If you follow the site, you may have seen Bikenerd’s Plus Bike Editorial that we published at the end of 2019 and maybe you’ve been following some of the podcast discussions that we’ve had with Adam Blake about plus bike rim width. After digesting all of that information, I decided to have Adam build a set of wheels for my Surly Special Ops Krampus. After what was probably a little too much discussion and hand wringing, I picked out a Stan’s Rim and sent an email off to Adam to get the ball rolling. I told Adam that the Specific brand of the rim wasn’t etched in stone, because, I know that depending on what’s available it’s good to remain flexible. Adam suggested a WTB Asym rim with a 35mm inner dimension. I have a set of WTB Asym rims in 27.5 on my klunker that are bomber, so I was like, “cool.”
All the parts came in and I mailed Adam my M16 White Industries hubs from the existing Krampus/RabbitHole wheels to get built into the new wheelset. Once Adam got a look at the WTB rims, he saw a flaw in the weld at the seam. So, long story short, I’m riding a set of Race Face AR Offset 35mm (ID) wide 29″ rims instead. To get things rolling, I plan to mount and ride Teravail 29 x 2.8 Coronados for dirt and Surly 29 x 2.5 Extraterrestrials for gravel and mixed-surface bikepacking adventures.
Has anyone else noticed that the rims are called AR35’s and the hubs are M16’s? That’s kind of a weird and unforeseen coincidence. Adam meticulously tensioned these wheels up and they’re as sturdy and quiet as can be. I like the subdued graphics on the black RaceFace rims and Adam used DT Swiss Competition Spokes with brass nipples in silver that flows nicely with the Krampus’ Black and Silver wavelength.
I’m not a fan of the tan-walls aesthetically, but they do come in black as well. If you’d like to read more about these 29 x 2.8 Teravail Coronados visit – https://fat-bike.com/2018/10/teravail-coronado-29-x-2-8-light-supple-tan-wall-plus-tires/ The Other set of tires that I plan to mount (Surly Extraterrestrials) have gray sidewalls. I’d rather run black tires but that’s the frick’n way she goes sometimes.
After a couple of good rides, I’m pretty stoked that I decided to have Adam build these wheels and grateful to Bikenerd for sharing his knowledge about plusbike wheels with us. The first thing that I thought, right out of the box was that this wheel build injected some jackrabbit into the big cat mojo that the Krampus had always exuded. There are a couple of variables that are probably working in favor of how great these wheels make the old Krampus feel. The fact that these wheels are set up tubeless (Rabbit Holes were not tubeless) and my current fitness level is contributing to why the new wheels are making the Krampus feel like it’s come alive, but that’s also exactly what Bikenerd said would happen with the change to a lighter and narrower rim. So how can you argue with that? Time will tell how these wheels stack up, as I start to hit the Strava Segments that I ride regularly. They sure do feel faster.
So if you’re thinking of building a set of 29+ wheels for your fat-bike or your plus bike, think about how much flotation that you might need and tailor your rim width to that tire range. I’ll be racking up the dirt and gravel miles on this set of wheels and have more to report, somewhere down the trail amigos!
- WTB Asym Rims
- Stan’s Baron Rims
- Raceface AR35 Rims
- White Industries Hubs
- Teravail Coronado
- Surly Extraterrestrial
- DT Swiss Competition Spokes
Get your next set of wheels built by Adam Blake at World of Bikes – shipped right to your door tubeless ready!
Short update – I rode Camrock this morning and the Strava sez that I set 19 PR’s so these wheels are faster and mui bueno!
Dude, you just so dang FAST!! So fun to have a freshly built up set of wheels under ya! Nice job Adam!
Ya know, Lt. LarSSon has a cure for them tan walls 😉
Bitchin rig brah…
So good! Thanks for the opportunity- those hubs are indeed “bike jewelry”.
I like your new setup and I think you will like it also! I’ve been trying some 29×2.6 Maxxis Minion tires on i35 rims lately but I still like 2.8 Coronados better and they are still my favorite Plus tire. The Coronados roll fast but still hook up well on the rough or loose. The Minions are better descenders but roll very slowly when not going downhill. Maxxis just released the 29×2.8 Rekons. Maybe I’ll try those next.
If you want to get more into Gravel, skip the Extraterrestrials and mount up a set of 50mm Gravel tires like the Panaracer Gravel King SK’s. I’m sure Extraterrestrials are quite durable but they weigh a ton. You would think that a 50mm gravel tire would be too narrow for an i35 rim but I’ve done this and it works surprisingly well. Superfast on gravel and pavement! Your Krampus just became a Gravel bike. That’s one of the great things about i30-35 rims is that they allow the use of a wide range of tire widths from Gravel all the way to Plus. For i35 rims, 50mm(2.0) to 3.0 tires perform well. For i30 rims, 45mm(1.8) to 2.8 tires perform well.
I look forward to running a number of different tires on these wheels. I have a couple of new Bontrager tires on my dance card. You could have your own column if you want. Happy Trails Amigo!