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  1. #1
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    Wheel Upgrade Worth $?

    Looking for thoughts on spending $875 for Mulefut80 Wheels on Hope Fatso hubs or $595 for the same wheels on Fyxation Blackhawk hubs. Looking to upgrade and perhaps shed a touch of weight over my current Mulefut80s on Bontrager Alloy hubs. I知 registered to race the fatty up the Mount Washington Auto Road next month and I am thinking a slight wheel upgrade may be worth it. I知 also considering the added versatility of the Blackhawk hubs on 29er Duroc 50s, also $595 and racing MtW on the current fat wheels. My gut says get the 29er option and stick with the current fat wheels for now, but I知 still new to navigating the fat bike world. Thanks for any input you have.


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  2. #2
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    Check on Facebook Fat bike Trader set of 80 mm Carbon Nextie rims for 300. You think just the hubs will make that much of a difference ?
    :thumbsup:It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

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  4. #4
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    Getting wheels that only have different hubs will not make you any faster. Your "upgrade" for your purposes would be a total waste of money. If you stick with 26 fat, your best speed upgrade potential is with tires and being tubeless.

    29+ is a different animal. It would be lighter and faster.

  5. #5
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    Upgrading hubs isnt about speed, it's about points of engagement and reliability. I trust Hopes a lot more than whatever rebranded Fyxation hubs are.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  6. #6
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    I don't consider a fatbike to be "complete" without a second/summer wheelset.

    Which size to choose depends on what size fat rims and tires you're running now. If you're on 80mm rims with 4.8" tires now, go with 29 x 3" to preserve bottom bracket height.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Upgrading hubs isnt about speed, it's about points of engagement and reliability.

    I've only built about 17,000 wheels so clearly I still have a lot to learn. But my limited experience says that for ~85% of people, upgrading hubs is about color. Nothing else.

    Of those 17k, I'd guesstimate that maybe 15% even knew what engagement meant, and far, far fewer had any idea either what engagement their current hubs had, or why they'd want to prioritize it in a new hubset.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Upgrading hubs isnt about speed, it's about points of engagement and reliability. I trust Hopes a lot more than whatever rebranded Fyxation hubs are.
    True, but his stated goal was for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Race. Points of engagement are not much of a concern for that.

    Agreed that the Hope hubs would likely be better than Fyxation. Whatever the Fyxation are are likely a lateral move, if not a step back from Bontrager.

  9. #9
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    Mike I'd argue but my purple onyx hubs and white berd spokes look great on my purple and white Voytek.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Mike I'd argue but my purple onyx hubs and white berd spokes look great on my purple and white Voytek.

    See?

    I'm not sure my wife knows what color her frame is (it's largely covered by a frame bag and gas tank) but she frequently brushes the snow off of her red rims and purple hubs during rest stops, the better to see how shiny they are.

    Happy wife, happy life and all that...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wheel Upgrade Worth $?-screen-shot-2020-02-05-2.30.05-pm.jpg  


  11. #11
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    If I were racing, I would certainly upgrade to Hopes and Enduro or SKF bearings. I know if I were hammering up a hill on a hub that sure looks like a Chosen, I'd be walking the rest of the race.
    I agree with getting good tires and running tubeless. I also agree wholeheartedly about 29+ wheels on fatties. If the conditions call for it, that's the way to go.

    Spending 875 is ludicrous. You already have the Mulefuts. Have Fatsnos laced into em.

    Only do the rear one. Fronts never wear out.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    But my limited experience says that for ~85% of people, upgrading hubs is about color. Nothing else.
    Guilty. *Looks over a purple Hope 29+ wheel in the truing stand*

    I have had people upgrade for the freehub sound, or lack thereof, but for the most part bling is what matters most. Getting more engagement in the process is a bonus. However there's some stock rear hubs out there that are tipping the scales at nearly 700g. Those hub upgrades are now shaving quite a bit of weight as well.
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  13. #13
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    I upgraded my Specialized Fatboy Comp Carbon wheels: It was motivated by the fact that in a year and a half, I'd had to replace bearings in the OEM rear hub three times, and parts for that hub beyond the bearings were no longer even listed by Spesh.

    I went with Onyxx Racing hubs and BTLOS carbon rims. The combined total difference in weight between the old and new wheel assemblies, with the same tires fitted, is 1 lb 3 oz so the total weight difference isn't a huge gain. BUT: the new wheels are lighter at the perimeter where it counts the most, they spin up faster with less effort, and the ceramic-steel hybrid bearings in the Onyxx hubs have less rolling resistance. The Onyxx drive hub is silent when coasting and engages instantly, no lash or lag at all. The Onyxx hubs are incredibly well sealed against water and dirt too.

    I ride on the street, every day, and while this was certainly a bit of overkill for my riding, never mind the cost, I'm extremely happy with the results and the feel of the bike now. It is a well spent $1800.

    G

    PS: It's also very pretty with the new wheels...




  14. #14
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    If you really want an upgrade, I'd suggest whatever carbon rims your budget allows(I've had great luck with many sets from Nextie), laced to DT Big Ride hubs. That will save you weight in the rims and hubs, tubeless setup will be a breeze, and the hubs are bombproof and super simple to work on. If POE matter, get a set of 36t or 54t ratchets and drop them in. Choose your rim width based on tire width: Max 4" tires, 65mm to 80mm is plenty, 4.8", 80mm and up. Choose single/double walled based on riding type: Snow riding only, go singlewall. Trails as well, go double.

    And yeah, grab those Nextie rims on Facebook if they meet your needs!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    If I were racing, I would certainly upgrade to Hopes and Enduro or SKF bearings. I know if I were hammering up a hill on a hub that sure looks like a Chosen, I'd be walking the rest of the race.
    I agree with getting good tires and running tubeless. I also agree wholeheartedly about 29+ wheels on fatties. If the conditions call for it, that's the way to go.

    Spending 875 is ludicrous. You already have the Mulefuts. Have Fatsnos laced into em.

    Only do the rear one. Fronts never wear out.
    ^ A lot of logic and wisdom here.
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  16. #16
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    First, lol'd at color comment, Mike wins the internet for the day.

    Second, upgrading hubs (once color is set aside as a given) nets you more durability, serviceability, longevity, and yes, more rapid engagement.

    Third, hell yes, just do rear, front hubs are simply aluminum tubes that hold bearings which are replaceable. Unless you're going to a new color, in which case, ah well, open the wallet.

    Lastly, while carbon is cool and all, the weight savings for anything that isn't scary garbage (looking at you, HED) truly isn't massive at this point. So unless it's the #1 reason you're investing, the "next gen" alloy rims like what you have, or the MOBD's, are pretty damn light, set up tubeless well, and cost enough less that you can afford brake pads, chains, cassettes, chainrings and maybe even a tire or two, for a year + with the savings....

    YMMV.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Upgrading hubs isnt about speed, it's about points of engagement and reliability. I trust Hopes a lot more than whatever rebranded Fyxation hubs are.
    I have 2 Bucksaws. One has Hope hubs, the other has stock hubs. I do notice the POE difference in singletrack. I don't clip in, so the down stroke is a big deal...

    Probably makes no difference for most, especially doing a wide open race while clipped in.

  18. #18
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    Lol....
    The difference between fast and less fast is 2mph average.

    However, with lighter wheels - the rotational weight decreases, and you get less tired if you do long rides.
    The end.

    If you are a clydesdale and or ride in crazy hills and torque the everliving f out of your bike, well hub engagement IS important.
    Just like Mike said - the majority could not tell the difference other than noise between a 3 pawl hub and one with 132 points of engagement.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rammalammadingdong View Post
    Lol....
    The difference between fast and less fast is 2mph average.

    However, with lighter wheels - the rotational weight decreases, and you get less tired if you do long rides.
    The end.

    If you are a clydesdale and or ride in crazy hills and torque the everliving f out of your bike, well hub engagement IS important.
    Just like Mike said - the majority could not tell the difference other than noise between a 3 pawl hub and one with 132 points of engagement.

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    1.) A 2 mph difference on a fat bike is huge. No wheel running the same size tires will do that.
    2.) Rotational mass only really matters when the wheel is being accelerated. This is why tri-athletes run deep section rims that are relatively heavy. They ride at a steady state and get a bigger benefit from aerodynamics.
    3.) Pawl count is only partly related to points of engagement. 3 pawl ranges from 24 to 60 POI. One can double that by doubling the pawls.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2018/12/hub-...of-engagement/

    For technical riding one certainly could tell the difference between 1.8 and 20 degrees between engagement regardless of rider size. For riding up a road, like the OP's race, were there are few opportunities to coast, let alone the need to ratchet an obstacle, one would not know the difference.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the advice, color commentary, and the engagement lesson. Sadly, I fell into that 85%. Now I can proudly say I知 in the 15%, which made the search all the more 田omplicated. For the race, I知 sticking with my Mulefuts and will go tubeless. Maybe next year I値l get a second set of fat rims. I settled on Fyxation壮 branded hub with the Duroc 50s for my 29+ option.


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  21. #21
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    Don't buy Fyxation hubs. Either DT Swiss Big Rides or Hope Fatsnos. If you're going to the expense of building wheels, get good hubs.

    Durocs are decent rims as are RaceFace Arcs.

    EDIT: As I said before about the rear hub, buy a Bike Hub Store front hub and a Hope or DT rear. Shit, I even put the Bike Hub Store hubs in higher regard than the Fjxxation hubs. Im pretty sure those Fixations are Chosen hubs. Ive broken a few of them.
    Last edited by NYrr496; 02-19-2020 at 03:26 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    1.) A 2 mph difference on a fat bike is huge. No wheel running the same size tires will do that.
    2.) Rotational mass only really matters when the wheel is being accelerated. This is why tri-athletes run deep section rims that are relatively heavy. They ride at a steady state and get a bigger benefit from aerodynamics.
    3.) Pawl count is only partly related to points of engagement. 3 pawl ranges from 24 to 60 POI. One can double that by doubling the pawls.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2018/12/hub-...of-engagement/

    For technical riding one certainly could tell the difference between 1.8 and 20 degrees between engagement regardless of rider size. For riding up a road, like the OP's race, were there are few opportunities to coast, let alone the need to ratchet an obstacle, one would not know the difference.
    1, Agree.

    2., Well, any time you are going uphill, you are accelerating, and pedal input is not smooth continuous power, it pulsates, so also accelerating, although it doesn't cause nearly as big a hit as accelerating from a standstill or when you've slowed down for a turn.

    Wind resistance rules all on a fat-bike once you've paired the weight down to a reasonable level (and on flat ground dominates regardless of weight), I do gravel and cross and heck, just got back from a 100 mile race on the fatbike. Getting over 15mph on flat ground is extremely difficult to impossible because of wind-resistance. Deep section rims are part of the aero that cumulatively drops your wind-resistance on something like a tri-bike. The difference is absolutely huge. During the 100 mile race this weekend, we stuck to pace-lines to try and minimize that effect and you go a lot faster overall using a pace-line/peleton, because wind resistance. During gravel races, I can keep up with the top gravel riders on my fatbike...if I'm drafting in their aero, once I'm alone, I'm totally screwed and unable to make up gaps.

    IME, 12mph average on a fatbike in good conditions during a raze is blazing and usually close to the top riders or winner. 10mph can be more mid-pack vs. less than, like 8 or 9, being more towards the back/more than 50% off the front runner's time.
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  23. #23
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    ^^^ Wind resistance varies based on the square of the speed. The faster one is going the more impact one will see from aero and drafting. I brought up tris because it is 4 times the factor at 25mph than it is at 12.5mph. That's not to say that it isn't a factor at 12.5 mph, because it is.

    At a steady state effort going up a hill, like the OP is likely to encounter, rotational acceleration will not be much of a factor. It's not like a technical climb where one might go from a track stand to a few mph to clear an obstacle.

    It appears the OP made the right call...for someone racing a fatty up Mt. Washington.

  24. #24
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    Where the heck are you guys riding that get speeds into the teens??? For me, anything over 5 MPH is FAST! I don't think wind resistance is a huge concern riding a fat bike up Mt Washington!

  25. #25
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    A while back when we were all in shape, my friends and I all averaged 11 mph, all on 5" tire bikes. Wish I could still do that.
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  26. #26
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    On the corduroy highway that is the Fat Bike Birkie the winners average between 15-16 mph over 28 miles and 3,000+ feet of climbing.

    https://youtu.be/kEssRhYFAkc?t=357 (not my video)

    My mid pack finish was about 10.5 mph.

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