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Thread: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

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    Default Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    N=1 for mountain bikes. A Specialized Fat Boy that I bought for snow and now also use for regular trail riding since it no longer snows in lower NY. I like the frame and components. The fat-a$$ tires roll over anything but aren't exactly nimble on twisty terrain or heading uphill. They're just a bit too much for everyday riding. I was thinking about swapping wheels to 29r (I suppose it could also handle 27.5/B Fat).

    Who has done this? How did it work out? Any regrets, advice?
    How did the change in wheel size effect fit and handling of the bike?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    Dear Bob Only,

    Several years ago, one of my riding buddies went fat and never came back. The extra cush was just enough to make that bike shine in the rough, and everybody else’s dual-boing rigs seemed to gather more shop time than trail time. So he and another friend were hooked, for year-round trail riding.

    Both of them had settled on the Salsa Beargrease.

    But still, the nimbleness of less ponderous undercarriage called. So one of them tried 650b wheels with 3” wide tires. And this has become the magic. They’re digging the formula. Also, the fat tires have studs and the “skinny” 3” tires do not.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    [I]Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    Done it, on two seasons now on a carbon Farley. Got tired of getting hammered after the snow melted on the rigid fork, and didn’t want one of the not so great fat bike suspension forks.

    Built a 29 rear wheel with a Bontrager fat bike hub, was the least expensive decent quality hub I could find over Hope and DT. Bought a used non-Boost 120mm Fox fork for ~$250, lots of them available now. Used a non-Boost 29 front wheel I had lying around. Didn’t change anything else. Probably did the whole conversion for ~$650.

    It’s great for summer, gets 50% of my use, since the other MTB is a long travel slack 29er that isn’t fun on flat single track. Lighter than the fat bike was by a lot even with the fork. Fat bike wheels and tires are really heavy!

    No bottom bracket problems at all, steering is great with the higher front end and slacker head angle. Fast & light. It’s a great hardtail companion to the other bike I own and loads faster and more fun as a summer bike than the rigid fat. No comparison in speed, it’s a real bike. Ridiculous mud clearance too, inches all around.

    Only negative is the really wide cranks and seatstays. I can rub my calves on the stays if I’m not paying attention in a way I don’t in winter for some reason. Wide cranks probably bother someone but I’ve decided not to mind. I have no desire for 650b, don’t like having more tire sizes around the house. Friend did 650b and bangs pedals more than me, bottom bracket must be just a bit too low on his Beargrease.

    Highly recommend to get another bike to ride for low cost, and way more fun as a summer bike than a fat bike.
     

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    Just in case anyone wanted visuals of the franken Farley. It mostly only looks weird from behind...

    IMG_8529.jpg

    IMG_8527.jpg

    IMG_8528.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    I have been considering this same plan.

    @jesseth
    What width tires are you running on that?
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    For current wet season, Nobby Nics, 2.35 rear 2.6 front. At least a full inch of clearance all the way around the rear tire.

    After it dries out I move to something like a Minion SS or Rock Razor in the rear usually. Tried a Trail Boss last year and that was good also.
     

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    Default Re: Who Has Put 29r Wheels on Their Fat Bike?

    I ride the original Pugsley in snow. Summer time, for rough trail rides, I switch to 29 Plus set up. Totally transforms the bike. Bontrager Chupacabra out back and Vee Bulldozer up front. Vee says 3.25” width but really comes in at 3” on 50mm rims.

    I’d highly recommend sticking to 29 wheels and maybe going 2.6 if 3.0 is too big.
     

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