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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To preface, I mostly ride smoothish fire roads and paths with some ocassional loose pea gravel and about half and half on asphalt. For my upcoming wheel and tire purchase I would like to choose the right rim and tire size and would like to ask advice what would be best for my riding conditions? I weigh 190# and think that a 32 spoke build front and back would be the sweet spot for durability and staying in true. But what about rim and tire width?

A thought is I could be building a cyclocross bike for the type of riding I do as a guy coming from road riding but I want a 29er with lock out front suspension fork and a flat bar.
My thought is for these riding conditions I will be doing I may want to stick to a tire width less than 2.0 inches. Perhaps 1.75" inches or so with smoothish thread pattern as a nominal. What do you think? Further, many 29er wheelsets come with a wider rim which can accomodate a wider tire which I believe permits running lower pressures without pinch flatting but I won't be mounting tires over 2.0 inches in width. So is a narrrower rim better for under a 2.0" tire width and if so what rim bead width c-t-c?
Can somebody recommend a rim width which would work well with say a 1.9 inch wide tire and under?
Many Thanks.
 

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dirtrider7 said:
To preface, I mostly ride smoothish fire roads and paths with some ocassional loose pea gravel and about half and half on asphalt. For my upcoming wheel and tire purchase I would like to choose the right rim and tire size and would like to ask advice what would be best for my riding conditions? I weigh 190# and think that a 32 spoke build front and back would be the sweet spot for durability and staying in true. But what about rim and tire width?

A thought is I could be building a cyclocross bike for the type of riding I do as a guy coming from road riding but I want a 29er with lock out front suspension fork and a flat bar.
My thought is for these riding conditions I will be doing I may want to stick to a tire width less than 2.0 inches. Perhaps 1.75" inches or so with smoothish thread pattern as a nominal. What do you think? Further, many 29er wheelsets come with a wider rim which can accomodate a wider tire which I believe permits running lower pressures without pinch flatting but I won't be mounting tires over 2.0 inches in width. So is a narrrower rim better for under a 2.0" tire width and if so what rim bead width c-t-c?
Can somebody recommend a rim width which would work well with say a 1.9 inch wide tire and under?
Many Thanks.
I can relate to the dirt roadie build.:D I've always got at least one bike dedicated for that simply based on my locale and terrain. Gravel roads, double track at a state park, 7 miles of pavement and paved trail to and from one of my favorite singletrack layouts, and my training on pavement between all of the dirt stuff has me using such a bike a lot. So running minimal tread tires with lower volume works well for all of that, yet allows me to hit the dirt and gravel as well.

You'll get a lot of suggestions on rims, but the main thing is to get a good wheel build by having an experienced builder lace something up with proper spokes for your weight and intended use.

Believe it or not, I've found that the lighter weight and wider XC rims (27-28mm outer rim width) work exceptionally well with the smaller volume tires that I own (Bontrager XR 1.8, Stans Crow 2.0, Kenda Karma 1.9s, etc...). They give the tires a very nice profile. I've got narrower XC rims as well, but much prefer the feel and performance of the wider XC rims when using the smaller volume tires. It sounds odd, but that's at least what I've found. Obviously, the wider XC rims are not necessary, but they are worth considering. I run tubeless and like lower pressures. The lower volume tires on the narrower rims would squirm on me and cause me to run higher pressures that jolted my ride comfort. Moving to the wider rims for the smaller volume tires allowed me to run lower pressures with no squirm. The new Haven from Easton targets my cup of tea for that desire.

Durability and staying in true wise, you will not want to go too weight weenie for your riding weight, although it sounds like you won't be bashing over logs and what not so you might be able to get away with a more dirt roadie type of wheel. A typical 24mm width outer rim measurement will do fine as the "traditional" XC rim width and you can keep weight down with certain rim choices. If you've got the cash, how about the Edge carbon XC rims at $850 a piece?:eek: Stans ZTR 355 or Arch (I would say the Arch would be the more durable choice over the 355 for your weight) if you want to run tubeless.

You didn't specifically mention wheelsets, but I've had great performance and durability from the American Classic disc wheelset. For a 1650g wheelset, it's been through everything in the past several seasons and I find them to be nice and stiff, quick and very race worthy (I'm close to your weight). Light, durable, and at least when I bought them - they were priced very well at sub $400. You won't find those prices these days for that wheelset when buying new, but they are still priced to compete.

Example picture of a 28mm wide Blunt with a Karma 1.9 up front and a Crow 2.0 in the rear...



Karma 1.9 front and rear...



Of course I run 'em all tubeless.:thumbsup:

No shortage of tires for you to choose between these days. I would put the NoTubes Crow 2.0 and the NoTubes Raven 2.0 (or 2.2 if you want some more volume) at the top of your list for the type of riding you mentioned. Also at the top of your list should be the WTB Vulpine, Kenda Karma 1.9 (basically the exact same tire as the Crow 2.0, but with taller knobs), and Bontrager XR1 1.9's. I really like the looks of those XR1's. They look like a miniature Kenda Small Block 8 in terms of volume and could be a good choice for what you described in your riding needs. If you want to go with more volume, the WTB Nanoraptor would fit the bill and pretty much never wear out. If you want light, more volume, speed as well as cornering traction for the dirt you hit - I would tip my hat to the Maxxis Aspen. I am surprised at how well it performs and I thought it would wear out quickly, but I do not see any signs of wear and I have been hitting dirt, pavement, gravel and grass with it since July. Whatever you pick, you will find that you can run very minimal tread on the surfaces you mentioned and be fine and dandy on a 29"er. Less rolling resistance, but a good contact patch on the ground for cornering and climbing traction.

Here are the Raven 2.2's on my American Classic wheels. Very low to minimal center tread with taller cornering knobs make for a nice combination where I ride dirt. They come in 2.0 as well and one of those on the front with a Crow on the rear might make better sense for the fireroad riding you mentioned. I race these XC...



Here's an array of minimal tread tires on Blunts. 2.2 Raven's on the left, a 2.0 Crow and a 1.9 Karma (actually I wouldn't call the Karma "minimal" tread compared to the others)...



Crow 2.0's front and rear raced XC on dirt...



Here's a good shot of the minimal tread Crow...



I keep mentioning the Crows because they roll like the wind on pavement, yet are surprising on gravel and dirt due to the amount of traction they actually do provide if you dial in the right air pressure for your weight and terrain. Kind of a nice "do all" tire for the description of riding you mention. Trust me, they are predictable in turns during an XC race on singletrack and net everyone's cup of tea, but rolling resistance wise/weight wise/ability to run tubed or tubeless wise - it's a pretty good choice.

There are other things available in tires and rims, but I just mentioned some of the gear I'm familiar with. You could drop down to the fireroad/CX tire cateogory as well. But I think you would enjoy the volume and benefits of the low tread 29"er tires for the things you mentioned.

BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bruce you rock. Thanks so much for sharing your considerable knowledge about these bikes with us. I have read your other posts with interest as well.
You have given me quite an education. Your suggest that a largish volume tire say a 2.0 inch width but with smoother tread pattern maybe the ticket for my kind of riding...quite right, no root jumping for this old boy. Thanks for the information about running a wider rim "independent of tire volume". Makes sense though not intuitive so appreciate you setting the record straight there.

A question about rim width. My takeaway is a 27-28mm rim width would work well and be a suitable rim for a 2.0" wide tire or so. Is this rim width dimension...center to center of the wheel lip, inside to inside or outside to outside?

Second, unlike yourself, I am no racer though try to ride pretty aggressively. If running a tube which I likely will, which tire do you suggest...a Crow's 2.0 Notube (only with tube) or a 1.9 Karma again running a tube?

Thanks again and congrats on all the beautiful bikes.
 

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dirtrider7 said:
A question about rim width. My takeaway is a 27-28mm rim width would work well and be a suitable rim for a 2.0" wide tire or so. Is this rim width dimension...center to center of the wheel lip, inside to inside or outside to outside?

Second, unlike yourself, I am no racer though try to ride pretty aggressively. If running a tube which I likely will, which tire do you suggest...a Crow's 2.0 Notube (only with tube) or a 1.9 Karma again running a tube?

Thanks again and congrats on all the beautiful bikes.
Yeah, well that last photograph is not my bike. It belongs to another forum member. I loved the shot so much with those Crows, that I snagged the image.:p

The rim dimension is the outside to outside measurement of a rim. So a 27-28mm wide (outside to outside) rim actually as an internal rim wall to rim wall measurement in the range of 22.X - 23.Xmm (depending on the rim). A 24mm wide (outside to outside) rim usually has an internal wall to wall measurement in the 18-19mm range. Or for the really big and wide rims that come in the 35mm width (Velocity P35, Salsa Gordos, etc...) have a 29.Xmm or so inner wall to wall width. Those, you don't need for your intended riding....:nono:

If using tubes, you'll be fine with either of those tires. Keep in mind, the Crow and the Kenda casing is pretty much identical (Kenda makes the Crow for NoTubes). The Karma just has taller tread which, by the way, rolls pretty darn fast on pavement as well as dirt. One of the pairs I own is finally (after owning and riding them for several years) experiencing some nice wear on the center treads which is speeding them up for me.:thumbsup: :D :cool:

I guess I was assuming all along that you would be using disc brakes. However, there are some nice rim choices for rim brakes as well if that is the way you are going. Salsa Delgado Cross, Mavic Open Pro, Sun Ringle Equalizer, Velocity Dyads, DT Swiss TK 7.1, etc... .

BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BruceBrown said:
Yeah, well that last photograph is not my bike. It belongs to another forum member. I loved the shot so much with those Crows, that I snagged the image.:p

The rim dimension is the outside to outside measurement of a rim. So a 27-28mm wide (outside to outside) rim actually as an internal rim wall to rim wall measurement in the range of 22.X - 23.Xmm (depending on the rim). A 24mm wide (outside to outside) rim usually has an internal wall to wall measurement in the 18-19mm range. Or for the really big and wide rims that come in the 35mm width (Velocity P35, Salsa Gordos, etc...) have a 29.Xmm or so inner wall to wall width. Those, you don't need for your intended riding....:nono:

If using tubes, you'll be fine with either of those tires. Keep in mind, the Crow and the Kenda casing is pretty much identical (Kenda makes the Crow for NoTubes). The Karma just has taller tread which, by the way, rolls pretty darn fast on pavement as well as dirt. One of the pairs I own is finally (after owning and riding them for several years) experiencing some nice wear on the center treads which is speeding them up for me.:thumbsup: :D :cool:

I guess I was assuming all along that you would be using disc brakes. However, there are some nice rim choices for rim brakes as well if that is the way you are going. Salsa Delgado Cross, Mavic Open Pro, Sun Ringle Equalizer, Velocity Dyads, DT Swiss TK 7.1, etc... .

BB
Great info Bruce. Thanks so much. Based upon what you wrote I will seek the following:
32 spokes
27-28mm o-t-o rim width
2.0 Crow tires with tubes (I like the reduced knobby height for 50% riding paved
Disk brakes. Have to go disk Bruce and am leaning toward Avid BB-7 because I don't have to deal with hydraullics and they report to stop OK.

Thanks again for all your insight.
 
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