Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Fattening Up

Going back a year or so ago I rode the Tamland Two I have with a set of Irwin Cycling wheels. GX35's, I want to say, and while they had been great wheels up to that point, I noted an issue cropping up. The free wheel wasn't engaging correctly and I experienced a few "hiccups" in the engaging process after coasting. 

It had been extremely dusty up to that point and I thought that perhaps the grease in the free hub body was too thick due to dust intrusion which might account for my problem.

I got the bike back to my shop and re-greased the hub after cleaning it out. That seemed to have a positive effect as I did not notice any problems for several rides after that. However; on this latest ride I did, I noted the issue again, and this time it seemed worse. In fact, I thought that I may not make it back to the house. 

Well, that did it for me and those Irwin hubs. I cannot afford to get stranded out in the country by a sketchy hub that won't engage properly anymore. My plan was to swap out wheels and then do something with the Irwin carbon rims and another, new hub set, But in the meantime I wanted to get the Raleigh back up and running as soon as possible. The problem is that I've wholesale swapped over to through axle wheels, and quick release is almost a dead thing to me now. 

Fortunately I still have a few options in the house. One of them found its way onto the Raleigh, but now I have a different problem! The Raleigh was never meant for "fat" gravel tires, but they are so close to fitting that I had to give it a try.

The Tamland Two with some older Roval XC MTB wheels.

The plan entailed taking off these old Roval wheels I got from my friend in SoCal, Grannygear, and use the tires that were already mounted on them which are SOMA Cazadero 700 X 50mm tires. They looked a bit narrow on the Roval rims and so I thought maybe, just maybe, they might squeeze into the frame and fork. 

The Roval wheels are pretty much a set of DT Swiss carbon wheels seeing as how they have DT Swiss spokes and hubs and then you have the Far East manufactured carbon rim with Roval stickers slapped on there. The partially red theme works a lot better on the Raleigh than it did on the Fargo, where they were mounted previously. (More on the Fargo in a minute)

Obviously the wheels and tires went in, but that rear tire jussssst grazes the chain stay where the wheel is slightly out of true. Too little leeway to play with there, so a different set of tires will have to be mounted on the wheels. 

No daylight there!

Bummer! I was so hoping to ride fatter rubber on this bike, but hey, what do you expect? The bike was designed in 2012 and there weren't any gravel tires above 40mm - 42mm then. So, making clearance for 50's would not have even been imagined at that time. I get it. And I'll be okay. No big deal! 

Okay, so I'll have the Raleigh sorted soon with a wheel set that is reliable and won't cause me any worries in the hub department, at least. That ratchet design DT uses is pretty robust. But that wheel set came of the Gen I Fargo, and well, now what to do?

Fortunately, I still had the older wheel set I was using on the Fargo hanging in the rafters. That would only need to have the cassette swapped out to what I had been using on the Fargo and to have a tubeless sealant refresh. And this is what that will look like......

Tires so fat they wouldn't fit in the frame of the image!

The Surly Extraterrestrials on Duster rims fit here with room to spare. That's a 29" X 2.5" tire, and it slots in nicely between what I have going on with the Singular Gryphon Mk3 and the other gravel bikes I own. I just need to refresh the sealant and that one is good to go. I may end up doing a little tweaking on the stem/handlebar set up by reversing the ShockStop Stem to negative rise and lowering that stem on the steer tube by a couple of spacers. 

But otherwise this bike is set for some gravel touring duties and I intend to use it for that this year. The relaxed position, Redshift Shift ShockStop Stem, and those fat tires will make for a much more comfortable and smooth ride. Plus, it can carry a ton of water! 

Anyway, that's what I've been up to over these rainy days we've been having. I'll have an update on the tires for the Raleigh soon. Stay tuned.....


bnelson said...

have you contacted irwin?I was having issues and they sent new free hub and bearings at no cost.

tntmoriv said...

Hi GT, I also have a Gen 1 Fargo, size L, and I am glad those Surly ET 29x2.5 tires fit your Fargo. I tried those same tires on a set of QR Velocity Blunt 35’s to see if they fit, and while the front cleared fine (and looked really cool!) the rear wedged in and had zero space. Actually, it had negative clearance, so no go. Set up tubeless they measure out at just under 2.6” wide. That wheel and tire setup went back on my ECR for urban exploration duty here in Seattle, but it is nice to hear that a narrower rim might work if I want to try again!

Guitar Ted said...

@bnelson - Typically when this sort of thing happens it has to do with the ring drive which is a part of the actual hub shell, or pressed into it, as this one is. In these cases, the new hub itself would have to be relaced into a new wheel. Just to be clear, I have inspected the pawls and springs which are a part of the free hub body and they are fine. The problem, I believe, is with the ring drive.

Whether or not Irwin is willing to give me, or sell at a lowered cost, a new wheel is something I'm not all that interested in, if I am honest. Why not upgrade the hub at this point? Plus, I am an accomplished wheel builder and have the necessary equipment to build up my own wheels. So, I will choose to buy some hubs with a more reliable design, in this case, most likely a DT Swiss hub.I might look at some others, (White Industries hubs are nice and I've used them before), or I could build a rear wheel for my new single speed. We will see......

Guitar Ted said...

@tntmoriv - I explored the Velocity Dually option with my Fargo and found that the 2.4" tires, which were more like 2.8"ers on those rims, would not fit either. It doesn't surprise me that the Blunt 35's make those Extraterrestrials too fat for a Gen I Fargo as well.

Those Dusters are - I think - 28mm inside rim width. It's been a minute since I've measured one. But yeah, they work tubeless with the Extraterrestrials just fine in the Gen I Fargo.

MG said...

I’m with ya, Brother… Life is too short to run sketchy parts. Walking home is never fun.