First seen on bikes like the Surly Instigator 2.0 the idea of a 26in x 3.0 tyre has been bubbling along for a while. For riders who’ve only just got used to the idea of 27.5in being a ‘thing’ it leaves room for riders to try out the 3in Plus Tyres thing without necessarily swapping frames.
Salsa Cycles launched the Redpoint just before the Sea Otter this year, which is a burly, 150mm 27.5in bike. However, at its booth at the Otter, it also had a bike built up with WTB’s Ranger 3.0 tyres for that whole semi-fat experience.
For riders who remember the original Nokian Gazzaloddi tyre from the mid-90s (I’m looking at you Bobby Proctor – Dremelling out the brace on your Boxxers so they’d fit…) this is nothing new, but for the new skool of mountain bikers who like the idea of the bigger float of a large tyre, without the heft (or the outlay for a new frame) then a 26 x 3in does seem to fit in many 27.5in bikes.
We’ve already seen brands like Turner crowbarring a 27.5+ tyre into a 29er frame and there are obviously bikes out there now like the Santa Cruz Hightower designed for either 29 or 27.5in, so what crazy mash-ups are in store for us next?