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.
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 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. 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.