It was the year of the 29×3.0″ Surly Knard tire at NAHBS 2013, most certainly.
Andy Peirce waves the 29 inch flag proudly, riding single and tandem models around southern Colorado’s rugged dirt roads and trails. Born out of a converted potato barn in the San Luis Valley near Del Norte, CO, his bikes are trail tested and approved by some of the most discerning riders around. Here, butted, curved and ovalized tubes– sometimes all at once– build upon the experience that Andy and his wife Tammy have on their previous 29″ mountain tandem. They were happily riding on voluminous 29×2.4″ Maxxis Ardent tires and Velocity P35 rims, until the 29×3.0″ Surly Knard tire was released. At that moment, Andy began work on a new bike. This flagship tandem model on display at NAHBS is the result. For dirt road adventures, the bike wears a suspension-corrected steel truss fork. For more rugged singletrack treks, a suspension fork will take its place. Curved tubes abound. Note: custom titanium handlebars and stems, Rohloff Speedhub, and Black Cat swinging dropouts, all on an oversized 29″ wheelset. This is a full-featured mountain tandem. Nothing like this is available off-the-shelf.
Custom features, including a Rohloff hub, big tires, and Black Cat dropouts.
Black Sheep bikes deserve to be shipped with blue ribbons. Founder James Bleakely produces the most innovative titanium bikes in the country, showcasing challenging new designs for fat tires and tandems, or both. This tandem features a titanium truss fork, custom titanium handlebar stem combinations, and a curvaceous frame. A lightweight parts kit and I9 wheels complete this dirt road bomber. This bike is proof that NAHBS is a showcase for real designs. I visited Black Sheep last summer and experienced tubeless fatbike tires for the first time. Thanks for the inspiration James!
Moots makes nice titanium bikes in Steamboat Springs, CO, and you already knew that. Considering the association with founder Kent Erickson, their passion for innovative titanium designs is no surprise. This fully-equipped IMBA trail bike is ready to cut new singletrack, camp out for a few nights, and carry enough beer and whiskey for the whole crew. With 29×3.0″ tires, this bike is ready for a full week of work, singletrack rides, and a weekend of fun. The custom framebag is crafted by Scott Felter of Porcelain Rocket, and integrated titanium racks allow potentially massive cargo loads. The orange rim tape complements the Stihl chainsaw. The bell doubles as a shot glass, made by King Cage in Durango, CO. The handlebar is absurdly wide. The chainsaw guard is custom-made of titanium. Details are important.
Engin Cycles of Philadelphia, PA displayed a third mountain tandem featuring the new Surly Knard 29×3.0″ tire. Additionally, this bike features new product from Paragon Machine Works, including a new multi-purpose dropout system, a tapered steerer tube, and a prototype chainstay yoke designed to clear the new 3.0″ tire. This is a rugged travel touring tandem with S&S couples and a stout wheelset with cutout Kris Holm rims. The bike utilizes a slight offset in the rear to accomplish a full triple drivetrain with a 3.0″ tire and a 73mm bottom bracket.
Another blue ribbon mountain bike from Curt Inglis. It looks like a Schwinn Excelsior, and rides like nothing else. This bike features the new Paragon chainstay yoke, as on the Engin tandem above.
This is either half-fat or double-fat. This frame from Funk Cycles wears a “normal” 29×3.0″ front wheel and a 3.8″ Surly Larry tire on a 47mm Schlick Northpaw rim in the rear. The outside diameter of both wheels is similar, but the rear wheel allows maximal traction and flotation at low pressure.
Full carbon 29+ from Appleman Bicycles. Somebody had to do it. Check out the one-piece bar and stem combination with the wood inlay.
Don’t forget, many existing fatbikes will accept the new 29×3.0″ tire, including my Pugsley and newer Salsa Mukluks with Alternator dropouts. The tire will also fit many rigid suspension-corrected 29er forks.