I found a murdered-out 1 year old high end Specialized hybrid for sale. Frame was great, chipped and gunked like a retired delivery bike, but straight. The bike came with a rigid fork, and a smaller 26”, wide mountain bike wheel, with high end tire and rotor, but no brake.
2015 Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc bicycle modified.
This “bike” I located had a good combination of parts that I planned to discard and redo. I started with making a light front wheel. With the front suspension, it can even be narrower than the rear. I go with straight pull double butted spokes and short alloy nipples to match with the DT-Swiss 350 hub I chose.
A Stan’s rim came up but needed black sides to match rear. I thought, easy to paint; cleanly with a brush. Built wheel, trued it. Left clamped in truing stand, I thought I could just touch a brush to the spinning rim. But the machined sidewalls slurped the paint off the hairs and a brushload would only go and inch or two. The job turned out to be more work than an abstract painting.
Out of curiosity I made some measurements; I found that a narrow road racing tire (of the large diameter 700c 29er wheel) fits under the brake bridge of a 26” fork. Awesome! I can buy a lighter, currently less expensive, 26” air fork. The difference is a 29er fork has more material and is heavier right where the action is, and is longer overall. So get a 26” fork with a long axle-to-crown dimension, longer travel forks usually. I got a Manitou R7 Pro (R-Seven maybe), not the lightest MRD but rather light weight, at 1595 grams.