Best footprint - Wide tire/narrow rim, or narrow tire/wide rim?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best footprint - Wide tire/narrow rim, or narrow tire/wide rim?

    The limiting factor here is moderate attention to weight due to single speed for AM riding. Obviously a wider tire and a wider rim give a great footprint, but I want to find the best middle ground. Would you prefer to run a 2.5" DHF on a 25mm rim, like an EX471, Flow or i25? Or do you think a 2.35" DHF on a 729 is better?
    Last edited by smp80; 03-24-2015 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
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    My 2.35" Nevegals were definately more solid on 729's than the stock 20mm rims. The 2.5" DHEA Goma I now use... the 729's look too small, although I've not had any issues. Don't think I'd want to run them on a 25mm rim, though. Little concern over rolling a 2.35" tire on a 30mm rim, I'd suggest that route for AM use.
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  3. #3
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    After recently building some Velocity Dually45 wheels and having owned the original Flows for the past 6+ years and more recently WTB i25s, I'd definitely say go for the wider rim and narrower tyre combo as the wider rim will make the narrower tyre grow a bit and it'll have much better sidewall support allowing for proper trail pressures without feeling tyre roll.
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  4. #4
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    I vote for using tires and wheels designed with each other's respective width in mind.

    My WTB Vigilante 26x2.3 actually says on the casing that it's for 20-29mm inner rim width. I have used dozens of tires over the years, and this is honestly the first time I've ever seen such a marking on a MTB tire. (edit: I've seen it on 700c road tires now and then, probably to warn against running really narrow rims, or 27" rims.) I have it on a 21.5mm Spank Oozy Evo26 (now called Trail 260) wheel.

    I have another set of wheels, Mavic Crossmax ST. They're 19mm inner width, which Mavic used for years upon years for MTB wheels before finally moving to some wheels with 22 or 25mm inner width. The Crossmax ST says it's for 1.8" to 2.3" wide tires. I've had a large 2.3 on there before and currently have a large 2.25 (Michelin Wild Grip'R) which makes the tread face quite curved when the tire is new but mine is now fairly worn so it's more squared than it used to be.

    2-wheeled vehicles are designed to lean into turns. A curved tread face facilitates this.

    Regarding the OP's question, I also run tubeless as both of my wheelsets are tubeless ready. The DHF 2.5 and 2.35 are not tubeless, and they're not listed size once mounted, either. The 2.3 EXO TR is newer and actually does measure 2.3" when mounted. That's the tire I would use.

    I actually have a DHR2 2.3 EXO TR as my back tire, and it's almost the same width at the casing as the WTB Vigilante, but it's noticeably less volume and diameter. The Vigilante is a big tire, and I chose it up front over a DHF 2.3 just to see what it's like. So far, so good.

  5. #5
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    weird how a flow has become a narrow rim recently.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I vote for using tires and wheels designed with each other's respective width in mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    ...Regarding the OP's question, I also run tubeless as both of my wheelsets are tubeless ready. The DHF 2.5 and 2.35 are not tubeless, and they're not listed size once mounted, either. The 2.3 EXO TR is newer and actually does measure 2.3" when mounted. That's the tire I would use.I actually have a DHR2 2.3 EXO TR as my back tire, and it's almost the same width at the casing as the WTB Vigilante, but it's noticeably less volume and diameter. The Vigilante is a big tire, and I chose it up front over a DHF 2.3 just to see what it's like. So far, so good.
    I completely agree with matching tires to rims, but there is a lot of overlap within the recommended ranges for each. I started thinking about this because I have a heavy dirt jumper that is simply overkill for how I now ride 8 years after building it. I'm pulling a few parts off of it to transfer to my new, lighter NS Eccentric frame. This time around, I'm looking to make a lighter bike, even though I'm personally fatter because I often have to ride to the trails and it's going to be a SS. I love my 729s, but it's hard to justify the 675g weight. The alternatives I've found in the 25-30mm range don't excite me as much due to being pinned or sleeved and not all work as well with tubed tires, but the 475-500g weight is very attractive. Mavic's next narrower rim are 21mm, but that's a big difference from 29mm. I realize that a 25mm rim would cause a smaller tire profile, so I thought that I could compensate with one size wider tire if I chose that route. Then again, wider tires are heavier, so saving 175-200g on the rim may be counteracted by a the added weight of the wider tire, and the tire profile wouldn't be as desireable. This leaves me leaning toward a 2.3" tire on a wider rim. I know it's not a huge difference, but I've been going back and forth, and wanted to see what everybody has to say. Mavic does have the EX325, but it is 715g. If only Mavic had a ~550g 25-26mm rim sold individually.

    The whole Maxxis tires running true-to-size issue is a complete topic unto itself that I'm trying to read about as much about as I can on older posts. I hear that the newer Maxxis tires are closer to their stated sizes, but I'm sometimes having trouble determining which are the "newer" models, or newer trim options within a model. I've got 2.2" Holy Rollers on the 729s now, and the carcass is easily an actual 2.2", if not a hair wider. Sounds like the DHFs are the older, smaller style except for the Exo TR, as ColinL mentioned. I like the idea of the Exo sidewall, but if I'm running tubes, the TR adds weight. Is the TR valuable even running tubes? Or does it only help for tubeless?

  7. #7
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    Since you have a singlespeed hardtail AM bike, I would definitely use a tougher rim rather than lighter, and certainly the widest tires you can fit... within a reasonable weight limit, say 900g.

    I do like the WTB i25 - my brother in law has a set of the older i23s. That rim is tubeless ready so if you went that route, yes, I'd use a tubeless ready tire of some variety.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigflamingtaco View Post
    My 2.35" Nevegals were definately more solid on 729's than the stock 20mm rims. The 2.5" DHEA Goma I now use... the 729's look too small, although I've not had any issues. Don't think I'd want to run them on a 25mm rim, though. Little concern over rolling a 2.35" tire on a 30mm rim, I'd suggest that route for AM use.
    I'm going to run tubes for now, but the option to easily set up the i25 tubeless is good to have. My top choices are the i25 and the Alex Supra D for a 25mm rim based on the positive feedback I read (sounds like two more votes here for the i25), but I'm inclined to agree with the idea of going wider than 25mm so I can run 2.35" or 2.5". The Supra 35 with a 30mm inner width sound great, but they are new to 2014 and I haven't found them for sale online yet. The search continues.

  9. #9
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    I'm 98% settled on the i25, but want to sleep on it. A local shop says they will build a front wheel for $267 out-the-door with a 26" WTB Frequency i25 32-hole, DT Swiss 350 Center-lock 15mm axle, DT Swiss Competition double-butted spokes and brass nipples. Not the very best deal I've found, but they are local instead of having them shipped. What do you think: good deal, average, or pulling a fast one on me?

  10. #10
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    I don't know if they are pulling anything. You can lace your own 36/30.8 wide carbon rim to a 6 bolt 350 hub with Sapim spokes for the same.
    The rim stiffness makes building easy for anyone.

  11. #11
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    Of those, wider rim narrower tire is going to yield the best tire pressure characteristics, lightest overall rotating mass package, and to me a preferable footprint for turning and acceleration.

    The best values running are some of the WTB i25's, I'm almost certain the complete wheelset I picked up (29" ST i25, DT Comp Spokes, SLX hubs) from Jenson costs what I paid in just the parts at wholesale closeout prices, but they're a totally bomber wheelset that will continue to be my backup set even after I move to high end carbon (and I'll keep my wet/muddy/chunky tires on these where having 60g heavier rims and straight gauge spokes isn't much of a penalty because I'm rocking 900g tires anyway).

    All of that said, if you can go wide rim wide tire - it's all gravy there. I've been so much happier running a slightly faster rolling but fatter tire setup on wide rims than running a narrower tire on narrower rim that had a lot more aggressive tread - being able to lean and use more of the contact patch really makes a world of difference in a lot of situations, not to mention wider rims being just inherently stiffer laterally (and quite often in the heave/impact dimension since they're taller).

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