6 quick spinning fat bike wheels

Lowering rotating weight means upping your fat bike’s speed

Buyer's Guides Fat Bike Wheels Winter Guide
Lowering rotational weight is one of the best ways to spend upgrade dollars — especially if you're talking fat bikes.

Lowering rotational weight is one of the best ways to spend upgrade dollars — especially if you’re talking fat bikes.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking, fat bikes, gear, apparel and trainers. We are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, trainers and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page.

For any wheeled vehicle, lowering rotational weight is one of the best ways to spend upgrade dollars. Just like on road and traditional mountain bikes, fat bikes benefit from lighter wheels. The big difference is just how much heft can be dropped. Installing a lighter set of wheels and going tubeless can drop pounds where mountain bikers typically measure gains in grams. Here are some (but certainly not all) of the best fat tire wheels on the market.

Bontrager Jackalope TLR Disc 26

Bontrager Jackalope

Bontrager’s Jackalope wheels are original running gear on Trek’s Farley fat bikes. With aluminum, tubeless ready, 80mm wide rims and 135/150mm front and 170/177mm rear axle options, Jackalope’s are a great option for 4” tire users looking for a new set of hoops. The hubs features interchangeable axles that allow for conversions to fit more frames and forks. Offset spoke hole drilling adds wheel strength. With the use of a tubeless rim strips, Bontrager’s Jackalope wheels can help drop significant weight from a fat bike. | Price: $999 | More info at www.trekbikes.com

Borealis Elite Carbon Wheels

Borealis Elite Carbon

The 80mm Reynolds carbon fiber rims on Borealis’ Elite Carbon wheels are made exclusively for Borealis. They use a double wall construction, are made in the USA, and weigh in at just 610 grams per rim. Laced to Borealis hubs using Wheelsmith spokes, the Elite Carbon wheels help fat bikers lose rotating weight on their steeds. Borealis’ hubs come in 150 thru axle front and 197x12mm rear. Axle caps are available to convert rear hubs to 190mm QR. Both Shimano and SRAM XD drivers are available in the black, red or blue hubs. | Price: $2300 (now on sale for $1699) | More info at www.fatbike.com

Fyxation Blackhawk Wheels

Fyxation Blackhawk

Fyxation’s Blackhawk wheelset is its most popular model. Priced at a budget-conscious $595, they are hand built in the U.S. at Fyxation’s Milwaukee, Wisconsin, headquarters. Fyxation boasts that this in-house assembly gives them tight quality control and the ability to easily customize wheels to suit customer needs. Using Fyxation hubs with 150/197mm front and rear spacing, Wheelsmith spokes and Sun-Ringle rims, a pair weighs in at 2700 grams. For those using a fat bike year round, also consider Fyxations’s 29+ Mulefut build for summer riding. | Price: $595 | More info at www.fyxation.com

HED B.A.D. Wheels


HED’s fat bike wheel range is growing all the time. Its Big Alloy Deal (B.A.D.) wheelset is the newest in the Big Deal platform. Just like its carbon Big Deal rim brethren, the single wall construction is tubeless ready without a rim strip. The 80mm rims weigh 640 grams each. At the wheels’ center are HED’s new Brick House hubs, available in 135mm QR and thru-axle, 150mm thru front standards, and 170mm QR, 177mm thru, 190mm QR and 197mm thru rear axle variants. The pair weighs in at 2160 grams and are available now with both Shimano and SRAM XD cassette bodies. | Price: $1200 | More info at hedcycling.com

Industry Nine BigRig845 Wheels

Industry Nine BigRig845

While Industry Nine offers carbon fat bike wheel options, it’s the BigRig845 that brings top-shelf performance in a more approachable package. With a bit more meat on the bones, I9 claims these wheels are up to year-round trail riding, even on the gnarly Pisgah trails in I9’s North Carolina backyard. With a myriad of color options and I9’s impressive, Asheville-made hubs, the BigRig845 wheels are offered in 170/177mm and 190/197mm rear spacing and 135-150mm front spacing. The rims have a 84.5mm internal width and are tubeless compatible. Full color customization is available and lead times are 2-3 weeks. | Price: $1275 base price ($1,435 as shown) | More info at www.industrynine.net

Kuroshiro Enso 6105 Rims

Kuroshiro Enso 6105

If you’re looking for premium fat bike rims, look no further. Billed as the widest fat bike rim on the market, Kuroshiro’s Enso 6105 is imported by Red Bear Products, another brainchild of Advocate Cycle’s Tim Krueger. Manufactured in Italy using an autoclave instead of a pressure mold, the Kuroshiro claims its rims have far better compaction than anything else in the bicycle industry. This leads to high strength while minimizing excess material. The Enso 6105 rim also features Kuroshiro’s Alpha Ridge design, which reinforces the rim. This ridge is also home to the spoke nipple holes, in this case designed for use with Sapim’s Polyax nipples. These nipples create a seal with the rim, eliminating the need for a tubeless rim strip. It’s super trick. Red Bear Products sells rims or builds them into Tune and Industry Nine hubs for an additional cost. | Price: $995 per rim | More info at www.redbearproducts.com

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About the author: Nick Legan

Nick Legan is happiest with some grease under his nails and a long dirt climb ahead. As a former WorldTour team mechanic, Legan plied his trade at all the Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Championships and even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In recent years, gravel and ultra-distance racing has a firm grip on Legan’s attention, but his love of mountain biking and long road rides hasn’t diminished. Originally a Hoosier, Legan settled in Boulder, Colorado, 14 years ago after finishing his time at Indiana University studying French and journalism. He served as the technical editor at VeloNews for two years and now contributes to Adventure Cyclist, Mtbr and RoadBikeReview.

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  • Shark says:

    Something to consider, many ride their fatbikes in the summer. Weight & hub quality are not the only important parts to “quick spinning”, you need to consider rim width which has a huge effect on tire profile & overall feel.
    Many riders prefer 65mm wide rims vs 80+mm for dirt riding. You end up with a more round tire that handles better, less self steer.

    • deadfish says:

      If your bike can fit 29+ I highly recommend that setup for summer. Fyxation offers a discount if you get a fat wheelset and a 29+ wheelset right away at the same time. Just swap your rotors and cassette and go shred.

    • Chris says:

      Do you know who makes carbon 65mm rims?

  • Chris says:

    Who makes carbon 65 mm rims?

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