26x5 vs 27.5x4.5 for max float of heavy rider- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    AOF
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    26x5 vs 27.5x4.5 for max float of heavy rider

    It's probably discussed somewhere, but looking for user feedback not marketing hype.

    I am looking for a new fat bike, primarily for float on snow.

    I am 210 lbs, I did not like the (lack of) float of 26x4.

    So, those that have ridden 27.5x4.5 is it comparable to 26x5?

    Looking at:
    27.5x4.5 - Trek Farley 5, Growler American Stout

    26x5 - Salsa Mukluk SX, Surly ICT, Trek Farley 5 (NOS 2015 version at LBS)

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOF View Post
    So, those that have ridden 27.5x4.5 is it comparable to 26x5?
    I would say 27.5" Barbegazi floats tiny bit better than Knard/Lou 4.8. Difference is not huge and difficult to compare as usually variables (weather, snow and pressure) vary from day to day. Real 5" (Snowshoe XXL) would float better than 27.5"/4.5" for sure.

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I would add to think significantly about your rim choice. A 4.5-5" tire on a 90-100mm rim offers significantly better sidewall support at lower pressures. In other words, don't shoot yourself in the foot by going with an 80mm or narrower rim if you are looking for the most float.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  4. #4
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    Describe your riding locations and conditions in some detail to get the most accurate response.

  5. #5
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    Im running Johnny5 and am the same weight but I need studded tires. I only have one year on them but they are awesome for float and grip.

    For 27.5, the best tires I have seen are the Gnarwhal. People riding them stay upright more than those with Cake Eaters or other studded 27.5 tires, and they grip as well as my Johnny5s.

    Here in Maine our ice can get hard, not like the hero ice when it warms up. Most often the studs on some tires will just scratch the ice and not bite in, meaning studs are not the end-all for riding and not all studded fatbike tires are created equal.

    So if you need studs, definitely do your homework (as you are here), but if not, then you have a lot more choices.
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  6. #6
    AOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Describe your riding locations and conditions in some detail to get the most accurate response.
    New England (NH/MA/ME/VT); conditions vary from loose pow to solid ice.

    For solid ice I have 29 and 27 plus studded options.

    Will take the advice on the 100mm rim width, I already have some 26x4.6" studded tires that I am trying to not steer this decision.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOF View Post
    New England (NH/MA/ME/VT); conditions vary from loose pow to solid ice.
    For solid ice I have 29 and 27 plus studded options.

    Will take the advice on the 100mm rim width, I already have some 26x4.8" studded tires that I am trying to not steer this decision.

    Gotcha.

    A lot of data points that will prove valuable to you here: https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/te...o-1093684.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOF View Post
    New England (NH/MA/ME/VT); conditions vary from loose pow to solid ice.

    For solid ice I have 29 and 27 plus studded options.

    Will take the advice on the 100mm rim width, I already have some 26x4.6" studded tires that I am trying to not steer this decision.
    I live on the MA/NH border and ride about every day.
    Conditions range from groomed to virgin to post holed ice.
    I've tried just about all the 26" tires out there.
    I'd say you need studs about 25% of the time....and glad I have the the rest of the time. and about 10% of the season I don't need them.
    If I was going to have 1 set of tires....it would be studded Johnny 5s ( but they are big and not many bikes will fit them)
    And having 29 studded works for those few days of complete freeze overs.
    I also have a set of Dillinger5 studded for groomed/packed conditions.
    And a set of Snowshoe 5.05s for virgin/soft days( very few bikes will fit these)
    I don't have a lot of experience on the 27.5 x 4.5 tires in snow (too invested in 26 wheels for snow),,,but the 27.5 x3.8 Hodag works well on non icy groomed and when the snow isn't deep. The only time I rode the 4.5 Gnarwhals ...it wasn't really soft enough.

  9. #9
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    Trek Farley 5 with 26x5.05 Snowshoe 2XL.
    :thumbsup:It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyJo1 View Post
    Trek Farley 5 with 26x5.05 Snowshoe 2XL.
    The caveat there is some Farley frames fit the XXL,,,,some don't.
    I tried the on a pair of new 2019s last year. It fit on the medium frame...but not the large (which is what I needed)

  11. #11
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    Rim diameter has nothing to do with it. It's the tire. Tires, final diameter, width, rim width and pressure. 27.5 wheel diameter doesn't translate to more float alone because a given tire could have less sidewall so you could end up with same or even less float.

    Figure out what frame has the most clearance for wider tires and go that route.



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  12. #12
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    Central Ma rider here, I had grip studded bud and lou for years and they are an awesome combo of grip and float. However myself and all my ridding buddies switched to 27.5 x 4.5 Gnarwhals with the 45 north concave studs. We just get too many warm weather days in-between the cold ones not to have studs all season. I don't want downtime so not crashing is really important, even grip stud my boots. The reason we went to the 27.5 x 4.5's is that they roll way faster on the ice/hardpack and I don't notice the lack of float from the Bud/Lou's as I am not breaking singletrack much anymore. If we get deep snow we ride the snowmobile trails until we can beat down the singletrack (We actually have an E-Moonlander with studded bud/lou to get the first few tracks down in order to ride). The bigger hoops roll faster to keep the momentum going as we really don't get the deep powder as they do out west or up north. Hope this helps.

    -Nolan

  13. #13
    AOF
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    I should have mentioned that my fat float bike will absolutely have studs. The studded J5 look awesome.

    Thanks for all the info so far, now I think I need to figure out which frame will not limit my rim/tire selection.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOF View Post
    I should have mentioned that my fat float bike will absolutely have studs. The studded J5 look awesome.

    Thanks for all the info so far, now I think I need to figure out which frame will not limit my rim/tire selection.
    One comment about the 2015 Trek Farley: I believe that is the old 170 rear frame...which will not fit big tires.
    The newer 197/Stangleholds will fit J5s

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    One comment about the 2015 Trek Farley: I believe that is the old 170 rear frame...which will not fit big tires.
    The newer 197/Stangleholds will fit J5s
    I think I am still stuck in 2017, my LBS has the 2017 Farley, not the 2015. Its a frame and fork only, so I need to find some 100mm wheels if I go that route.

    https://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/...rley_5/details
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOF View Post
    I think I am still stuck in 2017, my LBS has the 2017 Farley, not the 2015. Its a frame and fork only, so I need to find some 100mm wheels if I go that route.

    https://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/...rley_5/details
    I would highly recommend mikesee and his lacemine29....he can build you exactly what you need...might even have the tires you want/need

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    I would highly recommend mikesee and his lacemine29....he can build you exactly what you need...might even have the tires you want/need
    done
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  18. #18
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    wait, a "heavy" rider is 210?!? i am 203...

    fyi, i am in the same locale, and ride similiar terrain. local guy to me is ~300 lbs and he rides a 2019 farley 7 w/ 27.5x4.5 barbegazi and he loves it...
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  19. #19
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    My weight fluctuates from 185-200
    (Heavier in the Winter months when I bulk up + a lot more gear)

    I loved my 18' Farley 7 with Studded Gnarwhals (27.5 x 4.5) for Winter riding last year,
    but switched to 27.5x4.5 Barbegazi's for a lighter/faster rolling Summer setup, (both tubeless)
    ...that my girlfriend rides now.

    My new 2020 Farley 7 will be setup exactly the same, wouldn't change a thing.
    (both 19.5" Frame)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26x5 vs 27.5x4.5 for max float of heavy rider-20191019_144203%5B2%5D.jpg  

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    2020 Trek Farley 7 Roarange
    2018 Trek Farley 7 ViperRed

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    My weight fluctuates from 185-200
    (Heavier in the Winter months when I bulk up + a lot more gear)

    I loved my 18' Farley 7 with Studded Gnarwhals (27.5 x 4.5) for Winter riding last year,
    but switched to 27.5x4.5 Barbegazi's for a lighter/faster rolling Summer setup, (both tubeless)
    ...that my girlfriend rides now.

    My new 2020 Farley 7 will be setup exactly the same, wouldn't change a thing.
    (both 19.5" Frame)

    Doesn't all that "Tire Shine" reduce your traction?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Doesn't all that "Tire Shine" reduce your traction?
    it actually keeps the mud from sticking/building up

    Dirt track/sprint car racers actually use cooking spray/baby oil
    2020 Trek Farley 7 Roarange
    2018 Trek Farley 7 ViperRed

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