So it appears that Plus sized bikes have finally worked their way east into the collective conscience of my client base. A good majority of my clients call home here on the east coast. A good majority also hail from the mid-west too and if I were to take a guess, that’s where the majority of Huntsman builds have accumulated. But with Plus comes the advantage of traction, control, improved cornering capabilities, and ride quality all packed into a wheel size that’s just a bit under the diameter of a 29″ wheel. So that also makes it a really interesting wheel size that fits a lot of different rider heights. A lot of my clients here on the east coast often inquire about a 3 season bike or something that can also be used in light snow as winter takes effect. Plus sized tires have a huge advantage here since they do provide some modest float. I had built a red 27 Plus a while back this summer for a client and a good friend of his took one look at that bike and I received an email for the commission. Word of mouth is still the best marketing solution. The 27 Plus above went down to Connecticut and was built up to tackle your typical east coast rock garden or root infested trail. I get frequent updates from the owner which is always a welcome sight to see. So along with custom fit and spec, we hammered out some details specific to his needs: 2 bottles in the triangle along with a 3rd beneath the down tube for any future bike packing trips or long extended rides. Drivetrain is Shimano XT M8000. (I’ll be putting together a really comprehensive review of XT M8000 later this summer for anyone interested). 1×11 with a 30t up front and their 12-42t cassette. I’m of the opinion this is the perfect trail chainring/cassette combination. Plenty of speed and plenty of range on the low/high end but I consistently find myself pedaling towards the middle of the cassette which means less chain in a crossed over position and that means less wear on the system. The frame will also take an externally routed dropper in both 27.2 or 30.9mm. Thomson rounds out the seat post, stem and handlebars. This was the first set of Thomson bars I had on a build and I have to say the fit and finish was quite nice. (Really good job on the riser bars Thomson!) Fork is a Fox 34 Float 120mm FIT4 Boost 110. 12×148 TA rear. Wheel set is a set of Roval Traverse 650b Fattie’s with Specialized Purgatory 3.0″ tires. A solid set up. Saddle and grips were personal choices of course and customer supplied. Here’s a close up of the drivetrain: Last but not least I decided to use a slightly larger down tube decal for the “fortyfour” script. I think it balanced things out quite well and that orange powder is a near perfect match to the Fox graphics. I believe later this summer I’ll be building myself up a 27 Plus to round out my stable. The big question though is if that next Ti SS makes room for those plus sized tires or not… I’m moving over to the 150/157mm TA DH standard for all Titanium mountain bike prototypes. Chain line is superb and that extra bit of space over Boost 148 makes a big difference (as well as overall wheel stiffness). Till then, enjoy.