12 06 2016

I’ve been messing around with different sized wheels on the Jones for a while now. It has settled on a 27.5×3.8 (nearer 3.5 in reality) front and a 27.×2.8 rear. I like how a slightly bigger front wheel gives good roll over and a smaller rear seems to stay ‘tucked in’ and agile in the tight stuff.

My Vertigo Cycles fat bike has now got a new set of wheels as well. The front is a 29×3 and the rear is a 27.5×3.

The front wheel I have had for a while, shod with a Chupacabra; the rear with a 27.5 Chronicle complements it very well.

The build was as follows: Nextie Junglefox 2, with Sapim D light spokes, DT aluminium nipples and a DT swiss big ride 197 hub.

I followed the advice of Wheel Fanatyk and used beeswax to lube the nipple/rim interface. It worked very well indeed. The nipples are pro lock.

Tensioning was a bit of a mixed bag, it wasn’t quite as smooth as I had hoped and there is more than 10% variation on a couple of the spokes. Perhaps this was because I went with 2 cross due to the extreme bracing angle of the super wide hub and the stiff carbon rim. It seemed to tension very late and suddenly.

In retrospect, I might have gone 3 cross as this would lessen the angle of the nipple at the rim.

That or perhaps I should have used the pro head DT nipples, that are more spherical shaped and thus sit at extreme angles more easily.

I have a couple of hours on it. It seems to be fast, the rear doesn’t particularly feel smaller than the front in terms of roll over, but the bike as a whole is very manoeuvrable. The front is kicked back a touch and feels to have slightly light steering input. It gained a cm in height with the bigger radius over the Flowbeist.


This wheel change is temporary to further evaluate the mixed wheel size: in time it will be mounted with a 3.8 Hodag rear and 4.5 Barbegazi front, which should be less of a differential.




9 responses

13 06 2016
mark bickford

Hi Jon. Very interested in your ‘Differential’ post. I have a steel Jones Diamond frame with truss fork and would love to hear your views on a couple of things please:
1. Do you have any issues with a bigger effective wheel on the front than the back with your latest Jones configuration (I currently run 26×3.8 front / 29×2.4 rear and they are very similar in overall diameter)?

2. Do you have experience of a steel v titanium truss fork? I’m considering shelling out for the Ti version but not sure whether the (considerable) extra cost would be worth it.

Many thanks. Mark

13 06 2016

mark, cheers!

1. i actually prefer the front a little bigger. if memory serves a 26×3.8 is going to be around 735mm diameter or so? depending on brand. a 29×2.4 might even be a wee bit bigger than that – but very close like you say. i find the jones suits a 740 rear/765 mm front (29×2.3/29+) or like mine (725 rear 745 front). the angles and geo allow it to work really well kicked back ever so slightly like that. if i still ran a 29 rear id be running a 29+ front. i rotated the ebb into the high position to compensate for the slight bb drop on mine. works really well.

2. i do! there is very little difference in anything performance wise but the ti is lighter – a fair amount if memory serves, but i reckon a blind test would struggle to tell the difference in ride. the truss is WAY stiffer fore-aft than the unicrown though….

enjoy the bike!

19 06 2016
mark bickford

Jon, sorry to bother you again. I’m sure you have better things to do than answer my questions. However, I’m pressing ahead with the Jones tyre sizes you have settled on and wondered about rim size. I assume a 50mm would be ok with the 2.8 tyre on the back but would the same rim be too narrow with the 3.8 on the front? Also, have you found any 27.5 tyres you particularly like in the 2.8 and 3.8 widths please? Many thanks. Mark

20 06 2016

no worries! yeah, im using 52mm external on the hodag and the trailblazer on the rear – that rim width (45mm internal) works great with both. although the hodag could easily be mounted on a wider rim, the roundness doesnt seem detrimental – it really is quite a knobbly monster!
the only 27.5×3.8 currently is the bontrager hodag – you can get them at triton cycles normally. rumours abound of a Maxxis 27.5×3.8, but i havent seen anything ‘real’ yet.
i have only ever fitted a trailblazer in the rear, though i have a notion an ikon 27.5 x 2.8 will fit, just, based on others measurements. I have one on hand, but tbh it might be a while before i try and mount it as i get on fine with the trailblazer.
jeff’s steel frames tend to have a bit more clearance than mine i think? so i reckon you’d be good with anything on the narrower side of 2.8. if i get round to fitting the ikon i’ll give you a nudge.

14 06 2016

Have you had goo luck with the Nextie rims?

16 06 2016

i have recently. the first lot i had werent drilled well, but the QC on the latter few have been great. I still think Derby are a step up in qulaity (and admitedly price) but i have not had any issues with the Nextie’s. The edge has been beefed up and the weights show a slight increase. the early rims had a slight tendancey to fold at the bead edge, i think this will increase durability.

14 06 2016
mark bickford

Thank you Jon. You’ve just saved me a small fortune! If I ever bump into you at Battle On The Beach etc., I owe you a pint. Will definitely be trying the wheel/tyre combo you’ve recommended though. Thanks again.

16 06 2016


21 06 2016
mark bickford

really helpful many thanks Jon

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