News And Rumors: Big Tires And Full Suspension Rigs

The news keeps coming on the 29″er front. This time we’re talking about big tires, long travel 29″ers, and new full suspension rigs. Take a look to see what the latest happenings are in the Wagon Wheeler Universe!

WFO_Complete_smallThe W.F.O. 9 is finally about to hit the trails!

W.F.O. 9 To Hit Trails Soon! In a few weeks, W.F.O.9 bikes with 5.5 inches of C.V.A. suspended rear travel will be hitting the trails. The bikes, as we have reported before, will signal Marzocchi’s re-entry into the 29″er fork market with the 140mm travel “44” model featuring travel adjust, a tapered steer tube, and a 15QR through axle.

WTB KodiaK 2.5 Inch Tire: Also featured and exclusive to Niner Bikes on the W.F.O.9 is WTB’s newest monster 29″er tire, the Kodiak 2.5″er. I have ridden early prototypes of this monstrousity, and I can tell you that it will not fit in many bikes available out there. It is a big, wide, heavy meat of a tire, but for its intended use, it is perfect. And this production version is said to be much improved. Niner Bike’s Steve Domahidy had this to say about the tire in a thread about the W.F.O.9 on

They are 2.5’s with Super Track DNA rubber compound, inner peace anti-pinch flat, and Aramid bead (to save a little weight). We prototyped DH casing and wire bead and they were too tight to put on a rim and weighed too much. We felt like this was the best way to go for an all mountain/big hit bike. The tires will retail for $60 per tire and will be available through us directly or your local Niner dealer.

No word on exact weights, but expect this tire to be well in excess of 1000 grams, perhaps in the 1400-1500 gram each range. For aggressive, down hill oriented, “chunky gnar-gnar”, (Don’t ask!), this tire should be king.


Rocky Mountain Altitude Coming Soon: The Rocky Mountain Altitude 29″er full suspension rig is in beta test mode on the East Coast at this very moment. (I hope to get some detailed ride info shortly) I reported on this rig in my Sea Otter coverage earlier this spring. The Altitude 29″er features 120mm of rear wheel travel with some very unique features such as the pivot at the drop out which is positioned on the chainstay in such a way as to avoid the Horst link patents, a tapered steer tube, and something Rocky Mountain is calling “Straight Up” geometry. The Straight Up philosophy is that the seat tube needs to have a steep static angle, (Rocky says 76 degrees) which sags into a proper seat angle when the rider is on the bike, (approximately 74 degrees).

The bike also features a hydro-formed tube set with a tapered steer tube and a widely flared seat tube where it meets the bottom bracket shell. This is done to provide a flex free chassis. The design of the seat tube forced Rocky Mountain to find another way to mount the front derailluer and they went the direct mount route.

The bike looks promising as an all day, endurance type of bike that should be quite interesting. Stay tuned for any further updates.

Finally, in a blog post on the possibilities for down hill 29 inch rigs, Bike Hugger invited some industry types to weigh in on the subject. In the post, a guy from Banshee Bikes identified as “Jay” lets on that they are working on a 29″er full suspension rig. He is quoted in the piece as saying, “Even at this moment Banshee is designing a 17.3” chainstay 5” travel 29r and the challenges to maintain those numbers are tremendous.”

While the challenges are certainly stout, it will be interesting to see what this gravity driven brand might bring to the table for a full suspension 29″er. This one will bear watching!

That’s it for this edition of News And Rumors. Stay tuned for further developments. (Hint: Something will be leaking very, very soon that will be a big news item in the cycling industry concerning 29″ers.)


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No Responses to “News And Rumors: Big Tires And Full Suspension Rigs”

  1. AGuy Says:


    Unrelated to the review–which I enjoyed–I’d like to a submit a question to you (I’ve been following your write-ups and to me it seems you are most qualified to answer it).

    I’m building a new rigid SS (Niner One with Niner carbon fork). I’m torn between Cont MK 2.4/2.2 and WW2.55/Conti Race 2.2 or Prowler 29. I intend to run them tubeless (oh, my god, the warranty…:) )

    My terrain is mostly dry: scree, loose over hardpack, sand and some hardpack. If you are kind to share you opinion, I would also appreciate a rim recommendation (as of now Stan’s Arch is my candidate).



  2. UnitedWeRide Says:

    Man that WFO looks SWEET! I am hooked on the 29er world, I am loving my Misfit diSSent! I feel like a kid again, next will be a 29er FS!

  3. Guitar Ted Says:


    Given the terrain, I would steer clear of the WeirWolf/Race King combo. Also, wider rims will work better. You might look at Flows as a great rim for better tire support, and therefore better float and grip on your sand and loose over hardpack type trails.

  4. AGuy Says:

    Thanks for the input Ted. The ZTR Flows do make sense (incidentally, allowing the tire to expand further and becomes, I assume, more supple).

    One clarification: Do you suggest steering clear of the Weirwolf all together? If so, what front do you think is optimal for such conditions?

    I supposed either Prowler or Bonti 29-3 TLR 2.25 would work well for the rear.


  5. Guitar Ted Says:


    The wider rims really do not make a casing more supple, they just allow for a better foundation for your tire to work from. Instaed of rolling/folding over the narrow rim in hard cornering, for example, a wider rim will keep more of your tread on the trail without feeling any loss of control, or snapping away from you when the tread loses traction.

    WeirWolf LT tires are really excellent in sand, but loose over hard are not their forte’. You will have to balance the benefits/negatives for yourself there. I almost recommended them, but going by your descriptions of your trails, I decided not to.

    Personally, I really enjoy WW LT tires on wide rims. 🙂

  6. AGuy Says:


    So I do I get some cush, traction and roll fast? Mnt King 2.4?29-3? Ardent? Wracking my head…

    Thanks for the shinning explanation on the benefits of wider rims.

  7. Lee T Says:

    @Aguy – while by no means an expert, I really like the Bonty 29-3 front on my geared Fly, with XDX rear. The wheels, though, are not the wider ones, but RXLs. Good on sand, loose over hard, whatever. Could not get it to wash out on a turn, and brought my descending up a notch, faster rolling than the Jones ACX it replaced.

    I do use Flows with great success for trail riding with 2.3 Stouts – at 900gs heavy to race, but ultra-secure. They bring my lighter HiFi up a notch.

    All tubeless, BTW.

  8. AGuy Says:

    Much obliged Lee,

    Tubeless is definitely the way to go. Not only for comfort, but for virtually eliminating flats (where i ride thorns and barbs are all too common; hearing the hiss of the puncture and then the reassuring gagging silence of the sealant puts a smile on my face).

    I suppose you use a squishy fork at the front with your Fly. No need to inquire about comfort…Mine will be rigid, though. I’m trying to balance between cush, grip and fast roll. At this point I’m gravitating toward the 29-3 at the front and at the back (both 2.2). Your input has helped. I had the XDX on my previous bike (GF Rig 09). They fly like no other tire, but grip on lose over pack is wanting. It is especially apparent on steep climbs when I stand over and torque the hell out of myself. The rear can slide from side to side like a drunken sailor vacationing a bar infested port…

    I do mainly XC, but sometimes venture into more technical terrain, pushing the bike into ‘all mountain’.

    On the Flows, my LSB pushing me toward the Arch, telling me the rolling/folding over a narrow rim is hardly noticeable and it’s not worth the extra 55g per rim. I’m not sure they are right.

    Any further input will be great, but if none comes up, thank you all!

    P.S.: sorry for typos: I suffer from a mild dyslexia..

  9. AGuy Says:

    One more:
    I noticed the Velocity Blunt is lighter than the Arch (459g vs 470g) and of the same width as the Flow (28mm).

    Any thought of using them tubeless?

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    AGuy: The 29-3 front is pretty amazing. I concur with Lee T.

    The Blunt is tubeless ready with the addition of a Bontrager Rhythm rim strip. I have a set of wheels set up with Bontrager TLR XR tires, (which by the way, are amazing on sand) and they have been working just great so far.

    As to your LBS saying things about weight and the width isn’t that big a deal, well I would offer that weight is not a big deal and width is. Especially if you are not racing, but riding for the enjoyment of being out there. (Like most of us are most of the time.)

  11. AGuy Says:

    Words of silence are worth of gold, words of wisdom are pure diamonds. 🙂 Thanks!

    I think the case is almost settled and concluded: velocity rims (lighter than Arch, wider as Flow) with 29-3 at the front.

    One last sticky point: rear tire. Looking for a fast roller that could claw on loose-over-pack climbs and be not too hoggish. Should I match with a 29-3 (2.2) at the rear? XDX again? fly with a racing ralph? WTB Nano Raptor? Any other suggestion?

  12. Guitar Ted Says:

    AGuy: A Nano is an amazing tire tubeless. Don’t look down your nose at that choice! Beyond this, I would recommend a Conti Race King, which has amazing traction which belies its looks, and the way it uses its volume will make for a smoother ride. Tubelessness is really easy with either tire.

  13. Cloxxki Says:

    I worked with Banshee some time ago. Posed them the idea of a 29″er, and it was badly received. If I paid for the proto, I could have it. Proto was expensive. I wanted to make an all-out DH worthy bike. Frame, fork, rims, tires. Tires were always the stumbling block, as they’re most expensive to properly make. Some people have come up with ways to prototype (hand-stitch) tires which may offer some cool options once carried out. But, so far, time goes slowly.
    Really, bikes don’t get all that much beter over the years. 6 years ago, that DH bike could have been really sick, even in today’s terms. “Just” a Banshee 8″ frame with longer rear end and taller front. White Bros 200mm fork reduced to 180mm, Kris Holm rims, and “a” fat tire. The tire, it’s always the tire. And tire makers let it hanging.
    Do I understand correctly that Niner are pushing/paying this WTB tire which WTB had given up on?

  14. Davidcopperfield Says:

    That discussion about DH 29er on that blog shows, simply, who tried and dabbled in the design already. It is just like with the whole mtb 622. Who ventured and rode has the opposite opinion.
    Aside from Niner solely Specialized has some clue.

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