The Tune FATBike wheels „Fat Skyline“: let there be light!
Hier gehts zu Deutschen Version!
Well, here we go. This is the last article of our „FATBike Wheels“ series. But hey, we're Dan and Matt and we tend to save the best for last!
Instead of writing just another article and then going back to normal we will today present a set of FATBike wheels that will blow your mind. It is that much outstanding that for a while we didn't even know how to prepare this article…
So, we're talking about Tune. They are famous aroud the globe for light weight parts but it's all built in German Schwarzwald. It's pretty there, awesome nature and the area is known for Schwarzwald cake and ice cream – both made of loads of chocolate and cherries. Apparently its a fertile soil for sweet stuff! So lean back an enjoy – and let there be light!
The Tune FATBike wheels „Fat Skyline“
It's our utmost pleasure that Tune jumped on board and presented a spectactularely super light weight 9:zero:7 FATBike on Eurobike already back in 2014. And as Tune does not do things by halves (except weight, of course) the bunch around mastermind Uli Fahl has a whole zoo of FATBike wheels to offer: the Tune TSF (Alex Rims aluminum), Fatburner (Tune carbon rims) and the Fat Skyline featuring high end Kuroshiro carbon rims.
This one is simple. You want it? Tune has it. You can have all common hub sizes, cassette bodies for Shimano, Sram and even Campagnolo (!!!) and there is even a Lefty option. There is only one small limitation that regards the brakes: there is no Centerlock option available. This forces you to chose from a universe of fantastic IS standard brake discs instead getting stuck to Shimano stuff. What a shame…
The less funny circumstance is that you can hardly open the hub on your own. So in case you decide to swap the freehub, maintain the hubs or buy a frame/fork with different axle you most likely have to involve Tune or one of their dealers.
So, long story short: you want it, Tune has it!
The technical stuff
We've been testing Tune Fat King and Fat Kong hubs in Dan's FatBoy Expert for nearly exactly one year now. So we have quite extensive experience with Tune FATBike Hubs – and this saves me work: you can find all information about the hubs our Tune Fat King and Kong article (sorry, only German)!
Our result so far: awesome! Some say Tune parts for sure are light weight but at the expense of durability. We could not find any flaws so far but for your own saftey we strongly recommend to stick with limitations Tune puts on rider weight. And of course you should treat them well and take good care of them!
However, let's talk about the rest. Tune's choice on spokes is, unsurprisingly, the best you can get: black CX-Ray spokes by Sapim are use to lace hubs and rims together. For the nipples which of course are made from aluminum you can choose from all colors Tune has to offer.
Talking about the „best you can get“ of course doesn't stop here. The rims… The fantastic rims! The Kuroshiro ENSO 685 rims are a true delicacy. With a mere 425 (!!!) gram they weight less than many XC MTB rims. A zigzag groove serves as bed for the nipples and provides extra stability to the rim. The nipple holes are drilled that precisely that the nipples themselves nearly completely seal them off. This means you don't have to use additional rim tape for tubeless installation. We'll talk about that later on.
Unlike the H.E.D. rims used for the Specialized S-Works FatBoy, Kuroshiro ENSO 685 rims are made from one piece. The relatively thick-walled rim edges should be able to withstand at least minor impacts and provide some snakebite protection to those who prefer to run on old fashioned tubes. The impact protection becomes particularely important when you take a look at the price tag: more that 800 of your hard earned Euros (or whatever is the equivalent in your local currency) vanish into thin air when an impact crushes your ENSO 685.
Kuroshiro by the way comes – as the name literally hammers into your brain – from … right! Italy. Who else thought about Japan as we did?
Note: due to the rims Tune limits the rider weight to 90kg.
Size and weight
|Rim width inner
|Rim width outer
|Weight front wheel
|~786 gram (no rim tape)
|Weight rear wheel
|~888 gram (no rim tape)
|135mm QR / 142 & 150mm through axle / Lefty
|170/190mm QR / 177/197mm through axle
|# of spokes F/R
|aluminum, 10/11 speed Shimano, SRAM XD, Campa
|ab 2.700,- Euro
Look and feel
Let's leave the technical stuff apart and take time to get emotional. Simply because this is Fat Skyline, the Tune FATBike wheels! As said it will blow your mind. It's not from this world, not even from this universe. Every part is hand picked and of course its also made by hand. Every bit and bop is just so noble and perfect that a passionate FATBiker (and his bank counselor) will very likely freak out about it. The freehub clicks as precise as a the lock of a swiss strong room door. The rims seem to be taken from Formula One engineering and the bearings runs so light and smooth that the wheels when set in rotation at Christmas will still turn at easter.
The silky matte surface of the Kuroshiro 685 rims have a very high tactile quality so that we a few times cought ourselves sweeping our fingers along the zigzag groove just to enjoy it!
Every now and than we have FATBikes or parts where we point out that they may serve to treat yourself. The Tune Fat Skyline wheels definitely are within this category!
100%. Believe it or not. Mount a tire, add some sealant and air and go for a ride! The Tune Fat Skyline wheels are factory equipped with nice double sealed American Classic valves. For testing purposes we mounted a Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0 LS tire (with tube) that jumped into its bed at around 0.5 bar. This is very little pressure for this exercise however it took a lot of force to remove the tire so no doubt it sits well fixed.
So yepp, the Fat Skyline wheels are out of the box tubeless ready. Considering an overall weight of a mere 1.674 gram this Tune FATBike wheels are a perfekt base of a stunningly light weight set of wheels!
Pro and Contra
+ High end materials, technology and crafting
+ unbelievably light weight
+ extensive choice for hubs and nipples
+ extraordinary choice of hub sizes, cassette bodies, axles, etc.
+ great for tubeless
+ narrow rims for improved handling
+ thick-walled rim edges for better impact protection
+ handmade in Germany
– insane price
– maintenance by Tune only
– limited rider weight (90kg)
As previously said we were a bit unsure how to write this article. The Tune Fat Skyline wheels are so different to anything we ever had that all our standard models used to describe and compare sort of fail here. Moreover putting it into relation to the other wheel sets doesn't make much sense.
Paying the – truly insane – price of 2.700,- Euros (or more, depending on the extras you chose) will provide you with the latest state of the art technology. FATBike wheels can hardly be build any lighter at the moment. When discussing the price within your round of regulars you however should consider that just the rims account for 1.700 Euros.
Though you can buy yourself a complete upper middle-class FATBike for that money. And this one you can even ride when you and your equipment exceed 90kg of weight….
So, what's it all about? Well, it's as usual: high end is the playground for a few who can afford it and many who dream of it. Tune pushes all known borders a bit further and makes FATBike history. For that reason alone the Fat Skyline wheels have to be there. And that's why for us its a perfect finish for our series about FATBike wheels. It shows what's possible and rounds off our picture.
And for all of you who can convince themselves and their bank counselor to buy a pair of these it will be a nice piece of technology that will for a long will be top notch!