Build & Questions: 2012 Trek Mamba 29er

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#31
I should've been more specific. The tires themselves work well. However, I have little-to-no clearance under the fork for the front tire or from the front derailleur to the rear tire. After a quick google, the max recommended tire size for the Trek Mamba out of the box is 2.1. Perhaps if I went to single front chainring, then I'd gain the necessary clearance to keep a larger tire.

What do you think? If I just have to get used to debris (leaves and such) getting stuck on the FD hanger, then I'll adjust my expectations. I've done WAY more road riding than mtb, so I'm very open minded.
My $0.02 is what ultraclyde said. Run the largest tire that comfortably fits. It's like your truck, you want a tire that stuffs in the wheel well without rubbing the frame or fender. So it is with a MTB, a tire that fits without rubbing a stay when you consider it packing with mud or in the case of touring bike especially if the rim is knocked a little out of true. I think you have a good handle on what you're after.

My experience is usually the max size means just that, the largest tire that fits normally without being so tight as to not function. Also remember that the diameter and casing width isn't anything like standardized, so one brand and model 29x2.1 might be the same as another 2.0 or 2.2, so there's some trial and error here.

I usually end up with a tire that is a little smaller than a specified max, e.g. a 2.1 when the shop said it *should* fit 2.2. Most of the time my frames end up with two bare spots on either side of the tire due to trying to figure out what tire works best.

And yup, you can often squeeze in a bit more tire by eliminating the front derailleur. I run nothing but single front rings. But I also run single rear cogs so clearance is purely driven by my frame.
 
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#32
Are the tires rubbing the fork / derailleur while riding? You mention leaf build up - does it keep the bike from working or is it just annoying? Leaves gettign snagged sometimes is part of it. They usually pop loose in short order, but if it's keeping something from functioning, that's a different problem.
I appreciate the insight, especially the tire pressure vs trail conditions. It is purely an annoyance, though I found out that the 2.3 doesn't function on the rear. With my experience being primarily on the road, with exception to riding central Texas (not a lot of leaves), my mentality is tuned to "quiet ride is a happy ride". Sounds like I need to adjust my expectations.
 
#33
My $0.02 is what ultraclyde said. Run the largest tire that comfortably fits. It's like your truck, you want a tire that stuffs in the wheel well without rubbing the frame or fender. So it is with a MTB, a tire that fits without rubbing a stay when you consider it packing with mud or in the case of touring bike especially if the rim is knocked a little out of true. I think you have a good handle on what you're after.

My experience is usually the max size means just that, the largest tire that fits normally without being so tight as to not function. Also remember that the diameter and casing width isn't anything like standardized, so one brand and model 29x2.1 might be the same as another 2.0 or 2.2, so there's some trial and error here.

I usually end up with a tire that is a little smaller than a specified max, e.g. a 2.1 when the shop said it *should* fit 2.2. Most of the time my frames end up with two bare spots on either side of the tire due to trying to figure out what tire works best.

And yup, you can often squeeze in a bit more tire by eliminating the front derailleur. I run nothing but single front rings. But I also run single rear cogs so clearance is purely driven by my frame.
Your analogy up top resonated as I came from jeeps to bikes. I'll keep it stuffed and deal with the leaves and stuff, chalking it up to the experience. Regarding the FD, I'll put it down on the winter overhaul. Due to how much I've already invested, I'm going to ride it for a while and build a list of things to do this coming winter. So far thinking go SLX, new wheels/tires (tubeless?). Everything else is pretty much good to go.
 
#34
I pick up leaves here and there. It's buzzy but they usually fly out in short order with a few bumps. If not, just stop and pluck em out. Especially when riding loaded, speed and low ET aren't really the goal!

DavidinDenver makes a good point about tire size varying too. You see the same thing in vehicle tires to a lesser degree, but at least they usually publish actual measurement specs in addition to some nominal "size." You sure don't get that from bike tire manufacturers.