Soft serve steel

Nicholas Carman1 28

Hardtail steel, with 120mm of suspension.  A touch of titanium, my first.  Some carbon, when and where necessary to achieve big things, without gaining weight.  Still sitting on leather, so don’t cry about the carbon. Still shifting with the thumb, but now it clicks when I push the lever.  The 2.4″s are in the mail.  So is the rear rim, one of the only genuine tubeless-ready 35mm rims available.

Nicholas Carman1

26 thoughts on “Soft serve steel

    • Large frame.

      I am currently riding a 35mm Light-Bicycle carbon rim up front. I’ve handled the Derby rims before, and they are really beefy. They weigh a bit more than the LB rims, some of which is the result of thicker hookless rim walls, which is really the only area of concern on a rim like this in respect to rock strikes or similar abuse. The Derby also has slightly more advanced tubeless features, although the LB rim popped into place without issue with only one layer of Stan’s tape, and that’s with a cheap wire bead tire (not tubeless ready). For my purposes, I could probably use the LB rims front and rear, but the cycletourist in me says to get the tougher rim in the rear.

    • Oh, it’s a great ride. Can’t wait to get it out of town on some new tracks. I’ve dreamed about this bike since last summer. I loved the bike I rode last year, with a few reservations. This build checks all the boxes, for now.

    • Tire clearance, Clarence.

      When using 2.35-2.4″ tires in a standard 29er frame, the area behind the bottom bracket is tight for space. The FD runs very close to the tire and the tire runs very close to the frame. Add some sticky mud, and the bike doesn’t roll. Compared to my bike last year, I will also be using 35mm rims, and incrementally larger tires at times. And when the time comes, I’ll have a bike ready to go for 2.75-3.0″ tires. If the Dirt Wizard was available today, I might use it. The Knard is not a good solution for what I am looking to do, nor do I appreciate the resultant tire clearance in the Fox fork with a 3.0″.

      • I like the Mariachi for the kind of riding we do here in the mountains. I’am looking forward to change rims and tires. The Inferno 25 are a bit flimsy, maybe the MTX33 (or similar) with Ardent 2.4 will suit the andean terrain better, specially with a loaded bike (a bit worried here with clearance), other than that is a sturdy frame and Iam happy with the Manitou fork as well.
        I have a 2014 Pugsley coming my way soon (first fat bike in the equator I will guess?!), I want to turn it into our farm working horse… flat pedals (to use with rubber boots), big home made leather panniers and frame bag (to carry milk, machete, tools and farm paraphernalia), tubeless, 1×9 and with a Chariot Cougar on the back (for Koru) is my initial approach, any advice?…

        • The Pugsley tractor and trailer is a great idea. I’ve had a similar idea while living on a farm in New Mexico. The 12 acre property was very sandy and would have been perfect for a fatbike.

          Wbat issues have you had with the Inferno25 rims? I’ve handled similar wheelsets from the Fargo and Mariachi, and I’ve always thought they seemed stout (heavy, also). The MTX33 will surely be a lot stronger.

          Let me know if you have any questions when it comes time to do the fatbike tubeless conversion, once you have decided on the exact rim and tire combination. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way that may help.

          • Marcela, Koru and I are exited about the new “tractor” lets see what comes out, it should be good fun… I will let you know about the tires/rims for that one… Thanks
            It seems to me that the Inferno 25/Continental Trail King 2.2 combo flexes sideways a bit, I was not sure who to blame?!
            The tire has a lot of volume for a 2.2 and the sidewalls are a bit soft, this combined with the narrow rim gives me a sense of instability… It seems to me that the rim/tire flexes more when moving it sideways than other rim/tire combinations (ex. the Stans ZTR /Continental set up on the Mariachi 2). On tight/steep turns sometimes it even rubs against the fork bridge (specially when loaded on the front). Maybe this has to do with the suspension fork dropouts?? or not being a through axle?? Man, the truth is, as I said before, I don’t know who to blame!…. I tighten the front hub bearings a bit and added a tiny more tension on the spokes , it helped, but still feels a bit “soft”. What do you recon?

          • So, until now, you haven’t bent or damaged the rims? Just looking for more performance, mostly?

            I think I understand better now. Concerning the tire rub on the fork, I would assume most of that bending is happening in the front axle. A thru-axle could help in the future. Surely, some of the flex is also happening in the spokes, so a tougher rim and proper spoke tension may help. But, a 29″ wheel will always be a very long lever acting on a small axle.

            Regarding the sideward deflection of the tire on the rim, I think you are on the right path. FlowEX rims (29.1mm) make a very stable platform for 2.1-2.35″ tires. Beyond that, they do well, but are at fault for the same motion under side loads, especially under a larger rider or on a loaded bike. This is why I have chosen to use 35mm wide rims with 2.4″ tires.

            Also, the Continental tires on your Mariachi do have thin sidewalls. I hope you do not have any issues with tire damage, but this is known to happen. Heavier tires, especially the kind that are also often tubeless-ready will have a thicker sidewall. A wider rim and a heavier sidewall will surely help you. I can’t say enough good things about Stan’s FlowEX rims, which are a nice size for standard 29″ tires. The Sun MTX33 rims would also be good, but they are much heavier for sure. Of course, Stan’s rims make tubeless setup very easy.

          • Thanks Nick, that helps a lot.  I havent had major problems, the rims are holding ok and the tires have some signs of wear on the sidewalls but they can handle some more miles for now…  I will like to hear how the 35mm rim-2.4 combination works for you, before I do my move.  I have a pair of Ardents 2.4 coming my way soon, they will probably go on the inferno 25 until I can get a hold of a wider rim. The Ardent seems to have stronger sidewall than the continental, hopefully that does some good to the system. Enjoy your modified Krampus… (What was you initial thought of the Karate Monkey ops?, my brother is looking for one)   Michael Dammer

            Nahual 093587028, 082583137

          • Ardents are one of my favorite tires!

            The Karate Monkey Ops is a great bike. I rode one the other day and the build is great. Compared to the Krampus, it rips trail a little better due to a shorter rear end, lower BB, and lower front end, but the Krampus is still my desired beast. Most of the time, I won’t be tearing around in-town singletrack. Rather, the Krampus is designed to be my out of town exploration machine.

  1. I was always interested in hearing how the velocity duallys were for tubeless? I’m feeling late to the movement.


    • They are alright. Definitely not a tubeless rim, but kind of a “tubeless ready” rim if you don’t mind using 1-3 layers of Gorilla tape. A nice rim overall, but missing a lot of features I’d like to see. For 3.0″ tires, they are still a very good option. Be warned, that when using folding 120 tpi Surly Knard tires, 2-3 layers of Gorilla tape is required. Really, you should use three layers.

      For anything less than 3.0″ tires (2.3-2.5″), there are a growing number of 30-35mm rims with genuine tubeless features which would be a better match. Not sure if the Velocity Blunt35 is any better than the Dually for tubeless systems. We will be seeing more 30-35mm rim options in the next year, in both aluminum and carbon.

      I’ll post a more extensive discussion of the Dually soon.

      • I have never used Gorilla tape for a tubeless setup but I have used Velocity’s tubeless tape and I can confirm that only one layer of Velocity’s tape is needed. I have Blunt SL’s on my commuter and Blunt P35’s (that was the original name) with 2.4 Specialized Purgatory’s first on my QBall rigid and now on my Krampus. The 35’s have 3 years of riding without any issues or leaks and the SL’s have almost 2 years on them without a problem. I ride east coast rocky trails and I’m 230lbs, I wouldn’t hesitate to set up a new set exactly the same way. I’m setting up the 35’s with Knards this week so I can let you know how it works.

        I would imagine Velocity has or will have wide tubeless tape soon for the Dually.

        BTW Nick, the Krampus looks nice. How is the fit for you? I’m just a hair under 5’11 and I find the head tube is too short on my medium. I looked at the large and the head tube was only 5mm taller. The Krampus is fun to ride but on my 3 day winter C&O canal trip I was having comfort issues. On short rides it’s fine.

        • Jeff, Gorilla Tape is not necessary to cover the spoke holes on the Dually, as normal width tape will do. But, I think Velocity still needs to figure out how to manufacture this rim with an appropriate 622 BSD (bead seat diameter). As well– although not a feature on any of their rims– I really like to see a bead lock between the bead shelf and the center channel, as on UST-type rims. Really, a flat bead shelf with the right BSD is most important. The Duallys currently do not have it.

          A friend at another shop in town that has built several sets of Duallys has confirmed that 1-3 layers of Gorilla Tape are necessary form edge to edge. Each layer of tape weighs about 30g, as well.

          • Yes the headtube is very short, which enables an aggressive trail position as I prefer these days. The fork A-C is so long that I think this is necessary. Were you unable to find a position tall enough to be comfortable? All Surly forks are shipped uncut.

          • Yes, it has been fine. I had some leaking from the bead with a pair of On-One tires (Chunky Monkey/Smorgasbord) that had previously been mounted to Stan’s FlowEX and WTB? without issue. I assume another layer of tape may have tightened the seal to reduce leaking and air loss. The challenge to is to discover how many layers of tape are needed for each tire, or to heed to caution and simply wrap with three layers. With three layers, Surly Knard 120tpi tires fit tight enough to seal. Most other tires fit tighter than the folding Knards. Some UST and TR tires may mount to Duallys with only a layer of Stan’s tape, or one layer of Gorilla Tape. This was not my experience, as I I tested some 2Bliss Specialized tires without success– they seated, and immediately deflated.

          • Thanks for the advice, if I’m hearing you right you might recommend the 27tpi knards? By and large I use Schwalbe tires, and am pretty excited to try those.
            Its all about trial, and practical durable usage.

  2. I was not aware that some rims required tape edge to edge, but I have only used Velocity P35 and Blunt SL rims with Specialized tires (all were 2bliss). I’m assuming it’s that combo that has sealed so well without taping to the edge.

    I did some searching after reading your replies and now I understand the issues you are talking about and it is a bummer to add 180 grams to a set of wheels just because of a poor or lacking bead hook design.

    I checked out the Derby rims with the hookless design and I really like that. A riding buddy of mine just bought a set of the Specialized hookless carbons and that rim wall looks pretty stout as well. I may build a set of those Derby rims when the time comes as the pricing looks good!

    • I still have a lot of steerer to work with on the Krampus but I guess I haven’t found the sweet spot with position on the bike for longer distances. For aggressive riding I like the more rearward bias and the “steer with you hips” feel but that setup didn’t feel good as I think I was just putting to much weight on my hands.

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