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The Endo will fit a real 2.6″ tire so that includes a Maxxis 2.8″ tire. It
won't fit a real 2.8″ tire like a Schwalbe 2.8″ plus tire. The generous
clearance is one of the reasons I went with the Endo. I want to run a 2.5″
possibly a 2.6″ tire. I don't have any need for a plus tire in that bike.
I've had a Surly Krampus 29+ since they came out a few years ago. That meets
my needs for a bikepacking bike. I don't want a hardtail beyond that use. I
don't see any significant downsides to just running a modern FS bike for all
my trail riding and every time I have tried a hardtail on our local trails I
came home wishing I had been on FS.
I also don't need multiple wheels/tires for my trail riding. I can be happy
with one set of tires for 12 months/yr use. I might get motivated to put
something different on for summer vs. winter, but 1 tire swap a year doesn't
require two wheel sets.
Where I do see some value in having cross compatibility is dealing with down
time due to maintenance. Especially when it's unplanned. Being able to swap
wheels or a fork and get back to riding right away is great.
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