Late afternoon fall ride in NH

Been out enjoying 2013’s edition of Fall. One of my favorite times of the year. Of course it comes and goes before you can blink your eye but I love the changing of the seasons. Not to mention that means snow is just around the corner… and fat biking abounds. In preparation of the next build, I’ve been doing a bit of research and experiments here at 44HQ. I like to visualize builds sometimes and having a quiver of bikes to reference really helps. It’s one thing to take measurements, do a drawing and think all is good. But it’s something totally different to have parts in hand, build things up and see first hand where everything falls into place. That’s gold. Surly debuted a new wheel size of sorts a while back with their Krampus build and they named it 29+ (Twentynine Plus). Basically a 700c / 29″ rim with a 3″ tire giving you about a 30″ diameter wheel.. 29+. In addition to that, they also went with a wide rim (their version is dubbed the “Rabbit Hole”). This also opens up the tire and gives you a bit more girth akin to fat bikes. Kind of in between tire width of a traditional 2.25″ mountain tire and the giant 4.8″ fat bike tire. So I had to get a set and mount them up and see where they sit. Here’s a few shots in my fat bike. 16.5″ chainstays, good clearance throughout:

Trick or Treat? -  29+ Mode

16.5 x 29+

.25" of clearance

29+ Experiments

29+ Mode

Had to throw on the 4.8 fat front just to see what it looked like… But what you’ll take note of here is that this is my fat bike frame fitted up with 29+ tires/wheels. So for the true bike junkies out there, that means 2 bikes for the price of one. More on that at a later date. But 29+ by Spring, Summer, fall and FAT FAT FAT all winter long. Here’s that same bike in fat tire mode:

Trick or Treat?  FAT Mode

Pretty cool eh kids? But what all this really tells me is with the right rear hub spacing (say 140 or 150) and a wider bottom bracket (80mm instead of 100mm in this case) and we can open up what’s possible with 29+ and are afforded the necessary room in the chainstay, chainring, chainline area of the bike to really tighten things up and improve handling. However, for this next build, a Rohloff hub was spec’d so 135mm rear axle spacing is a must and a traditional 73mm bottom bracket width is a must. Rohloff sports a 54mm chainline. So I’ll need to lengthen things a bit to make room for that tire in combination with these two standards. out of curiosity, I also placed this tire on my singlespeed’s rear wheel and although it just was a bit too tight in the chainstay area, the tire clears the bridge and seat tube at a whoppingly short measurement of 16.375″. So you can imagine what I’m thinking… See for yourself:

32x17t w/ 16.3125 stays

29+ Fit Experiments and it fits

All this really helps me plan this next build as it will be the first 29+ I put together. But I’ve already proven to myself that we can drastically tighten things up with this wheel size if we add just the right ingredients and standards.