Canfield Brothers Nimble 9, WTB Trail Blazer 2.8/27.5 Wheels



With the addition of the 27.5 2.8” tires on the N9, you come out to about 12 mm shorter wheel height compared to a 29er, but what you do gain is a noticeable amount of wheel cushion from the taller side ways. For any hardtail rider on the fence or wanting a more compliant ride, this is a great option and I am already looking forward to more tires in this category!

First impression of the tire is the lack of tall knobs compared to more aggressive all mountain offerings. But similar to “fat-bike” tire tread, overall aggressiveness of the tread places less of an impact on grip. You are not relying on tread for grip, more-so the larger volume of the contact patch. This tire hooks up reasonably well, even in the NW mud,


Even with our drpoouts slammed all the way in, (16.25″ CS length in this mode), we have plenty of clearance with the 2.8 tire.



29 Responses to "Canfield Brothers Nimble 9, WTB Trail Blazer 2.8/27.5 Wheels"
  1. Okay i was going to sell my N9 for 27.5+ but if i can convert it that would ROCK!! i have a 2013 can i get the 12mm rear dropouts for it somewhere? id like to get a beefier rear axle if that would work? OH OH OH !!! can i drill out my existing dropouts??? i guess I’d have to Tap one side for the threads?

    • We had the Trail Blazers mounted to our wheels which feature a 28mm rim. Since the post, we have tested this set up with WTB Scraper 45’s with great results.

    • We haven’t tested a 27.5+ with a front derailleur, but I would bet clearances are going to be crazy tight. Without having a set up to test, I wouldn’t recommend it.

  2. I think that using a 650 specific fork with a longer a-c (hence longer travel) will compensate for the lowering of the BB height.

    • Leonard – We only approve up to a 140mm fork for use with our hardtails. Using anything outside the suggested realm will put the geo out of our design and negatively effect handling.

  3. Has anyone done this with a YS? I’m curious as to how it will or it will not work with a YS. What’s the ‘largest’ 27.5+ on a YS?

    • The new 2015 gerneration 2 Yelli Screamy features more clearance than the gen 1 and would fit a 27.5+ Trailblazer with no issues.

    • I know Vin said it wasn’t recommended, but I’ve recently gone 650b+ on my 2012 YS and so far the clearance is fine. Built a tiny offset into the dish on the rear to account for the chainstay shape and have about 7mm on each side. Soil near me is sandy or loamy so mud clearance not an issue. This is a 2.8 trailblazer on a Blunt 35. Dually/VeeTrax 2.8 on front with miles of room

  4. Hi! What about the New Epo 29, whom much is the tire clearance (I noticed that a minion 2.5 will fit, but what about a B+ 3.0 or other tires 75mm wide?)


    • Lionmark – We have only tested the WTB Trailbazer 27.5+ and there is plenty of clearance on an EPO with this set up.

  5. Can I guess that the new RIOT will be made to accommodate 29 and this setup, like the Balance can use either 26 or 27.5. Please give us a nimble. Thanks, Jesse.

  6. I’d be into a 650b+ setup except for the BB being too low for me. It would be great to see a frame designed around this wheel size.

  7. Hi , I’ve just ordered a nimble 9 and am wondering about trying this setup . Can you tell me what forks you are using 29er or 27.5er . Also what’s the rim width to run these tyres ? Thank Alan

    • We are using a 29er fork for the most clearance. We built up the demo using our rims which are 28mm wide, however a wider rim option would allow for more tire volume. You can view more info on this on a thread over on our MTBR forum – Nimble with 650b+ wheels.

  8. I have been running the WTB Trail Blazers 2.8 on Dually rims for a little bit now…. Running 8/10PSI and really enjoy the traction gained from the larger tires. I did put a 150mm 27.5 fork on the N9 which puts the BB height back to a respectable number. It also makes the bike more DH friendly when it gets steep. One of the biggest things noticed immediately was the lack of trail chatter when hitting root and rock sections. Really opened up a new spectrum for the Nimble 9…..

  9. Would love to hear more about how you guys feel about this setup. Never having owned a hardtail, I’ll admit a little extra cushion may not hurt the transition.

    How do you guys feel the bike handled in general with 27.5 wheels?

  10. Instead of investing in a fat bike for winter riding I’m thinking of getting a krampus 29+ fork, rabbit hole 29+ front wheel with a 3″ knard tire and a 27.5 2.8 set up for the rear and throwing it all on my n9. Definitely a weird setup and not a true fat bike but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It seems like it would be pretty snow worthy and a lot cheaper than a new bike. Thoughts?

  11. What’s it like to ride in comparison to with conventional 29er setup? Any noticeable gains/drawbacks other than the additional cushioning?

    • The normal 29er set up is certainly faster and provides more BB clearance as we designed the bike around 29’s. The 27.5″/WTB setup drops the BB height about 1/2″, which may be to low for certain customers riding in rocky areas. That being said, this set up gives the bike a different feel with the big cushy tires.

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