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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for a gravel/adventure bike for my partner and we came across the Norco XR S1 built up as a custom with 700c rims from our LBS. We have pretty chunky gravel around here and I ride a Sutra LTD with 700x45c tires and I don't think I would want to go any smaller than that. The Norco website specs say max tire size is 42c but in many descriptions I've found online I see 45c. Does anyone have experience with what it can reasonably fit?
Also wondering if anyone has experience with the ride characteristics of the bike? I'm perhaps being a bit unfair to pass up the Search as my Sutra is a really stiff beast and it isn't until it's loaded down for bike packing that I get that nice compliant steel feeling. FYI the Search would be used for commuting, bike packing and some weekend gravel rides.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I've been looking for a gravel/adventure bike for my partner and we came across the Norco XR S1 built up as a custom with 700c rims from our LBS. We have pretty chunky gravel around here and I ride a Sutra LTD with 700x45c tires and I don't think I would want to go any smaller than that. The Norco website specs say max tire size is 42c but in many descriptions I've found online I see 45c. Does anyone have experience with what it can reasonably fit?
Also wondering if anyone has experience with the ride characteristics of the bike? I'm perhaps being a bit unfair to pass up the Search as my Sutra is a really stiff beast and it isn't until it's loaded down for bike packing that I get that nice compliant steel feeling. FYI the Search would be used for commuting, bike packing and some weekend gravel rides.

Thanks in advance!
A steel search was in stock and tested against my Sutra Ltd but all a while ago now. The shop main tech/expert guy said that year Norco didn't have the tire size capacity of the Fargos and Sutra Ltd. Still, I'd look up the bike and year on Norco site.

The test rides I did of the steel Search showed it was a great bike but I wanted higher stack, and at the time something more like our Fargo. Not choosing it was not the bike's fault. What did stand out immediately was feeling the reach and stack differences along with that stiffness.

On 42 mm tires..... On a more compliant bike with 25 inner width rims I don't feel I want the bigger tires as much but will qualify that by pointing out having other bikes for that Sutra Ltd. niche of being so good on single track.
 

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I have a Norco Search XR from 2018 (725 steel), bought it new in 2019 off the floor as my LBS's last model. I think the frame design is unchanged.

I don't have any experience pushing the clearances for 700c beyond the stock 40c tires, but I've gone to 650b and rode 47 wide tires for awhile, and now i'm riding 650b x 2.1 tires. if you want big to handle chunk, and this is a custom build, consider 650b wheels.

eric/fresno, ca.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! The search my partner was interested in was built up by the shop as a 1x11 and I think you would have been able to get 700cx45c in there as on the stock model it really looks like the front derailleur would have been the limiting factor for fatter tires. Alas, the search XR 1x11 was about $700 over budget. She ended up buying a Specialized Diverge E5. Bit closer to a road bike for sure but can fit 700x47c. The aluminum frame will be a bit stiffer won't be as compliant but the ability to put a fatter tire I think will make the bike more versatile for the chunky gravel around here.
 

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I had the Search Steel Apex 1x11 and ran 700X43 Gravelkings on it with room to spare.

It was a very comfortable bike. Unfortunately the 58 cm i had was slightly too big for me so I sold it.
 

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I have a '19 Search XR steel and I'd be interested to know what the max tire clearance is as well. Here's the measurements with photos:

Front at top of fork: 62mm
To downtube from top of 700x33c tire: 48mm

Rear at seat stay: 61mm, maybe 60.
Rear at bottom bracket: 62mm.

The rear clearances at the sidewalls are mostly what I'm concerned about. The front seems like it could clear a 50mm no problem and have good evacuation for mud.
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