We’ve already highlighted some of the many fat bikes at the Interbike and Eurobike tradeshows, but it's not just complete fatties that were on display — the number of tyres, rims and fat-specific accessories continues to grow. So, too, do tyres and rims offered in ‘plus-sizes.’ For those not familiar with the concept of 27.5+ and 29+, it is essentially a wider rim and tyre combination than one would find on a traditional mountain bike, with tyre widths generally running around three inches, but not quite as wide as a true fat bike. Like fat bikes, this new breed of fatter mountain bikes is seeing significant grown, as demonstrated by the increasing variety of tyre and rim offerings. Here’s a look at some of the latest fat and plus-sized products for 2015.
WTB develops 27.5+ rim and tyre combo
Wilderness Trail Bikes showed off prototypes of its plus-sized 27.5in rim and tyre combo earlier this year at Sea Otter. Feedback from riders as well as brands interested in this size was quite positive.
WTB opted to go with 27.5+ over 29+ because the 27x2.8in Trail Blazer tyre will clear many 29er frames on the market. “It’s a plus size for existing platforms,” said WTB’s Will Ritchie.
The Trail Blazer is tubeless compatible and can be used with any of the growing number of wider 27.5in rims on the market — WTB recommends using rims with an internal width of at least 25mm. However, the company has developed its own plus sized rim called the Scraper. This alloy rim has an internal width of 45mm and will be offered in both 27.5in and 29in versions.
Blackburn Outpost fat bike rack
Blackburn Design developed an incredibly versatile rack that can be mounted to virtually any mountain bike, including fat bikes. The US$75 Outpost can be used as a front or rear-mounted rack and has a cargo capacity of 70lb / 32kg.
HED expands rim options
The 100mm-wide Big Deal rim has a claimed weight of just 500g
Last year, wheel manufacturer HED debuted its first carbon fat bike rim, named The Big Deal. This 80mm-wide rim features a singlewall construction with ribbed design to bolster stiffness. The company is expanding the Big Deal line for 2015, adding a 100mm-wide option, as well as an alloy version of its 80mm rim.
In addition to carbon and alloy rims for fat bikes, HED is also developing a 45mm-wide carbon mountain bike rim called the Low Pro 29. This carbon rim, has an internal width of 42mm and a claimed weight of 365g but, according to company founder Steve Hed “This is not a plus-sized rim; this is the width mountain bike rims should be.”
Well, if 45mm rim is the right width for general purpose mountain biking, what does HED think is the right width for plus-sized bikes? According to Hed, the company also has a 60mm carbon rim in the works, to be offered in both 29in and 27.5in diameters.
Take a look at the gallery for even more new fat and plus-sized products.