I’ve been thinking about getting a 29+ for about a year now but can never really decide which one or what exactly I would like. And I’ve read all the threads I can find on the Hatchet as well as a lot on the fat/plus tires.
I presently ride my 26" Nimbus with the heavy Duro tire for downhill and some XC, although it’s a little slow (I mean top speed the weight doesn’t bother me, at least as far as I know as I’ve never ridden a light muni/tire). I also ride the 36" Oracle a lot for XC, which is great and the Nightrider tire with its large volume actually does very well in everything except mud, which we unfortunately have frequently.
So my main motivation is something that is a little faster than the 26" Duro (larger diameter/height) with a good grippy off-road tire that can handle slippery/wet conditions.
I’m considering 3 different setups:
- Hatchet 29+ with 3" Dirt Wizzard
- KH 29+ with 3" Dirt Wizzard
- Hatcher 26+ with true fat tire (Minion/Lou/Nate?)
I like the idea and versatility of the Hatchet frame, although I’ve never really been so convinced that I really need a 4" or 5" tire as I don’t ride much snow or sand (just rode the Duro in about 10" of tracked-down snow and it was fine). In general I think the large volume 3" tire should be enough for most of what I ride.
Although I’ve heard great stuff about the Knard, I think the tread is a little lacking in mud (a buddy has the KH 29+ with Knard and he says he takes his 26 if it’s muddy as the Knard is no good in mud on our local trails). So I would probably go with the 29x3 Dirt Wizzard if I choose the 29+ (there don’t seem to be as many 29+ tires as 26+).
Unfortunately the 3" Dirt Wizzard is a bit smaller in diameter/height than the Knard (761 vs 775mm). And surprisingly the 26" Lou 4.8 is actually larger (778mm). So am I correct here that for top speed the 26+ Lou should be faster than the 29+ DW? Or am I missing something else about the true fat tires?
Tire height: For comparison I measured my Duro at 695mm. For the other comparison my 36" Nightrider 2.25 is 908mm and I think I’d ideally like something about 1/3 to 1/2 of the difference between the two, which would be a desired tire diameter of 766 to 800mm. Thus the 29" Dirt Wizzard at 761mm is just a little smaller than this desired range.
- Hatchet 29+ with 50mm Surly Rabbit Hole + Dirt Wizzard
- versatile frame (could also run 26+ wheel)
- moderate weight (roughly 500g more than KH but with more potential clearance for other tires)
- KH 29+ with 47mm KH Freeirde + Dirt Wizzard
- lightest of the three options as I think the KH frame is about 500g less.
- least versatile as a 3" tire is right at the max for the frame
- Hatcher 26+ with Minion/Lou/Nate
- versatile frame (could also run 29+ wheel)
- largest diameter possible (778mm with Lou)
- best in snow/sand
- largest selection of tires
- smaller packed size for flying (see paragraph below)
- heaviest, as the rim weighs more (850 instead of 699/700) and tire (Lou is 1585 instead of 1096 for the DW), so 605g more than Hatcher 29+ and 1.1kg more than KH
- autosteer and potentially slow responsive tire?
And the last advantage I can think of for the 26+ is that it’s actually easier to fly with as the 26" rim packs smaller. I’ve flown previously with the 24" and 20" which is easy. I’ve flown 4 times in the last year-and-a-half with the 26" and managed to get it into regular luggage without extra fees. As the 29+ rim is over 11% larger it might make it difficult to fit into normal luggage (just doing the raw math and adding about 2cmx2 for the sidewalls: with the limit l+w+h=158, the rim alone only leaves 25.6cm for 2xpadding and height (158-(62.2+4)x2), which sounds pretty tight. I wanted to try and measure my bag but it feels right at the max size with the 26" rim which I have to squeeze my 26 in so I’m afraid the 29" rim won’t fit. I think the 26+ even though the rim is wide should still fit and the bigger tire should fold/bend into the bag (kevlar bead).
I’ve not really ridden either the 29+ or 26+ wheel (I’ve tested each for a few minutes in the parking lot). I’m not really so concerned about auto-steering of the super wide 26+, but how significant is the disadvantage of low agility/responsiveness (i.e. because the tire is large and heavy)?
If I get the 26+ Hatchet the obvious objective penalty would be more weight (1.1kg more than KH and 605g more than 29+ Hatchet). But with quite a few other advantages.
So I’m looking for opinions on riding characteristics of the 26+ for normal dirt/mud technical, as well as experience packing/flying with 29". From what I’ve read the Fatty is sbjective with some loving and some hating it. On the one hand I think the extra volume as suspension I would like, I tend to ride/roll obstacles instead of hop, I don’t mind the rolling resistance of the Duro (although I’ve never actually ridden a light tire) and I’m not a weight wennie. However, I do like to exactly pick my line instead of just roll over everything (which some seem to like about the Fatties).
How significant is the height/diameter difference of 17mm (2%) between the Dirt Wizzard (761mm) and the Lou (778)?
Opinions on the Dirt Wizzard tire compared to the 26x4/5" fat tires.
If it’s primarily for dirt/wet technical trails and not much snow/sand, would you get a 26+?
Should I choose the lightest weight KH (I’m generally not a weight wennie), middle of the road Hatcher 29+ or the monster 26+??
If I go with the 26+, then which tire? Minion/Lou? Or I’ve seen a bunch of threads here saying the Bud is preferable to the Lou. Why? (as the Bud is the bike front tire and the Lou the rear tire and the rear tire would seem better suited to unicycling). Just based on tread, the Minion looks the best for dirt/mud to me. Or the Minion FBR 26x4" is only 1360g (then 415g more than Hatchet DW, 915g more than KH). Anyone know the height of the Minion 4.8" and 4.0" as I haven’t found any. MTB posts say the 4.8 is exactly the same as the Lou, that should be similar. But is the 4.0" then more like the Nate 3.8" (only 745mm)?