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  1. #1
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    fattest tires for mid 90s GT + Manitou 3

    What are the fattest tires you've squeezed in the back of a mid 90s GT or in a Manitou 3 shock (same era)?

    I'm still riding my 1994 GT Karakoram (22" frame with original 559-16 rims) with the Manitou 3 I bought back then (and recently replaced the melted elastomers with a firm + long travel kit). I couldn't fit a 2.1" WTB Exiwolf on the back without rubbing the frame, although it is possible that 24 year old rim is out of true... so I put a 2" Hutchinson Python on the back at the last minute before a ride. I have a 2.1" Exiwolf up front, but I feel like I can go wider, after reading a decade old post on another forum where someone fit a 2.3" WTB tire on the front of their '94 Karakoram... likely with the stock rigid fork.

    I don't know that I need to go wider, I am pretty happy running 30 psi up front and 33 in back with tubes (I am 195 lbs, 6'3"), but I want to get the most traction on loose over hardpack that I can out of this bike that I still love riding.

  2. #2
    Sneaker man
    Reputation: mik_git's Avatar
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    I ran 2.2 Darts for a while on M3's, plenty of room for the tyre, but issues with removing past brake pads. I was running 2.1 smokes on the rear of my Xizang, from memory a bit of room left so could maybe run 2.2...depends on the tyre/rim I guess.
    All the gear and no idea.

  3. #3
    Rubber Side Usually Down
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    I might be that guy. My 93 Timberline with rigid GT forks has WTB Motoraptors in 2.3 and my 92 Avalanche with M4's has Ritchey Zmax Megabites. I think Ritchey is a 2.4 and are a big tyre for that era but was damn reassuring. Both fit with no complications.

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  4. #4
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    Manitou 3 forks spacing between the stanchion legs is 92mm. I modified a manitou 3 fork to accommodate a fatbike tire with casing width of 87mm (3.15"), this is about the max tire width that will fit between the stanchions of a manitou 1/2/3/4 fork. More of a concern than the width of the tire between the stanchions is the height of the tire, for contact with the cross brace arch and more importantly with the fork crown at max compression. For my manitou fatbike conversion that dealt with addressing these limitations, see post 16 of thread;
    FatBike front suspension

    Since your Karakoram has a steel frame, you can obtain more tire clearance at the chainstays by crimping and/or bending for additional tire clearance. Tange MTB tubing is fairly stout CrMo tubing, I really wouldn't have any structural concerns about getting medievil with re-contouring chainstays to suit your use.

  5. #5
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    The trick may be which tires you can even choose from...

    In terms of the Manitou (as noted, the 1,2,3,4 are the same in terms of what will fit, and the Mach 5 got bigger), I ran the Ritchey ZMax 2.35's in all those forks and that was the largest casing I ever fit without binding at compression. However, that's a short knob, round tire ( like the 2.4 Mutano Raptor that fits a Mach) and tall knob, squared profile tires like the Fire XC, Dart, Smoke were tight, functional fits at the nominal 2.1, etc...

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