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I imagine a good percentage of the people reading this will be familiar with the concept of 29″ wheels and the thinking behind them. I’ll also guess that over 50% of you are already riding 29″ wheels or that they’ll be a feature on your next bike.

So … if 29″ wheels are possibly better suited to long distance / bikepacking then it should stand to reason that something a little bigger will be even better – right? 

When Surly introduced the Krampus I wanted one. Not really because I thought it would be good at covering ground quickly but because it looked like fun, however, they also looked heavy. The main draw were the wheels and tyres but they were also my main reason for not buying one. Most of us are only too aware of the consequences of heavy wheels and lardy tyres, an hour playing in the woods was one thing (fun) but I couldn’t believe that pedaling one for 50 – 80 miles over consecutive days would be anything but a self-imposed punishment for my hedonism. I stared at the pictures dotted over the internet and searched for a loop-hole in my logic but I couldn’t find one … I just wasn’t getting 29+ as far as bikepacking was concerned.

Fast forward 12 months …. A picture showed up on the Bear Bones forum, it was a picture of a Titanium 29+. It was a 29+ that was billed as being ideal for big rides and endurance races. I casually mentioned the fact that I wasn’t convinced that the 29+ concept and bikepacking were ideally suited and left it at that. 

The bike in that forum post belonged to Michael Travers, the man behind Travers Bikes. It would have been pretty easy for Michael to dismiss my comments entirely or to tell me I was an idiot who knew nothing but he did neither of these things. What he did, was send me a bike!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to put as many miles on the Rudy Fat 29+ as I can. I’m going to ride it up, down and even across. I’m going to ride it loaded, I’m going to ride it for consecutive back to back days and I might even take it down the woods for an hour. I’m hoping this bike is going to prove to me that I’m very, very wrong about 29+.

We’re gonna have some fun.


Horseshoe chainstay bridge = ample clearance.



As nice as anything else I’ve ever seen.



27lb … I’m already starting to think I was wrong.

… to be continued.

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