Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

Touring and Trekking Tire Trends

At the 2014 Interbike trade show, it seemed to us that 27.5″ (a 650b by any other name would ride as sweet), so called “29+” and fatbike tires are gaining traction with manufacturers and with consumers. As fans of the 29+ wheel/tire combo as on the Surly ECR we were excited about the number of upcoming offerings for tires and rims.
Maxxis have 29 x 3″ tires coming out.

big bicycle tire

The Maxxis Chronicle 29 x 3″ tire

Stans NoTubes showed the Hugo 52 rim which is designed to work with tires such as the Surly Knard 29 x 3. (There will be 26″ and 27.5″ versions too) Generally, a non-tubeless-ready tire will not work well in a tubeless application even if the rim is made for tubeless. That is because the bead of a non-tubeless tire will not mate properly with the bead seat on a tubeless rim. But Stans designed the bead seat on this rim to work with non tubeless tires. They developed a sort of reverse box rim design so the profile from the outside is almost impossibly slim since the box section intrudes to the interior of the rim. In order to mount the tire, the rim needs to be basically inserted inside the tire cavity so that each tire bead is on the outside of the rim. Then each bead is worked over the rim from outside to inside.
rim cut

The Stans NoTubes Hugo 52 rim looks impossibly thin when a tire is mounted, but has the strength of a double wall section.

bicycle tire and wheel

Very thin looking section!

bicycle rims

29″ (700c), 27.5″ (650b) and 26″ (26″) Hugo 52 rims.

bicycle rim profile

Profile of the Hugo 52 rim with rim tape installed.

The Bike Hermit™ has been a curmudgeon when it comes to tubeless tires but with the lower pressures we have been running in the 29 x 3″ tires for desert touring he is pretty stoked about these tubeless rims because one of the main advantages of tubeless is the reduced chance of pinch flats when running low pressure tires (around 12 psi or so in the Knards).
A couple monthe ago I asked my Schwalbe salesperson when he thought Schwalbe might make a fatbike tire. He said, basically- when they thought fatbikes had legs. Well, fatbikes got legs! Apparently:

big fat tire

A fatbike tire with the Schwalbe name! Behold- Jumbo Jim

Maxxis too.

fatbike tire

Maxxis Mammoth

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