2016-01-27 IMG_7615

Atomik Carbon has been very busy this year with some new tech & product we’ve seen, and some we (still) can’t talk about just yet.

What we can talk about are the new and finally released 27.5+ Chubby 43 and 26″ Fatty 85 wheels and rims. Atomik approached the Plus and Fat designs without considering traditional rim construction. Which is good, since these are by no means a “traditional rim”. With the goal of making them strong, light cheap stiff, Atomic looked at the pros and cons of various rim constructions when going wide.

That said, I’m going to try and not explode with excitement as I’ve been bashing riding a prototype set of Atomik’s carbon mid-fat wheels for the last few months and wasn’t allowed to talk about them. Now that they’re official, I’ve got the green light, so here it goes….

Atomik-Chubby-Pair-Leaning-Social ATOMIK-Phatty-Social

Atomik entered the “Plus” and “Fat” market with a “no limits, from scratch” approach as there were many things they wanted on the feature list. Like not skimping on performance while making sure the design was durable enough for real-world riding. They consulted with aeronautical engineers, F1 engineers and sporting goods designers that use carbon fiber in high-stress, high-impact environments. Those conversations led to a foam core and stronger single-wall design.

prototype Atomik Carbon fat bike rims with foam core

To reflect a little on the technology we’ve covered previously, the new  Phatty 85 and Chubby 43 both use Atomik’s “Solowall” (single wall), and patented HDP (High Density Performance) Foamcore technology. The foam forms a lightweight structure and is hydrophobic so it won’t absorb water. It boosts the structural integrity and stiffness of the rim while allowing it to remain very, very thin. Just 15mm, to be exact. Why is this important?


Atomik considered how much more surface area would be exposed to carbon unfriendly rocks with a more traditional rim profile on 43mm and 85mm wide hoops and the flat design was the clear winner.

The first thing Atomik’s Wayne Lee told me to do was to keep track of the number of impacts. During their own testing, they discovered that approximately 75% of the rock impacts were happening above the 15mm line.

SFW 20160127_180352

Coming up with a way to make a sturdy, yet light rim that is only 15mm deep was the reasoning behind this mad science. Even though the majority of impacts on carbon wheels result in merely cosmetic flesh wounds, the chances of structural damage are reduced significantly. And they will look pretty for longer too!

Atomik IMG_7623

They use a custom “done in house” 12k carbon weave at their factory that is as strong as it is gorgeous. This method is to improve durability as well as structural integrity to increase strength, stiffness and impact resistance. All of that makes them strong in all directions to withstand forces from impacts as well as the additional lateral forces created by the increased traction by the larger tires when railing a turn (and oh do they).


chubby-impact-layer-ill chubby-bead-ramp-ill chubby-hook-thickness-ill

Atomic chose to use a hookless bead design that has a virtual bead lock that is more of an angled “shelf” (center). This keeps the tire’s bead from slipping or loosing air if you’re running really low pressures. To better resist impacts, the rim’s bead is a whopping 3.5mm wide (left diagram), and is no doubt stout.

Atomik IMG_7620

For bearing holders on the Premium Chubby 43’s, ($1,960), Atomik went across the bay (in Florida) to Profile Racing’s Tampa headquarters for their Elite “you’ll never have to say ‘on your left again‘” hubs. Having always set the bar high on the BMX circuit with their cranks, hubs and many other shiny goods, though not as well known as companies like Chris King or even Industry Nine. Profile has the fastest engaging, made in the USA hubs on the market and if you’ve never heard them…. you’ll know it when you do.

As a less expensive alternative, you can get them built with the also very nice DT Swiss DT350 hubs on the Standard Chubby 43s ($1,650). Both wheelsets use top shelf Sapim spokes.

Atomik IMG_7622

Profile’s fit, finish, durability, and axle options are a good choice to compliment these premium wheels.


On the Fat side of things, the Fatty 85 Premium ($2,300), comes with Industry Nine’s Torch Fat Classic hubs and the Standard Fatty 85 ($1,825), comes laced on to DT Swiss’ DT350 Big Ride hubs.

Atomik PHATTY + CHUBBY Specs

Stay tuned for a more detailed piece in the near future featuring these portly hoops on a little Bikerumor project…



  1. chasejj on

    Over a $1000 for a pair of rims while better than ENVE (at least it is US made) in price and maybe design. It is still a Chinese rim like LB and Nextie which are both very reliable, well made and 1/2 the cost.

    • Veganpotter on

      Want an Italian car? How about a Fiat for $30,000 or a Ferrari for $300,000? Location of production isn’t the only determining factor for price of anything!!!

      • chasejj on

        Well Vegan- You use the straw man argument again. Sort of habit, eh?
        Apples and oranges. A $30K Fiat is not even remotely in the category of a $300K Ferrari or a $160K Ferrari. However, the Nextie Wildcats I am riding are every bit the equal of any ENVE rim in every category EXCEPT cost.
        I am a buy US made as much as humanly possible guy (I have 4 Portland made Turners). But when faced with a value gap as wide as this comparison. I go with the Chicom rims for now since ALL of the other brands are constructed with similar design and materials in 2-3 factories in Taiwan and China.
        The fact is the US needs to have more favorable laws for industry so we can create a vibrant production industry here in US. Not just a boutique brand at 2X the price of competitors.

        • Veganpotter on

          Plain and simple, they’re not the same product. You’ve also gotta take production volume into account along with all the other fees that go along with selling products. Of course, it’s 100% your decision where you buy from but and you can tell yourself they’re all the same as much as you want. Also, try getting a warranty in 5 years on your Nexties since that’s what ENVE brings to the table.

    • Atomik Carbon on


      Thanks for the feedback. But in fact ,our rims are NOT Chinese like the other brands you mention, or the countless other low-cost imitators proliferating on the Internet.

      We go to great lengths to engineer and manufacturer exclusive high-end products at an affordable price and you will never find Atomik Carbon under any other name, EVER.

      All carbon is not created equal.

      Visit your local Atomik Dealer to learn more. Riding is believing.

  2. Mr Clint on

    I can tell you that the theory that all chinese carbon is the same is quite untrue. Yes, a lot of these small budget focused outfits out there are high profile with plenty of issues (and often uninsured, ask any ebay/alibaba for proof of US insurance and you’ll never get a reply). But believe it or not many of your favorite brands are made in china and are of very high quality.

    It doesn’t matter if Atomic, Whisky, whoever are making stuff in china or taiwan or the US. What matters is having a US based business that is insured, has warranty/crash replacement product in stock, and someone you can get ahold of. Plus you’re supporting an American business still where with the alibaba, eBay, light bike, nextie, etc… you’re not supporting the economy in the states what so ever. And may lose your teeth when they explode.

    Sometimes it’s worth it to buy American even if the product ain’t american made.

    • chasejj on

      Clint-Nice try. But if I can’t make the 1/2 price Chicom rims blow up. I doubt 99% of riders can.
      A small shop outsourcing to China and marketing in US is not adding any value for 99% of riders.

      • Veganpotter on

        You EVER need to warranty anything? A budy of mine had his LB fat rims split on the inside (the entire rim) and start cracking near the spokes after a few DAYS of riding. It took him weeks to hear back from LB, he had to ship them back (they wouldn’t give him his money back) and waited MONTHS to get a replacement. Working in the industry, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone wait much more than a week for Zipps, Enves or HEDs.


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