I currently run a full suspension bike with rather thick tires. I have however been thinking of changing the rear tire to something a bit thinner as the current tire I run makes the wheel very close to the linkage and frame.

When there's even a bit of mud, the mud tends to stick to the wheel and the frame causing the rear wheel to completely jam. Is this a good idea or not recommended?

  • 3
    I do this, I run 2.25/2.3 on the front and 2.1 rear - the 2.25 has less than 5mm clearance from the chain stay. Can't say I notice a difference on the rear, but I certainly do with 2.1 front.
    – mattnz
    Dec 17, 2019 at 8:20
  • 1
    I do. see also bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/51994/7309
    – Chris H
    Dec 17, 2019 at 10:43
  • A picture would help :)
    – Adriano
    Dec 18, 2019 at 0:03

2 Answers 2


It is common to run different sizes front and rear however your tire should never jam into the suspension. It seem like a larger diameter wheel has been installed. Like a 27.5 wheel into an older 26” frame. Could be dangerous if that occurred at the wrong time!

  • The frame that I bought said it was a 29 frame so I assume that meant for both front and rear. Normally it doesn't jam but when there's any amount of mud it causes issues. I think it's because the tires I run are very large
    – Derek Chen
    Dec 17, 2019 at 18:05

This is not a problem at all.

What you see quite often is that riders use tires with a lighter tread and harder rubber compound on the rear of the bike to get the benefits of good grip on the front and less rolling resistance on the back. A common example combination would be to use the grippy Schwalbe Magic Mary on the front and the faster-rolling Hans Dampf on the back wheel. (I am not affiliated with Schwalbe, I just don't know the names of similar combinations of other manufacturers.)

Sometimes, this also includes using a slightly thinner tire on the back wheel. A small difference is fine, though I probably wouldn't go as far as using a heavy downhill tire on the front and a skinny gravel tire on the back ;-)

  • Thanks I'll give that a try. For me it's just that a slight amount of mud gets the wheel stuck and it's very frustrating to clean
    – Derek Chen
    Dec 18, 2019 at 0:32

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