Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Okay, so I've had these Gravel King 40's on for a bit, (See my review of them so far HERE), and I put them on the Twin Six Standard Rando first. I thought that is where they would fit the best, since these tires have less tall tread blocks than the Nano 40 TCS tires have. Those Nanos ended up being 42mm on the wide, KOM i25 rims, so the thinking was that the GK's would be better here and I thought everything was going to work out. Bzzzt! Wrong!

The GK's stretched, a lot! Initially they did look better, and there was a decent air space there under the momo-stay and fork crown. However; that all disappeared within about 24 hours of having mounted them. The measurement just after inflation wasn't taken, but I am going to say these things grew at least a couple of millimeters all around. I was floored when I put the calipers on them and they read 43.11mm!

Well, that was just too much for the ol' Standard Rando as I said last Saturday here. Something had to be done about that. I couldn't be having small chunks of gravel jamming in between the tire and fork crown or under the mono-stay in the rear. They already were doing that with the Nano 40's. So, I did the ol' switcheroo. It occurred to me that now I have two eleven speed wheel sets. I had almost forgotten about the Tamland Two's Ultegra 11 speed drive train.

Big tires? Not a problem here!
I had tried out some 2.0" 29"er tires on a whim on the Tamland once. They were WTB Nineline tires. They were too big, because they had no mud clearance at all, but they both spun in the frame freely! That knowledge suddenly came back to me as well, so I already knew these GK's would work. I simply swapped wheel sets and bam! There ya go. Clearance for days and the Standard Rando has the tires on it that it should have now.

MUCH better now!
Lesson learned. Bigger gravel tires go on the Tamland, 35mm-38mm tires go on the Twin Six. The wheels that were on the Tamland are nothing spectacular, but they are decent wheels, as I have had zero issues with them in two years of pretty demanding riding at times. The wheels are set up with tubed Challenge Gravel Grinders, and those are really pretty nice tires. I've never even thought about converting those wheels to tubeless, and I don't think I will. If anything, I'd just re-lace the hubs to new tubeless ready rims at some point.

But that's for another time. Now I have the wheel set with the big meats in a frame and fork where everything fits comfortably, and the Standard Rando is fit to be ridden without fear of tearing up tires, the frame and fork, and me! This is a good thing. Now I did set up those wheels for the Standard Rando, but they always can be switched back and mounted with, say the 36mm Clements, and I think that should fit just fine. I think I may do that eventually.

Now I just have to decide upon which bike I want to ride at the upcoming Gents Race. I wanted to run my new wheels and tires in the T-6, but those are on the Tamland now, so maybe I'll just go with that. Or I could just ride the old standby- the Black Mountain Cycles "Orange Crush" rig. Heck, that's the bike I've used the most down there for that event. It's almost a tradition!


Stutterer said...

As someone who's considering both these bikes, what do you see as the differences between the Twin Six Rando and the Tamland? They seem like very similar rigs to me, and I was wondering if you could comment on what each of them does better (other than the tire clearance you just mentioned). Thanks!

Guitar Ted said...

@Stutterer- The Tamland is maybe a shade lighter, a bit more compliant, and has a stability/feel that- while similar to the T-6- is what I would call a "different flavor" of those traits. Not necessarily "more or less" of that.

The T-6 is definitely much more like a traditional, (think pre-2000's), road bike fit and feel with its bigger opening in the main triangle, more level top tube, and in the way you fit on the bike. If you ever had an older road bike that fit you well, particularly an old steel bike, you will know exactly what I mean there.

I like both bikes really well. The T-6 is different in that on that bike, I feel like I can wind it up and power through rollers staying seated, and the Tamland seems to like a stand and sprint style over that of the T-6. That may just be me though.

Both bikes work brilliantly on gravel. A few things to note: The Tamland now has three bottle mounts while the T-6 has only two. The T-6 has configurable cable stops to accommodate 1X and SS set ups, while the Tamland does not. The T-6 steel Standard Rando also features mid-fork braze ons, which the Tamland does not have. Both bikes have QR drop outs, but the Tanland will change in that regard for '17, so keep that in mind if you dilly-dally and wait till next year.

Hope that helps!

Boudin said...

I wonder how much Rock n Roads would spread out on those rims...

Guitar Ted said...

@Boudin: Oh!

I think we need to find out. ;>)