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/