The latest build I’m working on right now is a 29+. I’ve been curious about this wheelsize as I really enjoy my fat bike. Naturally before I began the build, I needed some visual references before I started to see just where the wheelsize sat on existing bikes (even if it did not fit, I still wanted to see it in 3D).

So that took me here:

16.5 x 29+

Which of course had me hankerin’ to build up a set of 29+ specific wheels. I had just sold a lot of spare parts from the bin, so that made that decision relatively easy (not to mention I had a Paul Whub sitting here wanting to be built). So I laced up a Paul Whub 135mm front hub and matching Paul Rhub 170mm rear hub to a set of Surly Rabbit Holes…

Wheels of Fortune : 29+, 29, 700c

Shortly there after, all was mounted up and since I do have the means, I made an adjustment to the seat stay bridge – replaced the existing one and moved the new bridge up about .125″ to give me just a tad more clearance. It was a bit too close for comfort and was the only part of the build really close. So I stripped off the paint in that spot and had at it. The past handful of rides have now been on this setup:

29+ Mode

And just for the record, here she is in Fat Mode – same bike, just different wheelset:

Trick or Treat?  FAT Mode

So how did things perform out on the trail? It was interesting to say the least. The larger wheels are definitely not the machine you take for a machine that needs to be razor sharp, hair trigger type reactions. What I will say is the wheels carry a lot of momentum due to their larger diameter. The added plushness of those large 3″ tires makes for one of the most smooth handling/riding bikes I’ve ever ridden. It has a very unique feel to it and often I found myself not wanting for suspension. With a bit more planning around these two wheelsizes, and I think I’ll be able to get things just right. The added height of the bottom bracket did not have me timing my pedal strokes as much let alone at all. Normal obstacles such as the myriad of rock wall crossings pretty much made this bike unphased. It was ridiculously easy to loft it up and over piles of rock. The short stays (16.5) on this bike made that job a bit easier. I believe the Krampus’s are in excess of 17+”. Simply put this wheelsize is a blast. It really gets at the roots of what mountain bikes are all about: Fat tires. Dirt. Mud. Blood. Rip shit up. Have fun. That’s mountain biking in a nutshell. And that’s this bike too in a nutshell.

That-a-way