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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Otso Voytech wheel size dilemma

    Per my previous thread, trying to decide between a Voytech and a Skookum. Leaning Voytech, but I understand I am giving up a bit of rear clearance to do so. Here's the next big question. I want to be able to use it as a snow bike (but if we get a huge powder dump, I'm okay not having 26x5's on it). So it will run 26x4.6, or 27.5x4.0 as a max. I'd plan on something around a 70mm rim.

    So point one, I probably have more choices for fat in 26. The first question is, if I want something less fat (apologies to Pivot) for dry dirt riding, which wheel diameter (at that rim width) gives me more choices in a narrower tire? Or if there really are no good narrow choices on the same rim, will one of the max sizes above be better in snow? I'm assuming 27.5x3 just won't work on a 70mm wide rim?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Think about the ratio of tire diameter to tire profile (sidewall and width), the 27.5 will give you a larger contact area with a narrower width than a comparable 26Ē. Tire choices are more limited in 27.5, thatís changing slowly, fortunately the tire choices we have are good.

    A 3Ē tire is kinda narrow for a 70mm rim, that said Iíve run 3Ē tires on 65mm rims and it was okay; sidewall is vertical, tread profile is flat.

    What you want to do with a multi purpose fat bike is have two wheel sets with comparable diameters:
    27.5 x 3 / 26 x 4
    27.5 x 4 / 26 x 5
    27.5 x 4.5 / 29+

    Otherwise you are gonna have a significant change in B.B. height, either itíll be too high or too low. Finding a frame that fits your needs and has the right geo for your wheel choice is key. Personally, Iíd decide on wheel sizes and tires first, then find a frame that works.
    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 12-06-2017 at 11:39 PM.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I'm running 26 x 4.3 on the Lithic 70mm far so good although haven't tested on snow yet. Will echo above though especially for east coast style rock riding BB height matters.

    To give some input about a 3" tire I also have trek stache with 29 3.0 (Chuppas) and found I liked running the 3.0 on the 41mm (internal I think) as opposed to the 50mm mulefats (not sure of internal think I have heard 45mm). Anyway I cannot see 3.0 tire working on 70mm effectively at all, I think your profile will be too wide up front to have good transition in tight turns and out back you would only have roughly 1/8th inch of tire past the rim at most in all likely hood and thin fat bike rims would risk rim edge strikes compromising tubeless bead.

    I like the idea above maybe something towards 26x4.5 and second wheel set 29+
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bacon Fat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I use 4" Jumbo Jim's on 70 mm. They have been plenty fast enough on dry dirt trails. I've tried a few plus bikes to see if it was worth getting set of plus wheels. I didn't see the benefit.

    I don't get enough snow to need anything now than a Van Helga. So the 70mm is the perfect rim for me

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    I took delivery of my Voytek with a 27.5 wheelset (Scraper rims with DT Swiss hubs and 3.0 Rocket Ron's), because I already had a primo 26" wheelset that Mikesee built for me (70mm Whiskey rims, Onyx hubs - Running 4.6 Barbi's and later the 4.6" Terrine Wazia).

    The 27.5 wheelset is awesome for the summer and actually makes me feel like I'm almost fast. (It's an illusion). When I put the 26" wheelset on for winter use it's still a fun ride, but I can tell that the rolling resistance is taking a toll. I did have to downsize a bit on the rear because when I was really throwing some body language into things I would occasionally rub the chain on the 4.6" tire in my lowest gear. Not a continuous issue, but more of an annoyance. I ended up swapping the 4.6" Wazia for a 4.0" and it's no longer an issue. Haven't had a chance to try it in the snow though as we simply haven't had any since the first week of October.
    Denver Metro (Front Range), Colorado

    '17 Otso Voytek (B+ & Fat)
    '00 Yeti ARC
    '12 Novara Buzz

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