Sunday, 26 May 2019

7 Years of 29+ wheels....

Original Surly Krampus 29+  advert

Saddledrive 2012 the Krampus 29+ is released...

Richie`s Krampus, 2013...

Back in 2012 when Surly Bikes released the 29+ platform - a 50mm wide 29" with a 3" tyre,  loads of folk were sceptic of these monster wheels,  early adopters of Fatbikes sat up excited, esp when they saw the  Surly rims were dual drilled enabling them to be laced offset the same as their Pugsleys, which once done slotted straight in giving you a set of lighter faster rolling wheels for trails with more grip and comfort than the regular 29" tyre wheels mountain bikes were running...

I was lucky to be an early adopter of the 29+ wheels for a Pugsley when Tyler and `Eric from Surly came to Forth Fat Fatbike Gathering in 2013,
It was a great weekend and we had hilarious fun,  as a thanks for organising and being a Surly fan Tyler`s 29+ wheels were left and i spent that long warm summer of 2013 blasting around on them on trails then harvested stubble fields and raving about them!, i named the concept of a Pugsley with 29+  wheels a `KramPug`   ( get it?)  and it has kind of stuck,

Regular  29 x 2.25"   compared to 29+   (29 x 3")
here is the difference;

Two bikes in one;
with discs and a cassette on both set of wheels it takes under a minute to swap the wheels, same make hubs mean no re aligning the brake callipers - two bikes in one...

Original KramPug film;  summer 2013

Loats of build options;
Pugsleys can be built in a lot of set up options,
The several KramPug builds i have owned would grow gears, including an internal Gear Hub (IGH) and all types of bars from Jones Loop bars to CX drop bars, here is another early KramPug film...

The KramPug Handling?;
When you fit the larger circumference  29+ wheels onto the Pugsley the bottom bracket height is raised a full 25mm, and that 1 inch does effect the handling,  some people disliked it,  esp for trail centre type riding with berms etc,  but for regular xc cycling i like it, increased ground clearance was an improvement with less pedal strike on rocks and roots, and with a IGH fitted and no rear mech to clog up it meant for a good bike for riding through overgrown trails and around field boundaries...
Compared to the rolling weight of the regular Fat wheels on your Fatbike the lighter increased diameter makes them get up to speed quicker and  keep rolling,  a trade off of grip and float from the wider 4 or 5" tyres is a better xc trail bike, they can cope with sandy single track that is not too deep and certainly can manage firm wet sand on the beaches.


I too have owned a Krampus that replaced a regular 29er Surly Karate Monkey, and only sold that frame set when i was given a Surly Wednesday Fatbike which has dam near the same geometry and that would allow one bike with both wheel sets `Fat` and 29+,  but the Krampus is a great frame set be it the original one here or updated  one with through axles...

Hooligan machine!

Here is a film having fun on my Krampus....

Surly Krampus - Quick blast through the woods... from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Low maintenance trail bike;
As now proven the 29+ wheel set being a floatation platform it is not the ideal tyre for fast hard Enduro type  riding or Downhill where a stiffer side wall tyre is required and those  types of bikes have settled for up to a 2.8" tyre on a narrower rim,     fair enough, though most folks who go for the 29+ concept are not looking or expecting a bike with a floatation tyre to do this. What the platform does allow is to ride a ridged frame set devoid of expensive high maintenance suspension,
Here is a good video discussing an owners experience of owning a Krampus;
Righteous beards!

So then a good riders review including discussing the uncontrolled suspension rebound from flotation tyres which does indeed take a bit getting used to, and the mention of adding a suspension fork for some techy riding would be an advantage-why i have one on my Surly Wednesday 29+,
The video  mentions bike packing and not long after the Krampus fun machine came out Surly designed a camp rig with the same wheel platform, named the ECR
here again is Eric!

I too got an ECR frame set and stripped my last regular 29er bike (another Karate Monkey) and built it as an Alfine hub semi drop bar bike, rode it like that a bit then stripped it to build another KramPug,
Recently the ECR has been rebuilt as a single speed

Harvest cycling;
29+ wheels lend themselves well to cycling harvested Wheat and Barley stubble fields. great fun and fields are used to link up trails  making for great local rides...

Mech free Shimano Alfine IGH earning it`s keep in the straw un baled fields....

Harvest cycling film...

Harvest Cycle; Surly ECR-CLAAS 760 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

29+ development and 27.5+;
Tubeless ready rims and tyres  are now available, and the newer 27.5" which has become the standard wheel size for mountain bikes also has a 3" tyre + option, this size is better for full suspension and smaller sizes of frames, and they will fit in all fatbike frames-some like the On One Fatty and Genesis Caribou will fit regular 29 x 2.35" tyres but not the 3" tyres on 50mm rims.
I have a pair of 27.5+ Mule Foot rim wheel sets that also have 3" Maxxis Chronicles, as all my 29+ wheels have, a great tyre for tarmac and sandy dirt trails,
Here they are on a Ritchey Commando Fatbike set up single speed,

New Fatbikes with 4.6 tyres- 29+ perfect;
Interestingly  the latest Surly Fatbikes (Wednesday and Pugsley 2.0) use the in between Fat tyre size of 4.6" and these make the outside diameter dam near close to a 29+ wheel so your only adding about 10mm to the BB height, both these bikes  ride superb 29+...

Wednesday 29+

New Pugsley 2.0 29+  aka  `KramPug 2.0`

My current Surly +bikes;  single speed ECR, Alfine IGH KramPug. KramPug 2.0. Wednesday with suss fork and dropper post,  all the same wheel size but set up slightly different...

And if you want something real nice you could buy a Jones 29+ bike

More soon...

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