What size tires should you be running?

Why Rim Widths Matter

With a multitude of tire options on the market ranging in tread pattern, compound, intended use and width, mountain bikers have never had it better.  In recent years, there has been a push towards running wider rims on your mountain bike. This trend has permeated the road and cx market as well, especially since gravel bikes have become so popular.

The increase in rim width has largely been a response from rim manufacturers to accommodate rider demands. While a 2.2” tire used to be the norm for most trail bikes 10 years ago, current trends are seeing 2.6” tires become fairly typical on many trail bikes. This increase in tire width meant that older style rims were suddenly too narrow to support these new wide tires.

A tire must be sufficiently supported by the width of the rim. If it is too narrow, the tire will fold and have unpredictable handling. If it is too wide for the tire, it will ‘square off’ the tire and result in poor cornering performance.

It’s all about Support.

In order to perform at its best, a tire must be adequately supported. The rim acts as the foundation of the tire profile. The width and rim channel properties dictate how a tire moves on the rim under hard braking, cornering and acceleration loads.

Running a tire that is too wide for a rim, will result in unpredictable handling characteristics. The tire will be squirmy and will ‘fold’ under hard cornering. Conversely, running a rim that is too wide for the tire, will result in a tire profile that is squared off and will not corner well.

Below we’ve showcased some of the common tire widths that customers run on our rims. You can see the subtle effects that rim width play on the tire profiles. The recommended tire width range is posted beneath each rim.

TR28

With a 24mm internal width, our svelte XC/Trail rim was designed with tires 2.1″-2.4″ in mind.  Tires in this range are adequately supported and will make you feel like you’re on rails!

Maxxis Ikon 2.20

Tire Width
Width: 53.27 mm

Tread Width
Width:  49.92 mm

Details
A 2.2″ tire is an absolutely fantastic pairing with our XC focused TR28. If you’re building an XC race rocket, this is the ideal combo for you. The tire is well supported and will handle beautifully when cornering hard or navigating a techy rock garden.

Maxxis Ikon 2.35

Tire Width
Width: 57.91 mm

Tread Width
Width: 58.25 mm

Details
A 2.3″ tire is a great way to amp up the capabilities of your TR28 wheelset. The added volume over a 2.2 means it will have a more controlled ride when the terrain gets rooty and rough.

Maxxis Minion DHR 2.40

Tire Width
Width: 58.82 mm

Tread Width
Width: 59.29 mm

Details
A 2.4″ is the upper ceiling of what you’d want to run on our TR28. It works fantastic as front tire, and the higher volume adds some extra control and cushion. Running a 2.4″ front with a 2.2″ rear is popular for rough XC courses here in BC.

TR33

With a 27mm internal width, our TR33 is our true jack of all trades rim. It can support a light 2.2″ XC tire or a burly 2.6″ Enduro tread comfortably. It is for this reason that it is the most versatile rim in our line up. We’ve seen our TR33 on pinner XC rigs as well as long travel enduro sleds in the EWS.

Maxxis Ikon  2.35

Tire Width
Width: 58.33 mm

Tread Width
Width: 58.27 mm

Details
The TR33 x 2.35″ combo is exceptionally popular. The tire is well supported and will corner like you’re on rails. This set up is right at home on your aggressive XC bike, or do it all trail bike. If you want a combo that climbs well and descends well, this is it!

Maxxis Minion 2.40

Tire Width
Width: 59.01 mm

Tread Width
Width: 58.00 mm

Details

The TR33 with a 2.4″ is great and sits in the ‘sweet spot’ of what the TR33 handles well. The tire is adequately supported and will make for a sharp handling wheelset. This configuration is perfect for all day marathons that have you climbing as much as descending.

Maxxis Assegai 2.5

Tire Width
Width: 59.02 mm

Tread Width
Width: 62.19 mm

Details

Running a 2.6″ on the TR33 is the upper range of what is comfortable on this rim. Many of our customers run a 2.5″ or 2.6″ up front to add some cushion and cornering traction, while keeping a 2.35″ on the rear to decrease weight and create a bike that has a flickable rear end for fast cornering. For the trail bike that bleeds into enduro territory, a 2.6″ tire can transform your TR33 wheelset.

 

TR36

The TR36 is our take on the modern trail rim. A 30mm internal width makes it perfect for the current breed of trail enduro tires. The ideal tire size range for this rim is 2.3″ up to 2.8″  It sits right at home on your 130+ mm travel hardtail or full suspension bike.

Maxxis Minion DHR 2.40

Tire Width
Width: 59.47 mm

Tread Width
Width: 52.92 mm

Details
A 2.4″ tire on our TR36 is a dynamite combination, especially on the rear. The tire sidewalls are well supported giving it very predictable handling characteristics. On the front, it makes for a lightweight option for all purpose trail riding.

Maxxis Assegai 2.5

Tire Width
Width: 60.56 mm

Tread Width
Width: 62.75 mm

Details
A 2.5″ tire is the most common option our TR36 customers use. High volume and high traction,  running tires of this size make for a trail/enduro set up that can conquer the roughest terrain. Steep slabs, chundery chutes or off camber trail can be tamed with this combination.

Maxxis Rekon 2.6

Tire Width
Width: 61.01 mm

Tread Width
Width: 60.11 mm

Details
A 2.6″ tire handles well on the TR36. Very similar to the 2.5″ with a touch more volume for added comfort and traction. This is a great option for an all mountain setup that prioritizes traction and comfort.

TR38

Our gravity focused rim boasts a 31mm internal width and absolutely loves being paired with big reinforced casing tires. The ideal range is 2.3″-2.8″, with most riders opting for a 2.5″ or 2.6″

Maxxis Minion DHR 2.4

Tire Width
Width: 58.80 mm

Tread Width
Width: 57.02 mm

Details
A 2.4″ tire sits well on the 31mm internal width of the TR38. Commonly run in a rear tire configuration, running a narrower tire in the rear will create a bike that is a little more ‘flickable’ in the corners while also saving a bit of rotating weight.

Maxxis Assegai 2.5

Tire Width
Width: 60.43 mm

Tread Width
Width: 61.80 mm

Details
The TR38 was designed for technical and gravity focused applications.  A 2.5″ tire is the most typical configuration we see our customers running on this rim. The high volume of these tires is supported by the 31mm internal width making for a combination that offers incredible traction and control. Tires with reinforced sidewalls are right at home on the TR38.

Maxxis Rekon 2.6

Tire Width
Width: 61.28 mm

Tread Width
Width: 60.09 mm

Details

Like the 2.5″ tire, a 2.6″ sits beautifully on our TR38. If you’re focused on the gnarliest lines or putting in time at the bike park, you’ll appreciate a high volume combination such as this. The result is  incredible traction and control that will smooth out brake bumps and have you sending it big!

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