Increasing tire clearance on steel CX bike-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Jan 2009

    Increasing tire clearance on steel CX bike

    I have a Traitor Crusade cyclocross bike that has space for a 35mm tire in the back. It's a blast to ride almost everywhere, but it's extremely limited on anything other than the smoothest dirt because the rocks shred tires. I have had to walk home more than once for this reason. Lesson learned the hard way, and I mostly ride it on roads now. I really wish it had more "monster cross" capabilities

    Short of buying a new frame, what would be involved in modifying the chainstays to take a 42mm+ tire? Is this something you would only trust to a bicycle frame builder? (In which case, they'd probably much rather spend their time building their own frames for legitimate customers!) Probably not worth the trouble, but I can't justify a new frame for such a petty concern.

    This is a "budget" steel frame that went out of production four years ago, so I am not afraid of any reprocussions on the warranty that does not exist.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Meriwether's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    You can dimple the inside of the chainstays but Iím not sure by that much. Many have done this and succeeded but need to have a hub holding the dropouts straight. I doubt itís heat treated tubing so should be ok to dimple with a tube block and vice. Do some googling and youíll see some peopleís post-hoc dimpler tools.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Not a frame builder, but i've been down this road too. You could try going to 650b, but that's not cheap either.
    Went from 36-37 to 43mm tires on my gravel bike. I can ride it on rocky, rough terrain without destroying the tires, but it's simply slow as balls and not fun at all. It's very easy to reach a point on these bikes where any XC MTB with suspension and bigger tires would be way more comfortable, faster, and more fun.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I did some post-paint dimpling on a frame I built to get clearance for a larger chainring than what I had planned for. I used an oak block I shaped to match the chainstay on the side I did not want to dimple and a piece of heavy leather to protect the paint on the side I was trying to dimple. Then I squished it with large vise-grip pliers. It took more effort than I thought it would and I went slow to avoid going too far.
    I only needed to gain about 2mm more clearance, but the paint was not destroyed and it hasn't caused me any problems with six more months of hard riding on it. Sounds like you'll need to squish more than I did... it is possible though.
    If I were to do it again I would use larger vise-grips than what I had or possibly a big C clamp or my ball joint press (a five ton C clamp). It was a good hand work out.Increasing tire clearance on steel CX bike-img_7293.jpg

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