I read on the interwebz that the new Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL tire will fit in a Salsa Blackborow with the rear drop outs adjusted wide open. I just got my hands on our first pair of production 2XL’s, so I emailed my contact at Salsa, Mike Riemer, up at the Q mother-ship and asked “Have you tried to fit a set of the new Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL Tires in a Blackborow Frame?” and Mike replied “I don’t know off hand but will see if any of our crew know. Stay tuned.” Never one to rest upon my own laurels, my next move was to text mis amigo, Chris Daisy, our fat-bike radio, music director and the owner of Zion Cyclery. Zion is a Borealis, Trek, Felt, 9:Zero:7, Surly and ….SALSA dealer. My text read “Do you have a Blackborow on the showroom floor?”. He soon replied in the affirmative and I shared my quest to see if the five-o-five Vee 2XL’s would fit in one of the Blackboros that he had in inventory. Soon after, I was invited to come on over and find out!
One of our BBR Test Pilots, Dave Krueger, is a full time wrench at ZC. Dave did the tire swap, but first we measured the bottom bracket height of the 16″ Blackborow with Bud and Lou mounted on Clown Shoe rims. I wanted to see exactly how much the 2XL’s would raise the bottom bracket.
The front tire fit in the Salsa fork with room to spare. In the rear, the clearance was 1.5 mm on each side. So they fit, in the rear, but you would not be able to ride them without periodicaly rubbing the seat-stays. You could trim the shoulder knobs and get the tire work (if you choose to go that route), but the ‘out of the box’ tollerance is too tight to be ridden from a practical point of view. The moment that a rider would put any power to the pedals out in the real world, this tire would rub the seat stays. We tried to fit the 2XL in the rear of a Borealis Echo and there was zero clearance. It won’t fit in my Fatback (#saveotis) either.
We feel the big news, out of this little exercise, is the rather small amount that the 2XL’s increased the height of the bottom bracket. One centimeter is all that the bottom bracket was raised. From the photos that we had seen, we all thought it would have been more like 3/4 of an inch, but it turns out to only be .3937 of an inch. With that precise information in hand, I think that we’ll mount a 2XL on the front of a number of different idgid five inch bikes to see how they ride. Keep in mind that the one centimeter difference is a comparison to Bud and Lou. The comparison to a four inch tire would be larger, so putting a 2XL on the front of a four inch bike will raise the front end more than one centimeter….but we’ll probably give that a shot, as well (for deep ungroomed snow).
¡Muchas Gracias! to Chris and Dave from Zion Cyclery for letting us come in and test fit Vee’s five-o-fives! You guys ROCK!
While we play with the 2XL on the front of our stable of stock fat-bikes, our Michigami primos, will be riding and testing the 2XL’s on a custom designed Quiring Triple B with them mounted – front and rear. We’ll share more, about theVee Snowshoe 2XL, after we get our first big dump of snow!…..somewhere down the trail amigos.