Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wheels & Tires

Honey Badger 2.2"ers
It's kind of funny now how certain things have really changed in the span of four to five years. Back then a really wide rim and a really wide fat, 29"er tire was the hot set up. Now we have 29+ and fat bikes and Dirt Wizards coming. A big, voluminous 29"er tire on a fat rim is not news worthy anymore, or so it would seem.

Maybe that makes my excitement over the Kenda Honey Badger and my old Salsa Cycles Gordo rims a bit odd for most of you out there. I had been running the Kendas on a Velocity Blunt SL wheel set. Well.....why not? They were listed as 2.2"ers, which in tire parlance means 2.15"ers, maybe.  But lo and behold! The Honey Badger lived up to its billing, but what was even more impressive was the Kenda's "poof factor"- These are voluminous tires!

So, the Gordos, long left on a hook, were called back into "active duty" yesterday. The Blunts were just too narrow for these meats. I swapped end caps from the 20mm through axles I was using before on the Hope hubs that are laced to the Gordos. (Wait! Does anyone still roll with a 20mm thru anymore? ) I only have 9mm QR end caps to swap over to, since at the time I bought the hubs, 15QR was but a pipe dream! Oh well, that only meant that these wheels and tires would be going back on my beloved OS Bikes Blackbuck. It's almost like old home week!

OS Bikes Blackbuck, circa 2010
Back around 2008-2010 I ran these wheels pretty much exclusively on the ol' Blackbuck with big, voluminous tires. Most of that time I had an old WTB WeirWolf LT on the back and a Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4"er up front. I loved the way the bike ran with those big meats. It was awesome.

Now the Kenda Honey Badger mounted up on that old Gordo reminds me a ton of the old Schwalbe Racing Ralph and I can't wait to get out there on these wheels and tires to see if I can bring back a bit of the "good old days" and have that fast, cushy, fully rigid feel again.

Wheels and tires: They can really make or break any bike. It makes a lot of sense too, because that's what makes a bicycle roll, and we all want to roll fast, right? Fast, with grip and comfort, and that equals fun. That's what I remember best about the old Blackbuck set up. It was a hoot to ride.

I've got a little tweaking to do before I can get the rig out, but I haven't been excited about tires like this in a while. Well, there is the Rock & Roads on the BMC. Those babies are great too. Can't tell I like wheels and tires, can ya? Ha!

1 comment:

MG said...

I'm with ya, Brother... Great wheels and tires can make almost any bike feel and handle better.