Riding a fat bike is a ton of fun and we recommend it for anyone that wants to have a new adventure on a bike. The first time I rode a fat bike reminded me of the first time I rode a mountain bike. You suddenly realize all the possibilities that are out there and new places you'll be able to go with the wider tires of today's fatties. One of the concerns we hear about all the time from people when it comes to getting a fat bike is the weight. While some of the earlier steel fat bikes from companies like Surly and Charge definitely are heavy, newer carbon fiber fat bike options like our Blackhawk have brought the weight down considerably and with the right build, fat bike weights can rival that of even the lightest mountain bikes. Here's our latest Tech Notes from Joel here at Fyxation how he shaved a few pounds off of his rig by going tubeless.
Going tubeless on a fat bike can save over 2lbs! For me this is a huge deal because not only do I ride my fat bike to work in the winter, I compete in fat bike races all across the Midwest where shaving a few pounds can set you up for a podium finish. I recently set out to convert my fat bike to tubeless using Sarma Naran Carbon rims. Since this was the first time I set up carbon fat bike rims tubeless I was a bit hesitant, but with a weekend race in sight I decided to go for it.
I took two passes with Stan's NoTubes sealing tape on the Naran rims, one on each side of the rim to fully cover the spoke holes. I found this to be the easiest soultion since no one makes a wide enough sealant tape for fat bikes yet. After I made sure there were no bubbles in the tape, I installed the tubeless valve stem and a set of 45North Husker Du tires. They are lightweight and have a great tire tread pattern for all riding conditions.
After mounting one side of the tire to the rim, I added what seemed like an endless amount of Stan's sealant. Given the size of the tire 4 oz of sealant is recommended. Next I installed the other side of the tire, making sure the Stan’s sealant didn't come pouring out. After a few seconds with a air compressor, I heard a loud pop and then another pop! The sound of the tire locking into the bead lock is a sweet sound when installing tubeless tires! After doing a little Stan’s dance, and letting the sealant settle to the bead, I let the wheel sit over a bucket while I went onto the next tire. In no time at all, and without leaking or seating issues, I was on the trail.
Install Note: While this setup went smoothly we have had tubeless installs that leak a small amount of sealant and require riding and a few top off's with the pump before the sealant takes hold. If you loose small amounts of air overnight don't be too concerned. Top off the pressure and keep riding. More than likely it will seal up just fine.