Monday, 15 September 2014

The New 26+/29+ Wheel/tyre sizes, any good?, 50mm wide Surly Rabbit Hole rims deft make a regular MTB fun!


So most mountain bike manufacturers  have now moved the long established standard MTB wheel diameter of 26" diameter to 27.5 inch, which is also referred to as 650b

There has of course in between this time been the 29" wheel size, or 29er as we mostly call it.
The larger diameter wheels roll really well, but have not been ideal for smaller size frames and suspension frames esp according to a lot of the Internet, so maybe this 27.5" is an ideal in between perfect size?

While this wheel change diameter has been going on their has been another option brought to the market by Surly Bikes; The 29+ firstly, then the 26+  wheel/Tyre size concept,  i have found it interesting to follow since Surly brought out the 29+ Krampus being a fan of wider rims on mountainbikes,,,
Pic from Surly website;



And then the guys who make naughty bike stickers brought out a relaunched  26+ Instigator...
pic from Surly website;


What is this Wheel/Tyre + concept?;
For my Mum, Jeanie, and other non cyclist readers on here these are the two wheel sizes; 26" and 29" which use a wider 50mm rim than the normal 25-32mm mountain bike (MTB) widths at present.
Then to this rim is mated with a 2.75" (for the 26") and 3" (for the 29") wheel rim, the existing regular MTB tyres are mostly 2.1"- 2.5" these days.
The wider rim with larger than normal tyre girth give`s both sizes more air volume, and  that then can then be run at a lower air pressure.
This larger air volume from the wider rim  allows the tyres to work better at their job and provide more comfort and  more grip.
In the case of the 26+  it gives the sane 27.5" diameter wheel but with the larger volume tyre, a pretty neat ideal.

The Surly Krampus29+ is a total hooligan machine and makes you ride like an idiot and giggle...
Friend Richies first Krampus;


Here is a Surly video from a while back by Eric about the Krampus 29+ concept, brought to you in typical Surly style!,
Having got drunk here in North Berwick with Eric at the first Forth Fat Gathering i can understand the Yank lingo ;)



Now your probably thinking WTF? - err Mum i cannot say what this means, if you understood any of that then good i will move on!.
Next came the 26" Instigator. A regeneration of a Surly hardtail but now with the wider wheel rim/tyre combo- 26 x 50mm Rabbit Hole rim with a 26 x 2.75 tyre...
Pic from Surly Website...

And again a wee film from Surly about this bike, again by Eric who as we say in Scotland "Could talk the hind legs off a Donkey"; though he seems to be stuck in a 1952 time warp  :)



Ha ha!, i need to kill the person who borrowed my Park Tools torque wrench and never returned it!!!!
Those 26+ rims and tyres would-on a short travel full suss bike make a real fun bike for UK Trail centres...

Here in the UK the 29+ thing has not really caught on as i thought it would.  I love the wheel/tyre size for trails. Maybe it is the lack of a 3" tyre clearance (for UK mud) 29+ specific fork is holding back sales?.
Most MTB`s you see out on our trails are still regular 26", 29" and  newer 650B wheel size bikes.

Fatbikes on regular trails;
Most folks are shouting about full blown Fatbikes being amazing for trails and better than regular mountain bikes. And that debate is hotting up with the Rock Shok Bluto fork now available and full suspension Fatbikes coming soon...
Owning all 3 sizes of fatbikes i would any day ride the 3" 29+ wheel set in my Puglsy fatbike on regular trails rather than the Pugsley`s standard 4" wheels or 5" Moonlander. Keep the big fat wheels wheels for going where a regular MTB struggles to maintain forward momentum, this may indeed include your regular local trails where you need more grip, like swamp/marsh/Peat moorland/loose rocks conditions..
Around here in East Lothian FAT advantage is deft along the coast.

Getting a shot to let folks try both + concepts;
You can read stuff in magazines-if you believe that then fair enough, but trying a product is the only way to convince someone of something and sell a product.  This is something Surly do well that most other companies do not with demo bikes that do the rounds around UK dealers.
There was a 26+ Instigator here in the UK but it never made it north of the border around here to my knowledge, which is a shame as i would have loved to spend a day razzing it around Glentress trail centre-regarded as the best UK trail centre, where i am sure it would have been a great hard tail, easily capable of making a lot of people on over biked full suspension bikes look real stupid on the descents... :)
I did this a year ago on the Surly KramPug 29+,  and with the bike left parked outside the cafe had a lot of those folk picking the bike up and despite the weight and no suspension were scratching their heads... :)

I get it;
The 29+ concept and i totally get for xc cycling having an offset built Krampus wheel set i was given by Tyler as a wee thanks at the first Forth Fat Fatbike Gathering, this of course is the KramPug.  I have done many miles now on this wheel set and absolutely love the ride of them...



Some film of the KramPug;


KramPug-29+ and 29er;
The wide rim concept;
I already had worked out that a wider rim gives a tyre more air volume- which gives more comfort and grip- that is not rocket science!.  And when  i saw a pic of an early Surly Karate Monkey 29er with a pair of 50mm  Alaskan Snow Cat rims i knew that was a winner and had to try the concept. But things that are low production are pricey, but then in the early days of the MTBR fatbike Forum there appeared a thread on these rims below;
29 x 47mm Kris Holm  Uni Cycle rims...


Available here in the UK; Kris Holm 29" x 47mm rims
Not light being double walled and 36 spoke, but bombproof and gave me lower pressures and so more grip and more comfort on trails...

This bike road real good and i should have never sold it to buy a Salsa Fargo-but then the MK2 drop bar Monkey i now own is way better for what i did than a Fargo so it all worked out good, even if an expensive itch in the end...
More recently i tried these 29 x 2.2" tyres on the Offset Rabbit Hole rim wheels on my Pugsley, this is another good option for the KramPug as the BB height is only a half inch higher than on a stock Pugsley...



Wide rims on MTBs are not a new thing;
Wider rims give a lot more comfortable ride to a regular 29" tyre to i discovered a while back.
Trials Mountain bikes have used wider than regular rims for years for lower pressure for grip...
I have always been a convert to wide rims on MTB`s and the improved comfort felt. esp on ridged bikes
Take this 1985 Muddy Fox Courier i own, it has 26 x 1.95 tyres on 26 x 1.75 rims...



That is a real wide rim for the tyre size, which results in more comfort and grip.




Back to today's purchase and a pair of Surly Krampus 29+ wheels popped up for sale on the UK Fatbike Forum.  At the price advertised these were a no brainier for me to buy!, and the other day i was cycling home from work with a set of 29+  wheels now unpacked on the back of the Cross-Check...



After my previous wide rim Mk 1 red Karate Monkey i wanted a set of these rims for my drop top tube Karate Monkey but thought they were outside my spending budget...


Seriously over this months cycling spending budget buying these!, so need to get more stuff sold on eBay to re-coup costs, but at the price  i had to get these...


As you can see these wheels came Gorilla taped with valves for a tubeless set up...
But sadly i do not have a the compressor converter and the right tyres to easily pop these up as a tubeless set up. But no worries as i already had a pair of Krampus tubes...




So tubed up and inflated and some spare brake disks added and we are rolling! :)


With enough tyre clearance...




Wee cycle on Friday after work and they feel good on this bike, smooth out the trail nicely...


Next day and time to go ride being Saturday...


And the 50mm rim width ridged 29er is as expected in the frameset/drop bar set up great bike,



You can see here the increase in tyre volume here with the tyres on 36mm and 50mm rims..




The beauty of getting these in line Rabbit hole rims is that in the future i can buy a second hand Surly Krampus or more interesting to myself an ECR frame set and build another bike...

One of these would be ideal for off road touring on Scotland's Long Distance Paths (LDP) a old roads be it day trips or multi day trips across country



There is always room for one more...
More soon...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Saturday!, time to go ride!... :)

                                                                                                                                       pic by Mark

It`s Saturday, time to get your shred on- or something like that, but yeah worked all week and time to relax and chill, and at the same time get out and do what you love  to do!,
Saturday dawned  with the promise of the hazy sea haar of the last few days burning away and with little wind a September scorcher on the coast was on the cards...
Up early as Francis was away riding an Endurance event...


Rabbit Hole wheel set on the Karate Monkey!, more on that in another post next week...


Early mist before the sun showed itself...


Home along some of the JMW...


Lovely early autumn sunrise...


Better with a bike and sign in the pic!...




Some folk were lifting potato's today, others racing motorbikes...


I was heading to Gullane to ride on the coast with friends...


Craig kitted up ready for the Zombie Apocalypse...

Out across Aberlady Reserve and across the sands to the WW2 XT Class Midget submarine wrecks...











:)





Pic by Mark;


Circles in the sand...

2.1 miles across the sands at a very low tide out to the Peffer Estuary...









Pic by Mark;


Cruising back east across the bay..






Across the rocks and headlands to Gullane...









2 more tennis balls for Mowgli :)



Gullane sands...


Freshwaterhaven...





Pic by Brian;




Pic by Mark;


Scorpion Trail...


Marine Villa pebbles...








Down Broadsands and around to North Berwick...
Pic by Mark;





Coffee in North Berwick...


Then back we go!, via some of the JMW...


And back along Broadsands...





Scorpion Trail east to west...


Had to post this on the FB Moonlander page!...




Back to Freshwaterhaven...


Baked bean trail...


And ice cream at Cool`s in Gullane, Gingerbread flavour all round...

Pic by Mark;



Then a cold one at The Old Clubhouse...
Pic by Brian;



Home as the light got hazy...


And met a guy flying a RC home made plane with camera rigged up...





A top day out, real warm for September- but this is not an Indian Summer!m that is only when you get heat like this after there has been frosts, so the question is `Will we get an Indian summer?`  hope so!
More soon...