off road tire on road use? fatty?

First off, thanks to forum members who have taken the time to answer questions and provide encouragement to a newbie.

After about 5 weeks I’m able to ride a couple miles without giving myself a heart attack. A surprising turn of events to be honest. Now I am beginning to ride on simple dirt trails and roads. I’m contemplating my next uni and am considering a 29 inch with a fat tire. My interest (at this point) is my 2 mile town commute and simple off road riding.

My question is can a guy use a fat tire for both and adjust the tire pressure to accommodate the terrain of the moment? Keeping in mind I’m not doing any real muni ing. I read lots of postings that talk about the nuances of one tire or tube over another. Nuances that are beyond my current skill level to notice I suspect. So far my riding locally can include both street and dirt in one outing. It would be convenient to think one tire/uni could meet my needs.

Again, thanks for the answers and encouragement. Reading the ton of info provided here is great but the personal responses really make a newbie feel welcome, particularly an over the hill newbie.

First off, congratulations on sticking with it this far and making such great progress!

For “simple dirt trails” and the occasional unpaved path, I’d say just ride whatever suits you best on pavement. My preference is not to compromise the ride on the road at all for the sake of an occasional easy trail. A smooth ~2" wide tire is quite capable on dry dirt, maybe a lot more than you’d guess–and more than the online store product descriptions would lead you to believe. The fun of off-road riding is in getting from here to there on whatever you’re riding at the time. Pavement is pavement but you can pick a trail to suit your ability and equipment and the challenge you’re in the mood for.

I often ride my road uni on gravel jogging paths with zero trouble, and I run a narrower tire than most. At worst, I’ll occasionally walk a few feet to get past a section (mud etc) that I might have ridden on my muni, but usually not even that.

LargeEddie has good advice. Here’s my opinion (YMMV).
A two mile commute is pretty short, and can be done easily with a variety of wheel sizes. That being the case, I might suggest a more versatile size, like a 26", with a somewhat “all purpose” tire (I like the Maxxis Holy Roller for mixed riding). The actual diameter is more like 27.5", and with that combination you can do a lot of road and muni riding. (Maybe use dual-hole 137/165 or 125/150 cranks for even more flexibility.)
You’re doing great for riding such a short time, BTW. Keep up the good work! (We should ride together sometime, since we don’t live that far apart, and I’m another of the “old guys.”)

For riding mostly pavements + the occasional trail, I’d say don’t bother with a fat tyre, although depends on your definition of fat. There aren’t many unis that can fit a 29er fatty (29x3) but most 29er unis come with a 29x2.2 or 2.5 tyre, which is absolutely fine for road riding as long as its a relatively smooth one.

Before going 36, I rode my 29er absolutely everywhere - I used a Halo Twin rail 29er tyre, which is 29x2.2, but has fairly smooth central tread with a bit more bite (but still ‘roady’) on the sides. Made for a great all-rounder machine capable of all but the really hard MUni (which I rarely do anyway!).

So yeah, to answer your question - a 29er with a semi-slick tyre can absolutely be a do-everything uni! :smiley: Don’t be scared of shorter cranks either - 29ers are light enough that big long cranks aren’t hugely necessary unless you’re doing crazy downhill stuff.

Yeah, i totally agree with the posters. Get a semi smooth tire for not so aggressive trails. Even loose gravel is perfectly fine. What you might slip on a bike, you will have more traction than you think on a uni.
Love my noiseless Coker tread tire,( besides the heavy weight), on my Nimbus 36er. Theres no knobby tread, but it has no problems with gripping on loose and slightly rocky trails.

i dont have problems getting my Duro 3.0 on my Oregon rolling on roads,it rolls fine. But recently, the noise drives me crazy. Just of the fact that I compare it so much to my Coker tire.
Though on the trails, it pure pleasure, the humming goes away, muffled by gravel noise.

(We should ride together sometime, since we don’t live that far apart, and I’m another of the “old guys.”)

Sounds like fun. So far I have not met anyone to ride with except my brother who lives 12 hours away. I leave shortly for alaska (work) and won’t be back until end of Nov. By that point perhaps my skill level will be adequate to join you. My son and his wife live down in your neighborhood. Visiting my soon to be born first grandchild will get me down there.