Back in January the Secret Underground Fat-Bike Test labs received a set of Fatback Carbon Wheels. What can I say? Fatback continues to innovate the market with their latest product. This time they partnered up with Knight Composite to make this glorious love child of a carbon fat bike wheel set. I was super pumped when Tio Gomez asked me what size spacing my TyReeb Donkadonk was. When I told him 150 x 197. He said, “ Good, you have to test out this wheel set I’ve been riding the last month.” With the Sweaty Yeti and the Birkie Fat Bike Race coming up, the timing was perfect. I knocked off my SS gates carbon belt drive I trained on all winter and slapped on my GX eagle set up kit.
Gomez did all the work for me. He had already set up the wheels tubeless, which he said was a breeze with just a quick shot of compressed air. He put on some Terrene Cake Eaters 4.8, a set 180/160 rotors, and an XD driver on for me. You can check out Gomez’s first impressions on this wheelset and all of the specs here –
My first ride on this
This 2099 gram wheel set came laced to a set of DT Swiss 350 Big Ride hubs. The Big Ride hubs are smooth and effortless. I am glad I switched from my aluminum set to these for the Birkie Race. I really like training with a heavier bike with bags and aluminum wheels, then when race time comes, BRAAAAP! You really feel like moving. Sort of like a baseball player practices swinging a bat with weights on it then when it time to hit, BAM, much faster swing. The setup I had included the Sapim CXray bladed spokes; they sure make a nice squealing sound on the uphill’s and even the descents if the wind catches them just right. Scott from Knight Composites shared with us – “The stock builds on these wheels are the Sapim D-Light spoke. (a round spoke that should be quieter) The early samples (including the set that we tested) were built with Sapim CXRay”.
I could see most people would knock off a solid pound or two of their current whip by adding this wheelset. These wheels make it a bit easier to pop a wheelie!
My next ride was a true test. I had to pull JP’s Mobile Bloody Mary Cart around the Sweaty Yeti Course. The course conditions were a bit soft and felt like mashed potatoes. Gomez seemed to have fun following behind me as I laid down a nice groomed track for him to follow. My legs were wrecked by the time I got the 100 pounds of refreshments out onto the course.
Where these wheels really shined were on the long flats and the hills at the Birkie Fat Bike race. The Terrene Cake Eaters gripped well and I only hit one trail gnome at the 1.5 mile mark descending a bit too fast for conditions. I had the Cake Eaters down to 4 PSI by the end of the race, with no issues, but they seem to really shine at 7-9 PSI. I really believe these wheels helped my time out tremendously this year. The fact that you can get back up to speed so fast after us mortals have to push our bikes up a few of these mean Cable hills.
I love wheels that have a
I put in some long gravel rides and more single track on these bad boys. They whip around quick and roll super nice. Overall I am very impressed with the quality, stiffness