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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious about upgrading the tires and possibly the wheels on my otherwise stock 2015 Trek Marlin 5. It comes with 29x2.2 Bontrager XR1 tires on Bontrager AT-550 wheels. In the current application (trail patrol), speed is not an issue. I'd like wider, gripper tires. Can these wheel fit 29x2.3? 2.4?

Also, in the preliminary research that I've done, I've read that these wheels are no very strong and don't hold true very well. If I were to upgrade wheels as well, what should I consider. Wondering about brake rotor placement and if they'll swap over seamlessly.

Any advice in this regard is much appreciated.

Thanks all.
 

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I would not bother dumping a lot of money into the bike, so I wouldn't upgrade wheels unless the are causing an issue. XR1 is a very low rolling resistance Cross country tire. Based on your crash being a steep downhill into an immediate turn I bet a little beefier of a tire would have helped.

If the XR1s have been okay, I would go XR2 rear. Then front there are a lot of options and it depends on your trails. XR3 did not have great reviews as a front, but they just redesigned it. XR4 is a good front, but may be slightly overkill. Maxxis Forekaster I find to be a great tire in a lot of conditions.

Of course, everybody likes their DHF/DHRs, but that's going to be total overkill on a 2015 Marlin.

Ask your ranger buddy what he recommends for your terrain and use.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would not bother dumping a lot of money into the bike, so I wouldn't upgrade wheels unless the are causing an issue. XR1 is a very low rolling resistance Cross country tire. Based on your crash being a steep downhill into an immediate turn I bet a little beefier of a tire would have helped.

If the XR1s have been okay, I would go XR2 rear. Then front there are a lot of options and it depends on your trails. XR3 did not have great reviews as a front, but they just redesigned it. XR4 is a good front, but may be slightly overkill. Maxxis Forekaster I find to be a great tire in a lot of conditions.

Of course, everybody likes their DHF/DHRs, but that's going to be total overkill on a 2015 Marlin.

Ask your ranger buddy what he recommends for your terrain and use.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
Yea I know it's an entry level bike in the grand scheme of things. Not planning on going into debt with a top tier upgrade, but some reasonable new shoes are in order. I'll certainly check out some of your recommendations. The trail I'll be patrolling is mainly a hiking trail. Nothing crazy. It has its fair share of roots and rocks. Definitely not blaming my current tires for the crash, that was entirely on me. But the current tires have definitely seen better days. Perhaps I'm looking for excuses to tinker while the hand heals. The other ranger I was riding with is a skilled rider mainly due to his background in motocross. Were I to ask him about this topic, he'd surely tell me to hit up the mountain bike forums. Haha.
 

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I wouldnt worry about new wheels until/unless they start actually causing you problems/breaking.

Given that noobs usually ride noob bikes, they don't actually break or destroy them very often.

Some bigger tires might be useful, particularly if you need to replace what you've got. 2.3 or 2.4 will almost certainly fit on your rim, if they will fit between your fork and seatstays/chainstays. The issue there is how "well" they fit, as wider tires on rims with a narrow internal width can have an undesireable tread profile, but probably not at 2.3-2.4. More on that here. https://bikerumor.com/2016/08/12/tech-story-match-bicycle-tire-width-rim-width-best-results/

Note that link is slightly outdated as it doesn't mention the widest rims and tires now available, but it should cover the ranges you are within.

Also, have you played around with tire pressure? Lower pressure, say around 20, maybe less, can help things out quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldnt worry about new wheels until/unless they start actually causing you problems/breaking.

Given that noobs usually ride noob bikes, they don't actually break or destroy them very often.

Some bigger tires might be useful, particularly if you need to replace what you've got. 2.3 or 2.4 will almost certainly fit on your rim, if they will fit between your fork and seatstays/chainstays. The issue there is how "well" they fit, as wider tires on rims with a narrow internal width can have an undesireable tread profile, but probably not at 2.3-2.4. More on that here. https://bikerumor.com/2016/08/12/tech-story-match-bicycle-tire-width-rim-width-best-results/

Note that link is slightly outdated as it doesn't mention the widest rims and tires now available, but it should cover the ranges you are within.

Also, have you played around with tire pressure? Lower pressure, say around 20, maybe less, can help things out quite a bit.
Lots of good points and info here. I appreciate it. I haven't yet played around with different tire pressures but I certainly will. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This might be a total rookie question, but regarding tubeless set ups, do both the tire and wheel need to be tubeless ready, or just the tire? Not seriously considering a tubeless set up for an older entry hardtail. Just asking for curiosities sake.
 

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Both need to be tubeless compatible.

Technically, you can make a non tubeless ready wheel/rim work, if you use a tubeless rim tape (either a real product for that purpose, or you can use gorilla tape). Some tires that aren’t tubeless ready can work tubeless, however some don’t (the casing is too porous, and they leak air through the sidewalks).

So, you can give it a shot, it’s just not guaranteed unless you do the whole setup.
 

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This might be a total rookie question, but regarding tubeless set ups, do both the tire and wheel need to be tubeless ready, or just the tire? Not seriously considering a tubeless set up for an older entry hardtail. Just asking for curiosities sake.
If you start playing around with pressure, with new tires or otherwise, start letting it out a pound or so at a time until your tires squirm or fold over or you get rim hits (the squirming and folding usually happens in turns), then maybe put a pound or two back in until that stops.

I didn't want to leave you with the impression that you should start at 20psi, although that might not be too off.
 

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I wish they would spec those bikes with better tires, I would replace them with wider tires with more substantial tread, it will greatly improve the ride and confidence levels. Bontrager xr3' or 4's in a 2.4 width are pretty good and a good value. Maxxis are good but expensive, Something like a Forcaster is a decent all-rounder.

I'd use the same wheels for now, tubeless is great for a a few reasons but I wouldn't mess with it unless the wheels are tubeless compatible. If they are I'd recommend doing it.
 
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