Introduction by Francis Cebedo
We did a review on Pacenti TL28 wheel built up with a Chris King hubset HERE. Here is follow-on review to a rim that is wider since these days, wider IS better. It allows the tire to have a wider, more secure and stable contact patch. Pacenti knows a little bit about this new 650b wheelsize as he has been instrumental in getting it adopted. Check out what Brian has to say.
I wanted to build set of wheels for my 650B testing for a long time, but I could never make my mind up with the product selection, so I decided to go with Hadley’s hubs and Pacenti’s DL31 rims since I liked each of those company’s engineering knowledge, expertise and designs. Hadley’s hubs have a cult following, and the small company has been making excellent hubs from their California offices for many years. Pacenti whom is famous for their 650B products, have been cranking out their own innovative designs for tires and rims for just as long.
I had the Pacenti DL31 650B rims built up with the Hadley DH front and SDH rear hubs, and DT Swiss Competition 15/16 spokes, for a robust and tough All Mountain build. My good friends over at Cafe Velo in North Colorado Springs built the wheels, so thanks to the owners Chris and James, and David the builder, for the excellent creation. Cafe Velo carries Specialized and Cervelo (Road and Tri), and BMC (Road and MTB), plus they have some of the tastiest coffee and treats in town.
The Hadley hubs aren’t light, and might be considered portly to a weight weenie, but they are overbuilt and well made, and the Pacenti rims are stiff and decently light for such a wide rim. I definitely built the wheels for the abuse and toughness that exist when tossed into true All Mountain environments, and the smooth as silk Hadley hubs and fat Pacenti DL31 rims make for an ideal build.
The made in America Hadley hub shells and axles are CNC machined aluminum, and are high strength and well built, and they come in a nice array of anodized colors and axle sizes. Hadley keeps a pretty low profile, and although they don’t have a website, they can be easily reached by phone at (909) 946-6780 in lovely Upland California. You can purchase their hubs from various online vendors, or you can get your LBS to order them from BTI. Hadley is a small family-owned business which has excellent customer service, and they’re always willing to go the extra mile for just about anything. Hadley Racing Hubs is run by Mike Hadley, who has a racer’s mentality about the hubs, so they’re designed with bearings that are fast and smooth, with low rolling resistance, and although they’re durable, they’ll still need occasional maintenance to keep them at their best.
The Hadley DH front disc hub uses two adjustable cartridge bearings that are sealed and replaceable. The axles come in QR, 15mm and 20mm versions (all swappable), 32 and 36 hole variations, and are available in Black, Silver, Gold, Blue, Red, Gun Metal colors and retail for around $160. I tested the 32 hole front with 15mm and 20mm thru axles, which weighed approximately 208 grams.
The Hadley SDH rear disc hub uses four adjustable cartridge bearings that are sealed and replaceable, and it utilizes a durable titanium freehub body with 72-point four pawl engagement (optional 36-point three pawl). The axles come in QR, 10mm bolt on and 12mm x 135 or 142 versions (all swappable), 32 and 36 hole variations, and are available in Black, Silver, Gold, Blue, Red, Gun Metal colors and retail for around $300. I tested the 32 hole rear with 12mm x 142mm thru axle, which weighed in approximately 360 grams.
Pacenti DL31 Rims
From the demented mind of Mr. 650B himself, Kirk Pacenti, comes the new DL31 rims, which join their brethren, the DL28 and CL25. Kirk and his company Bike Lugs, have been pumping out his own designs on rims and tires for many years, and his Neo-Moto tires and Velocity Blunt rims were at the forefront in this latest vogue of the 650B renaissance. Kirk is a twenty-year veteran of the bicycle industry, and Bike Lugs was created to support, supply and consult with framebuilders, and his first love was lugged steel frame construction, hence the company name.
The aluminum Pacenti DL31 rims are tubeless ready, and are made with welded construction and stainless steel eyelets, and come in 26″, 650B and 29″ sizes, and in 32 and 36 hole variations. They come in basic Black, with one small and simple decal on each side, and retail for $88. I tested the 32 hole Pacenti DL31 650b version, which weighs approximately 546 grams (522 grams for 26″ and 582 grams for 29″).
The DL31 measures at an outer width of 31mm, and inner bead width of 26mm and a height of 20mm. The rims were designed for Enduro and All Mountain riding, and their width and lightness make them ideal for anything except full on downhill abuse.