Round up: Six new wide mountain bike wheels

2016 trends include asymmetric rim shapes, hookless beads, and wider rims

27.5 29er Wheels

As the geometry and suspension of modern mountain bikes continues to improve, bikes are becoming capable of tackling bigger terrain and larger obstacles. To help keep you rolling, wheel manufacturers are experimenting with a host of new designs. Among the trends this year are asymmetric rims, hookless beads, and wider rims. All these technologies are intended to help produce a stronger wheel that is easier to setup tubeless and work better with high volume tires. A number of brands have launched plus sized rims and wheels. Here’s a round-up of what we saw during trade show season.

Winter is coming and Borealis is ready.

Winter is coming and Borealis is ready (click to enlarge).

Borealis Elite Carbon

The new Borealis Elite Carbon Wheels were built in conjunction with Reynolds. The U.S. made rims use a double wall for strength and a hookless bead for easy tubeless setup. They have an 80mm internal width and 85mm external. The rims will be available as an optional upgrade on Borealis complete bikes, as well as aftermarket. A complete wheelset starts at $2,300. Individual rims retail for $1,000. Learn more here and check out borealisbikes.com.

Box Components has a strong following in BMX, but can they break through to the MTB market?

Box Components has a strong following in BMX, but can they break through to the MTB market? (click to enlarge)

Box Components

Box Components is notorious for their innovative approach to established technologies, such as their new drivetrain that uses a single lever for both up and down shifts. While they were tight lipped about their forthcoming product line, we did spot a new carbon rim in the corner of their Interbike booth. According to a 2016 dealer catalog, the ridges between the spoke beds are for weight reduction, and the weight for a 27.5” wheelset is ~1659g. Learn more at boxcomponents.com.

The new HV rim (as in high volume) designates ENVE rims that are 2mm wider than standard.

The new HV rim (as in high volume) designates ENVE rims that are 2mm wider than standard (click to enlarge).

ENVE Composites

The new HV rim (as in high volume) designates ENVE rims that are 2mm wider than standard. These wider rims are currently offered in two flavors: the M60 and M70. The M60 is designed for 60% descending and 40% climbing, while the M70 is built around 70% descending and 30% climbing. The regular M60 is recommended for tires from 2.1” to 2.25”, while the HV better supports 2.3” to 2.4”. The M70 is best suited to 2.3-2.4” tires, while the HV model is tailed for 2.4-2.5” tires. Check out this video to learn more and visit enve.com.

Continue to page 2 for more wheels »

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  • Peper says:

    Thought I’d for sure see something on the new WTB Asym rims. They have several offerings and I’ve been a waiting to hear something. Plus when the rim is under a $100 dollars we can build them just to try them out without the premium price. I don’t know that I need more than a 25mm internal but who doesn’t want to just try?

  • Cracker69 says:

    Yawn….I guess this means I wasn’t having fun on my 22 mm internal rims; damn! I was fairly certain I was.

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      Cracker69, the issue is more “if you’re buying a new bike or new rims today, what size would you buy and what are your options?”

      We’re fairly certain a 30mm or even 35mm with a tire designed for that width will let you have more fun.

      • atheur smedly says:

        i just bought a new bike a few months ago and went for 25mm internal, was thinking 27 but glad i didn’t. tyres aren’t there yet.

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