While there may be a linear relationship between increased tire size and increased fun, this relationship only holds true when wider tires are paired with the correct width rims. Having a 2.8", or high-volume, tire mated to a narrow rim makes for a squirmy, poor handling experience, and when you’re on the hunt for additional fun, these characteristics are undesirable. Lucky for you, the new age of traction, stability, and speed has arrived—and its name is the Traverse 38 SL Fattie 27.5.
Along with light overall weight, stiffness, and durability, another top priority for the Traverse SL was ease of use. First off, we got rid of the creaky straight-pull spokes and corrosion-prone alloy nipples. Next up, we landed on 28 J-bend spokes, for front and rear wheels, that are all the same length—making it easy to find replacements if needed. And finally, we engineered a new hub design, with a wider profile and higher flange to aid in overall stiffness.
While our 38-millimeter Traverse SL is already wider than most offerings, the benefits of three-inch tires become more apparent with a proper rim interface. In search for the proper width, our engineers tested various iterations, from 30 to 45 millimeters, to determine where the sweet spot lies. What they ended up with is a 38-millimeter internal rim width that turns the Traverse 38 SL Fatties into descending machines.
A wide internal rim width endows riders with a variety of advantages that are exemplified even more with plus-sized tires. The extra width allows for more tire volume, translating into more supple ride qualities, and better support for the tire, meaning that you'll experience less "burping" when riding tubeless and a drastic increase in traction. After determining the proper rim width for the plus-sized application, we began designing the rim using the same low-weight, high-strength technologies used in the Traverse SL and the Control SL. With this, we started with our Zero Bead Hook design that effectively eliminates the biggest weak spot found in traditional rims, and topped it off by using high-modulus carbon fiber to keep the weight down. And to further this theme, the wheels also include the Roval tubeless plug system, which sheds an additional 50 grams-per-wheel compared to a rim strip
Each Traverse 38 SL Fattie is hand-built to our own alloy hubs with DT Swiss Competition Race spokes. Inside our hubs, you'll find sealed cartridge bearings all-around, and a quick-engaging 54t DT Swiss star ratchet system in the rear that allows you to power over rocks and roots without delay. And while machines do a decent job of building wheels, we choose professionally trained humans to build ours, as they catch various flaws that a machine would otherwise miss.