All-mountain wheels often fall into two categoriesthey're either heavy and durable or light and flexy. And because of this, a lightweight, wide-profile, and enduro-ready carbon wheel seems like something only found in a fairytale, but lucky for you, we made it a reality. The Traverse SL Fattie 650b brings all the features you need in an all-mountain wheel into one package, and it has the results to prove it.
During our prototype phase, the rims spent two seasons of abuse on the Enduro World Series circuit under Curtis Keene, and have since been proven by Jared Graves and a host of other riders around the world. But don't be quick to label the Traverse SL Fattie as merely some indestructible, heavy carbon wheelsthere's far much more to the story.
Beginning with its big-boned name, the Traverse SL Fatties may be wide, but with a 30mm inner rim width, they're far from the girth of a fat bike rim. But why so wide? Well, you've probably noticed that mountain bike rim widths have hovered between 19 and 23 millimeters for decades, and they've been long overdue for a change. In the search for a better wheel design, our engineers began testing 2.3- to 2.5-inch tires on 45-millimeter-wide fat bike rims to see what, if any, benefits could be found. It only took them a few rides to realize that the wider rims offered a variety of advantages, like adding additional tire volume, which better supports the tires in hard cornering, greatly improves traction because of the ability to run lower pressures, and noticeably increases rim stiffness.
They did note that there is an occurrence of diminishing returns with increasing width, however, and after testing everything from 25mm to 45mm, determined that a 30mm inner width gave us the optimal width. And when you combine this width with a 650b wheel size, you're left with an incredibly stiff, quick to accelerate wheelset that exemplifies the playful characteristics that 650b bikes are known for.