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  1. #1
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    Speeding up my Troll

    Ok, I built up my troll a couple months ago for riding to work the vast majority of the time. I put 650b's on it and have the best pavement tire I could find but my question is... Would a 26" rim with a 1.5" slick be a tad quicker you think?

    This thing feels like a pig sometimes. It does have a rack with one bag on it as I'm a ball of sweat with the bag on my back

  2. #2
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    My Troll never feels fast, more like a tractor. The name suits the bike perfectly.

  3. #3
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    My Rigid Soma Groove was one of the last two bikes I was choosing from. that or the Troll.

    Frankly I'm glad I picked the groove. though I do wonder if perhaps a snappier, more responsive fork like the Salsa Cro-Moto would help. Surly forks are famous for sluggy dead handling... Which I am told is no longer the case on 2013 KM's and Cross checks.

    this is all second hand info, though.

  4. #4
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    If you want to go faster you might try 700c wheels with 25 or 28mm road tires.

    A cheaper option is to change your position for better aerodynamics.
    Ride more!

  5. #5
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    I've read that bigger wheels throw off the geometry. I might try the 26" wheels because I can get narrower and slicker tire options on that size. The 650b tires I have while they roll nice are big and fat

  6. #6
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    The troll is built for sturdiness. I'm not sure it will ever really feel lively and sprite the way a steel frame made for snappiness and light weight will feel. A 700c wheel with a 23-28 will be close to the same diameter as a 650b with a 38-40 or a 26" with a 50-55mm tire. Not exact but close.

    Which tire do you have on the 650b rims right now?

    If the troll rides like the ogre I rode, the they both feel very solid and ready to take a load or hit the rough stuff, but certainly not snappy. A more lively fork might make a smidge of difference.
    Last edited by vaultbrad; 03-26-2013 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Afterthoughts

  7. #7
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    Re: Speeding up my Troll

    Ok. Provide me a link or something on the math behind wider tires on 26" rims being the same diameter as skinnier tires on 700c. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it. Seems backwards.

    And I never expected a nimble bike. I'm just surprised how sluggish it is

    Sent from my GT-P6210 using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
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    The Troll is as stiff as a wet noodle, has massive heavy droputs and will go absolutely anywhere loaded with huge amounts of luggage. It is what it is and I love it for it.

    Great Divide Canada

  9. #9
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    Hey Gamb,

    Here's a web link that will give the diameter and circumference of different size wheels and tires. It's actually quite interesting to see that different wheel sizes with different tire sizes can be quite similar. BikeCalc.com - How to calculate Bicycle Wheel Size (the chart does not have 650b/584 rim iso, couldn't find a chart that did) EDIT: Cateye's computer chart which should be more accurate: http://www.cateye.com/files/manual_d...e_chart_v2.pdf

    Going with a 700c wheel with a narrow tire can be similar in size to a 650 or 26" as well as lighter and easier to accelerate. When I switched from my 26" x 2.4" tires on wide rims to 26" x 2.0" tires on mid size rims it accelerated easier and the steering was snappier, but it just didn't feel right to me for what I like. A narrower tire will allow quicker turn in with steering.

    Are you looking for a quicker steering feel or a faster linear/straight feel? It seems these ideas are both floating around in this thread. What 650b tire and size are you running?

    From my experience (may be somewhat limited of course and thinking from a physics kind of direction)
    Quicker steering - narrower tire, possibly a little smaller (small amounts go a long way), in street go higher pressures
    Faster linear - keep diameter if possible, lighter wheel/tire, for street go higher pressures
    Last edited by Turtle01; 03-26-2013 at 10:16 AM.

  10. #10
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    tires currently are Panaracer Col De La Vie 650B x 38 Picked them up off biketiresdirect.

    I thought a lighter wheel and skinnier tire would be the way to go. I've got some 26" wheels and tires I could try out. I'm not worried about the handling as much as the sluggish feeling. It's super comfy so if that's the way it's supposed to be I might just live with it

  11. #11
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    The tires you've mentioned are neither wide nor heavy. The only thing that would make that tire feel slow is perhaps the tread pattern. 650b's appear to be difficult to find a great commuter/road tire for from my searches. You might be able to feel a tiny bit of difference with the 26" tire, but like others have mentioned the Troll is not a fast feel bike. My Troll has never had a speed demon feel, but more a stable cruise forever feel. If you have the 26" wheels and tires give them a shot and see how they feel, but I wouldn't go sinking a lot of money into the efforts for the amount of return you would probably get. If you want to feel fast on your commute and don't mind dropping a wad of cash into the scenario I'd get a second bike like the Trek CrossRip or the Specialized Tricross in their previous year base models if possible (Trek just started the CrossRip this year I think though).

  12. #12
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    I use 700x35 and even as small as 700x25 on my Troll for road riding and commuting, and it's definitely faster and handles more nimbly. Most noticeable difference is climbing. No skinny tires off road, though.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=gamb;10268279]tires currently are Panaracer Col De La Vie 650B x 38 Picked them up off biketiresdirect.

    Dude, nix those tires. I have plenty of randonneuring friends who ride 650b and none liked those tires. These are the tires you want:

    Compass Bicycles: Tires

    Root around that website, there's lots of good information there about 650b tires, tire pressure and other things. Great ride reports on the blog.
    All good expeditions should be simple in concept, difficult in their execution and satisfying to remember--Alastair Humphreys

  14. #14
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    Grand Bois Hetres are great 650B tires for road riding. I've used them for dirt trails and gravel without issue. They are fast and comfortable if you inflate them correctly for optimal rolling resistance.

    Tire Pressure | The Lazy Rando Blog...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #15
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    Rivendales' site has some 650's

  16. #16
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    Awesome to see some 650b people chime in with some better choices of tires. Almost any of the other options mentioned look like better choices for lower rolling resistance from a visual tread makeup standpoint.

    Now dangit, I had forgotten about Rivendell bikes for a while and that they had a 650b or two. Oh, do they have some sweet bikes. (I better not look at their sight for too long, no cash laying around)

  17. #17
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    What do you guys think of the narrower Gran Bois tires? The Cyprus (32) or the Lierre (36)?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamb View Post
    What do you guys think of the narrower Gran Bois tires? The Cyprus (32) or the Lierre (36)?
    I've run the Cypres 700 x 32mm and that is the tire my GF uses on her daily commuter bike. Very fast and comfortable for a 700c tire.

    I run the Hetres 650b x 42mm on my road bike/rando bike. On real roads it's as fast and more comfortable. On really bad roads, gravel and dirt trails it's much better.

    If I had a choice I've much rather have the 42mm Hetres on my bike than the 32mm Cypres, but often the limitation is wheel size and tire clearance in the frame.

    When we build my GF another commuter bike in a few years it will be a 650B bike with 42mm Hetres.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  19. #19
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    Ok. the Hetre's it is. Tires ordered and a bunch of replacement tubes since I'm out and currently have a flat. I'll be on the backup road bike for a couple days but no worries.

    Also have an arkel bug that should be here tomorrow. Saweet. no more sweaty back

  20. #20
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    Hi gamb, have you tried a higher tyre pressure for on road riding? Could make a world of difference to the on road nimbleness and speed and not to mention effort.
    Just a thought. Pumping in a few more pounds per square inch is heaps less effort than changing tyres every time you want to play in the dirt.

    Tires usually have a min and max tyre pressure stamped on the side.

    Also I find fatter tires more comfortable to ride than skinny ones.
    Not an issue on a short commute but a ride longer than an hour and my butt
    doesnt like it on the skinnys

  21. #21
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    I had the tires inflated to their max suggested and probably a touch over. If the gran bois roll that much better I don't mind getting them

  22. #22
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    Let us know how it works outs but I don't feel like the tires are going to change much. You'll have lower rolling resistance perhaps but the bike will still feel like a Troll. Heck I can't even get my LHT to feel fast regardless of the tires. The Troll is not a bike that maximizes the energy you are putting in to it. The faster the tires the more pronounced that trait becomes obvious to me. If most of the riding I did on a Troll dictated smooth fast rolling tires I probably get a Cross Check. YMMV.

    Edit: I think this is why I dislike riding my Troll on pavement so much, it reveals the bike to be the slug that it is. On a dirt trail it becomes less pronounced simply because I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere.
    Last edited by Saddle Up; 03-28-2013 at 08:38 AM.

  23. #23
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    Maybe not. I'll keep the tires I have and put them back on when I wear the gran bois out if so. No real money lost I would say. And it might end up that I should have gotten a cross check frame or other cyclocross style bike for my commute. I just thought the versatility of the troll would make it fun

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamb View Post
    I had the tires inflated to their max suggested and probably a touch over. If the gran bois roll that much better I don't mind getting them
    Do yourself a favour and don't inflate the Hetres to max recommended pressure. They are not going to roll faster that way and will lose their amazing comfortable ride.

    High pressure does not equal fast in a bike tire. The link I posted above gives you a good idea how to determine optimal pressure for low rolling resistance and comfort.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  25. #25
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    vikb,

    Just read the article you posted. Great read. I fully agree with it. I've been following a similar principal, but now I'm curious to go check to see if my tires are about 15% sag.

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