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  1. #1
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    Fitting a 27.5" wheel on an original 26" wheel frame?

    Has anyone managed to install/fit a 27.5" wheel on their 26" wheel bike frame? Wondering if the additional 1.5" is really too much for a clean fit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
    try this one:

    List of 27.5 Compatible 26ers
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    and btw, it's not actually 1.5"
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    and btw, it's not actually 1.5"

    I measured my 26 x 1.95 and it looks like 26 inches high.

    I measured my 27.5 x 2.10 and it looks (looked, just threw them in the trash today, POS WTB Nanos that lasted 250 miles) like 27.5 inches high.

    Are these measurements wrong? I may be off 1/4 inch or so but what is the exact difference in size between 26 x 1.95 and 27.5 x 2.1?

    And my link above is certainly not about putting a 27.5 inch tire in a 26" fork. You may just be able to fit a 27.5 x 2.1 inside the arch. Probably not. My 26" fork is kind of weird as I have mentioned to Chazpat in a different forum, but it's probably pretty normal in that it will fit up to about 27.2 inches of height, not 27.5.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I measured my 26 x 1.95 and it looks like 26 inches high.

    I measured my 27.5 x 2.10 and it looks (looked, just threw them in the trash today, POS WTB Nanos that lasted 250 miles) like 27.5 inches high.

    Are these measurements wrong? I may be off 1/4 inch or so but what is the exact difference in size between 26 x 1.95 and 27.5 x 2.1?

    And my link above is certainly not about putting a 27.5 inch tire in a 26" fork. You may just be able to fit a 27.5 x 2.1 inside the arch. Probably not. My 26" fork is kind of weird as I have mentioned to Chazpat in a different forum, but it's probably pretty normal in that it will fit up to about 27.2 inches of height, not 27.5.
    Now measure a 26 x 1.95 vs a 27.5 x 1.95 (if you can find one) or a 26 x 2.1 vs a 27.5 x 2.1. A wider tire is also taller on the same width rim. That's why a gear calculator, like this one:

    http://gear-calculator.com

    has you input the width of the tire, not just the wheel diameter for calculations. And bike tires are notorious for not measuring what they say the are, often they are narrower than what they claim. And then knobs can make a difference.

    Just looking at the wheel diameter itself:

    26" wheel = 559mm = 22" (rounded slightly down)
    27.5 wheel = 584mm = 23" (rounded slightly up)

    So the wheels themselves are just shy of 1" difference in diameter, so shy of 1/2" in radius. It will raise your bike about a half inch if using the same width tires and require about a half inch more clearance.

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/26.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I measured my 26 x 1.95 and it looks like 26 inches high.

    I measured my 27.5 x 2.10 and it looks (looked, just threw them in the trash today, POS WTB Nanos that lasted 250 miles) like 27.5 inches high.
    Different tires and different sizes so relative measurements are worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    and btw, it's not actually 1.5"
    Fake news works.

    If from the beginning 650b was referred to by its actual size of 26.99 just imagine how well that would have gone over!

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    I measured about 1" total height difference if I remember correctly. Which should translate to 1/2" on either side of the wheel. That was on 26mm internal width rims w/ DHF 2.3's installed on both.

    That being said I would prioritize a lower bb over a small increase in contact patch & rollover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Now measure a 26 x 1.95 vs a 27.5 x 1.95 (if you can find one) or a 26 x 2.1 vs a 27.5 x 2.1. A wider tire is also taller on the same width rim. That's why a gear calculator, like this one:

    http://gear-calculator.com

    has you input the width of the tire, not just the wheel diameter for calculations. And bike tires are notorious for not measuring what they say the are, often they are narrower than what they claim. And then knobs can make a difference.

    Just looking at the wheel diameter itself:

    26" wheel = 559mm = 22" (rounded slightly down)
    27.5 wheel = 584mm = 23" (rounded slightly up)

    So the wheels themselves are just shy of 1" difference in diameter, so shy of 1/2" in radius. It will raise your bike about a half inch if using the same width tires and require about a half inch more clearance.

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/26.html

    I believe you but here's the deal: all three major tire sizes have a base 'accepted' standard width. For 26 it's 1.95, for 27.5 it's 2.1, and I don't own a 29 but it looks like 2.2 or 2.3. So I think it's best to start with the most common standard tire width for each size, even if the widths are different between sizes. This is a really important topic because + tires and bikes are selling like crazy now, and there needs to be some kind of baseline measurements for all sizes and widths to predict what their real height will be under the fork arch. Sooner or later we need a sticky in each of the tire forums, especially +, showing a chart of how high a tire should theoretically be based on it's claimed width. Most tires are indeed the same width as they claim. It's the height under the fork arch that's important if someone wants to go wider. The only time height is not an issue is if they are putting a tire into the next largest fork size, as in a 26+ tire into a 27.5 standard fork.

    When I guess at how wide (tall) a tire can fit into a standard fork, as in the same fork size as the tire, I use the data from a 27.5 x 3.0 tire being the same height as a 29 x 2.2 tire. But remember, 27.5 standard is 2.1, not 2.2 or 2.3. So you have to subtract 2.1 from 3.0 to get 0.9 inches in the case of 27.5 to get a difference of 1.5 inches high. Or every inch of width is 1.65 inches of height; every 0.1 inches of width is 0.165 inches of height. Again this is just on paper, results may vary. The key is that you have to always go back to the base tire width of each of the three major tire sizes to get the predicted height of the wider tire within that major size. So, below you'll see how accurate (or inaccurate) this is with the mounted tires actually measured, and I also measured from the fork arch to the top of the knobs and then multiplied by 2 (since in this case I'm measuring radius instead of total diameter). Remember that theoretical tire height is the width of the tire multiplied by 1.65 by the STANDARD base tire, in this case 1.95 for a 26 and 2.10 for a 27.5. Due to it being difficult to measure around the axle, I rounded off everything to the nearest .25 inches:


    TIRE SIZE THEORETICAL ACTUAL BELOW ARCH

    26 x 1.95 26.00 26.00 1.0 inches

    26 x 2.40 26.74 26.75 0.5 inches

    26 x 2.50 26.91 27.00 0.4 inches

    27.5 x 2.35 27.91 27.75 ? (tire is in back)

    27.5 x 2.50 28.14 27.75 0.4 inches


    Everything turned out fairly accurate except the 27.5 tire, and that tire has 1000 miles on it and the knobs are starting to wear down.

    As far as the fork arch is concerned, if you multiply these numbers for the 26" tires by 2, you see a difference of 1.0 or 1.2 inches of height difference from the wider tires to the standard 1.95 inch tire. That varies a bit from the direct diameter measurement, but it's important because if you were looking to buy a wider tire, you can simply measure from the bottom of the fork arch to the top of the current tire's knobs, then multiply by 2 to see the max tire height that can fit into the arch. I think this is a very quick and practical way to see how big a tire you can fit into the fork.


    For example, if you are wondering if a 26 x 2.8 can fit into the fork arch above (height-wise, NOT width-wise), you can multiply the measurement of 0.4 and 0.5 by two to get 0.8 and 1.0.

    Then take the difference of 2.4 and 2.5 from 2.8, and you have 0.4 or 0.3. Multiply that by 1.6 to get 0.64 or 0.48.

    That's the theoretical height you can go up from that respective tire's height before you rub on the fork arch.

    Since a 26 x 2.8 is in theory 0.85 inches higher than a 26 x 1.95, THEN multiplied by 1.65, it should be 27.4 inches high.

    From the fork arch calculations they allow a tire that's 0.48 to 0.64 inches higher, or 27.4 to 27.4 inches high (consistent). So in theory the 26 x 2.8 WILL NOT FIT (just barely not). It will also NOT fit a standard 27.5 x 2.1 tire. In a different 26" fork they may fit, that's why you need to measure a more standard tire under the fork arch every time to predict this.
    Last edited by richj8990; 04-24-2018 at 06:59 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I believe you but here's the deal: all three major tire sizes have a base 'accepted' standard width. For 26 it's 1.95, for 27.5 it's 2.1, and I don't own a 29 but it looks like 2.2 or 2.3. etc.
    Interesting that you have developed a formula for this but there are no "accepted standard widths" based on wheel size. 1.95 may have been the most common width back in the '90s and it has continued to be common for real low end (i.e. big box) bikes but during the 2000s the tires got wider. I just checked a 2005 Jamis catalog and the bikes (all 26ers) came with 2.3s, 2.1s, 2.0s until you got to the cheaper lines which had 1.95s. And my 2014 29er came with 2.1s. The big box bikes come with skinny tires to save money and because most of them will be ridden on pavement.
    I currently have 2.3s on my 26ers and still have the 2.1s on my 29er (those are pretty much at the top of my list for buying some new ones, will probably go 2.2 - 2.3).

    Plus bikes and tires may be selling like crazy where you are but I rarely see them when I ride. You're riding on much looser surfaces, when I've ridden around Las Vegas I've seen the need for fatter tires. But I'm riding on hardback and some loose over hardback and most riders don't want or need the extra weight and sluggishness that plus tires bring.

    Besides fork clearance, don't forget about width clearance when putting wider tires on old bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Interesting that you have developed a formula for this but there are no "accepted standard widths" based on wheel size. 1.95 may have been the most common width back in the '90s and it has continued to be common for real low end (i.e. big box) bikes but during the 2000s the tires got wider. I just checked a 2005 Jamis catalog and the bikes (all 26ers) came with 2.3s, 2.1s, 2.0s until you got to the cheaper lines which had 1.95s. And my 2014 29er came with 2.1s.
    Although this is very true, tires tended even more towards being undersized in those years as well. Most of those tires were at least an eighth of an inch short on the standard (silly narrow) stock rims.

    But boy did they feel light when very crafty consumers evaluated their weight, and therefore their suitability as a mountain bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Interesting that you have developed a formula for this but there are no "accepted standard widths" based on wheel size. 1.95 may have been the most common width back in the '90s and it has continued to be common for real low end (i.e. big box) bikes but during the 2000s the tires got wider. I just checked a 2005 Jamis catalog and the bikes (all 26ers) came with 2.3s, 2.1s, 2.0s until you got to the cheaper lines which had 1.95s. And my 2014 29er came with 2.1s. The big box bikes come with skinny tires to save money and because most of them will be ridden on pavement.
    I currently have 2.3s on my 26ers and still have the 2.1s on my 29er (those are pretty much at the top of my list for buying some new ones, will probably go 2.2 - 2.3).

    Plus bikes and tires may be selling like crazy where you are but I rarely see them when I ride. You're riding on much looser surfaces, when I've ridden around Las Vegas I've seen the need for fatter tires. But I'm riding on hardback and some loose over hardback and most riders don't want or need the extra weight and sluggishness that plus tires bring.

    Besides fork clearance, don't forget about width clearance when putting wider tires on old bikes.

    Well, the point I'm trying to make, and it's murky because of all the actual measuring, is that more and more people on here are asking if a 2.8 to 3.0 tire will fit in their current fork. There is a fairly quick and easy way to find out, if they have some basic math skills for measuring their current tire's distance under the fork arch. And yes they have to factor in the width too but that's pretty easy; you just measure the space between the lowers and compare it to the advertised tire width. Height is different. It needs an equation. In your parlance, it needs extrapolation from incomplete data

    Some people think + tires are a fad and I don't really know either way right now; I don't even have a real + tire mounted yet, still sitting in my garage waiting for the front wheel to arrive. But from what others have said, including Osco, who has probably ridden for centuries, + tires in loose dirt are a Godsend. For the Southwest of this country, which has about 50 million people, + tires are a huge invention and 26+ is a really cool alternative to 27.5 standard tires. I may even turn my 27.5 bike into a 26+ once I rearrange some stuff in the drivetrain to accommodate the rear tire. I do have to say though that 26x2.5 is giving me a lot more pedal strikes. Nothing horrible, just noticeable.
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    You're making this way harder than it needs to be, and your estimates are massively, and wildly off. You're multiplying guesses by numbers that dont work to end up with ~1-1.5 inch differences that arent accurate.

    26er rims are 559mm. 27.5 rims are 584mm. Thats a 25mm total diameter difference, or 12.5mm difference in height. Or 12.5mm difference in fork clearance, with an otherwise identical tire.

    You dont have to do any multiplication or formulas at all. Its simply adding or subtracting based on actual diameters.

    In general, a 2.5 26er will be comparable to a 2.35 27.5er... except its uncommon to find appropriate rims in 26, and tire options are very limited.

    I remember when there was no 27.5 option at all, and we were changing over from 1.95/2.1 tires to real true 2.4 fat tires. That difference in diameter was bigger than 26 to 27.5 change we have now! No one at all was talking about rider height or anything silly like that, despite that change being bigger than this change.

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    Finally, back to 650B pimping in the 26er forum.

    Took like six months that time.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Finally, back to 650B pimping in the 26er forum.

    Took like six months that time.

    LOL. I kind of like the 26" forum because it accidentally became rebellious by being outdated/ostracized. As in the rest of the website would probably prefer 26" to fade away and be forgotten about. What I don't get is that people love singlespeeds and gravel bikes and all of these other weird bikes but they don't like a wheel that defined mountain biking for 20 years?

    If 26 x 2.8 in the front doesn't work, maybe I'll be done with 26" frames, just use it as a utility bike, road bike, e-bike conversion, etc. But I'm still holding out hope that the right 26" tire size and width can provide decent traction, speed, rollover, and handling. Maybe that's a 27.5" tire, maybe not 26" but I'll still try 26" one last time. It deserves another chance.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    LOL. I kind of like the 26" forum because it accidentally became rebellious by being outdated/ostracized. As in the rest of the website would probably prefer 26" to fade away and be forgotten about. What I don't get is that people love singlespeeds and gravel bikes and all of these other weird bikes but they don't like a wheel that defined mountain biking for 20 years?

    If 26 x 2.8 in the front doesn't work, maybe I'll be done with 26" frames, just use it as a utility bike, road bike, e-bike conversion, etc. But I'm still holding out hope that the right 26" tire size and width can provide decent traction, speed, rollover, and handling. Maybe that's a 27.5" tire, maybe not 26" but I'll still try 26" one last time. It deserves another chance.
    I think you may be underestimating the number of riders on here who still have and ride a 26er. For many, including myself, it may not be their main bike but the slight difference between 26 and 27.5 just isn't enough for me to replace my 26er. I actually bought it after I bought my 29er, which did replace another 26er. I had wanted a James Dragon for years, bid on a fair number of frames and lost and then a complete bike came up at a great price. I considered if I steel wanted to invest in a 26 and decide, why not? and ended up winning it at what I still consider a steel (puns intended). 26 was fun then and still is (enough puns).
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You're making this way harder than it needs to be, and your estimates are massively, and wildly off. You're multiplying guesses by numbers that dont work to end up with ~1-1.5 inch differences that arent accurate.

    26er rims are 559mm. 27.5 rims are 584mm. Thats a 25mm total diameter difference, or 12.5mm difference in height. Or 12.5mm difference in fork clearance, with an otherwise identical tire.

    You dont have to do any multiplication or formulas at all. Its simply adding or subtracting based on actual diameters.

    In general, a 2.5 26er will be comparable to a 2.35 27.5er... except its uncommon to find appropriate rims in 26, and tire options are very limited.

    I remember when there was no 27.5 option at all, and we were changing over from 1.95/2.1 tires to real true 2.4 fat tires. That difference in diameter was bigger than 26 to 27.5 change we have now! No one at all was talking about rider height or anything silly like that, despite that change being bigger than this change.

    You are talking about rim size above. I'm measuring mounted tires on rims. Big difference. Please excuse me for being a practical person and actually measuring rim plus tire height.

    When you say a 2.5 26" tire will be comparable to 2.35 27.5" tire, what exactly do you mean? Height-wise, no, it's not comparable. A 26 x 2.5 is around 26.8 inches high; a 27.5 x 2.35 is around 27.9 inches high. That's about an inch of height difference. If you are saying they are comparable for speed, rollover, handling, etc., OK that's your opinion, I will note it. I'm measuring HEIGHT of mounted tires to see how much of a tire can fit into a standard fork. Even if I'm off 1/4 inch for each tire that's still at least 1/2 inch difference between the two tires. That's not comparable. If it was, then 27.5" bikes would simply be a glorified 26", and all the people saying that tire size doesn't matter would be correct. It does matter. Tire size (height) does matter a lot. I'm getting more pedal strikes with a 26 x 2.5 in front on a 27.5" frame. Why? Because the tire is around 1 to 1 1/2 inches lower than the 27.5 x 2.5 I had on before.

    If you are saying that a 26 x 2.4 has a larger diameter change from 1.95 than 26" to 27.5" diameters, again, if you are talking about mounted tires on rims, that's just not correct. Otherwise a 26 x 2.4 would not be able to fit into many standard 26" forks, and a 27.5 x 2.1 tire often could. But the opposite is true; the 26 x 2.4 still has a decent amount of room in a standard 26" fork and a 27.5 x 2.1 cannot fit into many 26" forks. Because a 27.5 x 2.1 is 0.7 inches taller on average than 26 x 2.4.

    One Pivot, I like a lot of things that you post, but jesus, have you not even measured your own mounted tires??? Go out there and measure them and prove me wrong. Maybe your 26" forks can accept 27.5 tires but you never saw the difference in height between them and 26 tires? A lot of the veterans are begging someone to prove me wrong about something. And if I'm wrong, I will admit it and move on. I need proof that I'm wrong, not some theoretical white-tower lecture about 559 vs 584. That means nothing if there is no mounted tire to measure with.

    Take a look at the pics, an tell me if I'm measuring incorrectly. The 26 x 2.5 measured pretty much what I expected, around 26 3/4 high. The 27.5 x 2.5 was shorter than I calculated, at 27 3/4 inches inches high, maybe a bit smaller than that. The knobs have been ground down a lot in 1000 miles so that may be some of the height loss compared to the new 26 x 2.5. But that's still an inch of difference. That's not equivalent.
    Fitting a 27.5" wheel on an original 26" wheel frame?-0427181038.jpgFitting a 27.5" wheel on an original 26" wheel frame?-0427181041.jpg
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    Not to obsess about this (LOL), but here is an earlier post from an expert that tests MTB tires all the time. He basically wrote what I did, except he essentially said that sometimes with the same width of tire, 650B is not always 1.5 inches higher than 26", it can be as low as one inch higher, as I measured from the 26 x 2.5 vs. 27.5 x 2.5 above. That's the ONLY discrepancy. One inch higher vs. theoretically 1.5 inches higher. If 584mm is one inch higher rim diameter than 559mm, then that may account for the entire discrepancy right there. 27.5 is still at least one inch higher. It would take a 26 x 3.0 tire to be higher (or larger in diameter) than a 27.5 x 2.1. A 26 x 2.4 doesn't come close to the height of a 27.5 tire. Most important part of thread copied and pasted first:

    650B vs 26 =>
    There is no way that the OP measured properly. Large 26 tire measure at most a hair over 27, 26 comes in from 26.5 to 27, while any 650B is 27.5 to almost 28, comparing the same model (NN 2.35) the difference is close to an 1 inch (give or take)

    650b vs Tall 26 Tires?


    Entire reply from Pastajet:

    Note: I am a tire tester and pro-reviewer of bike components (tires, etc.), the former for one particular large brand. But I am as full of it as the next person, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Although I strive to be objective as possible in all my reviews and testing, tires are somewhat personal, and how they react and work for me, and my local terrain, makes it all the more difficult. So I try to be overly picky, and dig deep into their characteristics, and look for strengths and weaknesses in any terrain and conditions. I have tested tires on my Ibis Mojo HD (26 & 650B), Mojo Classic and Moots Mooto-XZ 29er, in any sort of terrain that Colorado, Utah, AZ (a few forays in SoCal) can throw at you. My local testing terrain is predominantly loose rocky conditions, with many long steep climbs and descents, rock gardens, slick rock, an occasional smooth singletrack and lots of ugly loose gravel. In the Colorado Springs area where I ride, we have Pikes Peak gravel (pea gravel) on most of our trails, and it's one of the most nightmarish traction eaters that I have ever dealt with. Cornering, braking and climbing can be a lesson in humility.

    Harsh TK's =>
    In regards to the 26" TK 2.4 (Black Chili version), I never found them to offer a harsh ride, at least at 18-24psi. They are still my fave tires of all time, and I have gone through at least 7-8 pairs. Found them to offer excellent flotation and traction in loose conditions, and they are sticky on slick rock, and are conformable and pliable in rock gardens. They have one of the fattest carcasses on the market at an almost true 2.4. Specified tire size by manufacturers are pretty useless, and are only a general indication of skinny, medium and fat widths. Other fat tire have more width in regards to their knobs than the TK, but not usually the carcass.

    650B vs 26 =>
    There is no way that the OP measured properly. Large 26 tire measure at most a hair over 27, 26 comes in from 26.5 to 27, while any 650B is 27.5 to almost 28, comparing the same model (NN 2.35) the difference is close to an 1 inch (give or take)

    gvs_nz =>
    How much experience have you had riding 650B tires and wheels? What are your local conditions that you ride? I find the 650B have better rollover than 26 IMHO, though obviously not a 29er. Personally in my local conditions, I don't like the MK2 2.4's, I find they aren't as sticky on rock ramps and don't offer near the traction in loose conditions, though they do offer better acceleration, rolling, faster steering, and are lighter.

    MK2 2.4 Protection
    Casing width - 2.25 inches
    Casing height - 2.05 inches

    TK 2.4 Black Chili
    Casing width - 2.38 inches
    Casing height - 2.27 inches
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  20. #20
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    If you're going to spam us with copypasta, at least get it from the recycle bin.

    That stuff is occasionally actually worth reading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Not to obsess about this (LOL)...


    TLDR
    OMG No. Really.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You're making this way harder than it needs to be, and your assumptions are massively, and wildly off.
    As usual.

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    The answer to the opening post is that your 26" bike needs to have close to an inch of clearance to be able to use a 27.5 wheel and tire.

    In most cases, you will be better off upgrading to a 30-35mm rim such as Flow or WTB Asym and a 2.4-2.5 inch tire.

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