The last pieces to the TIE Advanced puzzle have come into place. Largely, the use of a much larger front tire. Just as moving the front tire of the klunker to 29×3.0 was completely transformative, it has been on the TIE. Of course, I knew this to be the case. This is how bikes work.
I was hoping that the Maxxis Ikon 29×2.6 (TB00038300) tire that I had ordered would fit into the fork. 2.6″ was going to be snug. On the 29mm internal rim, the tire measured at about 2.5″ so I had a little extra room in the end. With the 120tpi casing, the tire should wrap and conform to the trail very well and smooth. It fit so nicely into the fork that my excitement the night before the test ride was peaking.
I moved the CushCore insert up from the tiny CX insert that had been in place to the XC size. This was to increase the sidewall support on the tire. I didn’t want any foldover but the additional volume of the tire. Now the bike had XC inserts on both ends.
I had a wheel that I could use with a slightly wider rim, the WTB ASSYM i29. It’s too heavy for this framework but the width helps the tire support itself. Once more parts become available in the marketplace, I may look into a 35 or 40mm internal rim that is lighter. That will really help the tire work at it’s best.
All of this added a bit of heft to the front of the bike. Still, the results were excellent. It’s so much smoother rolling over the ground in general but where the huge gains show up are in the rough at speed. This is exciting as the cost (in heft) is dwarfed by the advantages going down the hill and comfort and control.
It feels that this is the end of development in this direction for the bike. It’s form is in it’s most extreme off-road case. There is little else to do to improve the bike other than buy carbon rims for the bike, which isn’t happening for a long time.
The bike will be used as it’s shown for another week or two. Then I’ll start the shift to the other end of the spectrum, pavement and urban hooliganry. I’ll be finding the limit in that use case and look to where I end up.
As this is truly a hybrid, the ends of the bracket will inform the overall change in design for the next iteration or advance.
An updated print, below, shows the theoretical changes produced by the fork and tire swap from the original configuration.