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  1. #1
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    Rim Choice: WTB i23 vs. DT Swiss EX500

    WTB i23:
    $50-$70
    470g
    Made in China
    Tubeless ready, no kit needed

    DT Swiss EX500
    $90-$110
    500g
    Made in Poland or Taiwan
    Need a tubeless conversion kit

    The WTBs are a new rim, not many miles on any of these yet. Questionable durability based on country of production and being a new rim. I do like their concept of rim and bead design. But why the China production? Chinese made stuff is just usually poor quality.

    The DTs have been out awhile, proven durability. Cost 2x price of WTBs and extra cost to convert. This adds about another $20/wheel if using Stan's tape and sealant making this rim about $110-$135 each.

    I've been using Mavic 823s (670g, wow) and 819s (A bit narrow) and they've been bombproof. But they're a bit heavy and I'm just wanting to try something new. Anyone with experience on either of these rims please chime in.

    Thoughts?
    We Ride In God's Country!

  2. #2
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    myitch: I hear you I'm comparing some of the same things and struggling with the choice.
    I'm wondering about the overall durability of the I23.......at least for part time lift assisted use.
    It is sleeved not welded.

    I couldn't tell if the I 23 comes complete with tape and a valve for the tubeless set up or if you have to buy it also.

    I'm replacing a Mavic 721 and want to be tubeless ready. 823's are still my top pick but I do mostly trail riding so there is the struggle...weight.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    What about flows? Wide and strong.

  4. #4
    MK_
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    i23s still need some type of tape to seal up the spoke holes, just like 5.1Ds (ex500).
    The i23s have a tubeless rim bead.

    i23s are also 23mm wide internally with 28mm outer width.
    The ex500s are 21mm wide internally with 28mm outer width.
    Wider i23s internal width should give better tire support.

    ex500 have eyelets.
    i23s don't (that's where the weight saving is); WTB claims 4D drilling makes for a better interface than eyelets (eyelets are there to spread the spoke load over wider area).

    I went out on a limb and figured that the i23s will be at least as strong as ex500s; they have approximately the same amount of aluminum (sans eyelets) and the i-beam support of the i23 is the same as their laserdisk series which I've found to be quite a benefit in those rim for their given application and weight. I just picked up a set and will be lacing them up to replace 5.1Ds (hoping to shave 60-100g from the wheelset, depending on which posted weight you believe for i23s)

    I'm not sweating the pinned vs welded; once tensioned up the pinned junction is very strong.

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
    -- Marx, Groucho

  5. #5
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch View Post
    The WTBs concepts are good but I just don't like China-made products. They're known for low price production prices but, unfortunately a history of poor quality also. At least Taiwan made products have much improved to the point where much of our mtb products are made there. But Chinese-produced products are not there yet.

    Only time will tell with the longevity of the i23s since they're only a few months old. At least the EX500s are proven already. But yes 2x the price of the i23s
    So why are you asking?

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
    -- Marx, Groucho

  6. #6
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    The WTBs concepts are good but I just don't like China-made products. They're known for low price production prices but, unfortunately a history of poor quality also. At least Taiwan made products have much improved to the point where much of our mtb products are made there. But Chinese-produced products are not there yet.

    Only time will tell with the longevity of the i23s since they're only a few months old. At least the EX500s are proven already. But yes 2x the price of the i23s
    We Ride In God's Country!

  7. #7
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    I'm asking for those with some ride time on them to share experiences. But yeah, I'm already favoring the EX500s. Again, the i23s have me really interested though. Maybe I should just wait on my wheel build for about a yr after the i23s have had some months/miles on them.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  8. #8
    MK_
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    SSinGA's buddy Aapling is riding the i23s; he's on an Ibis HD so you may want to track him down in the Ibis forum. Not sure how long he has them nor what his opinion is.

    There were quite a few positive reviews from wheel builders at the wheel building forum as well.

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
    -- Marx, Groucho

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