5 Aug 2016
The short version is that a Plus bike has tyres that are bigger than traditional tyres and smaller than fat bike tyres. These tyres are found most commonly on 27.5 rims; however, Plus tyres also exist in both 29-inch and 26-inch formats. The representative width is typically a 3.0 (as compared to 1.6 to 2.6 for ‘standard’ MTB tyres), but they can range in size from 2.6 inches to 3.2 inches.
The idea is that larger tyre make a bike easier to ride. Unlike the majority of standards introduced lately, Plus isn’t intended to replace tyres of a more traditional width. Rather, they’re offered as an alternative because the handling characteristics are different enough that some riders, especially those new to the sport or those looking for a more forgiving downhill experience, will prefer them.
Big, bigger, biggest: A standard 27.5 tyre with 2.1in width, a Plus tyre that’s 27.5 x 3.0, and a fat bike with 26 x 4.0in wide tyres.