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Vintage MTB with room for huge tires?

Old 02-20-20, 10:44 AM
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rhender
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Vintage MTB with room for huge tires?

Hi all,

I know this is a bit of a strange question, but I recently discovered from another user on here that the early 90s Mongoose Rockadile will take 26x2.8 tires (it does look like he swapped the fork for a Surly 1x1 fork, but I'm not sure that the original wouldn't have worked as well). This sparked a desire to find and build up a retro/vintage mountain bike with huge 26+ tires, but other than the Rockadile, I'm not seeing much else that will take tires that big. I've done a fair amount of digging and seen some 2.3-2.4 in some unexpected frames, but nothing as big as 2.8.

Are any of you aware of any bikes from around the same era with similar clearances?

Thanks!
Ray
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Old 02-20-20, 11:21 AM
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There's a long running thread in the MTBR 27.5 tire forum about which frames will fit the larger tires so that might be a good place to start for 26-plus.
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Old 02-20-20, 02:35 PM
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I've had a lot of vintage MTBs and most will fit a 2.2-2.3 and some will fit a 2.4. I can't think of any vintage MTB I've seen that will fit anything wider.

With that said, I'd be curious too.
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Old 02-20-20, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rhender View Post
I recently discovered from another user on here that the early 90s Mongoose Rockadile will take 26x2.8 tires (it does look like he swapped the fork for a Surly 1x1 fork, but I'm not sure that the original wouldn't have worked as well). This sparked a desire to find and build up a retro/vintage mountain bike with huge 26+ tires, but other than the Rockadile, I'm not seeing much else that will take tires that big. I've done a fair amount of digging and seen some 2.3-2.4 in some unexpected frames, but nothing as big as 2.8.
I have a Mongoose mountain bike I picked up second hand. The front suspension fork will take a tire that size, but you could not fit a tire that size on the back.
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Old 02-20-20, 05:03 PM
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My 1993 Hardrock had some 2.5 Hookworms on it and still some good clearance:
IMG_4530 by 2cam16, on Flickr
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Old 02-21-20, 08:05 AM
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Maybe Kleins with the BMX like dropouts? I have the Rascal
I don't have 26+ tires to try but I know the suspension fork has less clearance so never tried anything larger than 2.35 NobbyNics
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Old 02-21-20, 02:27 PM
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2.8" tires on a vintage mtb? I definitely gotta see to believe. Seat/chain stay clearance on early bikes wasn't generous. Add having to clear brake calipers without having to deflate a tire to remove a wheel - I do this on 2.3 tires on my old bikes. Then have to re-inflate the tire after.
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Old 02-22-20, 06:14 PM
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The WTB 2.8" tires are maybe 2.6" on a huge rim, I measured recently on a bunch of rims. So that certainly helps, but many forks will come close to clearing an actual 2.8".

Frames on the other hand, not so much. Anything that large will actually grab the chain in low/low on a mountain triple. Even 1x will need the last gear locked out sometimes. Unless you can live the chainline way to the outside. That's why most of these semi fat+ things have boost spacing these days.
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Old 02-23-20, 08:33 AM
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You want a Surly, fatties fit fine. How would your rim bakes work on those oldies?
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Old 02-24-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
You want a Surly, fatties fit fine. How would your rim bakes work on those oldies?
that's a good point there's a heck of a lot of rub on 2.4s when trying to remove the wheel for v-brakes. Might have a bit more clearance on cantis
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Old 02-24-20, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
My 1993 Hardrock had some 2.5 Hookworms on it and still some good clearance:
IMG_4530 by 2cam16, on Flickr
it's the side knobs which will get you. Hookworms are superbe for road/urban use, but I'd die trying them on singletrack...
good looking bike btw
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Old 02-24-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
it's the side knobs which will get you. Hookworms are superbe for road/urban use, but I'd die trying them on singletrack...
good looking bike btw
Yeah, definitely only for road! Thanks. It's just a hanging frame now. That seatpost was stuck from the beginning and it wouldn't budge. Just wanted to try it out then took it apart. lol
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Old 02-25-20, 03:02 PM
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[QUOTE Hookworms are superbe for road/urban use, but I'd die trying them on singletrack...
good looking bike btw[/QUOTE]

You won't die, at least I haven't yet. Run a big knobby on the front and Hookworm in the back has been the setup on my Fargo for years. I swap the front tire back to a hookworm for long road rides or touring, it works off road on damp hardpack (hero dirt), but when it gets loose here in the summer it can get a little sketch.
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Old 02-27-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
[QUOTE Hookworms are superbe for road/urban use, but I'd die trying them on singletrack...
good looking bike btw
You won't die, at least I haven't yet. Run a big knobby on the front and Hookworm in the back has been the setup on my Fargo for years. I swap the front tire back to a hookworm for long road rides or touring, it works off road on damp hardpack (hero dirt), but when it gets loose here in the summer it can get a little sketch.[/QUOTE]
Agreed, there's only a few front tires I like upfront for dirt due to my poor cornering technique. Maxxis Minions and High Rollers are slower than my grandma, but are 100% confidence inspiring.
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Old 03-02-20, 04:39 PM
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Sorry for waiting so long to get back to this thread. I just made my account and for some reason wasn't being notified that people had responded.

Anyway, I feel like some people here don't believe that the bike I mentioned takes the tires that I claimed it does. I wasn't trying to start any arguments or anything. I'm just looking for a fun, budget 26+ build to start on. Again, it's not mine, so this was an image shared with me by another user, but if you google something like "Mongoose Rockadile 2.8" you can see a picture of his bike (I would upload it myself but there are restrictions on posting URLs/images for users with less than 10 posts).

As for the Surly recommendation, that is exactly what I want lol. Unfortunately, they are well outside the budget at the moment which is why I was hoping something comparable would be available in the used/vintage market. Sounds like there aren't many, if any other options though based on the discussion here.

Thanks anyway for the suggestions though!
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Old 03-02-20, 05:38 PM
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Photo Assist



Much better photos of it. It has a Surly fork so you need the frame to fit the 2.8in tires.

Seems you got @Goosecheck to help in that thread and you found a purple one. Post photos here when you get it set up.

Last edited by katsup; 03-02-20 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 03-02-20, 05:47 PM
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rhender
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Yes that's the one! Thank you for your assist. And yep, if the frame will take it, I can track down a fork to match, although typically I've found that usually it's the chainstays/seatstays that are the problem before the fork is.
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Old 03-03-20, 09:01 AM
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I had a bike I put in wide tires on did fine in the frame where I ran into problems was the front derailleur rubbing in the lowest gear.
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