• Fat bike wheels on the web

    Hope Fatsno hubs laced to Surly Darryl rims Hope Fatsno hubs laced to Surly Darryl rims

    Fat bike season is in full swing and the genre is growing rapidly. This year we've built many more fat bike wheels than every other year combined, mostly due to the cross-over from fat bikes being niche snow-surfing machines to being ridden year-round on any trails.

    Tyre choice and availability has improved dramatically with new treads from Surly and 45NRTH leading the way by adding deep, mud gripping tread patterns to their ranges. Perhaps more importantly, fat bike frames are appearing which are designed as trail riding bikes. The highest profile one has been Singular Cycles' Puffin kickstarter project which attracted enough funding to reach its goal, and then some, days before the project closed.

    We had already built wheels for 2 prototype Puffins and have now put our name down for one of the first production batch so we'll be able to see what all the fuss is about when it arrives in February. Until then we'll have to make do with a few words and some photos from Aidan Harding's prototype, with the Clown Shoe wheels:

    Aidan Hardings Singular Puffin Aidan Hardings Singular Puffin

    "The Puffin is great. A really fun bike to ride and I could never say that about my old (Surly) Pugsley. It really shines on very rooty or rocky stuff where it floats over the little bumps and gaps that can boss around a normal tyre. The geometry is nice and fun-oriented. Easier to manual and throw around than a (Singular) Swift, and good at overcoming the massive tyres' tendency to want to go straight.

    Aidan Hardings riding his Singular Puffin Aidan Hardings riding his Singular Puffin

    The only drag is the drag. Initially, it was less draggy than I expected. Now I've been on a load of rides with other people on normal bikes, I notice that I'm pedalling everywhere and they can freewheel more for the same speed."

    Surly Clown Shoe rims on Hope Fatsno hubs Aidans Surly Clown Shoe rims on Hope Fatsno hubs

    Read more about Aidans Idita Rod trip and preparation his blog>

    Another pair of our Fat wheels on another Puffin tester we noticed the distinctive orange rimstrips poking out of these wheels in movie.


  • Some Clown Shoes for Aidan Harding.

    Surly Clown Shoe rims on Hope Fatsno hubs Surly Clown Shoe rims on Hope Fatsno hubs

    It's hard to look at these wheels without smiling, they are so utterly crazy but they are going to be used in a very serious race where I don't think grinning and clowning around get you anywhere. Aidan Harding contacted us for sponsorship for some wheels for his new Singular fatbike, the Puffin, to be used in the 2014 Iditarod Invitational. Note the 1 year testing period. None of the usual "can you get me the wheels for the race this Sunday" business.

    It's hard to get a sense of scale for these wheels from the photos so here are a few factoids:
    Rims are 26" diameter (559mm), although with the 4.7" Big Fat Larry or the 4.8" Bud and Lou tyres they measure up at 2 inches bigger diameter than a normal 29er tyre. (782mm against a 29er at 736mm). They are 100mm wide, that's 4 times the width of a normal mountain bike rim. The rims weigh in at 960g each, which sounds a lot but they are so big they actually feel quite light when you pick them up. Recommended tyre pressures are something like 6-10psi (1/2 to 3/4 bar). When you inflate the tyres, the rim tapes bulge through the holes and look cool. You can get different coloured rim tapes for this reason. Lacing the wheels was straightforward enough and the rims are nice and round out of the box. Truing them pushed our wheel stands to the limits, both for the hub width and rim width.

    If you're not familiar with the Iditarod, the full distance is 1100 miles across Alaska in February and March - there is a "short" 300 mile race too - but Aidan holds the singlespeed record for the 1100 miles of 17 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes for the southern route. That's only 3 hours behind the geared bike record. I don't think gears count for much in that kind of snow. Aiden also holds another record, the only article I've read from start to finish in Privateer (about the Grenzsteintrophy).

    Keep up with Aidan on his own website http://www.aidanharding.com/

    buy Surly Clown shoe rims or contact us for custom wheel builds (Snow bike parts are not in our online builders yet ! )

  • Enve SES 3.4 rims built with Chris King R45 hubs

    Customer bike with Enve SES 3.4 rims, Chris King R45 hubs wheelset "Just took the wheels on a test run. love them! Very smooth and feel fast...Will tell all my friends what a great job you've done".

    Ceramic bearings in the Chris King R45 hubs complete this no-compromises wheelset, and the customer was kind enough to send us a photo of them fitted to his bike (with some very nice Campag Super Record components).

    The first ride report was brief but to the point,
    "Just took the wheels on a test run. love them! Very smooth and feel fast...Will tell all my friends what a great job you've done",
    just what we'd hope for with wheels like this.

    The Enve 3.4 SES (Smart Enve System) rims come as a front and pair with differing characteristics. The front has a rim depth of 35mm, while the rear is 45mm, and the widths vary too; a deep 26mm wide for the front, and 24mm for the rear. In this tubular incarnation they weigh in at 340g front, 380g rear.

    Take a look at our custom online road wheel builders if you'd like to spec some similar wheels, or contact us for some advice.

  • Customer Enve on Carbon Normad

    Carbon Enve Composites matches Santa Crus Nomad in ... carbon. Carbon Enve Composites matches Santa Cruz Nomad in ... carbon.

    Carbon, carbon, carbon, matching front coming up when the 650b Enve Composites are available.

    A 26" Enve AM laced to DT 240s rear hub for one of the lightest, strongest wheels you can buy. As an extra twist, the front wheel is a slightly oversized 650b, curently a DT 240s hub laced to a 650b Pacenti TL28 rim. A pretty good combination anyway, and the rim will be replaced with an Enve AM 650b once they arrive here in December.

  • Bombproof Enve wheels

    Probably the strongest 29er wheels we've built so far, with a few custom touches we thought they were worth putting up on the blog with a few words.

    The Enve AM 29er rim is one of the strongest around, and to complete the bombproof build they were specced with Chris King ISO disk hubs including a stainless steel drive shell (freehub body). Not that we've had any trouble with the aluminium ones.

    Most of our Enve builds use Sapim CX-Ray or DT Revolution spokes. The 2.0mm internal spoke nipples mean that DT Supercomps with their 1.8mm thread can't be used, however we needed extra strength for this build so Sapim's new D-Light spoke (2.0-1.65mm double butted) came to the rescue. Weight for 32 spokes in 288mm length comes to 170g.

    Wheel weights: Front 824g, rear 1009g

    The customer sent us a quick email after trying them out....

    "Just wanted to report back on my first ride on these wheels, they're amazing!  You were right, night and day [compared] with my previous wheels.

    Spent a few hours riding around Surrey, Pitch, Winterfold and Holmbury. Initially had to re-learn to ride downhill again, turn-in is so much quicker, cornering is incredibly precise. Only did one little drop (Judges Seat), the wheels feel very solid upon landing :-)"

  • Cyclocross wheels and tyres, updated for 2012.

    disk road or cross build - Hope Pro2 Evo laced to H Plus Son Archetype rim

    Hope Pro2 Evo laced to H Plus Son Archetype rim

    I first wrote this article in autumn 2011 but things have moved on a lot since then with a greater choice of wheel components and some products being discontinued. It's a long one so for a whistle-stop tour of our best cross components  keep reading after the "more" link.

    Continue reading

  • Small size - many gears, Sturmey Archer F30 3 speed / 9 speed disk hubs laced to 20" Velocity Aeroheat rims

    This is one of our more custom-custom wheelsets, some wheels for a customer building a cargo bike frameset from scratch.

    They are smaller than our average wheel build with twenty inch Velocity Aeroheat rims laced to Sturmey Archer rear 3 speed internal hubs which feature a 9 speed cassette body giving the customer 27 gears, and it's a Hope Pro II Evo front hub in red.

    We didn't weigh them before they went out but the Sturmey Archer F30 hub (which, confusingly, also seems to go by the name of "CS-RK3") weighs in at 1155g, quite a chunky beast but not bad considering the number of gears.

  • Pink Phil Wood track hubs laced to H Plus Son Archetype rim

    A rather nice and unusual build for us, pink Phil Wood high flange hubs with fixed rear laced to the still quite new H Plus Son Archetype rim.

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