Velocity P35 Review

Components Pro Reviews

They were easy to set up tubeless, with either UST or normal tires, and popped up without any issue. Their Velotape tubeless system worked well, and I had no issues getting my usual assortment of tires to bead up on the rims. Some tires may require some sealant to hold air, but I use sealant with all my tubeless systems, so it was a moot point. I had more luck with tires that have a stout sidewalls, then floppy ones. After many months of use, I noticed the Velotape was starting to pull up in a couple of areas, although it wasn’t leaking, but my prodigious tire swap outs greatly exacerbated the issue.

Impressions
I have been riding the Velocity P35 wheelset since mid spring, and I must say the rims are monstrously wide. It took me quite a few rides to get used to the stability and rigidity that they offer, and until you have ridden a rim this wide, it’s hard to understand the feeling they imbue. The rims let a tire flare out wide, giving a larger footprint, and allowing lower air pressure, all which give excellent traction, control and comfort. It may slightly alter the characteristics of a tire, since the tires sit out wider, and their corresponding profile is changed, and I found that fatter tires seem to work better than narrow ones. The rim profile along with the width, gives excellent lateral stiffness without much of a weight penalty.

vel_specs

I bashed these beasts through any terrain that I could toss them at, and they just stayed on line. I tossed them over sideways, torqued them hard, plowed them through rock gardens and smashed them into square ledges, and it did nothing impede them. You can pretty much bowl your way over anything, without any hesitance nor flex (2.0/1.8 spokes help). The stable and wide platform does mean it takes an extra touch of effort to roll them over, but it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. I did notice that they don’t accelerate very well, but when you can drive straight into anything it doesn’t seem to matter, and the monstrous tractor like traction certainly offers a more than a fair advantage. The Velocity hubs are somewhat primitive and a tad heavy, but have so far proven to be pretty stout and smooth, and I didn’t have any issues with the bearings nor pawls.

Measured Specs:
Front – 1002.7 grams
Rear – 1053.8 grams
Total – 2056.5 grams
Note – weight includes tubeless tape and valves

vel_final

I noticed the other day, that on some technical terrain, where I needed to make a laser like steering adjustment, that the rims were slow to respond, making it more difficult to choose a precise line. I have ridden other wide rims that have slightly better steering, but there seems to be some other synergy going on (rim shape, spokes, hubs, ?) that makes it more anomalous. Fortunately, you can plow your way through whichever line you are left with, but it did make for some awkward transitions. They are very stable and want to stay in an upright position, and they take some initiative to muster them over on their side, but once there, they rail like crazy, and the width allows you to plunge them into berms to your heart content.

The wheel build has been bombproof, and the spoke tension and rim’s true have stayed the same the entire test period. I do wish the front hub had conversion adapters, so that it could be used with 9mm, 15mm or 20mm forks. The rim’s are painted, in contrast to the usual anodization, and I have found they’re getting chewed up and scratched quite easily. In daylight conditions, you can also see some minor painting imperfections (not a big deal).

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Barnaby Bear says:

    Isn’t the \lack of precise steering qualities\ directly related to the fact that they are \stable, rigid, ultra wide, with a large footprint, which makes any tire have better traction, control and comfort\?

    It seems to me that the two are intimately related. In other words, the fact that the tire is wider and more difficult to roll over is exactly why one would get the impression that that wheel didn’t handle precisely.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Yes, to a degree they do correlate, I wanted to point out the steering issue, I have ridden some other wide rims that had slightly better steering, but there seems to be some other synergy going on (rim shape, spokes, hubs, ?) that makes it more anomalous.

  • Book Guy says:

    Are these the 650b version?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I tested the 26er version. They do come in 26, 650b and 29. I am trying to set up a front test with the 650b.

  • Tit Janssen says:

    Softest rim I have ever ridden. 29er version. Just about every ride I am having to beat the lip of the rim back out. And when they do get dinged or bent the ano flakes off. I’m running 2.4 Nevegals so you would think that would keep them some what protected. Laced them to a set of Kings. Now begins he rebuild. These rims have been a big disappointment.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Hmmm, sorry to hear that, I never had the issue, they are painted not anodized (as far as I know), and they do seem to scratch and gouge easily. What sort of pressure are you running? I run 25psi myself.

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