So here is the fixin’s for fun. My 29+ wheelset for the fat bike. Over three years ago when I had a Moonlander everyone was amazed at the 5 inch tire on the 100mil rim. Back then I said the these bikes need to narrow down a bit to be mainstream. Float is always fun and for sure I was inconvenienced a few times this winter with breaking thru groomed trails. But my point was I would have done the same with the wide stuff too.
In fall of 2012 I put on Surlys Marge Lite 65mil rims on my new aluminum 9zero7 frame and the difference between that and the Moonlander was nite and day. Here was a bike I could ride year round. Here was a bike that in spring of 2013 I rode as my MTB until the middle of June. Everyone’s tractor tire bikes were in the basement.
Then last fall I took it one step further and got a set of Northpaw rims. Only 47mil wide with 3.8 Knards. They did not even look like a wheel for a fatbike. I got my Farley in Oct and hit the trails. What a blast. I had to look down to even notice I was on a fat bike.
Fast forward to today and Im taking this one step further by building up a 29+ wheelset. The formula was once again born in the garage of the Surly engineers. A bigger(but not a fatbike) 3 inch tire on a wider 29 inch rim. The Velocity Dually 29in rims are pretty much the same width as the 26in Northpaws, only taller.
With Surly introducing this format on their Krampus pretty much enforces my way of thinking two years ago. One can still get the effects of the fat tire without going crazy big, and then still have a great bike in the summer too. However the tires do not make the minimum width of 3.7 that most races ask for. So technically at 3in its not a fatbike tire. Kinda like the 27.5 rims that fit in between the big and small MTB hoops. No mans land.
Of course, the best scenario is two wheelsets. And that makes the most sense. One for summer and one for winter.
Now, lets talk carbon wheels. Some pretty cool wheels around now. Way more in next fall. Most are what? 70 or 80 mil? Heres another bold prediction.
Soon those rims will be getting down to race width. 45 or 50 mil? Super light. Super fast. And now Surly is making a 26in 120tpi 3in knard tire (not in stock yet) to go along with those wheels. Fact is I could have waited for a set of those and just used them on my Northpaw wheels to get the same summer effect Im looking for with the 29+ wheels.
But I’ll enjoy the even bigger wheel for now. Who knows. Maybe I wont get a MTB this summer and just ride the carbon fatty on a wheel diet.