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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this would be the right place for this post. I recently purchased a Niner Air 9 2-Star for my wife and she expressed a dislike for the size of the wheels (29er) So, I'm looking into 27.5's wheels and tires. I was thinking of putting a gravel setup rather than full mtb tires. Now gravel tires need specific gravel type wheels or do mountain wheels work well with gravel tires. I know the diameter changes from road to mountain and gravel should be the in-between.

She's not expressing the want to go trail riding much so something that is going to see some dirt/smooth single track and road would probably be what she wants. Other than that she feels great on the bike. (She doesn't like tippy toeing while mounting the bike (which I informed her that shorter women than her size ride 29ers and the different techniques to get on it) She won't have it... lol..

Currently the bikes has 2.5(F) and 2.4(R). Max 27.5x3 which would still put it close to a 29er. I was thinking going 27.5x2.5 (mountain tires) but started considering the gravel aspect just recently. I will post this on the 27.5 forums side too because it seems to be a hybrid topic... sorry and thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking the same thing but the thinner tires won't reduce the diameter as much and I will find myself buying a new set of wheels and tires anyways. My other question was the compatibility of mountain bike rims and putting gravel tires if there is a diameter difference.

The bike was designed around both 27.5 and 29ers and going gravel the tires are not as fat as mountain tires. So, going 50C is like 2 inches width as opposed to the one's she already have at 2.5". 23mm~26mm rim width (internal) would be the optimum for a 2" tire. I wanted to go for 650bx50C but that size is hard to find and I don't want to go 700...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are some good gravel rims? I have a hard time singling them out from the wider set (MTB) and these sites don't have them sorted out by internal width.
 

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You can rabbit hole into wheels without ever getting out. If the Niner is Boost, you'll need MTB wheels - newer gravel wheels have older MTB spacing. Just get something not too heavy, 23-27mm ID is fine, some sort of XC MTB wheel. There's too many options out. Depending on your budget, there's a few guys lurking on the wheel & tire forums that can hand build you something pretty nice in the $400+ price range.
 

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How high is the BB on that bike? Dropping the height of the bike could be a bad idea. Of you want to make the bike better for riding smoother surfaces, some gravel-oriented 700c tires would be fine.

Is the bike the right size for her? Sounds like you just plain bought the size wrong bike, or you should have picked something with a lower standover, at least. Putting smaller wheels on is going to be a lousy, half-assed compromise.
 

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It's very unclear what you want, but your options are limited. If she doesn't need real MTB tires, then get some 2" low tread ones as suggested above. They'll be faster and lighter but still able to go on some dirt.



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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Crank arm down (lowest position) is about 5" from the ground. BB should be almost to 10" to the ground (didn't measure this).

I know lowering the height increases the risk of pedal strikes and BB damage, IF the rider is aggressive. We're talking about my wife that is just getting into the sport and want to join on smooth trails and smooth surfaces... which is why I'm considering going gravel tires and the smaller size. If I went 26" on that frame I'm sure there I will have the most problems. The bike was designed around both sizes so clearance shouldn't be much of an issue going 27.5x2.6 (mountain tires)... but going 27.5x2/2.2 might be an issue though.

700c might still be an issue in height... it's really close to 29" and she will still complain about tip toe'ing about.

The bike is a size small, I must of overlooked the standover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Look at the Giant Crosscut tires. These are 40mm. They are good on road and gravel.
Nice, I see they have a 700x50 there for the same price, that's about 2" and perfect for a 25mm wheel.

I'm going to keep the Air 9 @ 29" and will most likely get the tires you've recommended. My step daughter has turned a liking towards the bike and she's riding it everyday... (Stole mommy's bike, lol.) I ordered today a 27+ Orbea Laufey H30 which has a standover of 678 (roughly 26") which will be better suited for the wifey. We will soon see... :) ty all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is also Panaracer gravel tires that come in 650b/27+ size and 700c size too. Soma Cazadero, made by Panaracer comes in a 700x50(29x1.95) size and has been well-reviewed.
Cool, thanks. I ordered the Giant Crosscut this morning along with other goodies for the Laufey. Managed to get the 700x50C and keeping it a 29er rather than also changing the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Question, though... would a 700C fit a 29er? Technically it's a 28". So, just by that, it's a no. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you, I found a video about it on youtube and explained the same thing you just do. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Last question, promise... When purchasing tubeless manufacture built wheels and tires does the valve stem come with it or it's a separate purchase?
 
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