When it came time to build our Blackhawk race rig we knew we would need a light but durable wheel set, so we turned to Sarma and Industry Nine. With a frameset weight of 4lb, the Blackhawk is ready for trails or race day and with carbon rims from Sarma and I9 fat bike hubs we were able to get the complete build down to 23lb.
The Sarma Naran 80 rim has a double wall carbon fiber construction and offers the versatility of using various tire sizes. We wanted a wheelset that was race ready and what better way to set them up than with a pair of Industry Nine hubs. To finish up the build we used Wheelsmith double butted spokes and brass nipples. Lacing the wheels up was straight forward since there were no washers needed for the spoke nipples, unlike some carbon rims. Sarma strengthens the area around the nipple eliminating the need for washers.
Build Tip: Since fat bike rim spoke holes do not lie in the center of the rim, you need to adjust the center to flange distance when calculating your spoke length. To get the correct spoke length, measure the width of two adjacent spoke holes, and then divide that number by 2. Take that number and subtract it from the center to flange distance in your spoke calculator. On the Sarma rims the width is about 20mm, so 10mm was subtracted from both center to flange measurements.
Going tubeless on a fat bike can save over 2lb so we had to see how the tubeless set up would work out on Sarma 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. There are a few tricks to going tubeless on a Fat Bike, and we'll cover all the details in an upcoming post, but I couldn't be happier with the decision to shed the tubes on this build!
I laced up these wheels about 4 months ago and I haven’t had any issues with the set up. I was a bit cautious at first with the carbon rims, but after riding them pretty hard in a variety of conditions, the Naran’s have held up extremely well. They have solid construction and although the double wall rim is built for weight savings it can stand up a beating. I’ve been extremely happy with the set up and have been racing the wheel’s all summer at the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS). The strength, durability and weight savings from the Naran’s really make a solid foundation for a great 4 season wheelset. Combining the Naran’s with one of the lightest fat bike hubs on the market really sets this wheelset apart. I-9 offers many hub colors to customize your bike, gives you the performance of a fast and smooth hub and has a mean sounding cassette. If you want to save weight, one of the best places to do it is in the wheels. Lighter wheels have less rolling inertia and makes climbing hills easier. The Naran / I-9 wheelset sheds off three pounds compared to most aluminum wheel builds.
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