Curve Cycling’s new Big Kev has room for even more rubber

Curve Cycling’s new Big Kev has room for even more rubber

The custom bike scene is often the place to watch for new and emerging trends. One small ripple of change at this year’s Handmade Bicycle Show Australia (HBSA) was related to growing tyre sizes for gravel bikes.

Many parts of Australia (and the world, really) are littered with rough gravel roads, and those roads aren’t always ideal for the common 700×35 or 700×40 mm tyre widths that are in vogue. And while big volume 650B tyres aim to be the answer, the reality is that a bigger wheel is often even better. Cross country mountain bikes learnt this lesson, and I’ve long believed that go-everywhere adventure gravel bikes would inevitably go the way of 29ers, too. 

And if the recent HBSA is anything to go by, I’m not at all alone in this thinking. In addition to pre-existing options from Surly, Salsa, Evil, and Soma (and many more), Mark Hester of Prova Cycles has begun experimenting with frames that fit 700×52+ tyres (aka, 29 x 2.1″ mountain bike tyres). And then there’s the Big Kev that Curve Cycling will soon put into production. 

Of course, such big tyres muddy the waters between mountain bikes and gravel bikes even further, but that’s a debate for another day. For now here’s a look at the yet-to-be-released Big Kev, along with a couple of other unreleased bikes Curve was showing off this past weekend. 

The Big Kev 

Revealed at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia, the Big Kev is quite simply a bigger-tyre version of Curve’s best-selling gravel bike – a bike that’s officially named the GXR while being affectionately referred to as the Kevin.

Where the regular Kevin can fit 700×45 mm or 650×2.3″ tyres, Big Kev is designed around fitting true 29er mountain bike tyres up to 2.25″ in width (700 x 50 mm +). That’s quite a bit of rubber. 

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