I’m a convert. They’re worth the money. The kids might not have the warmest boots and the wife might not have the biggest diamond, but doggone it, I will have a carbon wheelset for my fat-bike. And this set won’t break the bank so the fam will still have food on the table.
I recently just finished testing the Framed PUB Carbon 150/197-DT Swiss Big Ride Wheelset. The testing period was kinda different this time though. Framed originally had provided us a Framed Carbon wheelset (previewed here) but they were in the process of rebranding them. They sent me another wheelset so I could review the newly named carbon hoops. Same exact materials with same specs, simply a new name. What was Framed Carbon is now Framed PUB Carbon. So I experienced two set of wheels, but the wheels pictured in this review are the ones that are currently available. I was that impressed with several aspects of the wheels. Let’s begin with weight savings…
Both wheelsets I tested fell into Framed’s published weight range of 2,095g/set (+/-25g). When on the dirt, I felt like it was 1-2 gears easier to wind up than my 2,681g Hope Hubs/Holy Rolling Daryl wheelset. When the weight savings is that far out from the hub, even common folk like myself notice the lighter ride and faster acceleration. I have to admit that riding on snow, I didn’t notice the weight difference as much. I always feel like I’m working pretty darn hard when I’m riding in the white stuff. But what I did notice was the ease of tubeless setup. And these hoops snap up tubeless lickety split.
I have always been envious of the ability to swap tires the morning of a ride due to drastic changes in weather. One day it might call for studded 4in tires, then we get dumped on with 8in of powder and need 4.8in tires for the next ride. The Framed PUB Carbon wheels were dreams with which to work while swapping tires on and off. The 80mm rims came taped but I did have to add a revolution or two more due to a few spoke nipples ripping through. To me, that’s kind of a NBD though. It’s really nice to be able to switch from studded tires to powder hounds to name-another-design-specific-tire-here without much hassle and still be tubeless. Unfortunately, I did not get opportunity to run the tires at super low pressures on the rims, so I can’t make any comments about the performance there. But hello Andy, have you dealt with center lock hubs yet?
Where the heck have I been? Center lock hubs? Genius!! The DT Swiss 350 Big Ride hubs come equipped with center lock rotor mounts. Guess I won’t be worried about stripping a bolt while taking on or off a rotor any more. Not that I remove rotors on a daily basis but dang, talk about easy…
DT Swiss is a household name in terms of serviceability and durability. I found the engagement to be typical of DT hubs (10 degrees) and the near silent coasting was a welcomed surprise. To me, it’s worth the upgrade the get the DT hubs but in the case that your kids need a decent pair of gloves, you can get the same proprietary single/double wall carbon rims and spokes laced up to a Framed PUB Hub. Framed has a couple different hub configurations to meet your needs. Only glitch, you gotta be 150/190, 197.
One of the joys of reviewing components is you get to “use” the stuff without worry of damage. I feel like I put these wheels through some harsh conditions and moments. They are strong. One thing I don’t do quickly, is climb. I’m a good guy to have on the bottom of the human pyramid building competition. I’m not tall nor skinny. These wheels met downed logs, chopped up sticks, bushwhacked through bogs, got thrown into the beds of Ford F150s and never missed a beat. These hand-built-in-the-USA wheels stayed true, never veering off center even after being ridden hard under a beefy dude on singletrack, doubletrack, gravel roads, sheets of rutted ice gutters, crusty snow and groomed goodness.
Here are the fast, hard facts from the great people over at Framed:
Price: $1099.95 available at the-house.com
– Rims are tubeless ready
– Single wall rim design
– 80mm ext width, 73mm int width
– 584 grams per rim
– Rims utilize a special spoke angle drilling, making the rims front and rear specific
– Built to DT Swiss Big Ride hubs
– Assembled using DT Swiss Competition spokes
– Wheelset are hand assembled in the USA at our St. Paul, MN facility
– Available in both XD and HG driver configurations
– 2095 grams per wheel set. 975g front, 1120g rear.
How cool is it that you can get a fat carbon wheelset without starving or freezing the family? Very cool. Very….cool.