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.
Please tell your friends about RideFatbikes.com or follow us on Twitter @ RideFatbikes.