very expensive, Tubeless is very expensive and tire selection is still limited. Even the carbon wheelsets they still have a lot of trail resistance from tire contact, and that will always slow you down.

I like that my Good-Bikes stay home safe, while I am out on snow. Shown: Vee-Rubber HillBilly 4.25 Tubed. Nothing nice to say about these tires at all. They Turn Bad, Track Bad, Traction is Great, Very-Slow tire.


Fatties in the Snow

These are super great ice and snow tires with the studs installed.

Can not ride on the street at all, must be all snow/ice/trails. 

With the center line studs, these have slipped on me only a few times. I took a pair of Vee-Rubber Mission 4.0 Tires, and made them into Studded Ice Tires. These are the only tires with knobs big-enough for Auger-Studs. Very expensive to do this. Each solid tungsten carbide stud screws into the tire, with a special tool for your Screw-Gun.  Each stud = $1.00. The studs can come out, and can be used over and over again.


A 2.3" Tire that Measures at 2.4"

WTB Breakout 2.3" Tire mounted on a 29mm (Inside Width) Rim results in a 2.4" tire.


The WTB Breakout is a 2.3 Inch Tire if you measure it at the width of the Sidewalls.  However, the  Knob to Knob width is 2.4 Inches.

Issue: Frame is a bit narrow. Giant Knobs will either hit the Chain-Stay on the Left or the Derailleur on the Right.

Solution: Readjust the Wheel Center-line Off-Set.  While this wheel was installed, I was able to adjust the spoke tension to Off-Set the Tire/Rim center-line.  By turning each adjuster an equal (1) full turn on all spokes (1/2 turn at a time) in the same direction is a good way to accomplish this.

CON: Works Great as long as the Wheel stays TRUE. A little rim damage/warping... enough to hit the chain-stay... way out on the trails some where... and your Stuck.

Tire Tech and TUBELESS Repairs


Tight Tire Installer

Tire / Rim Sizes: Some Tires and Rims are not made the same. Different standards and different Tire Bead (hook) designs. 

A few years ago a Tubeless Tire Standard was developed, but there are still many tires and rims that do not meet these standards. Tires will be Tight or nearly impossible to install on the Rim.

For these situations, you can use this Tire-Puller. (By Koolstop) A neat tool that will help you install your Tight Tire without Rim or Tire Damage.


Tubeless Trail-Side Puncture Repair:

For Higher Tire Pressures over 30 pounds, some of the other Tire-Plugs would push-out of the hole you just tried to seal. Dyna-Plug claims their metal-tipped plugs solve that issue.  

This tool has storage room for 10 Dyna-Plugs inside the Handle. I would guess you are having a really bad day if you ran out of plugs on one-ride.

Gorilla Tape installed: Shows signs of creasing and is surrounded by tire sealant.

Fixing that Slice in your Tubeless Tire

Black Gorilla Tape vs Standard Tire Patches. Both work fine, but maybe One is better? 

 I have found strips of Gorilla Tape to repair a Tire works very well. Even after many rides, I open the tire to check how well the patch is doing. 


SHOWN: (29er tire) The Tape will have some Creasing with tire sealant inside, but holds tight. (Stan's Sealant) 

A Standard Tire Patch, works good too, but have found they pull off  much easier than the tape. Have seen signs of seepage under the patches too. Standard Tire patches  will never hold up under tire flex.

I feel the Gorilla Tape is Best.  Keep you updated.

Tech Note: Always turn a Tubeless Tire Inside-Out when working on it...

Tubeless Repair Update:

Gorilla Tape is the Clear Winner.


Turns out the Gorilla tape repair is way better than I could hope.   While the outside (Black) layer of the tape easily peeled off, the mesh network of glue and fibers (adhesive layer) made a tight bond with the tire surface.  The Sub-Zero Orange sealant was the catalyst that bonded it all together.   I removed the black outer layer, and tested the strength of this bond.  It will not be coming off.

Update: 9-2018: Have also recently successfully repaired at 4.8" Maxis Fattie-Tire with a large side-wall puncture.  Because of Side-Wall Flex, I did not think the patch would hold.  After 2 months of use on tough New England Trails, the Inside Gorilla Tape Patch is holding fine.

Full View of the Patch


The reason why this patch is so large, there were actually (2) different punctures in this same area. 

One large patch fixed both issues.  However, the reason why this tire is open, is for a 1/4 long sidewall rip. Do not feel I can repair this safely. So, this tire will be converted over to a Tube-Only tire. 

Sub-Zero Orange Sealant


There is a reason why I keep plugging the Sub-Zero Orange Sealant. The Stuff Works...!

As seen in this photo, the sealant has formed a tight membrane at the tire bead where it hooks into the rim. For some reason, the sealant needed to repair an issue that went unnoticed by the rider.  This will not come off of the tire without a lot of effort, and I still will not get it all off.


What is This?


You are looking at a 2.8" tire with a pressure rating of 17 - 38 pounds.

This photo was taken after 50 pounds of air-pressure was applied.



The Loudest Noise I have heard in a long time. 


Worse part was the Tire Sealant.  It vaporized and exploded out in a mist-cloud. The first time I blinked my eyes, I knew I was in trouble. 

Makes a good hair gel too.



62 TPI tires are very thick. 

This was one hell of an explosion.

 Be very careful.