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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #1 
I tried the search and got no result, so I am asking here--has anyone tried running staggered WHEEL (not just tire) sizes on their gravel whip? How did it work out?

I've a Lauf Grit on its way, to upgrade my Renegade (2016 Exile frame, so replacing the stock rigid chro-moly fork), and I've been toying with the idea of running a reverse mullet, 27.5x2.X party in the front and business-class 700c in the back (somewhere in the 35-42mm range). One such combination that seems reasonable is the new Schwalbe G-One Bite tubeless, with the 27.5x2.1 in front and the 700x38 out back. Trying to figure out if that would work better than just keeping my current, dual 700x42 WTB Resolute setup.

Yes, I do realize that the 27.5x2.1 tire is not quite as large in diameter as 700x38, but the Lauf Grit is slightly longer, axle to crown, than my stock fork, even after factoring sag.

-Ed
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Noah_Deuce

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Reply with quote  #2 
At 2015 Dirty Kanza I ran a 27.5x2.1 up front and a 700x33 cyclocross mud tire in back. Worked great.

Are you trying to maintain clearance in the rear?
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah_Deuce
At 2015 Dirty Kanza I ran a 27.5x2.1 up front and a 700x33 cyclocross mud tire in back. Worked great.

Are you trying to maintain clearance in the rear?


Not so much trying to maintain clearance out back as gaining a huge amount of clearance up front with the new fork and wanting to take advantage of it.

-Ed
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #4 
Not nearly as extreme...  Wanted as much float/width in front as possible and chainstay gap is limited to 38mm so I went with 700x42 in front and 700x35 in rear.  Works great.

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birru

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddNog
I've a Lauf Grit on its way, to upgrade my Renegade (2016 Exile frame, so replacing the stock rigid chro-moly fork)...


I'll be curious about how your Renegade handles with a Lauf Grit. There's a pretty significant difference in rake between the stock fork (53mm) and the Lauf, which is said to handle like a fork with 47mm rake. 
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yes, I’m wondering as well. I remember a pretty big (positive) change to handling when I went back from 650x47 tires to 700x42 tires on the stock fork, so I wonder how this will feel when I’m done. I also need to experiment with different length stems, too.

-Ed
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #7 
Got the Grit installed on my Renegade and currently am running it with an 80mm stem and WTB Resolute 700x42C tires front and rear. Will ride it this way for a bit and see how I like it, but I also have some new tires coming in to test the mullet--I ordered a 27.5x2.1 Schwalbe G-One Bite for the front and a 700x38 Schwalbe G-One Allround for the rear, which I will test out once the front wheel is ready (I have a 27.5 wheel with QR hub that I previously ran on this bike with stock fork, but I need to swap the hub out for one that is 15x100 TA before I can use it on this fork). Here's a pic of how the bike is currently set up:

IMG_0632.jpg 

-Ed

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #8 
EggNog I read your thread and see that you are running a bigger tire up front to take advantage of that new fork. Most people I read that do this run the larger tire up front for gripping on the corners and then a smaller tire on the rear(like 38 mm) for speed. One combination I remember reading about was the Maxis tires.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
EggNog I read your thread and see that you are running a bigger tire up front to take advantage of that new fork. Most people I read that do this run the larger tire up front for gripping on the corners and then a smaller tire on the rear(like 38 mm) for speed. One combination I remember reading about was the Maxis tires.

Zman


Yes, that is my primary motivation for trying this; I want the added grip and ride plushness up front from the wider tire at lower air pressure, particularly for dealing with the heavily sandy trails in my riding area by improving float over the loose stuff. The rear, I chose the G-One Allround because it rolls faster than the G-One Bite, and I feel that since it carries more of my weight, should be fine in terms of grip to keep up with the front.

Only time riding it will tell for sure! Weather has been highly uncooperative in my area as of late, however, so I’ve been Zwifting instead.

-Ed
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #10 
The tires have arrived; am now working on getting the front wheel laced up for this project!




-Ed
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AlanEsh

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Reply with quote  #11 
Those Resolutes look great on your Renegade; what don't you like about them?
Mine have been amazing on my Willard, they're the best upgrade I've made to that bike aside from gearing. They have a nice volume of air, are very stable on loose gravel, really hard to beat.

That aside, I'm curious which one of those tires is going on the front/back, and why?
I can see having the knobs on the back for traction, but a front tire with dense tread and low lugs like the one you have there just slides all over the place on turns (in the gravel around here anyway).
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #12 

The Resolutes are EXCELLENT whenever I'm riding pavement, gravel or dry dirt. As a matter of fact, if that was all I rode on my gravel bike, well, I'd never ever change tires ever again.

However, I live and ride in South Jersey, which is, essentially, one enormous beach. Our unpaved riding in this region is an all-you-can (or can't)-ride endless buffet of deep, loose sugar sand, and I am constantly trying to fit a wider and larger contact patch up front in order to deal with all this sand. Whenever I head out on my plus hardtail to ride trails (my MTB, which is awesome when driven to and from single track to shred the gnar, but a real bane to paved riding), the sand is of little to no consequence to me, but my own riding skill isn't sufficient (yet) to deal with the deep, loose sugar sand on mere 42mm Resolutes when I take my gravel bike out instead (my preferred conveyance, because I just ride it to, at and back from gravel and dirt trails or flow single tracks). This is why I'm experimenting with the reverse wheel & tire mullet.

The 27.5x2.1" Schwalbe G-One Bite will go in the front, now that I have installed the Lauf Grit, which will fit this, and hopefully provide me with a satisfactory level of float and stability on the sand. The 700x38mm Schwalbe G-One All-Round will go out back, where it is a perfect fit for this frame's rear triangle, and should hopefully roll just as fast, if not faster, than the Resolutes.

I'll keep the Resolutes mounted to the awesomely light and fast Boyd Altamont Lites for long days of gravel and pavement riding, and swap over to the stock rear wheel shod with G-One All-Round and the custom 650b front wheel shod with the G-One Bite for days where I anticipate fighting deep sand and shorter rides where I plan to rail it hard.

-Ed

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AlanEsh

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Reply with quote  #13 
Sand! That explains a lot [wink] Good luck in your endeavors!
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #14 
So there's been a bit of a change of plans because of an unexpected issue (mostly from my own lack of experience).

The stock, rigid steel fork that comes with a 48cm 2016 Jamis Renegade Exile is 385mm long from axle to crown and has a 57mm offset. The Lauf Grit is a significantly longer 409mm (factoring sag) and also significantly slower 45mm offset. The result of installing the fork while running the same size wheel & tire front and rear results in...shall I say...extremely undesirable handling feel (due to a massive increase in trail combined with slackening of head angle).

After spending over 5 hours doing a LOT of complex math analysis, I've come to the conclusion (after factoring for sag/15% drop at correct inflation level plus change in head angle due to staggered tire sizes) that by running a tire in the size range of 26x1.9 or so in the front will rectify the handling issue introduced by the significantly different length and offset fork. To test my theory, I mounted a 700x32C tire to the front and let a whole lot of air out (it's set up tubeless) to try and simulate the effect, and was able to simulate approximately a 26x2.1 size tire at full inflation, and rode it around for a bit, and my theory seems to work, as the bike's handling is fine again (besides overly squishy tire).

I am having a 26" wheel with 15x100 hub laced up by my LBS now, and have an appropriate size tire on order. Once everything is set up and I give it a proper test ride to confirm that everything is working as I expect (and I am fairly confident that what I expect is finally right), I will post up pics of the completed beast! Right now, I am planning to run a WTB Riddler 45C out back and a Schwalbe Thunder Burt 26x2.1 up front, with the front tire inflated to ~15% sag under load and the rear inflation level to be tuned depending on how the bike handles.

-Ed
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #15 
A quick update: received the completed wheel and tire two days ago. Went with a Schwalbe Thunder Burt 26x2.1 Snakeskin tire mounted tubelessly on WTB KOM 26" i23 rim laced to a Shimano SLX hub using Sapim CX Ray spokes. Put it on the bike and went for a couple of short rides to confirm that my math is correct, and it is! The bike's handling is pretty decent again, and now I am just waiting for the final rear wheel & tire to take pics. I have a WTB Riddler 45C tire that will mount to an American Classic Hurricane Disc wheel that I will run in the rear; it is at the shop awaiting conversion from 142x12 thru-axle to 135 QR because it was a stock wheel that came off my road bike. Once that's done, I'll install it, ride it and post pics of the successful and unique build!

Slightly off-topic, my next and final project for this bike is a hybrid bar setup that I am experimenting with. I am looking to have the full shift and brake control plus drop and hood hand positions of drop handle bars while road riding and on fine gravel, but also have the hand position and brake control of flat bars when on coarse gravel and single track. So far, the plan is to mount my current Rival shift levers onto Origin8 drop-ends, which will be installed on flat bars along with flat bar road brake levers (probably Shimano BL-R550 or BL-R780) and MTB grips, and then use Problem Solvers 2:1 cable doublers to operate the TRP Hy/Rd calipers using either set of brake levers. If it all works well, down the road, I may even acquire a JTek L double control plus a SRAM S-700 flat bar road trigger shifter to be able to shift from the drops or in the flat bar position (only if I find the entire setup comfortable). The real challenge in this will be getting the fit to be good in all positions, given the complete lack of adjustment with the Origin8 drop-ends.

-Ed
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EddNog

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Reply with quote  #16 
And we're done. I was inspired by the gold accents in my bar tape and the coincidental gold accents on the 26" rim I chose for this build (WTB KOM i23 26"), so while I was at it, I used black and gold vinyl tape to accentuate the design of the bike and to help create visual harmony between the wheels, the fork and the frame. The results of the wheel & tire matching are as expected, based on my math, and the bike now handles how I want it to again. Here are the as-promised pics:
IMG_0812.jpg 
IMG_0813.jpg 
IMG_0814.jpg 
IMG_0815.jpg 
IMG_0816.jpg 

Front wheel is a WTB KOM i23 26" 32H rim laced to a Shimano SLX 15x100 centerlock disc hub with Sapim CX Ray spokes and brass nipples. Rear wheel is the stock real wheel with Alex ATD470 32H rim, decals removed on the drive side. The tires are Schwalbe Thunder Burt 26x2.1" front and WTB Riddler 700x45C rear, both set up tubeless. TRP Hy/Rd brakes. SRAM Rival 2x11 levers, SRAM Rival 1 Long Cage derailleur and GXP crankset, absoluteBLACK 44T narrow-wide direct mount oval chainring, KMC X11SL-DLC chain, Sugek 11-52 cassette, KS Exaform 861 27.2mm suspension dropper post (hooked up to the left shift lever, detentes removed), Fizik Antares R3 Versus Evo saddle, Supacaz bar tape, Lauf Grit fork.

-Ed


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