I am trying to decide if my money is better spent on a complete 29er wheelset ready to swap or new rims to lace to my existing hubs. I have a Felt DD70, the stock rims have no lip to setup tubeless and I have no confidence it would work ghetto. I have seen no reports of success using the stock rim profile on this bike. A 29er set could be had as cheap as 250/pair if you were willing to go bikesdirect, but I could have rims for 100 each and not need to swap wheels. What options am I missing? Guys who have done this before which way did you go and would you do it again?
If you’re planning to rebuild the wheels yourself, then maybe swapping rims would make sense, especially if you have nice hubs that are worth saving. But if I understand your choices correctly ($250 for a complete wheelset, or $200 for new rims) I say go for the completes. Labor alone for rebuilding a set of wheels is going to be $75 or $100, and a bit more if you need to replace any spokes. The completes will also save you time–no need to stop riding!
Im looking to get 29er wheels for my Reid Hercules fatbike that I got for commuting in the snow. The solid feel of the 26×4.0 set-up is, well, solid, great for mansize potholes occasionally found in minneapolis. Now for spring, summer and fall I wanted tpo pug on 29″ wheels, but was toold 29er wheels are too wide, the wheel + tire won’t clear the frame. My calculation is the 26 x 4.0 has a total wheel height of 34″. While the 29er with a 3″ wide tire would be 35″. This assumes a circular cross section for the tire. When I look at the frame there looks like more than 1″ clearance now with the 26 x 4.0 set-up. Can anyone give some guidance on whether this is a bad idea? The hub widths are 150mm ft and 190mm rr. Bike has 1×9 drive train, 11×34 cassette, 28t chainring.
Your numbers are a little bit off. A 26×4.0 tire is 30 inches tall. A 29×3.0 tire is 30.5 inches tall. Fatbikes tend to have a lot of extra tire clearance so a 29×3.0 tire will likely fit. However, you could use a 2.8 or 2.6 tire also. A 29×2.8 tire is 30.1 inches tall and a 29×2.6 tire is 29.7 inches tall.
Converting a Fatbike to 29+ was a pretty common thing to do before 29+ bikes became more common. However, it’s not cheap. You’re not going to be able to buy a 29er wheels with Fatbike hubs right off the shelf. You would need to have a custom wheelset built up and that’s likely to cost $1000 or more by the time you buy the wheelset, tires, and rotors.
I think it would be smarter to buy light-weight fast-rolling 26×3.5-4.0 Fat tires. Kenda makes the 26×4.0 Juggernaut Pro tire that weighs only 835gm. That tire is probably too fragile for serious Trail riding but is one example of what you can find. The 26×4.0 45NRTH Husker Du tire is another example. Check out ModernBike.com.