Tell me about Alex Blizzerk tubeless rims/wheels- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tell me about Alex Blizzerk tubeless rims/wheels

    I have an On-One Fatty and am looking to upgrade the wheels and/or rims with Alex Blizzerk rims.

    Bikesmiths has smoking deal on said rims and on wheelsets made with those rims. However, the wheelset comes with Novatec hubs and I've less than positive thoughts on these hubs.

    This leads to 2 questions:

    1. How tubeless ready are the rims, really. In real world conditions.
    2. Are the Novatec hubs garbage or should I get just the rims or the full Bikesmiths wheel build.


    Pix are welcome.

  2. #2
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    I've set up one set of 90's tubeless, but on BHS hubs. The setup is pretty standard for any rim with cutouts. The bead was very tight with van helgas. Holds very low pressures, insofar as we've been able to test it. You'll likely need shop air or an air charge type pump to do initial setup. I've broken two novatec hubs(one fat; one skinny). Both were cracked ratchet rings IIRC. But I got pretty good mileage out of them before that happened. I've broken every fat rear hub I've used except DT(so far).

    I made my own rim strips, but used the Fatty Stripper setup, otherwise. Again, standard stuff, and works well, but you'll need more than a floor pump.

  3. #3
    fat guy on a little bike
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    i have two sets of blizzerk 90's. love them to death...
    one set has DT Swiss hubs, and one set is from Bikesmith. novatech hubs are "ok". i think the front is fine, but the rear is the "ok" one. At some point i will upgrade the rear for a DT Swiss...

  4. #4
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    The SL 90’s came stock on my FATBACK. Came with their house brand Alaska Hubs. Tight getting the bead setup on the JJ 4.8s when going tubeless, but like other poster said “it gives the ability to run really low air pressure”. I’ve got a ton of single track use on them and weigh about 260, so they’ve been pretty sturdy.
    Last edited by BigBran; 01-08-2019 at 08:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    If only this had been discussed before... https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/an...s-1091135.html

    I will dry mount one of my extra fattie tires onto my wheel and try to get a video of it for reference, but I'm confident it will be a pretty awesome interface with zero issues.
    Silly bike things happening.

  6. #6
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    I set up a set of the Bliz90 rims for a friends....set up, as said above, was easy for a cut out rim.

    As far as the Novatech hubs....it depends.
    How big of a guy are you? ( big guys are tough on hubs...so the Nova may not be your best choice)
    I have a set with a lot of miles....and still going strong. But I pulled the freehub before using and cleaned out the heavy grease and put a good cold weather lube in there. I do this to all hubs.

  7. #7
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    I have the Novatec D102SB 170mm rear hub 10mm axle and a Formula 150mm hub with Blizzerk 80s from Bikesimths. It has been a good wheelset these past couple years, especially given the price I paid. The hub engagement is reasonable but not at the level of the DT Swiss hubs. It's not flashy, but it gets the job done. The only minor issue I had was an end cap came loose on the rear which I tightened and have not had the issue since. I did spend a little time tightening the spokes, but I do that with all new wheelsets after riding them a bit. I haven't had to touch them since. I have not set them up tubeless, but have not experienced issues when running low pressures either. Whether you want/need better hub engagement is up to you.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  8. #8
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    Anyone have a line on the 100mm version in the states? At $200 each, clown shoes seem a bit pricy for an aluminum rim, while the Alex would be in a range where I could try out wide rims.

  9. #9
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    I just took delivery of two 70mm rims and I thought they looked so good I ordered a pair of 90's for one of my bikes. Right now the 70's are loose rims. I'm waiting for the spokes. Should have em today or tomorrow. Once I build them I'm mounting up Surly Ednas. I'll let you know how it goes.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    Anyone have a line on the 100mm version in the states? At $200 each, clown shoes seem a bit pricy for an aluminum rim, while the Alex would be in a range where I could try out wide rims.
    I haven't seen the Blizzerk 100 listed on any Euro sites....do they exist?
    Clown shoes are at Universal for $99

  11. #11
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    100 exist on Alex's site...idk if they exist in reality. Thanks for the heads up at universal... Though I would prefer a true tubeless design.

  12. #12
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    Hey All, So I need to replace my rear wheel, because the OEM is a thread-on freewheel and I would like to upgrade to a cassette style for better gearing options. My bike is a Momentum by Giant has the 170mm rear with QR. So I looked at the Alex Blizzerd from Bikesmith at 125.00 or the Framed brand. So what is the Alex hubs problem? the pawls ? Should I get the Framed house brand rear wheel ?
    Thanks for any advice.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Hey All, So I need to replace my rear wheel, because the OEM is a thread-on freewheel and I would like to upgrade to a cassette style for better gearing options. My bike is a Momentum by Giant has the 170mm rear with QR. So I looked at the Alex Blizzerd from Bikesmith at 125.00 or the Framed brand. So what is the Alex hubs problem? the pawls ? Should I get the Framed house brand rear wheel ?
    Thanks for any advice.
    You may want to start your own thread and perhaps give a link address for the exact wheels you are interested in discussing.

    I have previously owned a Framed MN 2.2 with the Weinmann HL80 rim with the Quanta hubs. The rim is not tubeless ready and seems to be a pain to setup tubeless. The Quanta hubs are not known to be all that tough but are ok at the pricepoint. If the wheelset you are looking at from Framed has the Framed Pub hub and it's a better rim, it may be worth looking at.

    My current rear wheel is the Blizzerk80 with a Novatec D102sb 170mm rear hub with the 10mm thru axle. The rim is not tubeless, but IMO it's a better wheel than the Quanta Weinman rear from Framed. I would buy it for 130... I paid more a couple years ago...
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Hey All, So I need to replace my rear wheel, because the OEM is a thread-on freewheel and I would like to upgrade to a cassette style for better gearing options. My bike is a Momentum by Giant has the 170mm rear with QR. So I looked at the Alex Blizzerd from Bikesmith at 125.00 or the Framed brand. So what is the Alex hubs problem? the pawls ? Should I get the Framed house brand rear wheel ?
    Thanks for any advice.
    No question, get the Blizzerks. The $160 Framed wheels suck. A friend had broken a couple hubs AND the rims will not set up tubeless well at all. Framed uses Alex Blizzerks on their up graded Minnesota models like the LTD.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the quick reply. I will purchase the Alex rear wheel from Bikesmith.
    I contacted House, which supplies the Framed rear wheel for 150.00, but the shipping is 30 bucks due to the oversize.
    Much appreciated.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply. I will purchase the Alex rear wheel from Bikesmith.
    I contacted House, which supplies the Framed rear wheel for 150.00, but the shipping is 30 bucks due to the oversize.
    Much appreciated.
    jsyk, The House owns Framed and they also sell under the name DJboardshop on ebay.

    I think you should be happy with the Blizzerk/Novatec rear.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  17. #17
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    I laced a pair of 70mm Blizzerks to a pair of BHS hubs. I mounted up a pair of Surly Ednas. Installation was a little tough because Edna's bead was tight going over the Blizzerk. Tubeless was super easy.

    Actually, let me straighten this... I split tubelessed it because the guy getting this bike is not super mechanically inclined and these rims are pinned. I decided to just make them fool proof. Still was nice and easy.
    I like turtles

  18. #18
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    thanks again db. one more question is.. what rim strip, my oem wheels doesnt have the large openings, so i am assuming I will have to purchase t heOrigin rim strips that the retailer suggest. I would like to try to run tubeless with my Panaracer tires, but that's not a priority.
    again thanks for addressing my question.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  19. #19
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    I would suggest looking for a thread called "Tubeless Tuesday" it covers just about anything related to tubeless. Granted, varied opinions can be confusing.

    Rim strips do not (should not) overlap the holes by much (1/4" each side). I have had to trim mine. Reason being that you want more surface for the tape to contact the rim for a better seal.

    Tape is you next choice. I like Zip Flashing tape for it's flexibility, extra width to roll up rim edges and a roll will do many rims. For a lighter weight option, Kapton polyimide tape is similar to Orange Seal or SunRingle tape at a much lower cost. It's available in various widths on eBay.

  20. #20
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    dd: I'm still running tubes in my 80s. I'm not sure, but I think I'm using a clown shoe rim strip that I got on sell. It may be a little wide, but does not cover any portion of the rim where the tire seats. If I want to run tubeless I may have to trim or get a different strip set. I would look for rim strips that are for 80mm rims for tubeless setups if you are going that direction in the future. Surly has plenty of options in many colors in both PVC or nylon depending on tubes or not tubes.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  21. #21
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    Blue & db, thanks for the informative replies..
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  22. #22
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    I put a set of Blizzerk 80's on one of our fat bikes. Easily set up tubeless with Fatty Strippers. Tires stay seated at less than 2PSI for riding on the beach.

    Great rims.
    Yukon Truck
    Novatec / Mulefut 80's
    Tsunami 4.9's

  23. #23
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    Welllll I received the Alex rear wheel from Bikesmith. My bike is a Momentum from Giant. 170mm QR rear wheel.. I removed the oem and placed the Alex and no go.. The rim was way to much on the drive side. I contacted Mike at Bikesmith and he was 110% helpful and understand the situation. Kinda suxs because i was hoping that this was a plug and play thing, but its not the wheel, but probably how the frame is made. so live and learn and no need to polish this turd. please comment if i missed anything. I also tried to swap the endcaps, but no way that was going to work.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Welllll I received the Alex rear wheel from Bikesmith. My bike is a Momentum from Giant. 170mm QR rear wheel.. I removed the oem and placed the Alex and no go.. The rim was way to much on the drive side. I contacted Mike at Bikesmith and he was 110% helpful and understand the situation. Kinda suxs because i was hoping that this was a plug and play thing, but its not the wheel, but probably how the frame is made. so live and learn and no need to polish this turd. please comment if i missed anything. I also tried to swap the endcaps, but no way that was going to work.
    Is the frame offset? could the wheel be dished to be more centered in the frame? Did you just go too wide, maybe a 70 would be better?


    On a side note, I went from a rolling darryl/marge lite combo on my pugsley. This wheelset was setup single speed only. --- My new wheelset with a XG1175 gears and bigger tires is ~1000grams lighter for the set! Love my Lithic's so far. Tires are stretching now, should have maiden ride tomorrow.
    Silly bike things happening.

  25. #25
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    Jason, I dont really know if the frame is offset. i figured a frame is a frame. the oem rear wheel is 100mm. my reasoning for the Alex is because its a cassette and the OEM is a 7 speed freewheel.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  26. #26
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    If the new rim is the same width as the one the bike came with then it is probable that your LBS can re-dish the wheel so that it clears the frame.

  27. #27
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    This Momentum is an odd bird.. 70mm front and 100mm rear. The Ales is an 80mm. Im going to take measurement and see if Mike at Bikesmith can re-dish it for me, since I purchased the wheel from them. I could take it to my LBS, but I would feel funny having them fix something I bought online or if something goes unexpected and new spokes will required, then better to build a wheel out of scratch.. Again what puzzles me is that u would expect that the wheel would fit. SO these maybe asymmetrical or symmetrical.. who the f knows..
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  28. #28
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    I finally went tubeless on my Lithic/Blizzerk 70 rims.
    Pulled the tubes out yesterday at the shop, but didn't have sealant or anything, so just used the compressor to seat the beads. Inflated both tires (flow/dunderbeist) to 18psi and they inflated easily. Left the bike in the van overnight and both tires were still holding double digit pressures WITHOUT sealant. Very happy with them!

    Also, tubes I pulled out weighed 725g total, I added ~150 grams of sealant total, so lost ~575g/20oz of rotating mass. VERY HAPPY!
    Silly bike things happening.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Welllll I received the Alex rear wheel from Bikesmith. My bike is a Momentum from Giant. 170mm QR rear wheel.. I removed the oem and placed the Alex and no go.. The rim was way to much on the drive side. I contacted Mike at Bikesmith and he was 110% helpful and understand the situation. Kinda suxs because i was hoping that this was a plug and play thing, but its not the wheel, but probably how the frame is made. so live and learn and no need to polish this turd. please comment if i missed anything. I also tried to swap the endcaps, but no way that was going to work.

    The Momentum and the Northrock (also made by Giant) sold at Costco both use that offset rear end and the head tube taken from the giant road bikes lineup (with the 44mm upper cup size and 50.6mm lower cup size) that's originally meant to be used ZS/ZS 1 1/4-1 1/8, but can be run ZS/ZS 1 1/8 straight, or ZS/EC 1.5-1 1/8 taper. Essentially Giant designers looked at what could be borrowed from their different existing parts chains in terms of tubes, in order to save money wherever they could when welding together the frames. That's no doubt why the front fork on the Northrock also has that totally oddball 121mm dropout spacing. So the back wheel is dished specifically to fit those frames. I learned this myself back in October when trying to do a wheelset/fork swap on a Northrock.

    The hubs on the Northrock are also these really nice cartridge bearing affairs but again a freewheel rear hub. Oh the frame CAN clear a 8 to 10 speed freewheel and SunRace offers wider range freewheels as part of their E-bikes series. 13-32 and 13-34 8 sp, 11-32 and 13-32 9 speed and 11-36 10 speed. Again likely chosen because they had something that would work in their own supply chain that was cheaper than going to an outside source. Thats also I bet why the Northrock got a pair of rims that were both 57mm outside width. Much lighter than going to a mixed 70/100 setup like the Momentum, likely cheaper too.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  30. #30
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    Hey Dee8,
    thanks for the informative reply.. now it all makes sense.. Ill probably upgrade the 7 speed 14-34 to a 9 speed.. the 7 speed has that 24 to 34 large jump. its like grinding up and shift to a high spin 34.. I found an Epoch brand 9 speed 11-34, 28 to 34 is a better jump and a "happy medium" grind gear.
    So sorry to derail this thread and thanks for explain the mystery of these dilemma
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

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