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  1. #1
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    Help with 29+ Wheelset for Flat / Gravel /Pavement Riding

    Longtime cyclist, first time fat bike. 1 month into my new Surly Wednesday and loving riding single track and snow. However, I'm hoping to expand the use of this bike for some flat riding on pavement, gravel and the miles of limestone/crushed asphalt rail trails we have near us.

    I see many have added a 29+ wheelset to their bag for "summer" riding and I'm seriously looking at getting a set. My gut says that a 29+ (3 inch) or even 29er (less than 3 inch) would be great for flat riding (and better than by 4.0 set up) but I'm just guessing at this point.

    Before I invest, hoping someone can share their experience with this setup for this type of old guy riding. If so, what rim/ tire width is best so that it is really different than my stock 4.0 set up?

    (Sorry if this is covered elsewhere. I looked, but couldn't find, but again, I'm old )

    Thanks!
    Help with 29+ Wheelset for Flat / Gravel /Pavement Riding-20181215_150219_resized_edited.jpg

  2. #2
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    Congrats on the Weds. Smart to add a taller/skinnier wheelset to make the bike more efficient and more versatile.

    Look for rim widths between 35 and 45mm. Narrower and wider can work, but the sweet spot is in the quoted range.

    I ride 29 x 3" tires whenever I'm not on snow. A few times a year I get seduced by a new tire or tread pattern, and experiment with 2.6" or 2.8". And very quickly I find myself back on 3" -- it just feels like the sweet spot, to me.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    What's your opinion of Surly ExtraTerrestrial 29 x 2.5, is it worth considering?

  4. #4
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    Here's a whole thread of such conversions in the plus forum
    https://forums.mtbr.com/26-27-5-29-p...ns-955584.html

  5. #5
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    I laced up a set of Stan's Baron rims to DTSwiss big ride hubs and am very happy. Rim width is 35mm internal and I am running 2.8" tires (Mcfly) and like them. I have not put the 3" Bontrager XR2 tires that I have yet. It does roll much better than 26x4 and cuts some weight too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbros View Post
    Longtime cyclist, first time fat bike. 1 month into my new Surly Wednesday and loving riding single track and snow. However, I'm hoping to expand the use of this bike for some flat riding on pavement, gravel and the miles of limestone/crushed asphalt rail trails we have near us.

    I see many have added a 29+ wheelset to their bag for "summer" riding and I'm seriously looking at getting a set. My gut says that a 29+ (3 inch) or even 29er (less than 3 inch) would be great for flat riding (and better than by 4.0 set up) but I'm just guessing at this point.

    Before I invest, hoping someone can share their experience with this setup for this type of old guy riding. If so, what rim/ tire width is best so that it is really different than my stock 4.0 set up?

    (Sorry if this is covered elsewhere. I looked, but couldn't find, but again, I'm old )

    Thanks!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    that is a happy looking Wednesday!!!

    I have 29X3 on my Krampus and they go everywhere, so it will definitely work. They are my year-round tire, and I am training to do bikepacking - which is why I actually bought the bike- so they are pretty comfy to ride the way you want IMHO

    right now I have Knards on the original Rabbit Hole wheels, which are great for the long distance summer riding I do. I ride a lot of paved rec trails with my wife and they roll pretty well on that. I just pump them up a bit more

    Am looking to get some Duro Crux 3.25's for more muddy and winter riding.

    I also might get some smaller....like 45MM rims, to do some other experimenting with tire types...seems like that is a more versatile rim size...don't know whether I am going to go the custom build route, or just get some standard pre built ones, though I do know that either way, the front wheel will have a dynamo hub...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  7. #7
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    I'm looking at a set with 50mm Rabbit Holes, but was thinking I might want to go narrower, 40 or 45 to better fit sub 3 in tires. Sounds like you ate ok with the 3's though for flat trail riding. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like a good setup.

  9. #9
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    Thanks. I see your deals on other wheelsets. I'll look for a Wednesdsy compatible set soon 😆

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbros View Post
    I'm looking at a set with 50mm Rabbit Holes, but was thinking I might want to go narrower, 40 or 45 to better fit sub 3 in tires. Sounds like you ate ok with the 3's though for flat trail riding. Thanks!
    yep...been using them now for 3 years...riding on Central Ohio rooty/rocky single track; Spring "mud running" on my freinds dads farm where we get pretty dirty; gravel roads and paved trails as mentioned. Michigan sandy, rooty, rocky single track; Great Lakes beaches

    hell, I even ride it at the skatepark sometimes when I don't have my BMX with me
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

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  11. #11
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    FYI...mikesee has these up for sale:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/classifieds/...e-1093903.html

    he is a master builder so these might be something cool to check out...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  12. #12
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    If you like to set your tires up tubeless, avoid the Rabbit Holes. They're fairly miserable to set up split tubeless. I've done quite a few 29+ wheelsets for fat bikes. A popular setup around here is 40mm Raceface Arcs on Either Hope or Bike Hub Store hubs.
    Recently, Raceface started selling Arcs with an offset spoke bed. I just built up a set last weekend and really liked them a lot. The spoke tensions were a lot more even side to side than a conventional center laced rim.
    For tires, I LOVE the Bontrager XR2 on the rear and a Vee Bulldozer in 29x3.25" wide on the front. You have a bike that will take all of this tire. Why limit yourself to regular 29" tires?
    I have this tire and rim combination on my Krampus and could not be happier.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    FYI...mikesee has these up for sale:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/classifieds/...e-1093903.html

    he is a master builder so these might be something cool to check out...

    That's a great set at a great price but they won't fit his Weds.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    If you like to set your tires up tubeless, avoid the Rabbit Holes. They're fairly miserable to set up split tubeless. I've done quite a few 29+ wheelsets for fat bikes. A popular setup around here is 40mm Raceface Arcs on Either Hope or Bike Hub Store hubs.
    Recently, Raceface started selling Arcs with an offset spoke bed. I just built up a set last weekend and really liked them a lot. The spoke tensions were a lot more even side to side than a conventional center laced rim.
    For tires, I LOVE the Bontrager XR2 on the rear and a Vee Bulldozer in 29x3.25" wide on the front. You have a bike that will take all of this tire. Why limit yourself to regular 29" tires?
    I have this tire and rim combination on my Krampus and could not be happier.
    Thanks for the heads up on the tubeless comment. My goal is to spread the use of my Wednesday as far as possible, so I was assuming I wanted to be as narrow as possible for potential pavement / flat grade gravel riding. I'm finding out from all this great input however that 3 in may be OK. For the rime, sounds like 40 mm is a sweet spot as Mikesee has indicated.

  15. #15
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    Check out the new(ish) WTB KOM rims They look pretty nice. Had I know about them when I built my wheels I probably would have gone that route.

    I debated long an hard on 35 or 40mm rims. At the end of the day I found a deal on the Barons. Had Stans 38mm Major ever taken off I would have gone with that "compromise".

  16. #16
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    ^^Yep... I tried to get a set of Majors and couldn't. I ended up with Raceface Arcs and have been very happy with them.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    That's a great set at a great price but they won't fit his Weds.
    my bad...I just saw the thread and did a quick copy/paste cause this thread was fresh on my mind...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    ^^Yep... I tried to get a set of Majors and couldn't. I ended up with Raceface Arcs and have been very happy with them.
    I have been going back and forth between these or WTB Scrappers...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I have been going back and forth between these or WTB Scrappers...
    One of my friends who is a very accomplished rider did a number on a couple of Scrapers. He stays away from them now. I've built a bunch of Arcs for friends, customers, my son... So far, no one has dented one or burped air or hurt them in any way. In all fairness, we ALL have at least 2.8" tires on them. My son and I have 3" and 3.25" on ours. Plenty of cushion to protect the rim.
    As I mentioned earlier, the offset spoke Arcs lace up NICE. I need an excuse to replace mine with those.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    One of my friends who is a very accomplished rider did a number on a couple of Scrapers. He stays away from them now. I've built a bunch of Arcs for friends, customers, my son... So far, no one has dented one or burped air or hurt them in any way. In all fairness, we ALL have at least 2.8" tires on them. My son and I have 3" and 3.25" on ours. Plenty of cushion to protect the rim.
    As I mentioned earlier, the offset spoke Arcs lace up NICE. I need an excuse to replace mine with those.
    so they fit the 3.25's well? My current plan is to get some kind of rims built with/for Duro Crux 3.25's for muddier and snowy riding...I would keep the Knard/Rabbit Holes that came with the bike for summer/dry/gravel/bike packing use
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  21. #21
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    ^^^Arc rims are available in various widths. i40 or 45 will work with a 3.25" tire.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    ^^^Arc rims are available in various widths. i40 or 45 will work with a 3.25" tire.
    sweet...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  23. #23
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    Yes. I've had my Vee Bulldozer on 35mm Velocity Blunts and 40mm Arcs. I put two on 45mm Arcs on a Jones Plus.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Yes. I've had my Vee Bulldozer on 35mm Velocity Blunts and 40mm Arcs. I put two on 45mm Arcs on a Jones Plus.
    bulldozers were another one I was scoping out...would they be good in snow/slush?
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    bulldozers were another one I was scoping out...would they be good in snow/slush?
    I have ridden my Krampus on a trail with about two inches of snow and it was fine. I rode with a little more care than I do with my fat bike but it was by no means a slippery scary ride.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I have ridden my Krampus on a trail with about two inches of snow and it was fine. I rode with a little more care than I do with my fat bike but it was by no means a slippery scary ride.
    cool...and in hindsight, I should have been more specific in asking if they shed mud/snow well...I think that is what I am looking for in the end...
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
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  27. #27
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    My 29+ setup (WTB Scraper i40s with Ranger 3.0 rear and Duro Crux 3.25 front) sees a bit of everything from pavement to rocky single track. I went with less aggressive tires to differentiate from my fatter wheelsets for this bike and it's well suited to longer mixed surface rides while still being fun on trails.

  28. #28
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    Yeah. Sheds fine.Help with 29+ Wheelset for Flat / Gravel /Pavement Riding-img_1768.jpg
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  29. #29
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    I have a few sets of flat land/road wheels. I like the drawings r470/500 rim for more gravelish tires. Currently have a pair of thunder Burt's mounted and most recently I picked up some 30mm Alex rims from chain reaction. I have them setup with Schwalbe g-one 2.35. They are super fast and are super plush. If you build them yourself you can use what ever hub fits your rig.

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