Sun Ringle Mulefüt FATBike Wheels. The bad ass pig!
Hier geht's zur Deutschen Version!
Here we go. This is the second part of our series about FATBike Wheels. Today we take a look at the Sun Ringle Mulefüt FATBike wheelset. Mulewhat? Füt. We're gonna tell you about it… So, if you are just interested in knowing where the, well… slightly strange name comes from, you may wish to scroll down to the very end.
Otherwise take your time and you will find a whole lot of information about the latest FATBike creation made by legendary brand Sun Ringle in the following article.
The German distributor Hayes Germany kindly provided us one set of those nice heavy duty FATBike wheels. But before we start just another referral to our self-developed „tubelessability ranking“:
- 100%: Perfect! It's all nicely prepared to throw that nasty old rubber hose over board. The rim seals tightly and tire is strongly fixed. Everthing is in place out of the box. Nothing to buy, nothing to add. Just go!
- 75%: Good to go! The rim might not be perfectly sealed or needs some rework. Technically it's all there but you may have to buy some additional stuff to get it going.
- 50%: Worth a try! Tire is well fixed in it's position but might need some more pressure to stay in place. You have to buy plenty of tubeless ingredients to make it happen.
- 25%: Hmmmm… The wheels are not intended for tubeless use and lack some important features. However with some workaround it could work. We don't recommend to go for it, as it may not be reliable under all everyday circumstances.
- 0%: Get out and buy yourself a tube! You will be wasting your time.
So theres quite a lot to say about the Mulefüts. Lets not lose time, read this!
The Sun Ringle Mulefüt FATBike 80SL Wheels
Our first contact with the Mulefüts was in May 2015. Over the year we had various chances to test-ride the wheels as they are installed as OEM equipment on every Rocky Mountain Blizzard. Their strength is already proven. But what else can they do for you?
Attention – Update! Upon publication of this article we immediately got some news from Sun Ringle USA about some conversion kits that will be available shortly. So here we start good news! The Mulefüts can handle 150/197mm through axle and a Shimano type cassette sprocket out of the box. The axle end caps can easily be removed and replaced by QR compatible versions. Same is with the cassette body: it can be taken off very easily by screwing off the axle end cap and replaced by an XD type version. Moreover both cassette body types are available in both, aluminum and steel version!
Brake-wise the only option to fit on the hubs is 6 hole discs. There is no Centerlock option available. Something one can live with, we guess.
The technical stuff
The Sun Ringle Mulefüt FATBike wheels are based on rock solid single wall rims and proper hubs that are rotating on two 32mm (front) and four 30mm (rear) sealed cartridge bearings. Unfortunately the bearings are proudly made in China. This doesn't necessarily have to be bad. But the experience says „Yes, it probably IS bad!“. Considering the retail price of Euro 619,98 a set of Japanese or German bearings should be standard, we think. In particular when they are linked to a traditionally top notch brand name such as Ringle!
However according to Sun Ringle product management the bearing are ABEC grade 5, so should be of a good standard.
The stock cassette body is made from aluminum to save weight. It features three super massive steel pawls. They create a loud and nasty machine gun sound and stand for 100% reliability and durability. A lip seal keeps debris from entering the ratchet mechanism. This one should last forever!
Also the oversize axles are made of lightweight aluminum to save further weight.
The rims – as said – are made of one rather thick wall of aluminum and feature large cutouts. Their edges are bullet proof as well: 2,8mm of material should withstand major impacts without getting bent and furthermore this should lower the risk of punched tires. Another highlight the rims feature are the bead humps: grooves that catch the tire and keep in position on heavy lateral impacts. An important feature when it comes to tubeless installation!
Another interesting thing are the spoke holes. They are drilled with a wide offset of 19mm (38mm side-to-side) and are drilled 32 whole per row. This allows an asymmetric spoking in case you need to fit the wheels into any asymmetric installation.
Rims and hubs are laced together by double butted 2,0/1,8/2,0 spokes made by a legendary brand called Wheelsmith. A minor drawback at this part are the nipples: Sun Ringle chose brass over aluminum which is an unnecessary waste of weight saving potential. Actually where it could have helped the most.
Sizes and weight
|Rim width (inner)||76mm|
|Rim width (outer)||81,5mm|
|Weight front wheel||~1.435 gram (with double rim tape)|
|Weight rear wheel||~1.570 gram (with double rim tape)|
|Front hub||150mm / through axle*)|
|Rear hub||190mm / through axle*)|
|# of spokes F/R||32/32|
|Cassette body||Aluminum, 10/11 speed Shimano type*)|
*) conversion kits available
Look and feel
The Sun Ringle Mulefüt wheels look massive. And they are massive. Even more they appear to be bomb-proof! Thick aluminum rims with sturdy edges will eat up even heavy impacts. Any anodized surface seems high grade, we particularly like the slighty rough surface of the rims. When new the bearings run very lightly and smoothly. Long term experience will follow!
Also every bit and piece is nicely made, as are the axle end caps, cassette body, etc. The Sun Ringle Mulefüt wheels are not lightweight tuning stuff. They are heavy duty. And they show it!
However the rather narrow rim design gives a slim and round tire shape which allows a snappier handling than wider rims usually do. Also it improves the tire compatibility as more tires work well on narrow rims.
100%. Here we go, thats the 100% thing. Sun Ringle Mulefüt wheels are factory equiped with double rim tape. The basic tape avoids nipples and spokes to dig through the layer of sealant tape. And the sealant tape, well, it seals the rim from edge to edge. Further there are bead humps that lock the tires in position and avoid burping on lateral impacts. And to complete your happieness Sun Ringle puts six 59ml bottles of Stan's sealing liquid into the box.
So no doubt: here we are talking about a 100% out of the box tubeless ready wheelset!
Pro and contra
+ very good value for money
+ narrow rim design for good handling
+ solid rim edges lower risk of punch flats
+ very good build quality
+ bomb proof ratchet mechanism
+ easy to maintain
+ out of the box perfect for tubeless installation
+ conversion kits for QR (20,- Euro) and XD cassette body (aluminum 90,- Euro, chromoly 80,-) available
– Chinese bearings
– limited compatibility
– rather heavy weight
Let's start with this one: Mulefüt. What the pig?!? Yeah, right… It's a pig. Mulefoot, a rather archaic one, indeed. A real workhorse. Pig! Ah, whatever… It's what the Mulefüts shall be.
Our first impression was good, and the deep analysis we just sort of confirmed that impression. They are tough and well made and they are just complete! The set even includes the sealant! Well done!
The only thorn in our side is the chinese bearings. Why did they do it?!? Frankly spoken we'd buy the Mulefüts for even 629,98 – the 10 extra-Euros will pay Japanese bearings…
However they're a hot deal in any way. 619,98 Euros for such properly made wheels including all you need to go for tubeless installations is a fair price. Long story short: the Mulefüts are up to scoop the market!
And how good they perform under everyday conditions is what we will find out next!