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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today i am riding a full rigid 29" xc bike with 2.6" tires and considering buying a new bike. Will be there any major difference if i go for a bike with 27.5x4.5" tires vs a bike with 29x3.0 tires? I intend to keep riding full rigid.

I am riding standard cross country/trail with lots of rocks & roots, mostly during summertime. I would like to have bigger tires than my current bike, but i also like the 29 platform. I think that 29x3 would be very similar to my current setup, just slightly wider. 27.5x4.5" would probably feel more different. I guess the overall wheel diameter is similar between those options?

Have you tried both setups and can share some experience on how those perform on the trails and how the ride feels?
 

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Today i am riding a full rigid 29" xc bike with 2.6" tires and considering buying a new bike. Will be there any major difference if i go for a bike with 27.5x4.5" tires vs a bike with 29x3.0 tires? I intend to keep riding full rigid.

I am riding standard cross country/trail with lots of rocks & roots, mostly during summertime. I would like to have bigger tires than my current bike, but i also like the 29 platform. I think that 29x3 would be very similar to my current setup, just slightly wider. 27.5x4.5" would probably feel more different. I guess the overall wheel diameter is similar between those options?

Have you tried both setups and can share some experience on how those perform on the trails and how the ride feels?
I have both my 29 x 3 is a 3 season bike and the 27.5 x 4.5 is a winter bike. They are different bikes. I love the 29+ format been riding it for 6 or 7 years. Would be great for your rocky trails. 29+ might be getting harder to get, the Trek Stache is discontinued for next year. You might still find one, there are still some other options. I have never ridden as fast as I have on my 29+ and the fun level went up. When I first got mine I started riding faster then my 2 riding buddies, each went and bought one.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Today i am riding a full rigid 29" xc bike with 2.6" tires and considering buying a new bike. Will be there any major difference if i go for a bike with 27.5x4.5" tires vs a bike with 29x3.0 tires? I intend to keep riding full rigid.

I am riding standard cross country/trail with lots of rocks & roots, mostly during summertime. I would like to have bigger tires than my current bike, but i also like the 29 platform. I think that 29x3 would be very similar to my current setup, just slightly wider. 27.5x4.5" would probably feel more different. I guess the overall wheel diameter is similar between those options?

Have you tried both setups and can share some experience on how those perform on the trails and how the ride feels?
29+ will be awesome and b4.5 can be just as awesome. With a good geometry of frame and two wheelsets, BONUS!!
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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I have never ridden as fast as I have on my 29+ and the fun level went up. When I first got mine I started riding faster then my 2 riding buddies, each went and bought one.
That's impossible!

The reason 29x3 is hard to find and becoming more so is because *the pros* have told us that only slow, weekend warrior, beginner type riders, who do not like to go fast, will ever use this platform. Thus, it should be banished, so that all of us, can do Redbull Rampage rides, every day.

I love the horesh*t they throw at us in the name of marketing.

To a person, myself included, every 29x3 bike I've sold, has been loved to death, and ridden as hard as possible. It's a fantastic format and I cannot forgive the industry for listening to a small group of whiny dirt jumpers rather than riders who love it.
 

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Both.

29+ carbon wheels on my Farley 9.6 for summer use with a Fox 34...I basically have an all carbon Stache.

27.5 x 4.5 Gnarwhal's for winter/snow use in fat bike mode

I wouldn't bother running that size for summer but lots of people swear by 27.5 x 3.8 but i haven't tried it.

Disappointing to hear the Stache will be no more....I hope it's not true
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Mendon, they shoot themselves in the foot with such doings every time. With the general population being the larger number, ignorance must, indeed be "bliss"...
 

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I would consider 27.5x4.5 more of a winter/snow/sand tire size. It wouldn't be my first choice for dry/rocky trails. It would of course work, and plenty of people ride that size on dry trails. I'd say you'de be better off with 29x3.0. Great rollover and traction, and plenty of cush to take the sting out of the trail. Another size to look at is 27.5x3.8, which actually measure about around 3.5". It falls kind of between the other 2.

You didn't mention snow, so if that's not part of your riding, I'd look at 29x3 or 27.5x3.8.

I heard the Stache complete bikes are being discontinues, but it will still be available as a frameset. Still disappointing, and not a good sign!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I won't be doing much snow or sand riding, mostly hard-surface trails with rocks & roots.

I was considering carbon Trek Farley as the 27.5x4.5" option and probably Niner Ros9 or Surly Krampus as the 29x3.0 option, depending on availability. It seems to be getting harder and harder to find non-mainstream bikes..

I have a full rigid steel xc bike that i have been riding for 12 years, but 29x2.6 rear and 29x2.8 upfront are the tire size limits. I was thinking that perhaps getting a new bike just to ride 3.0 tires won't make enough difference to motivate a purchase.

I've watched a couple review videos on youtube and the Farley is being described as a cross country friendly bike among people who own a full fat 26" wheel bike. I am sure the Farley would feel more different compare to my current setup.

I understand that the primary use of fat bikes are for soft surface like sand & snow, but why is it not recommended for trails? Is it because of the added weight & rolling resistance? Will it feel either slow or bouncy?
 

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I would consider 27.5x4.5 more of a winter/snow/sand tire size. It wouldn't be my first choice for dry/rocky trails. It would of course work, and plenty of people ride that size on dry trails. I'd say you'de be better off with 29x3.0. Great rollover and traction, and plenty of cush to take the sting out of the trail. Another size to look at is 27.5x3.8, which actually measure about around 3.5". It falls kind of between the other 2.
You didn't mention snow, so if that's not part of your riding, I'd look at 29x3 or 27.5x3.8.

I heard the Stache complete bikes are being discontinues, but it will still be available as a frameset. Still disappointing, and not a good sign!
My bikepacking bike, the Trek 1120, 29x3, is based on the Stache, and I love it. Add a carbon wheelset and you won't think about the bike you didn't buy. Unless, of course, you can afford titanium, and realize that the Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon is your one true love. I try not to think about what could have been, if I'd only known.

But there is a youtube channel called Foresty Forest, and he had touring videos where he rode a fat bike on mountain and desert trails, not snow or sand. I think 29+ is the middle path between suspension mtb and fat bikes. I can't make the call for your situation.

IMHO, slow and bouncy is a function of tire pressure. One pound either way of 15 psi can make a big difference on 29x3. My Chupacabras roll great on gravel, like glue on pavement.
 

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I understand that the primary use of fat bikes are for soft surface like sand & snow, but why is it not recommended for trails? Is it because of the added weight & rolling resistance? Will it feel either slow or bouncy?
Yes to all of the above. Not that it can’t be fun but in direct comparison to a skinny bike on the same surfaces.

I rode fat almost exclusively for 5 years. Could do everything my riding buddies could. It’s fun. Definitely different than other platforms.
 

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I bought a used farley 7 couple years ago, i dont get out as much as id like but when i do its been more singletrack mixed with sand hardpack/roots. I live by power lines also which will be paved for miles with trails just off them.
I was thinking of maybe selling mine and going for a marin hawk hill 2, then im reading about a second set of wheels and thinner tires and a front suspension.
Am i better off just going for the marin? I dont think im doing much beach or snow riding even thought i have both here lol
 

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I won't be doing much snow or sand riding, mostly hard-surface trails with rocks & roots.

I was considering carbon Trek Farley as the 27.5x4.5" option and probably Niner Ros9 or Surly Krampus as the 29x3.0 option, depending on availability. It seems to be getting harder and harder to find non-mainstream bikes..

I have a full rigid steel xc bike that i have been riding for 12 years, but 29x2.6 rear and 29x2.8 upfront are the tire size limits. I was thinking that perhaps getting a new bike just to ride 3.0 tires won't make enough difference to motivate a purchase.

I've watched a couple review videos on youtube and the Farley is being described as a cross country friendly bike among people who own a full fat 26" wheel bike. I am sure the Farley would feel more different compare to my current setup.

I understand that the primary use of fat bikes are for soft surface like sand & snow, but why is it not recommended for trails? Is it because of the added weight & rolling resistance? Will it feel either slow or bouncy?
Using a fatbike on dry trails can of course be done. Lots of people do it and love it. I have a first gen. Salsa Blackborow setup with 27.5x4.5 wheels. I keep it at my VT house, and ride it mainly in the winter, but I also ride it in the summer when we are up there. It's of course really fun, just not the most efficient tool for the job.

I general, the downsides of riding a fatbike on dry trails are added weight, added rolling resistance, which add up to just a slower ride experience. Also, depending on the bike, the geometry may not be ideal for trail riding. Lastly, the big increase in bottom bracket width causes a much larger Q factor. Some people don't notice this, for others it's a huge issue and they to great lengths to try to reduce it. You really won't know which side you're on until you ride one a bunch.

If you're OK with all of those compromises, than a fatbike might work well for you. As someone else mentioned, you can also get a second set of 29x3.0 wheels for pretty much any fatbike, and that will be faster/more efficient, but can't change the Q factor and geometry of the bike.

Also, remember that the feel of the bike is not just determined by the wheel size, the geometry has a huge effect. If you decide on a 29+ bike try to find a Trek Stache before they go away, it's one of, if not the, best handling 29+ bikes out there. Trek Farley is a solid choice for a fatbike as well. I'm generally not a huge Trek fan, but I think both of those bikes are very well executed.

I have in my fleet the original purple Trek Stache, the already mentioned Salsa Blackborow with 27.5x4.5 tires, both rigid. Lastly, my 'Trail' bike is a custom hardtail that was running 27.5+, but that I switched to 27.5x3.8 for this season, and I'm REALLY enjoying it!
 

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I have a Krampus (29x3) and a full on fattie. Love em both. I consider the Krampus my fast bike. I ride the fat bike on trails year round as well. Fun, fun, fun.
 

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A good buddy with several mtbs always gravitates to his Vassago Verfetten set up rigid SS with 27.5x 3.8. He loves it and rips through the twisties.

I ride rigid SS, 29x3.25 (yes, you can still get the Vee Bulldozers in 120tpi for $50). Coming from years of 29x3.0, I absolutely love the volume and the roll-over of 3.25.

Compared my tire to my buddy’s a couple of days ago and it’s about an inch of added height with mine and significant extra girth with his. Yes, we compared tires.
 

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I love riding my Farley with 27.5x4.5 Barbegazi, feels light/fast to me, great cush and rollover. Pavement, gravel, single track. Quit riding my 27.5x3 Karate Monkey. Test rode a Stache 29x3 and didn't love it. Probably depends a lot on what bike and what tires. In the winter I throw on the Gnarwhals, heavier and slower, but good in snow/frozen creek and grippier on greasy,rooty single track. I'd like to try an Otso w/ 27.5x3.8" sometime.
 

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I have a Salsa Bucksaw FS bike which I rode as 26x4 for a few years in snow. This year, I got 27.5x3 wheels set with WTB Rangers set up on WTB Scraper 40s. I bought a 29" Duroc 30 rimmed front wheel and slapped on a Minion DHR II; 3.0" wide. I like the 650b set up alot, and wondered if I could just eke out a little more from this bike but was concerned about it fitting under the arch of my Bluto. The Durco 30 came in a 15x150 spacing, but I feel that the rim is too narrow to effectively support the 29x3 carcass. I experienced lots of initial burping and had concerns of folding over but it didn't.

With 15-18 psi, I have enough room to use the 29er in that fork, and I do like the reverse mullet configuration. Slackens the HA about 0.5cm while raising the BB too. Like it so much I got a 27.5x55 carbon wheelset. My final plans:

Winter: 650b F using Pub carbon wheel / 26 Whisky No. 9 carbon wheel. Both wearing 45NRTH Dillinger studded tires

Deep or light frozen snow, or thawing mud slop: Van Helga / Rocket Ron combo on 26x65mm Otso Rhyolite wheelset

Spring, sloppy wet fall: Van Helga / Rocket Ron combo on 26x65mm Otso Rhyolite wheelset

Summer: 29 front wheel built on DIYCarbon rim 40mm wide, Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x3 / 27.5 rear wheel built on PUB carbon 40mm, WTB Bridger
 

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2017 Surly Ice Cream Truck - 29x3, Mastodon Pro 100mm OR Rigid 26x4.82019 Salsa Horsethief Carbon GX
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I've posted about this in the past. I've been riding a Surly ICT for the past two summers with 26x4 JJs tubeless and a mastodon fork. The bike is slow climbing - or at least I'm slow. I beat most of my PRs on the downhills, probably all of them. I'm just working harder on those long climbs that I should, I think. Also, rocky technical sections are tough with the fatter tires, I get stuck sometimes part way through, wedged or scraping sidewalls. I'm torn on 29x3 (for $1000) and selling it and going back to a full suspension bike with 2.5-2.8 tires. I cannot decide what to do. I do have the current bike dialed in - 1x setup, carbon magura brakes, carbon bars. I love the geometry of the ICT.

1. Spend 1000 and have a slightly new bike (new build)
2. Sell for probably at most $2k with all the upgraded stuff, add the 1000 to that and try for a used full suspension.

Think the 29+ will make that much of a difference!!? Maybe that 1000 will make me happy for another couple years. It's impossible to demo a 29+ ICT.....


That's impossible!

The reason 29x3 is hard to find and becoming more so is because *the pros* have told us that only slow, weekend warrior, beginner type riders, who do not like to go fast, will ever use this platform. Thus, it should be banished, so that all of us, can do Redbull Rampage rides, every day.

I love the horesh*t they throw at us in the name of marketing.

To a person, myself included, every 29x3 bike I've sold, has been loved to death, and ridden as hard as possible. It's a fantastic format and I cannot forgive the industry for listening to a small group of whiny dirt jumpers rather than riders who love it.
 

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Mastondon extended or std?

I've posted about this in the past. I've been riding a Surly ICT for the past two summers with 26x4 JJs tubeless and a mastodon fork. The bike is slow climbing - or at least I'm slow. I beat most of my PRs on the downhills, probably all of them. I'm just working harder on those long climbs that I should, I think. Also, rocky technical sections are tough with the fatter tires, I get stuck sometimes part way through, wedged or scraping sidewalls. I'm torn on 29x3 (for $1000) and selling it and going back to a full suspension bike with 2.5-2.8 tires. I cannot decide what to do. I do have the current bike dialed in - 1x setup, carbon magura brakes, carbon bars. I love the geometry of the ICT.

1. Spend 1000 and have a slightly new bike (new build)
2. Sell for probably at most $2k with all the upgraded stuff, add the 1000 to that and try for a used full suspension.

Think the 29+ will make that much of a difference!!? Maybe that 1000 will make me happy for another couple years. It's impossible to demo a 29+ ICT.....
Dan at Hayes group wrote back to me that the extended versions of the Mastodon can accommodate 29x3. Otherwise the std versions are limited to 27.5x3.8, so unless others can chime in, beware before plunking down $1K
 

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2017 Surly Ice Cream Truck - 29x3, Mastodon Pro 100mm OR Rigid 26x4.82019 Salsa Horsethief Carbon GX
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My rear Jumbo Jim 4.0 wore out, I replaced with the 26x4.8 Bud that I already had for the front. I'm running a 26x4.8 with my standard pro - it does not hit the tire. I've heard it both ways...
 
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