“Its totally a thing.”… generally that is my response when people approach me about carbon rims on a fat-bike and their viability. A lot of people immediately focus on weight savings in carbon vs aluminum rims, but with companies removing material from aluminum rims, and utilizing single wall designs, the weight savings from a reasonable alloy rim like the DT Swiss BR710 to even the lightest (that I know of) carbon rim, the Hed BFD rim (which is also single wall) is at most 175 grams (claimed), and for a guy like me the Hed rims are snow exclusive- as to say I wouldn’t plow them through a rock garden, or blast rooty singletrack. Whereas the alloy can be ridden in most adverse conditions a little more reliably. So I look at double wall carbon rims, and to a rim from brands like Whisky or Nextie, the weight savings are actually nonexistent… like the carbon rims are heavier by a couple grams. So, if the new carbon wheels aren’t going to make my bike significantly lighter, why the heck would I make a significant investment in them?
To me its ride quality, effectiveness in “high stress” situations, and precision. Basically, to me, carbon wheels dramatically improve how my bike handles in all situations ie cornering, climbing, accelerating..etc. I’m not the only one who thinks this…obviously… as carbon hoops are more and more visible, and not just in the race crowd. Bikes are coming spec’ed with them, and people are becoming more aware that carbon wheels are for reals.
So, down in New Waverly, Texas Cantu Cycling wheels is now putting their hat in the ring with complete wheel builds utilizing their branded hubs and rims. I’ve worked with John from Cantu on a lot of gravel wheel projects, and when he approached me over a year ago with the idea of doing fat wheels I was very intrigued. I’ve represented Cantu as an ambassador, and sold a bunch of their gravel rims and wheels, so I really wanted to get rad on some fat wheels. I run Cantu M930 rims on my Salsa Cycles Cutthroat, and have put a bunch of miles loaded, and unloaded on them and they have been flawless on gravel, dirt roads, and singletrack. I will do a long-term ride review on the wheels after I spend some more time on them, but their first go was a 12hr, team, mtb, night race down in Stillwater, OK called One Night Stand. It had an immediate impact on my handling that I am excited to continue to experience.
Here’s the specs for the COMPLETE WHEELSET:
Rim: Cantu branded, 27.5”, 32h, weight: 640 grams, 85mm external/ 79mm internal, 40mm deep (exclusively in 27.5” for now)
Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray elliptical, 3x lacing
Nipples: Sapim Brass double square Secure-lock
F Hub: 150×15, Cantu branded, six-bolt (no centerlock option)
R Hub: 12×197, Cantu Branded, six-bolt (no centerlock option), Shimano or Sram XD drivers available (30 point engagement), Can also build onto Industry Nine hubs for an upcharge.
Complete wheelset weight: 2270-2290 grams
Recommended tubeless tape size: 35-45mm
Price: $1795 complete wheelset
Ride report to follow, but from my experience with other prebuilt wheels from John (I prefer to build my own wheels, mostly out of superstition or something), the build quality will be phenomenal, and spot-on in tension, round, and true. The tubeless install was SUPER EASY, I would bet with a lot of tires you could do it with a floor pump. With a compressor I just eased up the pressure, and still got a real loud bang as I mounted the 45NRTH Dillinger tires on it. As I mentioned, ride report to come. I’ll be bushwhacking, snow shredding, singletrack ripping, and anything else I can throw at these over the next couple months, and I’m excited.
Oh and decals come in a bunch of rad colors:
For more information about Cantu visit – http://www.cantuwheels.com/cantu-rumble