Just when you think the fat bike world might be slowing down, out comes new carbon wheels from some big brands. First it was ENVE launching their M685 fat bike wheels in October, and now Knight Composites is joining in on the fun as well. However, Knight is partnering up with Fatback Bikes rather than going it alone.
The partnership makes a good bit of sense when you consider that Fatback’s satellite office shares the same Bend, Oregon home as Knight Composites. The proximity apparently allowed the two companies to work together to build their ideal carbon fat bike rim that sets the bar higher than Fatback’s aluminum Big Su rim. Fatback states that it was important to create a rim that was supremely durable and easy to set up and maintain, not just one that’s light weight. Using Knight’s expertise in carbon fiber to make it happen, the rims use an 81mm wide (external) profile with a shallow depth and external nipples.
Claimed weight for the rim comes in at 520g which isn’t the lightest, but Fatback wanted something that you could ride all year long and at any pressure without worry of damaging the rim. It also had to set up tubeless easily with the company claiming you can set these up with just a hand pump.
Two complete build versions will be offered – one with their own Alaska Edition SL hubs, and another with DT Swiss 350 Big Rides. The 32h Fatback hubs offer engagement with 6 pawls and 72 points, as well as Ezo Japanese bearings with extreme temperature grease for performance in the cold.
But, the DT Swiss Big Ride hubs are quite light, so if you’re looking for the lightest weight, the DT Swiss built wheels will come in around 1880g for the set (we’re assuming these are 26″). The wheels with the Fatback hubs come in at 2190g. Both wheel builds use brass nipples, but the DT Swiss wheels also gain Sapim D-Light spokes vs. Sapim Race.
The wheels are only available in 26″ version for now, with Fatback citing the fact that they’re still the most versatile with the most tire options and bikes available. Pricing starts at $2,099 for the Fatback hubset, and increases to $2,275 for the DT Swiss Big Ride Hubs.