Thursday 29 August 2019

Ultra wide alloy wheels - "The climbers" series

For those who know me or bought wheels from me, know that I'm very far from empty marketing. I will never advert something which is not true. My objective is to provide unique and high quality wheels, always configured for specific rider's needs so they fit like a gloves from day one.

Above can be fulfilled only by constant research, testing and networking. Only then you get access to new manufacturers and products which often are not exposed to public. Living my sixth year in Swiss Alps gives me an excellent opportunity to test different wheel's configs as basically there are no flat sections around. Just doing 40km near home I'm easily making 1000m climb and that is a real test lab for my products.

Today I have a pleasure to introduce my new type of alloy wheels which are based on ultra wide rims. What benefits give a wide rim? Read further to find out.

I've been a great fan of Kinlin rims so far. They are simply excellent. KLM41 aluminium makes them very light and super stiff. They measure 19mm inner width, which is becoming a standard today as most of us switched to 25mm tires in these days.  The only disadvantage I see so far is a pinned joint of the rim which often after full spoke tension becomes noticeable and in order to provide smooth braking, it needs to be worked out a bit.

The new type of rims I'm introducing today are combining the best of both worlds:
- rims are welded, not pinned joint
- rims are wider 

First of all, alloy type is the same as in Kinlin, which is a very good thing. That keeps the weight low, despite more material used due to extra width. Talking about width, those have 20mm inner and 24mm outer width. They come in 25mm or 30mm profile.

Weight wise, 25mm deep rim shows 470g and 30mm rim is about 510g by average. For me those numbers are still acceptable as it allows me to build 1500g set without bigger problem nor high budget.

The other thing is the rim joint. Here, finally I have welded rims with no sign of the joint. That means that braking will be always smooth.

Finish wise they come in black matt, shiny or grey sand blast like DT Swiss rims. Symmetric and asymmetric versions, 20/24h or 24/28h drilling. Definitely enough to cover 99.9% rider's needs.

So what are the benefits of this extra width you might ask?

Well, this is an improvement you will feel, no matter if you are experienced or beginner rider. Switching from 17C (Mavic) or 18C (DT Swiss) rims to 20C rims will make a very noticeable improvement immediately on the first corner. You will feel much more stability on the turns and switch backs as you will have more and better grip of the tire. Also the comfort will increase, especially if you'll use tubeless tires like GP5000 TL. 

Many big brands will sell marketing cr** about aero benefits of their wheels, aero spokes, aero shape of the rim, hidden nipples and so on... From my experience I feel no difference between 25mm profile and 30mm profile, aero vs round spokes. The noticeable difference is on carbon rims from 40mm profile onwards, under the condition that the rim weight is below 500g. 

Always pay attention on two things - inner width and rim weight as this is a rotation mass. Those two parameters will improve the riding sensation and you will feel it.

This particular set is made from rims of 25mm profile. Round Pillar PSR 2016 (1.6mm) spokes, alloy 14mm nipples, Bitex RAF12 and RAR12 with anti-bite free hub. 1:1 20/24h drilling, front radial lacing, rear 2-cross lacing with spokes tying and soldering. 1520g of real weight.

If you have system wheels, put them on the scale. Very often you'll get not that nice surprise discovering up to 100g extra comparing to adverts from the manufacturer. 
Here, all my wheels are checked so weight is always real.

1520g is still good enough for climbing and due to wide profile those wheels are perfect for fast descending and sharp turns. Therefore the name of this series is "The climbers"

As mentioned earlier, those are in 1:1 traditional lacing, suitable for most of the amateur riders.
For ultra strong legs there is "The ultra climbers" version made using BORG triplet hubs, described few posts earlier.

Both versions can be build using round or aero spokes, 25mm or 30mm rim depth. 
Vinyl decals with free choice of colours, discrete laser-engraved Blackcat logo (coming soon) or no stickers at all. 

Price wise: 469 CHF for version with round spokes or 499 CHF for version with aero spokes. That includes tubeless rim tape, spare spokes and nipples, decals and tubeless valves.

On demand I can use different hubs like Across, DT Swiss, Tune, Chris King, Industry 9, White Industries, Russian Raketa or Onyx. Depending on geometry I'll choose symmetric or asymmetric rims to provide proper stiffness. 

Just contact me for more details or simply fill the questionnaire which is available here.

Wheels are available in my shop.

Thanks for reading

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