Archive for August 2015

Fat Bike Capacity: 1 + 1

Lately I’ve had a need to carry two fat bikes on my well-loved 1Up USA Quick Rack, so I ordered a second Fat Tire Spacer Kit. Price has gone up from $29 to $34 and the style has changed, but it still seems like the best external rack available for carrying a fat bike. The original, which adds Delrin spacers can be seen on the left, and the new style which uses wider angled bits for the tire is on the right.

At 122mm (4.8″) the new spacer kit is slightly wider than the previous’ 114.5mm (4.5″). I’m planning to build a new fat bike with 5″-class tires, but with the knobs of the 45NRTH Flowbeist and Dunderbeist — the winter tires intended for the new bike — measuring 110mm on an 82mm rim I should be good. Hopefully the 4.8″ Schwalbe Jumbo Jim also fits, as I’m likely using those for summer… If the 122mm-width arms are needed for the new bike I’ll likely move the spacer kit or trays around, but hopefully that won’t be needed.

When installing these I also took my friend Rodney’s recommendation and fitted some cut-down bicycle grips to the spacers on both trays. The original design leaves narrow silicone bands in place, but these don’t span the full width of the Fat Tire spacers and the rack can end up making a slight rattling sound. The original foam grips from the Mukluk 2 were a perfect fit for this.

DT Swiss BR 2250 Classic Wheelset First Impressions

Even though purchases are on hold for a couple months I’ve been eyeing a new fat bike for this winter, making up a typical build spreadsheet to have fun with the planning phases. The frame that want (2016 Salsa Blackborow) isn’t available yet so I normally wouldn’t make any parts purchases, but I came across a deal on a wheelset that I couldn’t pass up. Bike-Discount, an online seller out of Germany renound for low prices on European-origin components, had the DT Swiss 2250 Classic wheelset listed for $628.23 (plus $22.60 postage) a few months ago; about what I’d expected to pay for some hubs and  a single rim. I ordered them and a couple weeks later they arrived.

For my next fat bike there were three major wants which this wheelset meets: through-axles, current axle width standards (197mm rear, 150mm front), and DT Swiss’ excellent Star Ratchet. Through-axles make for a very solid connection to the frame, the 197mm / 150mm axles work for 5″-class fat bike tires and any Rock Shox Bluto-compatible fork, and the Star Ratchets are incredibly solid, easy to maintain, and can be upgraded to higher engagement via either DT Swiss’ own 36-point upgrade or Bontrager’s not-well-advertised 54-point pieces. While I haven’t begun purchasing parts for the bike yet, I’ll likely be getting the 54-point ratchets as they’ve been working out well on the Jones Plus.

There isn’t much info on these wheels and rims available online yet, outside of folks having tried them on a Pivot LES Fat or taking photos at shows. Thus, I wanted to document measured weights (well, mass) and included parts. Note that all these include paper tags attached to the wheels, as I wanted to leave them intact in case I choose to sell the wheelset:

Front Wheel: 1068g (w/ paper tag)
Rear Wheel: 1180g (w/ paper tag)
Rim Strip: 61g (each)
Centerlock Adapter: 26g (w/ paper tag)

Here’s the included accessories (photo):

  • Centerlock Adapters (2x)
  • Rim Strips (2x)
  • SRAM XD driver
  • End caps for 190mm or 197mm axles

Thus far I’m pretty happy with these wheels and I’m getting excited about building a bike using them. The build seems top notch, and the rim itself has a very nice box section along the edge while being single wall in the center. (This can be seen in the photo on the BR 710 page, as this is the same rim.) There is also a slight lip (photo) where the tire’s bead will sit, which will hopefully make tubeless setups nicely reliable at low (read: winter) pressure. I’m intending to tape them with Scotch 8898, the same tape which Mike Curiak used on the SUNringlé MüleFüt wheels that he built for my Mukluk. This’ll be placed over the DT Swiss rim strip, and coupled with some valves, Stan’s, and likely plastic nuts due to the single wall issues, will hopefully make for a strong, fun, light weight fat bike wheel. I’ll likely have to plug the weld vent/purge holes (photo) with silicone before the build.

The complete photo album of these wheels can be found here: DT Swiss BR 2250 Classic