Bikes Direct new wheel sets 27.5+ and 29+ for fat bikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bikes Direct new wheel sets 27.5+ and 29+ for fat bikes

    Earlier this fall I bought a Night Train Bullet from Bikes Direct. It's an incredible deal, the bike's been great and I really like it but it is heavy at 34 to35 lbs. I haven't converted to tubeless yet but I have the tape and rim strips on order so that will happen in the next week or two. My problem is I've been going on group rides and I can't keep up, especially on the climbs. These are with guys that I also road ride with and Im pretty close in ability with.

    I've been thinking of getting either a 27.5+ or 29er wheel set to use on these faster group rides. I had my eye on BDs 29er wheelset with 2.2 tires but now I see they recently added for a black Friday/November deal a 27.5+ and 29+ wheel set deal using the same Novatec hubs and the WTB rims. The 27.5+ uses 3.25" wide tires, the 29+ uses 3.0" wide

    At $250 including tires these look like a great deal.
    Does anyone know what kind of weight Id drop using one of these wheel sets? Im thinking the 27.5+ would make the most sense?
    Opinions?

    All of these use the I25 rim which is only 25mm internal / 30mm external- this seems kind of narrow for 3 inch+ tires doesnt it? Any adverse problems using a narrow rim like this with 3"+ tires?
    2018 Trek Stache 9.7
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  2. #2
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    Something to think about: I too ride with folks faster than me on the trails. Many of them are just faster, on road or trail, doesn't matter. There are a couple that are faster than me on the trail, but that I crush on the road.

    I am clumsy, uncoordinated, and am prone to wildly oversteering my bike at any time. I believe my mtb poor technique/crappier skill set is what hinders me in these situations.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  3. #3
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    @OP - going tubeless on a set of Mulefut wheels we have in office we lost 1.6 lbs on one wheel so you'll lose at least 3 lbs going tubeless.

    We have not weighed/compared weights on those wheelsets that come with the free tires. I will see if the warehouse can weigh them.

    How much do your wheels weigh with tires?
    Last edited by joebikesdirect; 11-25-2015 at 12:40 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ask yourself why they are so inexpensive. Ask yourself if it's worth buying a 2nd wheelset when this one fails. Think about whether you'd prefer to spend a little more and do it right the first time, and in so doing skip the hassle/headache of walking out of the woods a few times to learn the lesson.

    There's no right or wrong answer here. But there are some indisputable economics at play, and buying one good wheelset is usually less expensive than buying two POS wheelsets from BD.

  5. #5
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    What Mike said. It will be even harder to keep up with your group when you are pushing or carrying your bike because your bargain basement wheels failed.

  6. #6
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    Yes, but he's riding a Nightrain, so he's there now.

    There are those who think bikes should cost less, that expensive does not equate to better, and perhaps if those folks don't mind breaking and fixing stuff, then that works for them.

    $1000 for a set of wheels is expensive to someone who thinks a fat bike should cost $1000.

    That said, I have three sets of $1000 wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Ask yourself why they are so inexpensive. Ask yourself if it's worth buying a 2nd wheelset when this one fails. Think about whether you'd prefer to spend a little more and do it right the first time, and in so doing skip the hassle/headache of walking out of the woods a few times to learn the lesson.

    There's no right or wrong answer here. But there are some indisputable economics at play, and buying one good wheelset is usually less expensive than buying two POS wheelsets from BD.

  7. #7
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    I've bought two wheelsets from Mike(29, 29+), neither cost me anywhere near $1000. The 29" wheelset I bought from him in 2008 has been used and abused. Never trued and it still runs straight. I've repacked the sealed bearings twice.

    Similar results with other quality wheelsets built by local builders with good components and methods.

    I also bought a BD bike years ago because I was tired of paying to fly my mtb back and forth to my parents' house once a year when visiting. Ended up replacing both wheels. They lost tension quickly and I had a hell of a time trying to keep the axles snug.

  8. #8
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    Eat less cake, drink less beer, get faster on the uphill and have enough money for better wheels. You're Welcome.

  9. #9
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    People that ride BikesDirect stuff tend to not be too elitist about things. For those that can't "stoop to riding such POS" that's cool. I have some of both. But my Bikes Direct bike is no more prone to breakage or need for maintenance than my more expensive so-called "name brand bikes"

    That aside, why are you unable to keep up? Is it because they ride skinny bikes and you ride the fat bike? If so, then yah, get the skinny wheels and keep up. Problem solved.
    There is a season, turn, turn, turn
    And a time for every wheel to turn through it

  10. #10
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    I see what you guys are saying- I'm new to Fat bikes but on my road bikes I always bought the best wheel sets available. Some more expensive that what I spent on this entire fat bike!
    But these wheels are very similar to the wheels that came on the Night Train, same hubs anyway. Seems like most people who bought the Sturgis/Night Train have been happy with the Novatec hubs so far. The WTB rims I'm unsure of? The Vee rubber Trax Fatty has great reviews online. If these are as good as the wheels that came with the Night Train I'd be happy. I'm sure as hell not going to spend a huge amount on a 2nd wheel set for this bike!
    I just wanted to see what others have found when running 29er or 27.5+ wheels on their fat bikes. and What option makes the most sense for this bike?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AthleticAL View Post
    People that ride BikesDirect stuff tend to not be too elitist about things.
    There's elitist on one end of the spectrum, pragmatic in the middle, and cheap on the other end.

    I like to think of myself as falling right in the middle, and sometimes leaning one way or the other depending on the situation.

    BD's stuff is much, much closer to cheap. I'm grateful for that -- a good chunk of my annual business comes from people replacing failed BD wheels.

  12. #12
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    While I don't agree with mikesee's tone (sorry dude, you claim to not have any bias against BD, but the way your say things says otherwise), what he says holds merit.

    As a rider who doesn't sell nice wheels and isn't in competition with the aforementioned company, I can tell you that wheels matter.
    If you find value in getting nice wheels for the road, why would mountain be any different? MTB wheels are used and abused, and you'll be able to appreciate something well built.

  13. #13
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    From what I can tell, the BD fatbike wheels in particular tend to hold up fine. I've seen people claim that these are the hubs used on the Fatboys, but don't know if that's true. They had issues with the initial runs of QR hubs, but I haven't seen too much chatter about them in the BD threads, so fair to say they are holding up well for most people.

    The spokes will likely be straight gauge, and therefore heavier than the popular options. The spokes on my fatbike are tight and seem even, the rims true, and they have held up to serious abuse, at least in terms of spoke tension/rim issues. I have spun the ratchet ring on mine, but have not heard of one similar complaint, so I'll consider myself unlucky.

    The rims and hubs are known quantities. I built my summer wheels using FatLab hubs and trials rims I had on hand. Still cost me ~$400. I might have used the Novatech units, were they readily available aftermarket. You probably can't build up wheels yourself this cheap. They are cheap because they buy economical parts in bulk quantities, use cheap labor, and volume sales. I think that's pretty straight forward.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AthleticAL View Post
    People that ride BikesDirect stuff tend to not be too elitist about things. For those that can't "stoop to riding such POS" that's cool. I have some of both. But my Bikes Direct bike is no more prone to breakage or need for maintenance than my more expensive so-called "name brand bikes"

    That aside, why are you unable to keep up? Is it because they ride skinny bikes and you ride the fat bike? If so, then yah, get the skinny wheels and keep up. Problem solved.
    Mostly due to the weight. The others are all riding carbon 29ers at 20lbs or less, the one other fat bike is also carbon at about 24 lbs. Technique also factors in but I think if I could drop 5+ lbs I'd be ok.

    I didn't want this post to turn into another BD vs store purchased bike thread. Price has nothing to do with quality. So many on this site are elitist and generalize. How can they say all BD bikes suck without even looking at them? That's BS , like saying all Specialized bikes suck because of what they saw on one low end model. Name brand companies make a range of bikes from very low end to higher end, so does BD. The Night Train frame is as good as many name brands costing 2-3 times. I wouldn't doubt them coming from the exact same Taiwanese factory. As a matter of fact the welded on cable fittings on my Night Train look absolutely identical to the ones on my friends Rocky mountain frame.

    If I bought these wheels I would check spoke tensions and tune the wheels like I do on all my bikes. Even my $1300 Dura ace wheels needed some work after the first 200 miles but after setting tensions they've been perfect for over 15000 miles. If these last a few seasons and for me that means dozens not 100s of rides I'll be perfectly happy. I mostly ride road Spring/Summer/Fall and in winter I also cross country and downhill ski. This bike will mostly be active in the shoulder seasons between these other activities, so not that much.

  15. #15
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    I saw them and got excited, i thought about a 29+ wheelset for my lurch.

    Turns out the 29+ wheelset is just the same 29er wheelset i bought earlier in the year, but with 29+ tires. Im thinking of relacing the hubs with rabbit holes or a set of marge lites. The weinmann rims suck and they're heavy, but they work well with my winter 5" tire setup. I think spending a lot of money on a 5" tire setup for the winter when I'm riding 5mph on snow seems kinda silly. Spending more coin on a summer setup seems like a better use of money to me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northeasterner View Post
    I didn't want this post to turn into another BD vs store purchased bike thread. Price has nothing to do with quality. So many on this site are elitist and generalize. How can they say all BD bikes suck without even looking at them? That's BS , like saying all Specialized bikes suck because of what they saw on one low end model. Name brand companies make a range of bikes from very low end to higher end, so does BD. The Night Train frame is as good as many name brands costing 2-3 times. I wouldn't doubt them coming from the exact same Taiwanese factory.
    As a newcomer to this site (but long time pseudo-lurker), I have also noticed the incessant Moto bashing. Even my LBS does it, and I consider them to be one of the best out there. But how do they justify buying a bike from them for more money with inferior components, when they're touting their inferior components as justification for the price?

    I love my LBS but ordered a NTB Ti anyway. Damn the torpedo's, full speed ahead!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utahbikemike View Post
    I saw them and got excited, i thought about a 29+ wheelset for my lurch.

    Turns out the 29+ wheelset is just the same 29er wheelset i bought earlier in the year, but with 29+ tires. Im thinking of relacing the hubs with rabbit holes or a set of marge lites. The weinmann rims suck and they're heavy, but they work well with my winter 5" tire setup. I think spending a lot of money on a 5" tire setup for the winter when I'm riding 5mph on snow seems kinda silly. Spending more coin on a summer setup seems like a better use of money to me.
    I was excited as well... After checking the specs I wouldnt want to run that narrow wheel with 29+ tires though. Right now there seems to be some good deals around the web on 29x50mm rabbit holes though.

  18. #18
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    I'm confused...internal width of 25mm is not a plus rim. It's just a regular mountain bike rim. I ran a 3.0 Knard on a 25.5 internal Flow for a short time just for grins and it was not great. By the time you get the pressure low enough to use the big tires as intended, the tire is getting floppy. Fine in a straight line, but bad for corners or off-camber stuff.

  19. #19
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    Building up my own wheels twice over has been the best upgrade I have done to my sturgis. If I could swap my spare OEM weinman rims with nearly anything else I would. Even as a spare wheelset they are much harder to maintain tubeless than any other fat rim I have touched. Doable but why bother? Unfortunately even for a paved trail wheelset tubeless is required for me here (Boise).

    Now that I know I love fat biking my frame has become the only stock item left on my bike. Seems a pretty similar route to other BD buyers I have seen on here. Maybe cheaper to buy it all at once? But you miss the upgrade progression and all the endless hours researching components which you are going to do anyway.

    My first build was a set of carbon lighbicycle 29+ rims on I9 hubs,DB spokes w/nards tubeless. I loved a lot about them. Super light weight, bump compliant... but damn, I really needed the float back for our sandy trails. I de-laced and built the hubs back up on some new mulefut 80's. Despite being clearly heavier than the carbons I absolutely fell in love with my bike all over again for the reasons we love fat bikes so much. I think I'll be 4"+ all year here.

    Running floaters for tires now, bud/lou when we get more snow. I will swap tires before I swap back to the stock rims.

    Never fully understood the BD bashing without also lumping people into groups and saying elitist things about them. BD is just a slightly different style of capitalistic company to most of the existing MTB industry here. That's it. It's an american company based out of Dallas TX that imports bikes and sells them at both retail and online with a terribly ugly website.

    My other, older bike is a $2K frame boutique bike and I ride both of them. I share components between them and I am pretty sure they don't hate each other, which is way more than I can say about their feelings towards me. Scars to prove it.

  20. #20
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    Got any links to the good deals on 29in rabbit holes? More and more i think about it i think im going to do 26" marge lites

  21. #21
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    I ordered a pair of the 27.5". I figure it would be worth a shot. I have a Moto Sturgis, and it has been great. The mulefut 80's on the novatech hubs came perfectly straight and had no hop. I ride the Sturgis more than any of my other bikes, and thought it would be nice to have a second set of rims with narrower tires, but not too narrow, for summer trail riding some of the time, and save the fat ones for winter and whenever I want to. It is nice that a fat bike frame can basically run any wheelset. When I need new fat tires, now I have no reservations about going even fatter than the 4.5 that came with the Sturgis. It would have been better if the set would have come with mulefut 50's though
    2016 Motobecane Sturgis rigid
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utahbikemike View Post
    Got any links to the good deals on 29in rabbit holes? More and more i think about it i think im going to do 26" marge lites
    Off the top of my head modernbike had em for $103 each with $15 off an order of $150+free ship. Could use the hubs off the BD set, better spokes for a budget 29+(eBay or keep the wtb rims) Or I'm considering holding out for some hope hubs. I'm not really in a rush since I won't ride 29+ til April but won't pass up a good deal ha! Your on a 1st gen lurch right? I'm curious why you are thinking the marge lites. If going for a smaller 26 tire width would the lower BB be an issue or am I over thinking it

  23. #23
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    You're overthinking it.

    I'm thinking marges purely for weight reasons. Im running a bud/ground control in the winter and I've got some fat b nimbles for dryer times. The fbns definitely make the bike accelerate and turn much easier.

    Im thinking the loss of 15mm in width will be minor compared to the weight lost.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
    I ordered a pair of the 27.5". I figure it would be worth a shot. I have a Moto Sturgis, ...
    Aren't the 27.5+ tires a good bit smaller than 26 FAT? Aren't you losing some pedal/BB clearance?

    I could see mounting up some 26 x 3.25 whatevers on 80mm MuleFuts, or normal 29er wheels for non-Winter, but going 27.5+ seems to be a downgrade.

    And yeah, if you put a wide tire on a narrow rim it will suck. I think I am pushing it at a 2.4 tire on a 28mm rim, but I'm not willing to go heavier/wider, or spend for carbon.

    -F
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