While the majority of fat bike companies are based in North America, Sarma Bikes continues to put out some impressive equipment by way of Siberia, Russia. Now being imported to the U.S. by a new distributor, the products should be easier than ever to get a hold of which is a good thing – Sarma is blowing up. After introducing the first ever double wall carbon 100mm rim, Sarma now has their sights set on 29+ and has a new Naran carbon rim to prove it.
Technically Kuroshiro is also offering a carbon 29+ rim with a box section, though as far as a true double wall carbon rim the Naran is it. Available as an individual rim, Sarma is also offering two 29+ Shaman builds complete with a Bluto suspension fork. Carbon may be the most buzz worthy, but Sarma also has a new option for the more budget conscious with their new aluminum Vortex fat bike frame. Details next…
Coming in at 50mm wide internally, the rims are drilled for centered 32 spoke builds and are tubeless ready. The rims include a bead hook and will set up tubeless with the standard tape, valve, and sealant.
While we had the chance we threw the Naran 100mm and Naran 29+ rims on the scale. At 776g the 100mm rim is 26g over the claimed weight, while the Naran 29+ is actually 8g under at 542g. Naran 29+ carbon rims will sell for $1200 a set, or as part of a complete 29+ build with an X9 version at $4250 and an XX1 build at $5900. Both builds include a RockShox Bluto fork, Naran 29+ carbon wheels, and the carbon Shaman frame with a 170×12 rear axle.
The Shaman is also still available in traditional fat bike builds in the same X9 and XX1 builds and prices with a rigid fork and also as a frame ($1700) or frame/rigid carbon fork set ($2020). The Sarma Edge crankset caught our attention with their own Sarma branded narrow-wide direct mount chainring in a 28t. Sarma also looks to have their own 2x cranksets for the builds that include a front derailleur. No word on these being available separately yet.
As nice as carbon fat bike frames are to ride, they tend to be out of the price range of many riders – especially those looking to try out the bikes for the first time. Previously an all-carbon company, Sarma is changing it up with their all new Vortex aluminum fat bike frame and complete builds.
Built from HB3 (hydroformed triple butted) 6061 aluminum tubing with smooth welds, the frame is up on all of the current standards with a tapered head tube (Integrated 42mm top, 52.1mm bottom), 100mm threaded bottom bracket, and a new-for-Sarma 197×12 rear thru axle. Since the complete builds are speced with the Carbon Hoboy fork, the front spacing is still set at 135×15 which makes Bluto conversions a bit more involved.
The wider rear dropout means there is plenty of room for 4.7″ tires on 100mm rims. Equipped with full rack and fender mounts, the frame also includes internal cable routing, front derailleur compatibility, and is offered in 5 frame sizes from 13″ to 21″. Pricing starts at $2,200 for the Vortex 2.0 with a SRAM X7/X5 build, Sun Ringle MuleFut SL 80 rims, and Vee Rubber Bulldozer 4.7″ tires, and $2600 for the Vortex 1.0 which gets upgraded to an X7/X9 build with Sarma 100mm rims and 4.8″ tires.
What’s the weight difference between a carbon and aluminum Sarma frame? Nearly 2 pounds, with the Vortex coming in at 4.46 lbs (2.02 kg) while the Shaman weighs in at 2.92 lbs (1.32 kg). The Vortex is not currently offered as a frame only, but may be in the near future.