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Exactly - some wishful thinking and placebo effect going on I think.
The difference in outer diameter/contact patch just isn't that huge.
 

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Exactly - some wishful thinking and placebo effect going on I think.
The difference in outer diameter/contact patch just isn't that huge.
Exactly!

If you compare a popular 26x4.0 tire, Surly's Nate (749mm dia) with the 764mm diameter Hodag 27.5 you are talking a 15mm (.591") difference in diameter and a 7.5mm (.295") difference in ride height. I seriously doubt anyone could tell the difference.

What I find really funny is that manufacturers are pushing riders towards the "better handling" 27.5" MTB tires over the wagon wheel 29er's on mountain bikes. Yet at the same time they are trying to push so called 27.5" fat tires that are actually a 30" tire if you look at the actual diameter. Even a 26X4 fat tire at 29.5" is larger than the so called "undesirable" handling 29ers.

Nothing about the Hodag 27.5" tire has anything to do with 27.5" except for it using a 584mm (23") rim that if shod with a tradional MTB tire would be 27.5".

I'm guessing if they called them by their actual measurement like motorcycle tires instead of a value somewhat associated to the rim size then the manufacturers would have a harder time fleecing consumers with an "improved" product every year.

I was trail riding yesterday and had a 29er rider tell me that my Bucksaw must be quicker through the trees than his bike due to its 26" wheels. I tried to explain that it had a larger diameter tire than his bike, but eventually just gave up. Looks the manufacturers have everyone tricked.....
 

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This diameter similarity is a big part of the reason why I got the Farley 7.
I'll just throw 4" tires on it if I feel like it - can't go the other way and put 4.7" tires on the 9 models without new wheels.
 

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As usual, the guys who haven't ridden them have the most to say.

I have to admit you might be partially right though. Part of my enthusiasm over this new size might be clouded by new bike excitement. Going from a pugs ops to a carbon trek has a few things going on besides wheel size difference. I'm a pretty avid rider though, and I do think I'm detecting small improvements with rollover, traction and compliance with the new size. I cleared a few logs yesterday that I'm not so sure anything a millimeter smaller could have done.

I also think I can run a pound or two more pressure without getting the dreaded "fat tire bounce" which allows me to gain snappier steering.

I just measured my wifes farley with 26 rims/hodags and my bike with 27.5/hodags. About an inch difference diameter.

I suppose one place that extra .5" radius shows up is pedal height. In the rough areas I've been riding, that's something I'm glad to have. Also, when I switch to 26x100mm rims with 5" tires, the bike geometry stays about the same.

I would never tell anyone to go out and get the new wheelsize. But if you bike comes with it, don't worry about it for a second.
 

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As usual, the guys who haven't ridden them have the most to say.
I don't need to ride a bike with both purple and green paint to know they both ride the same, similarly some of us here have enough experience to know without having to ride these bikes that this small difference in diameter will not yield "significant' difference in floatation, traction, or anything else. The variance is just too small even at +.5" radius.

In fact with more sidewall on the 26x4 tire contact patch is likely of similar size.

I have to admit you might be right though. Part of my enthusiasm over this new size might be clouded by new bike excitement. Going from a pugs ops to a carbon trek has a few things going on besides wheel size difference.
Yeah, just slightly. In fact going from a Pugs even to a lighter steel frame is likely to yield a similar experience, let alone aluminum, let alone carbon.
I think that accounts for your perceived super float and roll over powers.
 

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As usual, the guys who haven't ridden them have the most to say.
I've ridden a 9.6 and it felt a little harsh compared to a 26x4.8, granted it wasn't in sand or snow. It felt like riding 26x4.8 at too high of pressures.

All of my recent saddle time on a 26x4 has been on my Bucksaw, and that really isn't a fair comparison as the suspension really transforms that bike.
 

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Im sure the betterness of 27.5x4 is due to Treks Boost standard, l can see no other reason
 

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It's like we're back in the 90's, but instead of everyone going crazy over suspensions it's tires. Kind of cool and I'll be really curious to see how many of these survive the Great Dying.
 

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I was really excited about 27.5 and ordered a Farley 9 early, almost bought a Farley 8 that was sitting on LBS floor for 2000 but as we were talking they expressed that a 27.5 version was in the works and since I am smitten with this wheelsize I was game even though I did not care for the 197 rear because my intended purpose is mostly for dirt with some snow here on the East Coast but the 27.5 sold me.

In July I fractured my ale with some tendon damage during an Enduro event and after copays and deductibles my dream of owning the Farley 9 had to be put off this year. As I was cruising Fat Bike Trader I came across a 2016 Specialized Fuse Comp, I knew little about plus sizes but did some research and came to the realization that this sizing may better fit my needs better and for a third of the cost, Paid 1075 shipped ,in comparison to the Farley and doable with my budget.I bought it and came in this week, I am back riding but still in rehab but managed to give it a good test ride. Bike comes in at 28.4 lbs but the previous owner made some upgrades, RF Deus cranks, Saint shifter, XT Plus rear derail, Sram Centerline rotors and converted to tubless. Pretty impressed with ride overall, steers and handles very much like my Mach 6 with just a tad steeper HA ,accelerates, climbs and tracks well and overall a very comfortable fun ride, does not feel sluggish in any way.So,did not go full Fatty 27.5 but by accident literally discovered a bike that better fits my needs and saved a bundle to boot. For you all out there considering a four inch 27.5 it my be in your interest to check out a plus size depending on your needs.
 

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I've ridden a 9.6 and it felt a little harsh compared to a 26x4.8, granted it wasn't in sand or snow. It felt like riding aired up 26x4.8
Exactly what I would expect. In fact, that's sort of the idea. A 26x5 will be less harsh than, well, just about everything on every trail surface. If that's your primary criteria, it's a no brainer.

But if you air 5" tires down to roll well in the rough stuff when the trail gets smooth you are going to have a slow ridin bike. Or air them up to roll nice on smooth stuff and they will be like two basketballs bouncing in the rough stuff.

The 27.5 seem to bridge the gap between 5" tires and 29plus stuff in that particular wheel diameter. Each rider has different needs for cush vs speed, depending on what conditions and what they want out of riding. 29er plus is my idea of too harsh for what I want to do with my bike. 5" more cush than I want.
 

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Exactly what I would expect. In fact, that's sort of the idea. A 26x5 will be less harsh than, well, just about everything on every trail surface. If that's your primary criteria, it's a no brainer.

But if you air 5" tires down to roll well in the rough stuff when the trail gets smooth you are going to have a slow ridin bike. Or air them up to roll nice on smooth stuff and they will be like two basketballs bouncing in the rough stuff.

The 27.5 seem to bridge the gap between 5" tires and 29plus stuff in that particular wheel diameter. Each rider has different needs for cush vs speed, depending on what conditions and what they want out of riding. 29er plus is my idea of too harsh for what I want to do with my bike. 5" more cush than I want.
That was my sense in the brief demo I did of a 26x4 and a 27,5x4 on sand. More float, rolled over obstacles better, less bounce and the bike seemed to be more nimble/less inertia feel to it. Didn't have that monster truck sort of feel to it. My feeling was that the 27.5x4 had a wider sweet spot and was more versatile than either the 26x4 or the 26x5/4.8.

J.
 

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That was my sense in the brief demo I did of a 26x4 and a 27,5x4 on sand. More float, rolled over obstacles better, less bounce and the bike seemed to be more nimble/less inertia feel to it. Didn't have that monster truck sort of feel to it. My feeling was that the 27.5x4 had a wider sweet spot and was more versatile than either the 26x4 or the 26x5/4.8.

J.
Was the bike you demoed with a front suspension? Do you feel that it would benefit from a front fork? Or are we too concerned with air volume?
 

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Was the bike you demoed with a front suspension? Do you feel that it would benefit from a front fork? Or are we too concerned with air volume?
I demo'ed a straight up 9.8 (and bought it but haven't picked it up yet) with a rigid fork. That's how I'm planning on riding it this winter. I didn't want a Bluto fork because of the cold where I'll be riding it (Minnesota) and because I'll be primarily on snow and beaches. The Bluto has a temp spec that doesn't go down as low as what I'll be routinely riding in. In the summer, I think it would benefit from a suspension fork but not necessary in a lot of applications.

So, I guess it would depend on the fork. I would guess there would be some other alternatives popping up soon and prices should also come down.
 

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Exactly what I would expect. In fact, that's sort of the idea. A 26x5 will be less harsh than, well, just about everything on every trail surface. If that's your primary criteria, it's a no brainer.

But if you air 5" tires down to roll well in the rough stuff when the trail gets smooth you are going to have a slow ridin bike. Or air them up to roll nice on smooth stuff and they will be like two basketballs bouncing in the rough stuff.

The 27.5 seem to bridge the gap between 5" tires and 29plus stuff in that particular wheel diameter. Each rider has different needs for cush vs speed, depending on what conditions and what they want out of riding. 29er plus is my idea of too harsh for what I want to do with my bike. 5" more cush than I want.
I agree- rider preference has a lot to do with it. I initially bought my fatbike for snow only, but quickly realized that it was more capable than I realized. After years of offroad motorcycling, I hurt more than I used to and take longer to heal, so for me now fatbiking is all about cushy ride and mountain goat capabilities so I can ride harder terrain longer and hurt less. I had a Fuel 29er which rode fast, but it was much harder to ride in technical terrain and lacked the fun factor of a fatbike.

One factor that can really help with the dreaded bounce of fat tires is suspension. It dampens the bounce effect and allows you to run the ideal pressures for the terrain. I rode my Fatboy a few months without a Bluto and after adding one there is no way I'd ever go back. It let me tune my tire pressure for grip/rolling resistance without bouncing out of control on the downhills. It allowed me to ride my Fatboy as fast as the Fuel.

I think the 27.5 with its shorter sidewall would make a good tire for a fat Fuel, the suspension would really help smooth out the harshness without having to regulate psi so precisely.
 

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What I need though is 2 things. I need a 65mm rim to maximize weight savings and give me a round tire profile...
I don't think mounting those 4" tires on the available 50mm 27.5 rims would work out so well...
If someone has direct experience that says differently, I'm all ears
Has anyone heard of a manufacturer stepping up and planning a basic, good quality, alloy rim in the 65mm range? Something like a Marge x 650b?
That's what I'm after as well, but nothing so far. I was hoping for something at Interbike.
- Want a faster rolling 27.5x4? You don't have to use 80mm rims, they would work fine on 50mm rims, which there are an abundance of on the market. I've used 26x4 on 50mm rims, they are still very capable if traction is needed (I used them down to 7 psi).
Well, since no new rim options seem to have come through at interbike (good thread/overview [here]), but tires are now available for purchase separately, I'm starting to research what existing options might work. Again, like many of you, I'm looking for an alloy rim in something significantly less than 80mm width, to optimize these tires for summer use. I'm after the height and a round profile, and don't need to maximize the footprint.

The best option, right now, might be the Sun Ringle Mulefut 50 [here].

mulefut50.jpg

I can't find a profile illustration, but if the sizing holds true to other Sun rims, it would have an internal dimension of 50mm. So it would actually be 6mm wider than a 50mm rabbit hole (44 internal), 11mm wider than a 45mm Dually (39mm internal), and 10mm narrower than a 65mm Marge (60mm internal).

Then, there's this Stan's Hugo 52, [here], which is almost 50mm internal as well :

Hugo52_Profile.jpg Hugo52_Rendering.jpg

Both are available only in black, though, where Rabbit hole and Dually are available in silver.

Meanwhile, here are some places where you can see 3.8" tires on the narrower Dually and other plus-size / mid-fat width rims:

http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/pics-3-8-4-tires-velocity-dually-surly-rabbit-hole-935057.html

Velocity "Dually" 26" Wheel Set: Final Review

Seems slightly forced, but I'd love to hear actual ride reports or impressions from others. Maybe the profile is perfect. I've used the Dually with a 2.4 Ardent, for which it was clearly too big - but it still worked ok. So maybe it works just as well going the other direction?!

Also anxious to hear of other options if anyone knows of some.

Got a bunch more riding on the 27.5 x 4's this week....
I know one thing--I don't have the slightest interest in any rim or tire smaller than that for summer use--it's a mountain bike, not a gravel grinder!
I might have missed it, but what rim are you using? Is it just the stock 80mm trek carbon rim? If not, you wouldn't happen to have a 135 qr front hub, would you? You're local to me and it would be nice to test fit if you're willing.
 

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........
I might have missed it, but what rim are you using? Is it just the stock 80mm trek carbon rim? If not, you wouldn't happen to have a 135 qr front hub, would you? You're local to me and it would be nice to test fit if you're willing.
It's a 27.5 x 80mm alum rim called the jackalope. 150 Thru axles. PM me if you want to check it out. I've always like the wider rims even in the summer for good low pressure stability and volume.
 

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iamkeith, I checked in with Bdundee here since he has experience with 4" tires on 50mm rims. He had nothing bad to say about the setup.

I'll either go with the 27.5x50mm Mulefuts which will give me the option to run that Hodag, or 29+.
 

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This diameter similarity is a big part of the reason why I got the Farley 7.
I'll just throw 4" tires on it if I feel like it - can't go the other way and put 4.7" tires on the 9 models without new wheels.
This is exactly why I ordered a 2016 F5 frame. I can go 26x3.8 summer, 26x4.7 winter on the same wheels. And if I feel crazy I can build up a set of 27.5 X 3.8 summer wheels too. Stealing all the great parts I have upgraded on my 2015 F6 and putting it back to stock for my wife to ride. The black/orange frame looks fabulious.
 

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I like the black and orange too, if I could have that color scheme with the 7 build kit I would have been all over it. That said the purple is damn nice in person.
 

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iamkeith, I checked in with Bdundee here since he has experience with 4" tires on 50mm rims. He had nothing bad to say about the setup.

I'll either go with the 27.5x50mm Mulefuts which will give me the option to run that Hodag, or 29+.
Good to hear. Let us know what you decide, and your impressions if you happen to get your hands on a Mulefut 50 rim.

PM me if you want to check it out.
Thanks! Even if I can't mount it, it would sure be nice to see it side by side with the tires I'm using. Sometimes all the specifications and internet chatter in the world can't compare to holding something in your own hands. I'm in Hoback. I think you're in Victor or Driggs, right? If this beautiful weather holds, I'll try to get in touch soon.

I've always like the wider rims even in the summer for good low pressure stability and volume.
You do make a good point. I kind of forgot and am frequently surprised by how low I've had the pressure in the current 26x4.8, that I want to replace - even in the summer. I think the Dually, as illustrated in the thread I linked, is completely out of the question. Tire would likely roll right off. The Mulefut will probably be marginal.
 
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