During a visit to my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI this past summer I stopped in at Velocity USA, purveyors of finely shaped and colorful formed aluminum. Jill Martindale – resident endurance racing aficionado and winter weather lover – graciously took time out of her day to show me around their manufacturing facility. I’ve been a fan of Velocity for quite a while (still have a 20ish-year-old set of Deep Vs kicking around) and was very geeked out roaming around the factory with Jill, observing the precision processes that go into creating each rim and wheel build, and meeting the folks that make it all happen.
Looking for a more affordable gravel or mountain wheelset? Well, WTB’s new CZR line is now available with wheels starting at $749.95 for the front and $849.95 for the rear in both the mountain and gravel configurations.
Lighter, stronger, made in America and 100% recyclable thanks to Fusion-Fiber. There are no environmentally harmful or brittle epoxy in this carbon- it is a toughened, high-performance composite polymer that makes for a significantly more durable, and lighter wheel. Revel took this technology and made the RW23, their first gravel wheels with a 23mm internal width, 24 or 28 Hole, and available as a wheelset or rims. Head to Revel to read more.
Designed for a 33-55mm tire, on a 24.5 alloy rim, the new Industry Nine 1/1 GRCX wheels might be what you’re looking for to get your new build rolling or to give an existing build some sprucing up for summer rides. These new wheels use I9’s new 1/1 Road series hubs which offer 90 points of engagement on a 6 pawl freehub body, use J-bend spokes for ease of maintenance, and are backed by a 2-year warranty. Best of all, they retail at $765. Check out more at Industry Nine.
Roval just announced their a redesigned Control Carbon wheelset for 2021, which combines low weight and strength found in their Control SL rim and built with the new DT Swiss 350 hubs. These Control Carbon wheels feature the same zero-bead-hook design and wider 29mm-inner width, found in Roval’s Control SL as well.
-Control SL 29”
-29mm Internal Width
-4mm FlatTop Bead Hook
-New DT Swiss 350 Hub Straight-pull
-6-bolt Rotor – 36t Star Ratchet System
-Thru Axle 100x15mm & 148x12mm
-Weight: 1450g w/ Tubeless Rim Tape
-MSRP: $1350.00 – Wheelset
-Lifetime Warranty – No-Fault Crash Replacement
See more at Roval.
The RW27 is the narrower and lighter sibling to Revel’s groundbreaking RW30 wheelset. Think of them as a lighter and zippier wheelset for XC or riding where the terrain doesn’t demand stouter wheels. These wheels are made in the United States from the revolutionary “FusionFiber” material, which replaces resin with a nylon-like material. It combined with German and Japanese fibers results in a rim that is 100% recyclable. The RW27 offers the same flex as the RW30, but is 50g lighter.
-29” rim diameter
-Available in 28H or 32H drilling
-Complete wheels or rim only
-Wheelsets available with 28H Industry 9 Hydra (1740g) or 1/1 hub (1770g) options
-XD or Microspline driver body options
-Rim depth 35mm
-Rim only weight: 430g
-Rim is recyclable FusionFiber material
-Recommended tire width 2.2-2.5”
-Rim only $699 – i9 1/1 wheelset $1975 – i9 Hydra wheelset
See more at Revel.
i9’s newest wheels are designed for ‘cross, gravel, xc, and trail riding, but in a lighter package. The wheels we thought you’d be most interested in are the UL250 Carbon. These race-ready, lightweight (1320g for the set) wheels come in a 25mm ID, 24-hole count, with new carbon hoops, based on MTB XC racing tech. The new UL250c wheels roll in at $2500 and are fully customizable at Industry Nine’s AnoLab. You can also check out the aluminum version of the UL250 (1450g for the set), which retail for $1275.
You might recall a few years back, WTB had an extensive MTB and gravel wheel lineup. Well, after a few years hiatus, it’s back, a bit more dialed, with a bit more options. The Proterra wheel lineup is hand-built in California and has something for just about anyone’s needs. On the 29er and 27.5 MTB side, the light option is a 27mm wide rim with alloy nipples, while the tough is 30mm with brass nipples. Both wheels use 3-cross spoke lacing. Meanwhile, the gravel options come down to a 700 or 27.5 Proterra light in a 700 x 23mm rim or a 650 x 25mm rim. You’ll most likely be seeing these wheels in an OE application, rolling out under familiar bike models from big brands but should you be on the hunt for a $295 wheel, they do look like a great option. See more at WTB.
HED Cycling’s Emporia gravel wheels just got a classic makeover. These wheels come chromed-out, weigh 1,535g for the wheelset and features the same 25mm internal width as the Emporia GA Pro. The wheelset is only being produced in a limited quantity and will be available starting this today, so if you’re building up an all-silver groupset bike and have been looking for the perfect wheels, head on over to HED to see the juicy detials.
Alrighty just gonna come out and say it, this Industry Nine carbon wheelset is amazing. Fucking duhhhhh, for $2500 it better be sweet right? Well, yeah, it is. If you’ve read this far and gleamed as much as you need to know about a really expensive wheelset that you (and me honestly) can’t afford, great, look at the cool photos and enjoy.
If you are seriously interested in making this purchase and want to know my thoughts then, please follow me down the rabbit hole…
We don’t usually do video here at the Radavist, usually reserving it for special projects like this one. It’s different and thus, pretty special, so enjoy…
Recorded at the Live Oaks Community Center in January 2020 this presentation was scheduled thanks to the centers call for local participant submissions. Products featured in this presentation include the Roval Terra CLX Evo 650B, The Ultradynamico Rose Race 650B, and the Bistro Graphic Croc. If you like this review and would like to see more please contact @newantarctica to discuss whether or not a in-depth product review is right for you.
Reinventing the wheel is literally what the cycling industry is all about. Every year hundreds of companies take their shot; so it’s rare when one unique design stands out, especially when that product is competitively priced.
There is no shortage of wheel manufacturers in the United States, which is a good thing, but there are very few carbon wheel manufacturers here so when a new one pops up, we have to share it. Gulo Composites is from Western North Carolina and make their wheels – road, MTB, gravel – in-house. Their GRX-SL is an Allpavé wheel meant for road, gravel, trail, and everything in between. These superlight, 22mm internal width rims were designed with a 2mm spoke hole offset which helps create a very balanced wheel and the spoke hole angles were optimized at each point to work in perfect conjunction with Gulo’s ETI hubs and their unique GIS – Gulo Integrated System – spoke system. Let’s look at this system in detail below.
HED’s line of gravel wheels, formerly known as “Eroica”, will now be titled “Emporia”, named after Emporia, Kansas. This change is being made out of respect to the international ride series “L’Eroica”. With this change comes a brand new wheel, dubbed the Emporia GC3 Pro. This wheel is a 30mm deep, full-carbon gravel wheel, featuring a 26mm internal width and weighing in at 1,395g per wheelset.
The Emporia GC3 Pro set is made in the USA and will retail at $2,200. Head to HED for more information!
Roval’s newest wheels are an ultra-light 1365 gram wheelset, which is even lighter on your wallet. The Alpinist CL pairs the lightweight climber’s Alpinist rim with the bombproof DT Swiss 350-series hubs and gossamer DT Swiss Aerolite spokes.
Alpinist CL Highlights:
-Carbon, Clincher (tube-type) / Rim Depth: 33mm / Rim Width: 21mm internal
-Hubs: DT Swiss 350, CenterLock, Sealed Cartridge bearings, DT Swiss Star Ratchet internals, 12mm thru-axle compatible, convertible to Quick Release. Shimano HG freehub.
-Spoke Count: 24 front, 24 rear
-Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite T-head
-Nipples: DT Swiss Alloy Pro Lock Hexagonal
-Front Spoke Pattern: Two-cross/Radial (2:1) Rear Spoke Pattern: One-cross/Two-cross (2:1)
-Weight: 601g (f) 764 (r) 1365g (set)
-Extras: Roval padded wheelbag. No-Fault crash replacement policy. Lifetime warranty.
Available at Rovalcomponents.com and Roval/Specialized Retailers
Partnering with We Are One Carbon Composites, Industry Nine is pleased to announce their new carbon MTB wheels, which are made in North America. From XC racing, backcountry riding, Enduro and Downhill, Industry Nine has some wheels for every branch of MTB riding.
… yet we all know that you don’t have to be a weight weenie or a racer to appreciate a good set of XC wheels. Lighter, more durable wheels mean you can get out to your favorite loop with less rotational mass. Roval’s new Control SL Team Wheels come in at 1240 grams for the set, have a rim wall that is 4mm wide, offering up protection against pinch flats, and offer a 29mm internal rim width.
-54t DT Swiss Star Ratchets for Precise Engagement
-Included Double Wheel Bag
-Team-Spec Metallic Blue Graphics
See more at Roval.
It’s no secret that we love earth tone themes over here at the Radavist. Which is why we’ve taken a liking to Cerakote, the durable and thin coating – .5 mil thick! – that is baked on like a powder but at lower temperatures. John’s Sklar’s finish is Cerakote and we’re seeing more and more integration with frames but very few component applications. That’s why this Rodeo Labs project caught our eye. They went extra dirty with this one with the Elite Earth color on everything, including their Rodeo 2.0 rims. Check out more photos below!