Plus size tires… you love ’em or you hate ’em. Among the bikepacker community I think they’ve become pretty well accepted since they add so much traction in dry and wet conditions. However, with wide tires must come wide rim profiles. At this point there are so many options allowing you to run 2.8’s and up, that a rim can easily get lost in the mix. That’s not the case however for the Atomik Chubby 43 rim.
The Atomik Carbon Chubby 43 wheelset has done nothing but impress me. I’ve got these 43mm hoops laced up to DT Swiss 350 hubs and I’m running the Maxxis Rekon up front with the Ikon in the rear. From true enduro riding to loaded touring, they’ve been resiliently strong, stiff and light. I’ve ridden these wheels primarily on my Ellsworth Epiphany Convert. With the edition of the wheels, it took the bike down to 27lbs with a dropper post and 130mm of travel which was nearly a pound of weight shed (obviously we all put that weight right back on but hey, starting out light counts for something right?) 
From a performance standpoint, there’s one big thing I’ve been looking for in a rim… being able to run low pressures well. With these I’ve tried hard to run them at stupid low pressures (somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-12psi) and only ended up burping once over a root that I took a terrible line at. Aside from that, they set up extremely well as tubeless wheels (kudos to Maxxis as well) and hold onto that bead through everything you can throw at them. The wide profile of the rim also allows the tire to blow up really wide in the sidewalls. This gives it the stability desired but also gets rid of a lot of the “roll” that people talk about when they’re apprehensive to plus size tires.

From a durability standpoint, I’ve ridden them loaded with no problem, shredded them downhill (as much as I can), and put them through some really technical rocky terrain with no more than a scratch to show for it. The low profile of the rim makes them a difficult target for trail debris and protects the rims from damage. Lastly, the rim has what Atomik calls the Foam Core Technology. The wheels are essentially filled with a lightweight foam between the two walls to increase dampening ability and energy dissipation so the ride stays stiff while remaining comfortable.  

Let’s talk looks. Aesthetics matter, function is definitely greater than form in my eyes but nothing should look bad either. These wheels definitely are an eye catcher. The shallow rim profile is appealing from a distance but once you’re up close and personal, the 12k carbon weave on these wheels are beautiful. The graphics that Atomik put on the carbon wrap it all up with branding that’s timeless and simple. 

Overall I would definitely put a set of these on the upgrade list. This exact setup is sold by Atomik for $1810, or if you’ve already got a wheelset and you want to swap the hoops out for these, they sell each rim for $550. Don’t just take my word for how great they are, get your hands on a set! 

Weight: 470 Per Rim
Spokes: 32 hole
Outside Width: 43mm
Inside Width: 36mm

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