Well I just need Keegan to use it, run the table race wise on it then for SURE it will make ME a better rider.
Might be 3 years until then since the V4 Stiggy just popped out.
That or he will launch that with a pending Wagon Wheel HT yet to be released…
Future Leadville 100 slayer.
Are the BB height measurements taken at sag? There’s a pretty big range of BB drop in gravel bikes from the mid/high 60s to the high 70s. Many XC hardtails nowadays are sitting in the mid/high 60s, so they are pretty similar.
It might be nice to bring BB height down ever so slightly when swapping in gravel wheels (would be the case with swapping 29er to 700c), given that you’re probably not pushing your gravel tires AS hard through the rough stuff as your MTB tires.
As of now, the opposite is in effect if you look at 700c vs. 650b. I’ve found most 650s will lower your BB height, which is the opposite of what I’d want when fitting a more aggressive tire.
Does that mean that the 700c/29er combo is the best in this situation, or will we see BB heights change to a figure that can perform well consistently through wheel changes from 29er to 750d?
- Great question and point. I have a strong guess that the values are always at full extension, unloaded. Depending on the bike of interest (HT or FS) and the suspension travel, the actual BB Height loaded with a rider will likely drop around 10-15mm from the stated charts.
That would make sense as to why the full-suspension bikes have less BB drop & higher BB height. The same goes for bikes with more travel…
I’m so glad you mentioned it, because it’s an easy thing to miss (as I too often do). It’s less of an issue when comparing similar bikes (XC fullys or HT’s and such), but super important when mixing suspension options (full, HT, rigid).
I caught it in a separate discussion with one member considering gravel bike when comparing rigid bikes to those with suspension forks. The BB Height/Drop will potentially change there depending on sag setup. But doing a MTB related discussion that nearly always includes suspension vs these gravel bikes is very worthwhile to think about the sag aspect. Beyond the BB issues, stuff like Head Tube Angles and such will also change, particularly with HT’s. Details matter and nothing is as simple as we might like
Here’s a great example. I ordered one of these this spring. It should be here any day now.
As you can see, with the rigid ENVE fork, the BB drop is in gravel bike range, whereas with a 120mm fork, it’s closer to a trail bike. I suspect a 100 - 110 will place it perfectly in the XC “do it all” range which is what I’m aiming for.
I spend a lot of time looking at geometry…
Makes my happy to see others with charts like this. Conditional formatting is a on top
You guys are nerds (coming from a guy who spends 40+ hrs a week looking at spreadsheets).
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing!
For sure, proud “Geometry Geeks” in every way
- Super interesting to see the related article on WTB debuting the first 29er tire in 1999! Way before I would have guessed.
How long until hardtail mountain bikes and gravel bikes slowly merge? Just need to figure out quick change brake levers so I can swap between flat and drop bars.
I’ve been a gravel bike holdout. I’ll just wait until the industry introduces the unroad segment.
I remember Sepcialized and Ned Overend trying 700c MTB wheels at Cactus Cup in the early 90’s. Yeah I’m OLD
Yup….this is what I was referring to earlier in the thread. Gary Fisher started advocating for 29’ers back in the mid-late 90’s and IIRC, there was a Bianchi w/ 700c wheels back in the early 90’s that was available at retail.
Now you’re old too
Never really understood the problem with multiple wheelsize offerings on the market. It’s not like I plan to share wheels or tires between my XC and enduro bikes anyway, so it wouldn’t matter if the wheelsizes are different.
Likewise, if my next gravel bike has 750D wheels, that’s fine. Wasn’t planning to throw my 700C Enve 65s on there.
Bianchi has the most compelling claim to have invented the hybrid bike both with drops/flat bars, and 700c wheels, with their Volpe released in 1986. This directly evolved into the Project bikes which were ur-29ers in the same class as the Gary Fisher Sphinx, Schwinn Cross bikes, Trek Multitrack, etc. - all hitting in 1989/1990.
These concepts took about a decade to evolve further into 29er tires and mountain bikes, with Gary Fisher/Trek/Bontrager creating much of the bedrock. And then another decade+ to get really good - think about how much better MTBs have gotten from 2013-2023 and then think about what they were like earlier.
I think Bruce Gordon is also relevant, creating both the style of bike and specific tires of a new type and size for hybrid/gravel bikes in the mid/late 1980s.
What’s most compelling about all this is that the groundswell is either from directly engaging a niche group that gets copied and pushed into the mainstream or from consumers themselves demanding more of a product type. You can go back and read letters in Bicycle Guide and Bicycling from people asking for more Hybrids because they wanted bikes that weren’t within the (to some distasteful) MTB marketing sphere but were upright, comfortable, and more approachable for natural surface paths and trails.
We also have a recent example of a “new” wheel and tire standard in WTB’s 650b Road Plus from 2016. Which was the expansion and main-streaming of Jan Heine’s ideas and products developed and disseminated through Bicycle Quarterly. As I said earlier, I think consumers were less exhausted then and more interested in new ideas.
Right now there’s already a huge base enjoying what they’ve got, most of which is new - “everyone” recently switched to disc brakes, or tubeless, or 12/13 speed, or got into gravel, and so on. After seeing the reaction to 750D for a few days I think this is going to be a slow boil for quite a while, if it takes off at all. There’s a compelling argument that the gravel-race-industrial-complex could provide ample incentive to hesitant adopters but I remain skeptical the will is there. At the very least, we’re going to need to see a lot better tires - WTB Nanos are a decade out of date at this point.
@Haveyoumetzach You still may want different gearing as well - bigger front ring, cassette and then you need to change your chain. I held out until recently and am glad I bought a dedicated gravel bike. I tried racing gravel on my HT with narrow tires and I was on the superior bike for 2% of the course.