There are some virtues to the five-inch tires on fat bikes, including traction, plushness, the joy of riding not only off-road but off-trail. Unfortunately, those virtues come with the vice of a ride that feels plodding compared to a jittery, low-travel XC bike. Mercury Wheels' X3 27. 5 Plus Boost Wheelset goes some way toward bridging the gap between those two extremes, combining an extra-wide footprint with Boost axles to complement today's breed of high-clearance, all-mountain framesets. These bikes tend to have aggressively proportioned rear triangles with slacked-out front ends, and the X3 27. 5 Plus Boost wheels max out that dynamism with equal parts torsional stiffness and plus-sized traction. The only limit is a given frame's tire clearance. The rims consist of all-mountain-inspired, lightweight, stiff aluminum that lives up to the trail-furniture-be-damned attitude that their efficient ride quality inspires. While alloy wheels aren't as stiff as carbon, a 40mm external width and the improved spoke bracing angle of Boost axles conspire to reduce flex while climbing and barreling through lines. This is a full 5mm wider than the standard X3 rim, and the internal width of 35mm means the Plus rims can just about swallow their skinnier counterparts. That width also lets plus-sized tires plump out to their preferred girth, allowing for a larger contact patch and lower PSI.
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Manufactured by Mercury Wheels
Mercury Wheels X3 27.5 Plus Boost Wheelset ships and sold by Backcountry
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