Plus tires for XC and endurance racing?


How do +tires fit in for someone who does XC and endurance races? That is the rub for me, I participate in several XC and endurance races throughout the year.



You should test a plus bike to see for yourself, but I believe plus bikes, especially hardballs, can be formidable XC/endurance weapons.

• They can be light. My Fuse and Stumpy both have Roval carbon wheels: Bombproof and very nice.

• They have the pedal efficiency and pump power of hardtails.

• They have the traction and float of short-travel suspension bikes.

I’ve PRed a local technical climb on my S-Works Stumpy 6Fattie (I also PRed the descent). I PRed my standard road climb on my Fuse. Yes: I have climbed this mountain faster on a Fuse than on any other bike.

My friend Mikkel, an XC and XTERRA racer, has measured faster race laps on a Fuse Expert 6Fattie than on his S-Works Epic. Yes: On a technical XC course he is faster on a $2K Fuse than on a $10K Epic.

I’ve decided, if I ever do a 24-hour race, I’ll want plus tires so I can carry great speed even when I’m tired.

Here in CO, some hardcore XC racers do battle with rigid fatbikes, and they are super fast everywhere.

The big tires look slow, but I don’t think they are. Try for yourself!


Know more. Have more fun!

Join the leelikesbikes mailing list:

2 replies
  1. John says:

    Lee, I was wondering whether a hardtail with + size tires or a full suspension with + size tires would be a better purchase. The hardtail with + size tires seems appealing but wonder if I would miss the full suspension. I normally ride local front range trails like Betasso, Heil Ranch and Hall Ranch on a 26 inch trek remedy.

    What are your thoughts

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    They’re both super fun on those trails. Plus hardtail is perfect for Betasso. Heil is great on either. Top of Hall awesome on either. If you’re aggressive on the front side of Hall you might prefer plus with suspension.

    It comes down to riding style. Most people on most trails, I think, are well served by plus hardtails like the Specialized Fuse.

    Test some bikes! Lots of great shops in town. Start with The Fix.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *