26 inch MTB aren’t completely dead yet but mine just died. I now have a 27.5 inch version of my old bike in carbon, with a belt drive and some very very good tires made by another big mfr because the Smoke and Dart aren’t available. So I’m sitting on 5 Smoke and Darts, brand new, because I wanted to be positive I would have them for years to come.
Fun fact: Smokes work super well as a front tire too.
I've run smokes for many years as a front tire back in the days. Good grip and smooth break up in corners.
Contrary to what the bicycle industry would have everyone think, 26" ... is NOT dead. Fortunately, Panaracer understands this! They continue to sell these amazing tires, which magically appeared on the scene in the late 1980s, when folks first started "off-road cycling" or "riding in the mountains." And by appearing on the scene, I mean IMMEDIATELY AND COMPLETELY DOMINATING it. No other tire performed as well (the many copycat designs that followed are proof.) I myself started riding in the early 1990s. There was LITERALLY no other tire choice back then. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Other brands? Can't name them here, wouldn't be cool. Still think they're better? COME AT ME! The Smoke and Dart were the choice then, and they are the choice now. But, all this amazing performance comes at a price. Want to save some money? Ok, sure. Go with something "less expensive," and what are you going to get? That's right. LESS. Just PAY THE MONEY ALREADY. These things grip like Alex Honnold scaling El Capitan. Can't even count the times I've come close to wiping out but didn't because these tires just dug in and DELIVERED. THE. GOODS. Yeah, you could say I'm a satisfied customer. I'll never run anything else. Thanks, Panaracer!