Best Fatbike Rims?

It was not long ago in fatbike land that a question like “which fatbike is the best” or “which fatbike rim is the best” would have only two or three possible answers.  Fortunately, those times are behind us, and with great companies like Surly, Salsa, 9 Zero 7, and Fatback, the options are improving.

Recently, Surly announced that they are upping the ante with the 100mm Clownshoe rim (See the Aug 24th post at the Surly Blog, here: http://www.surlybikes.com/blog/).  Since that rim has cutouts for weight savings and 64 hole pattern for offset or non-offset lacing, it is an awesome option for ultimate flotation.  The only trouble is, it’s due sometime in 2011, and I haven’t seen or ridden one.  If any Ride Fatbikes readers have seen/ridden this rim, please offer some feedback.

As alternatives to the 100mm Clownshoe, there are options like a 100mm or 80mm FlatTop from Chain Reaction Cycles in Alaska: http://www.chainreactioncycles.us/Flattop%20Rim.html.  These also look like great rims, though I’ve not had the chance to ride them.  From the Chain Reactions cycles website, it appears these rims run $125/each in 80mm or 100mm, and $175/each in the drilled (cut-out) version.

Beyond the beefy 100mm Clownshoe and Flattop options, there are the “standby” offerings from Surly, such as the good ole Large Marge: http://surlybikes.com/parts/large_marge/.   The Large Marge rims, ironically, are almost “small” by today’s standards, at 65mm.

If you’re looking for more float, but you don’t think you need 100mm rims (or your frame won’t accommodate them), the Rolling Darryl (also from Surly) is an 82mm wide cut-out rim that can be laced symmetrically or asymmetrically for offset or non-offset frames. As a single-wall welded seam rim, it’s even lighter than the smaller Large marge rim.   I am currently riding the Rolling Darryls, and they seem well constructed, and do the job well.  I can’t compare them to the other rims available, as I haven’t ridden the others.

For those of you who have direct comparison experience between multiple fatbike rims, what are your opinions?  What rims do you run, and for what reasons?  Let’s make RideFatbikes.com a fatbike community – offer your comments/feedback/reviews, and we can all benefit from the fatbike knowledge and experience of others on this site.

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10 Comments

Filed under Fatbike rims, Fatbikes, Snowbikes

10 responses to “Best Fatbike Rims?

  1. I’m running the Graceful Fat Shebas that came on my stock Mukluk. However, I’m planning to build up a set of Rolling Darryls to shave some weight. I’ve been riding through the city alot and I think the Black Floyds will be perfect for that. Not sure if I’ll go to a wider tire yet. Right now I enjoy having all the gears available. I find myself using the big ring pretty often in the city.

  2. Ditto on the GFS. That’s what I got with my Mukluk as well. I’m considering drilling them out myself for less weight (and for $ savings), but I’m going to do some additional research before going down that particular path.

    • I thought about doing the drilling myself as well. I’m not sure that I have the skill, and more importantly the patience for that. I’d like to hear how that goes for you. Might convince me to go down that route.

  3. I’m running the 65mm Large Marges on my Pug.
    so far so good; think of Cuyuna riding, but no nicely groomed trails. Just big, little and every other sized red rock here in northern Mn.
    with that said, I’ve been eye-balling the non drilled Rolling D’s.
    I don’t think the cut out style rims would hood up to the ty

  4. Woo what happened???

    Would hold up to the type of riding I do. I’m also 235#, for whatever that’s worth!! Lo

    Either way, there’s nothing finer than turning the fat tires!!!

    Peace, Joboo

  5. I love the Vicious Cycles Graceful Fat Shebas that I have on the Pugs, but have considered getting a set of drilled out rims. Not sure I want to spend that amount of $$$$ to trim a few grams of weight on a bike that already weighs thirty pounds or more. I think the weight gain is minimal and is it really noticeable??? However, the drilled rims look awfully damn cool:)

  6. I’m trying to decide between the Large Marge and the Rolling Darryls. As my intended use is all-year adventure-biking, my number one concern is whether the wheel is bomb-proof or not. I’m wondering whether the Rolling Darryl’s without cut-outs are suitable for adventure riding with bike packs or not.

    • I’d love to know what others have to say, Mikkel but in my experience I’d say the Rolling Darryls are an awesome and strong rim (particularly if built well and laced symmetrically), but the Large Marge is probably the more suitable rim for heavy loaded adventure or challenging terrain. As we all know, no rim is “bomb-proof” and heavy riding can wreck even the toughest of gear, depending upon how/where you ride. Have others had experience with both rims, or with other strong rims they’d recommend? The more comments the better, so we can all learn from everyone else’s perspectives and experience.

    • I would recommend the Large Marge. The old ones (double wall w/machined inner wall). I have had a set of these since they first came out. they have been through 6 Arrowhead 135s and now i’m using them much more severely. I’ve been beating the tar out of them and they are holding up quite well.

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