You might not recognize the name Knight Composites or Project 321, but you should. These two companies have serious industry expertise behind them and are making some of the most impressive composite rims and high performance American-machined hubs in the industry, all at a price that’s more competitive than an ENVE wheelset.
The new 30mm internal 29er Enduro wheelset.
The Knight name might be relatively new, but the experience behind the company most definitely is not. Consisting of employees and innovators who founded and worked at companies like Reynolds Composites, Felt, Cervelo, Cane Creek and even ENVE, Knight Composites is not learning the composites game – they practically gave birth to it. Tech heads will recognize the name Kevin Quan, one of Knight’s design engineers who penned the iconic P3C and SLC at Cervelo, a Tour De France-winning design.
Adding to this mechanical expertise is Jake Liles of Project 321, a contract manufacturer who is known for making Cannondale Lefty adapters for virtually any bike, as well as a complete line of anodized hubs in a variety of colors. Project 321 recently launched a very ingenious rear freehub design using magnets instead of traditional pawls. The drive system uses six magnetic pawls with 216 points of engagement for an incredible quick 1.66 degree hub engagement. Spin the freehub and action is buttery smooth.
The result is not only lower drag and higher engagement with fewer moving parts, but also the option to swap magnetic pawls that are silent for pawls that make that signature buzz heard on fellow American-manufactured competitors like Chris King and Industry Nine. Liles reports that since launching the design, he’s been very busy keeping up with the interest and orders of his magnetic pawl design.
Jake Liles talks about magnets!
Knight is based in Bend, Oregon, and Project 321 just closed on a property near Knight, moving this summer from Fresno, California up to Bend in part to collaborate more closely with Knight. By working together, Knight Composites and Project 321 will surely represent a big performance and value threat to the likes of ENVE. The combination of industry experience, innovative leadership and reputation for top shelf durability will ensure that both companies will offer an outstanding product at an incredible value. Stop by their booth and get more details on the range of composite rim widths and wheel sizes as well as hub availability.
This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.