Sometimes wider really is better. But usually not when it comes at the expense of stiffness or a big weight penalty. Because of that, 100mm wide carbon fat bike rims have been a bit slower to appear than their 70-80mm wide siblings, but as rim technology continues to improve, so do riders’ options.
After cutting their teeth with the 70mm wide No. 9 carbon fat bike rims, Whisky recently upped their game with the new 50w rim for Plus bikes. Not only is the addition Plus size rims newsworthy, but the platform was used to introduce a new hookless TBLS bead technology that is said to have some big benefits over the hooked version. One of those is impact resistance which is important when you’re talking about a pricey carbon rim that is going to be run at extremely low pressures…
Echoing a trend seen in other carbon fiber mountain bike rims, the 100w TBLS tech does away with the bead hook. While we’ve heard this makes the rims easier to produce without voids at the edge, more importantly it is said to substantially improve the impact resistance of the rim. Rather than using the hook as the main method of retaining the tire, instead the tire is inflated into bead lock channels which stretch the tire tightly into place. When paired with tubeless tape and a valve, this makes for an effortless tubeless set up in most cases without the need for multiple layers or thick tape.
Compared to a rim with cutouts which requires a rim strip plus at least one layer of tape or more, the claimed 735g rim weight should be closer to reality once that rim is actually set up tubeless. Speaking of tubeless, each rim includes tape, valves, and spoke nipple washers indicating that Whisky would like you to use the little discs when building up your wheels.
Of course some the biggest news is the width itself – 100mm externally and 94.5mm internally. The double wall carbon rim design claims to offer a stiffer overall rim compared to single wall rims, though it does include a 300lb (136kg) rider weight limit. In addition to the 5 year Whisky warranty the rims also cary a max inflation pressure of 30psi as well as a 4.8″ max recommended tire width which means these may not be the best options if you plan to run the Vee 2XLs.
Available now through QBP stocking dealers, single rims will set you back $649. We’re told that a number of other products are on their way from Whisky and should be here in time for Frostbike so stay tuned!