Fatbike or 29plus bike?


Kinda Planning on getting a plus size bike instead of a fatbike. Or thinking I could get a fatbike and put 29plus wheels but I just hated the extra wide cranks of a fatbike.

Anyone had a good experience between both?Thanks


I believe @IanMHFX is rocking 29+ on his fatbike?
I’d look and try to test ride fat bikes that have a narrower Q factor measurement-essentially a narrower BB and stance width.


@shadowfox70, 29+ would be HUGE, and probably not ideal for shorter riders. When talking “plus”, most people are talking 27.5+.

Bear in mind that most fatbikes are actually 26’ers. The 4-5" tire size brings the wheel/tire diameter close to 29’er with a standard mountain bike tire (2.1-ish). @IanMHFX can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t really think he’s running 29+ (3.0-ish tires). I think he’s running 29 with a normalish tire size. Because of his height, he probably could get away with a 29 plus size tire, tho.

My Stumpjumper is 27.5+ (27.5 wheels, 3.0" tires). The 27.5+ size actually brings the wheel/tire diameter close to a normal 29’er (29er with 2.1-ish tires). I think my Stumpjumper could be switched to 29, just by changing wheels and tires. Except for test rides, I haven’t spent much time on a “normal” 29’er. My experience with 27.5+ is great traction, and great ride over rough terrain. The wheels/tires, extra suspension travel, geometry and dropper post make it feel much more comfortable over/on tech features than my old 26’er Stumpie. It does feel heavy and not as lively as my old 26’er, and doesn’t turn as sharply. It’s more of a point and shoot ride - just steer straight over terrain, rather than steer around and avoid, or launch over. I’ve read that the tall tires could roll, reducing performance in aggressive cornering, but on the trails around here I don’t do a lot of that, and the extra traction feels like it makes up for it.

If you’re looking for a snowbike, I did have my Stumpjumper out on a ride with other riders on fatbikes last winter, and the 3.0" tires didn’t handle the soft snow as well as the guys on 4-5" fatbike tires. You’re a lot lighter than me though (I weigh 245lbs), so they could work much better for you.


Anyone who’s ever ridden with me has probably heard me say how much I love my fat bike, and I recommend them to anyone getting into the sport. However, @shadowfox70, you said yourself that you don’t like the wider stance so that may be the deciding factor, if you’ll pardon the pun. :wink:

@Rockhopper is correct that someone of your lighter weight could get away with a narrower tire in the snow than someone like us. Even for me, I don’t think a big plus tire would suffice in the snow. I like my 4.8" Minions!

As to my tire size: yes Eric, I’m running 29"x3.00" Maxxis Minions for my summer wheelset. Are they big? YUP! Do they make my bike look like a monster truck? YUP! Do I love them? YUP! :smiley: But unlike Jesse, I’m 6’2" and a dry weight of around 200 pounds. I have the height, weight, and strength to allow an easier time turning over those tires. EDIT: I compared my ready to roll wheelsets against each other, and the 29+ and fat wheelsets both stand almost exactly the same height/diameter.

I’d recommend something like the RSD Middlechild, a steel hardtail with 27.5+ tires and 140mm suspension fork. It’s an Enduro hardtail, and likely suitable to the type of riding you like.


What do you want to do with the bike?


Probably just take pictures of it to put on Instagram!. :laughing:


I had a fatbike last year for the first time, but I really struggled with knee pain due to the wide BB, so I sold it.
I think a 27.5+ will be a decent compromise, a friend has a fuse (27+ HT), and had no issues last year, I didn’t find the fatty any advantage with the amount of snow we typically get around here.


Ahhh… I understand now. I stand corrected. Makes sense that a 29+ would be roughly equivalent to a 26-fatty in diameter.


Well appreciated input bros!
I had been riding fatbike for 3 yrs now I just sold one last week.
First for my style of riding is I go all and to any trails, and to remember that one snowy Xmas day I inspired @IanMHFX to say you should try fatbiking, this bro well (cough) stuck on it.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I owned from Small- large framed fatbike so far and for my riding style is I’m not fast but I want to roll over any boulders say I’ll take my fatbike on mcfight trail most of the time.

For “my opinion” on Fatbike:
-Pros of a fatbike is really just lots of grip on those wide tires easy roll over roots and rocks slowly and yes it needs to be cranked for momentum so I feel sluggish.
-Has less hydraulics and no pivot points less issue and maintenance on cold weather.
-more weight more cardio exercise

  • studded tires more grip on ice? Would like to try those 29plus studded on traction difference.


  • easy to pinch when under inflated and tends over steer left.
  • If I ride fight all week my chainstay and derauiller seems to misaligned most of the time.
  • if I over inflate the tires, would roll easily but hard on shoulders and back.
  • the wide B.B. or Q factor as @pmachan and @Drgonzo we’re saying, haven’t really bothered after 1 yr of riding but now it seems to get back to me when I do long full day of gravel riding.
  • @Rockhopper, I’m 5’4” ft in height, sherpa like beer bud boxer body and most of my fatbike I owned are 34lbs above, so I take power and playful form over height I guess😅.
    -I’ve tried 26x4 to 4.8 size fat tires with or without studs it still doesn’t float over snow and in our snowy weather here it’s either hit or miss and most of the time we would still have to wait for snowshoers to groomed the trails or risk trail police or Jesus is watching guilt.
  • sluggish to ride and yes like a slog rolling.
  • I’ve seen lots fatbike stepped out of comfort zone and there’s crashes too after that. Lol

For 29 plus I would love to try them first.
But I noticed there aren’t enough 29x3 tire suppliers like I just found out there’s is just one supplier for 29x3 studded tires.

After years of riding 26x4 I’m really curious on 29x3 inch wide tires would be agile enough in getting into boulders easily as well as cornering as it falls down to mid size fatbike and there’s short chain stay too for excellent rear maneuverability they say.

There is 27.5 plus which I’ve tried 29er already but I would stick to my regular 27.5 FS mtb over that.

Thanks again, would love to hear more.


For your height a fat bike for 24x4 would be better. Way too many geometry compromises for bigger tires. Should have a narrower Q factor by default since it’s properly designed for smaller riders.

You could probably do a wheelset with 27.5x2.8 if the chainstay is long enough and you have the right fork. I don’t know why anyone would want 29+ if they’re under 5’7. Aren’t you concerned about toe overlap in tight corners?

Small riders are ill served by bicycle manufacturers. That is one reason I hate bicycle manufacturers as a general rule.


I’m short but I like monster bikes. Actually tested one today feels really comfortable the frame just snug on me. I’m curious though on how it rolls in roots and boulders. Back me up on this Chris. :laughing:


Hope it works out!

By the way on re-reading I didn’t mean any offence by telling you to go for something you weren’t looking for. You should absolutely get whatever you like. But perhaps look to see if there’s a fat bike that gives you a narrow q factor if you want that.

My obsession with smaller wheels comes from the fact my wife is 5’1 and finding what I consider to be adequate geometry is tough with ‘normal’ wheels.


I don’t expect 29+ will roll over roots and rocks significantly better than 27.5+. The difference ought to be similar to normal (not +) 27.5 vs normal 29, which I don’t think is dramatic.

My main bike is 27.5+ and I find it great for roots and rocks with 2.8" wide tires, running 15 psi front and 17 psi rear. I’ve also got a set of 29" wheels for that bike that I use primarily for smoother trails with 2.25" to 2.35" wide tires. Definitely a big difference between the two – more precise with the 29", but better on roots and rocks and more traction with 27.5+.

In my experience, 27.5+ (and presumably 29+) is no substitute for a fat bike in the snow.


@Adam all cool bro no offence at all! I know what you mean on those short people hard to get in and out of a big plus bike.

But I find The latest geometry for 29plus this days are really different from Fossil generation, it’s more slacker, shorter chainstays make it easy to whip at the back for cornering. The frame has also more angled from top to seattube which means easy To get in and out.

@Ghost the 29 plus has 29x3 tires on it, I do admit I have to test and feel it myself . Certainly 29x3 is no close to sluggish heavy fatbike with 26x4-5 tires as I have ridden fatbike for years and really doesnt float that well depends on the weight overall. For now I just wanna experience a mid size fat tire on snow.
The only thing that’s holding me back right now are studded tires for 29x3, as there is only one company that is selling it and might hard to get, anyone know or had experience in putting regular 29 stud tires on this 29plus 40mm rims.?

Thanks for feedback. Well appreciated.