2019 Growler 20 with 29" wheels- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019 Growler 20 with 29" wheels

    Has anyone tried running the 2019 Growler with 29" wheels? I've still got the original Suntour XCM 27.5+ fork, which I assume will fit a 29" wheel, but I'm not so sure about the back.

    If you've been able to fit 29er wheels on your Growler, what's the widest tire you've been able to run? Also, does running the larger wheel adversely affect the geometry?

  2. #2
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
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    I do not have one, but I would assume that a 2.3" 29er would fit in the back of your bike. I wouldn't go much wider than that just to be safe about clearance.
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
    2014 Trek Crossrip Elite

  3. #3
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    Thanks CdF9. Oddly enough just before your response today I had contacted the closest dealer and they're going to ask the local RH rep about running 29" wheels on the bike. (I would have contacted the LBS where I bought the bike, but they had gone out of business, and I had contacted RM directly using their website, but never got an answer.) I'll let y'all know what the official line is when I hear back from them.

    In the meantime I went out and bought a 29" Bontrager Line Comp 30 for the front and put a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5" on it, and it fits just fine. It looks like I could have even gone wider, maybe to a 2.6". I've been running the Growler as a mullet for a couple of weeks now and I've noticed no significant change to the geometry, and I am enjoying the easier rollover-ability and slightly fewer pedal strikes. I think you're right about the 2.3" 29er fitting on the back, but coming from a FS bike I'm hoping that the back can also take a 2.5" or 2.6" as I also like the cushioning of the 27.5+ tire back there.

    Regardless of the wheel size, I've been loving riding the bike since I bought it last Sept. Great value for the $.

  4. #4
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
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    I was looking at buying a Growler 275.+ last summer that was on sale, but I decided on the Salsa Timberjack instead because I knew it could run 29" wheels up to 2.6" wide.
    The only reason the Growler couldn't run 29" wheels is if there is a cross-bar linking the chainstays, that would prevent a tire from being much closer to the seattube.
    If there is no bar, there should be no problem, it will just have less clearance.
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
    2014 Trek Crossrip Elite

  5. #5
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    That's funny. I almost bought a Timberjack at the end of summer sale last year at REI but by the time I decided to buy they were out of stock in my size. I wasn't even looking at the Growler at the time but happened to see one on sale when I took my 2016 Thunderbolt into the shop for a warranty item. The price couldn't be beat, so I snatched it up. After a few tweaks I now find myself riding the Growler more than the Thunderbolt.

    The chainstays do have the cross-bar. When I get a chance I'll try to post some pictures of the front and back clearance with different wheels/tires.

  6. #6
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    I took pictures of all the clearances, and I can post them if anyone is really interested, but I think that the best use of those photos was for me to look at the measurements. The bottom line is that I should be able to easily fit a 29" wheel in the back, and I'm guessing that a 2.5 and possibly a 2.6 might work.

    29er Maxxis DHF 2.5" fork clearance: 1/2" to arch, 1/2" to side
    27.5+ Specialized Butcher 2.8" fork clearance: 1 1/8" to arch, 5/8" to side
    27.5+ Specialized Purgatory 2.6" chainstay clearance: 1 1/4" to cross-bar, 3/4" to chainstay
    Chainstay width at cross-bar: ~2.75"

    I also stuck the axle through the DHF and Butcher wheels and measured the radius delta, which was 5/8". That lines up with the clearance to arch measurements (5/8 + 1/2 = 1 1/8), so that gives me some confidence in my measurements.

    I wanted to hear back from the bike shop/RM rep before buying a 29" rear wheel, but given my measurements I think I'll just go ahead and get one and see how it fits. If it doesn't I'll either sell it or just keep it until I have a true 29" bike. Will post up when I get a new wheel.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpope View Post
    I had contacted the closest dealer and they're going to ask the local RH rep about running 29" wheels on the bike. I'll let y'all know what the official line is when I hear back from them.
    The shop heard back from the RM rep and the official line is that the 2019 Growler is not designed for 29" wheels, they're unaware of anyone who's tried running 29" wheels on that bike, and if anyone did that they would void the warranty.

    Although I broke the frame on my 2005 Element a couple of times (Rocky was great about honoring the warranty), this Growler seems pretty stout, so I'm not concerned about the warranty aspect. The only thing holding me back is finding a budget 29" QR rear wheel that can run wide-ish tires. It looks like I'll have to go custom, which isn't going to be budget.

  8. #8
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    I imagine the main reason that 29" wheels on the Growler will void the warranty has more to do with safety/liability involving the front fork. I just measured the overall diameter of the front wheel on my Growler, and is darn close to 28" in diameter and there's about 1" of clearance to the fork arch. So a 29" wheel is going to reduce that clearance down to about 1/2" which would potentially be small enough to have a rock or a stick jam in the space and toss you over the bars. So I suspect that has more to do with the lack of factory approval on a 29" wheel than the physical durability of the frame or fork.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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