To anyone curious about Plus rubber, we’d definitely recommend this tyre
After testing a few different Plus sized bikes, the extra grip they deliver has really got my attention. The oversized Nobby Nic is the best Plus tread I’ve tried, so experimenting with it as a front tyre on a standard 160mm enduro rig seemed like a logical step.
A bonus is the 2.8in version (the smaller of the two 27.5 Plus widths Schwalbe offers) fits into normal forks (and even some frames) without any modifications — meaning the price for extra grip is just the cost of a new tyre.
Once inflated, the Nic isn’t much taller — around 9mm diameter — than something like a Magic Mary, but it’s a chunk wider. The Nobby Nic doesn’t require a specific rim and works fine so long as they are in the region of 30mm wide internally.
The fatter tyre alters your geometry slightly, by raising the bottom bracket around 4mm and slackening the head angle by approximately 0.5 degrees.
At 844g, they are light, too, but this reflects the thinner Snakeskin sidewalls. Don’t expect the same carcass protection as a genuine enduro tyre, so if you’re the kind of rider that slams into stuff or rides really sharp rocks, it might not be tough enough to resist cutting.
Air pressures require regular checking, since there’s a small window for optimum performance. I found 18psi to be the sweet spot for my 83kg weight, giving amazing and predictable grip levels, so long as the trails weren’t totally saturated. In this case, it’s actually worse than narrower tyres with more pronounced edge blocks.
The extra bite and control is most noticeable when braking, exiting really steep hairpins, or across off-camber roots — it feels so surefooted across sketchy surfaces, you can almost choose new lines down familiar trails.
Another big benefit is the way the large volume/low air pressure combination takes the sting out of vibrations from constant small, angular bumps. And it does this better than even the supplest suspension, meaning rolling speed is noticeably improved on trail centre-style surfaces.
The Nobby Nic Plus isn’t cheap, but I’ve yet to puncture it on the front, and I’m becoming addicted to the extra traction, to the point where I’m thinking of using it in the Alps this summer.
To anyone curious about Plus rubber, or already on Plus and looking for new tyres, I’d definitely recommend the Nobby Nic 2.8in.