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Surly Knard 29" Plus Tires

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29" x 3.0" (120 TPI, Folding Bead)

Surly Knard 29" Plus Tires - 29" x 3.0" (120 TPI, Folding Bead)
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MSRP: $90.00
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29" x 3.0" (27 TPI, Steel Bead)

Surly Knard 29" Plus Tires - 29" x 3.0" (27 TPI, Steel Bead)
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MSRP: $65.00
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A whole new world of 29" - nothing else like it!

I bought this tire a year ago for the front of my 29"er. Like most, my bike doesn't even come close to having enough tire clearance for this tire in the back, but like most rigid forks mine (a Salsa CroMoto Grande) has more than enough room for this big fat baby.

Even the 27tpi version of this tire adds a whole new level of cush previously unavailable with a rigid fork, equivalent to maybe a couple inches of suspension. And of course the huge volume allows you to run lower pressure than you thought possible before. Thanks to the non-DH casing, the ride is way, WAY better than 3" downhill tires like the Gazzalodi or Arrow Prime Wide, both of which I've used (in 26") before. Besides mountain biking, this tire would be great for off-road and rough-road touring because of its cushioning.

The added float also makes it possible to ride soft sand and snow that you could't before, even with a narrower (2.4-2.5" in my case) rear tire. A dedicated 29+ or fatbike would be better no doubt, but even putting a fattie on the front brings a noticeable benefit.

I don't have long-term experience with the tire yet, but I have tried it in Oregon and Washington on tight/twisty/rocky/rooty terrain, as well as beach sand and gravel, loose/sandy trails, dry/powdery snow, wet/mushy snow as well as snow with a thick ice crust. So far it seems to grip about as well as anything in all of the above conditions. In gravelly or sandy conditions it grips possibly better than anything else I've ever used.

I can't speak to rolling resistance yet, since I haven't compared it back-to-back with other tires on hardpacked terrain I'm using it on the front where it matters less.

Other than being expensive, too big to fit most suspension forks or frames, and heavier than XC tires, only unexpected downside is that it at ultra-low speeds, the enormous contact patch grabs the ground so tightly that it is very resistant to turning, making it a real wrestling match to try to steer it around technical obstacles. Not something I have experienced with another tire, not even the WTB Dissent.

Pros: Fat, fat fat! Floats like you wouldn't believe, cushions like you wouldn't believe, grips like you wouldn't believe. Transforms your 29er. Compatible with most rigid forks.

Cons: I'm sure it's still not as floaty or cushy as a true 3.7-4.8" fatbike tire. Expensive. Won't fit most suspension forks or the back of most frames, so unless you have a Krampus it's a front-only deal. Very resistant to turning at very low speeds, so not the best choice in very technical terrain where you're steering with the handlebars and not just by leaning.

Would Buy Again: Yes
Would Recommend: Yes

Reviewed on: March 13, 2014
Reviewed by: GlowBoy

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