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There’s a lot of interest at the moment regarding ‘plus’ … you know, a wide rim coupled to an oversize tyre. It all started with Surly and their Krampus and its 50mm Rabbit Hole rims and 3″ Knard tyres, which resulted in something Surly termed ’29+’.

I have to say that I was somewhat sceptical about the whole concept at first. I loved the monster-truck looks but couldn’t help but wonder whether the increase in weight would offset any potential gains offered by ‘going plus’. My initial scepticism was laid to rest when Travers Bikes sent me one of their Rudy Fat 29+ bikes to test … yes the wheels and tyres were heavier but the pros still outweighed the cons, so whilst I didn’t rush out and buy a 29+ bike I could certainly see the attraction particularly when fitted to the front and riding rigid … and no, it wasn’t just for the monster-truck aesthetics.

Fast forward 12 months and a new bike had taken up residence at the Bear Bones cycle storage facility in the shape of a Stooge … not a bike designed for 29+ but a bike with a front end that lends itself to it. The general consensus seems to be that any rim wider than 35mm (such as the Velocity Blunt / P35) will accommodate the Surly Knard but a wider rim will produce the best results. A couple of emails to Shona at Keep Pedalling found me in possession of a Velocity Dually laced to an SP dynamo hub … all I needed now was a tyre. Right at this present moment the only 29+ tyre available in the UK is the Surly Knard, which although round and knobbly is much better suited to the conditions we’ve enjoyed over the previous months rather than those we’re likely to endure over those coming. 

There’s the promise of more tyres from Maxxis, Vee Rubber and Bontrager but the eta for any is somewhat vague and realistically could be nearer months rather than weeks. 

It looks much bigger in the flesh.


Not wanting a silly thing like not having the correct (read optimum) sized tyre stand in the way of messing about with bikes, I opted to see what affect the 50mm rim would have on a ‘normal’ tyre. As luck would have it, the tyre fitted to the existing wheel was a Continental X-King in 2.4″ flavour, an ideal candidate. The 2.4″ Conti’ is a pretty big tyre with plenty of volume even on a 25mm rim, so I was interested to see how doubling the rim width would do.

X King on Dually.


X King on 25mm rim.

As you can (hopefully) see the Dually rim has made quite a difference to the tyre and so far with no negative side effects. I was a little concerned that the extra width of the rim would cause the profile of the tyre to become a little too square, something I don’t like. The profile has certainly flattened a little across the top but it’s still very much ’rounded’ so doesn’t feel like you’re about to ride of the edge of the world at anything approaching a reasonable angle of lean. The tyre footprint has certainly increased and the volume has been ‘opened up’ considerably, so in theory an increase in grip and comfort should be on the cards.

A 3″ tyre will be finding its way on to the front of the bike at some point and I’ll report back when it does but for the moment I’m very happy to exploit the benefits the Dually offers more conservatively sized rubber.

More soon.

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