Velocity “Dually” 26″ Wheel Set: Out Of The Box/First Impressions- by Guitar Ted

The 26″ sized Velocity USA Dually rims are an option for anyone with 3.8″-4.0″ tires and a fat bike to put them on. I introduced the test here, but now I will give you some specific details on these wheels and my first impressions after my 67 mile fat bike race this past weekend.


Dually rims

My Titanium Mukluk sporting the Dually wheel set

Out Of The Box: The Dually rims received for the test were already laced to some Hope Fatsno hubs with DT Swiss Competition spokes and brass nipples. A solid enough wheel build, and 32 3X of course. The all black look was stealthy and the Dually rims looked impossibly “skinny” for a fat bike, but I figured I would give them a go. My previous wheels used a Surly “front” hub, (really a single speed rear hub), and a Salsa Mukluk 3 rear hub. These were laced to Fatback 70mm Uma II rims.

P1070100P1070101The Dually wheels weighed 1080 gm frt/ 1190 gm rear. That sounds like a lot, but when you compare to my old wheels, I saved just shy of 3lbs off the rotating weight. That is significant and looked to be quite an advantage. Obviously, the total package with the hubs and spokes also contributed to this loss of weight, so your results may vary.

Tubeless compatibility was also important here, as I recently obtained some Fatback Sterling tires which are rated to be run as tubeless. These tires had already been mounted and ridden tubeless on the Fatback rims, so I was also curious as to how well the Velocity Dually rims would work tubeless with my tires. I switched over the tires and added a bit of sealant. I then simply opened up the Presta valves and hit the tires with a low capacity compressor which aired up the tires and set the tire’s beads with no problem at all.  The tires even set up more evenly in the bead seat of the rim than they had previously on the Fatback rims. I was pretty impressed. The tires remained up and were holding pressure very well after 24 hours.

Bumpy, rock hard snow here!

Bumpy, rock hard snow here!

First Impressions:

I set the air pressures at about 15psi to start out with, as that has been my baseline pressure for the Sterling tires. The first rides were very revealing. First off, I immediately felt the weight loss. I could accelerate the wheels more quickly, and handling was also impacted. This could be a “good thing” or a “bad thing” depending upon your outlook, but the Dually wheels made my bike much more responsive to inputs and ultimately more playful and quick than it had before with my older wheel set.

DUALLY TEST 14 016Through some very bumpy snow, I felt the tires “working” more. That is to say that I felt the casings absorbing the trail imperfections better. This along with the faster spin up made me hopeful that the tubeless part would hold up over the initial test rides. I am glad to report that they did exactly just that.

One thing I did wonder about was how much the tire’s footprint would suffer due to the loss of 25mm of rim width. I took note of how the tire was still performing well, and that Fatback’s Sterling, (along with some other Vee Rubber made tires), usually have a narrow tread width on their casings anyway. But I still wanted to know where I was in that regard. On the Fatback rims, the Sterlings measured 103mm, or just at 4″. On the Duallys, the measurement was 93.5mm, which is  a tick under 3.7″. One good side effect- the squarish casing was now rounded a bit more, helping to eliminate the feelings of self-steer.

Triple D 2014 008During my 67 mile winter bike event, held on snow mobile trails in eastern Iowa on a good base of snow with a fresh 4-5″ of new snow the day before the event, I learned some new things. First, that “playful” feeling translates into a bike that has less of a “plow through anything” feel, which many fat bikes have. Now if the snow is loose, or inconsistent, the bike gets knocked off line a bit easier.

I learned that climbing longer, steep climbs is easier, since the little accelerations you sometimes need are more easily accomplished with these lighter wheels. Downhills were fine unless the snow was loose and deep, but I think most tire/rim combinations have some issues there. But the number one thing that is limiting is how low you can go on air pressures before the casing starts to fold in corners and off cambers, and before the rim starts to move laterally on the casing. I found that my original 15psi pressure alleviated these negatives, but it also tended to mitigate how much float I could get and it also affected traction in deeper, looser snow. Fortunately, the Vee Rubber made Sterlings have a squarish profile anyway, so these things were not as huge of an issue for me as if, say I was running Larrys, which is a much more rounded tire and would be more so on a Dually.Triple D 2014 021

So far I have found the durability and tubeless nature of the Dually wheels to be really good. The handling is a mixed bag of good and not so good, but for me, the Duallys, despite the few drawbacks, made my event better in that I conserved more energy over those miles with lighter wheels. Ultimately I garnered one of my better finishes at the event which I have raced three years running now. I think the wheels contributed to that. Had the conditions been more set up, firm, and faster, the Duallys would have really come into their own with a feel more akin to a mountain bike than a fat bike.

I’ll continue to run these wheels in a variety of conditions, so stay tuned for a Final Review coming up soon.

Note: Velocity USA sent over the Dually wheel set for test and review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.