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:
"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.
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."
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.