Initial thoughts anyone? My first thought was “get ready to spend more money for nothing” but, I’m open to reading what more experienced gravel riders think.
Here’s some more info…
I suspect the consumer base is too exhausted at this point to push this through
Yeah I read that article and was like…nope. And I’m 6’ 8”
I have only skimmed it since the Riding Gravel article dropped yesterday. Sure seems like marginal gains for speed and sizing issues related to larger riders.
As odd as it may seem, a step to 32" (that has been in testing in various forms) would seem to be a more rewarding change if “bigger is better” is the goal (riders size a/o roll-over).
That’s never stopped the industry before.
Edit: I, for one, welcome our 32” overlords. Though I’m surprised it’s the gravel industry, and not the XC MTB group, pushing for this.
2nd edit: apparently 750D is 30”. C’mon, go big or go home!
I’m biased as Travis is a former team mate but, that was a really informative interview! Thanks for posting. Glad I posted now…
edit: I remember Travis putting drop bars on his mountain bike for Leadville way back. And his cross days when not many seemed to know what cross was. Anywho, Travis is the guy you want for R&D I think.
You’re welcome. I read that article when it was originally posted. Good stuff and Travis is a good “out of the box” thinker for sure. Always good to have people like him pushing boundaries.
Yeah…I mean, look how long it took the industry to finally move to 29” wheels. Almost 2 decades since Gary Fisher started pushing the idea.
And let’s not forget how the industry forced us unwillingly onto Biopace chainrings that are now the standard.
Soon there will be a bunch of worthless bikes with 700c wheels and no UDH…how can we even ride such ancient contraptions
Flipside, headset routing on MTB, most people are probably indifferent, a vocal few are against (me included ), yet I’ve never seen anyone specifically asking for it.
Yet it’s quickly become the standard in the XC world.
My guess here is that a bigger gravel wheel will make some future frames compatible with 750D & 29er wheels, similar to how many gravel frames now are compatible with 700C & larger 650B tires.
This way, we might be able to move away from 27.5 since many MTBs are 29ers nowadays.
It’s hard to justify the changes in the industry most of the time, but this is my best guess!
I haven’t thought of this use… I use my XC bike for gravel and having the ability to switch to narrower and lighter tires with the same outside diameter would be pretty nice.
The MTB will likely already have a favorable BB Drop since that is standard these days, especially when looking at 29er HT’s and such. This is a key metric in handling that is not always considered, but very important in this context in particular.
Dropping the actual BB Height a few mm’s from tire size reduction (with the same BB Drop via the frame mentioned above) probably won’t make a massive difference in cornering, IMO.
Lower center of mass from the tire size drop is beneficial overall, but might not be worthwhile when considering differences in rollover that is part of the larger diameter.
Give and take as ever in bike design, where much depends on setting one priority over another. That can be personal as we know, where each of the two options will make sense for some while not for others.
Smaller tire also means lower speed in same gearing and cadence, which is disadvantageous when XC bikes have a rather small max chainring size.
Yup, I have not seen it mentioned, but comparing either 700c x whatever gravel or 29er MTB to this 700d is an interesting case.
- Related to 700c, the 700d will be taller gearing if regular 700c options are applied. I’ve not run the numbers, but it could lead to people wanting to drop gearing a tad to compensate for the larger circumference.
- You covered MTB well. It’s on par with the goal that many have with picking a 650b gravel setup and larger tire, to get close to a 700c and smaller tire. Keeping the functional gearing delta to a minimum.
Sure, but I guess I question comparing a fully rigid Diverge to a full-sus Epic. Quite different tools even if you equalize for wheel & tire setup. Either way, we’re talking about a “compromise” setup that likely won’t tick all the boxes possible.
The Epic HT has 309mm BB Height (27mm lower than the Epic FS) that is a bike seemingly more in line with what I would expect people considering this tire swap to actually use. That is still 39mm higher than the Diverge, so it is still a factor.
But like I said, BB Height is not the be all, end all for geo in the first place. It’s one metric of interest, but not the only one that matters for cornering… and that assumes that feature is key for a given rider. It will be for some, but not for everyone. For others, the larger diameter setup may prove more desired. Pros/cons and all that.
Neither was 26" wheel for MTB… until it was
I am not sure what side of the fence I land on since this is so new. But the articles above present some worthwhile use cases that may well prove beneficial for some riders. In that sense, I am all for exploration here, because sometimes we don’t know what we need until someone shows us something new.