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Thread: NOX Composites?

  1. #1
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    NOX Composites?

    Greetings--

    I've been looking around at a wheelset upgrade for my XC ride. I came across an ad this morning (on MTBR) for Nox Composites. Looking around on their website, their rims looked like they could be a nice new options for carbon wheels/rims. (disclaimer-- I am not a wheel expert in the slightest!)

    They look to be a very new company, so I wasn't shocked when google just came up with their own website, and nothing else. I sent them an email this afternoon, and hope to hear back from them soon.

    Anybody have thoughts on their rim designs?

    NOX Composites?-mainpic4_0.jpg

  2. #2
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    Hey padrefan1982,

    Hope we answered your recent questions, let me know if you have any more!

    We are a pretty new company - we released our first carbon rim about a month ago, the XCR-29. This rim has been in development for a year and we've been prototyping and testing for about 8 months. The XCR-29 is unique in that it is very wide for an XC rim (23mm internal) and is asymmetric (2.4mm offset flip/flop design so the same rim can be used front or rear). We're big believers in asymmetrical rims and we have some stuff on our website explaining why they build into better wheels. Production rim weights are right around 385g.

    Our rims are built with a unique mixture of 3K weave and unidirectional Toray prepreg fiber. We are wrapping the 3K weave around the bead lip to reinforce this area to rim strikes and also using the 3K weave to support drill holes. We also designed our rims specifically to be run tubeless with normal or "tubeless-ready" tires. No thick/heavy tape or rubber rim strips required.

    We're stoked about the rims and just trying to get the word out. All of our employees are engineers or geeky wheel builders, so marketing isn't our forte but we're trying! If anyone is near Knoxville, TN give us a call/email and we'll get you on some demo wheels! We're also looking to sponsor more Elite athletes (Cat 1/Pro), so check out our Grassroots Race Team.

    Thanks
    Brad
    Nox Composites
    Last edited by NoxComposites; 08-07-2013 at 07:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Brad-- You answered all of them! I came up with one today that I'll be emailing you about later.

    I'll answer my own question a bit, for others who are curious about NOX. I emailed NOX the same day I posted this topic with a bunch of questions about their rims and company. The same day, Brad offered to call me and discuss everything over the phone. When that didn't work due time issues, he answered all of my questions-- even some tough ones about the newness of their company, and gave me honest (even positive at times) feedback about competitors carbon wheels. Those things convinced me to pick up a wheelset with King hubs from them.

    I won't claim to be any sort of expert on wheels, rims, spokes or hubs, but I was impressed by the amount of information to be found on their website, which I feel is a good thing for a new company to have out there. It was detailed and clear enough for me to understand, and has helped me feel pretty great about the wheels I've ordered. When I get some time on them, I'll be sure post my impressions for others.

    Just to be clear-- I have no relationship with NOX whatsoever. Just a guy who's been pretty impressed by what I've seen so far.

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    Good to see more carbon rim options popping up. Especially US-built rims.

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    Hi Brad:

    I also saw your ad here and visited your web site and was also quite impressed by what I saw -- not a wheel expert either, and your site did a good job explaining the whys behind your design. I am also glad to see that CF rims are becoming more affordable and commonplace.

    I have some questions:

    I eventually want to get a good wheelset for my Trek Superfly AL Elite. I have been looking at Bontrager's Race X Lite. I have never actually ridden them, but I did ride Race Lite, and they are awesome. Your design is similar in that it has an offset spoke bed and bladed spokes. The stock wheels on my bike have the offset spoke bed -- it makes a lot of sense to me. I hardly ever have to true them.

    Ok, my questions :

    1. Has any study been done on aerodynamic benefits of bladed spokes on mountain bikes. I am a pilot and understand that air drag is only 1/4th of what it would be if you were 15mpg as opposed to 30, but can't believe that it wouldn't shave a few seconds off a race. (Thanks for your web site for pointing out that bladed spokes are stronger. I didn't know that).

    2. My stock wheelset has 28 spokes front/32 rear. I weigh let's say 180 lbs to be conservative. Would this be a good configuration for your wheels?

    3. Do the hubs you carry use Centerlock rotors?

    4. By bike currently has regular old Quick Release. Do you have thru-bolt options that would work with my bike? Can the hubs be converted to Thru-axle if I change stanchions or frame?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Hi Dennis,

    1. I'm not aware of an aerodynamic study specifically for mountain bikes, but obviously it has an impact to some degree, especially when it's common for average speeds at XC races to be 16-19mph for pro riders and typically there are some extended fast sections (road starts, fireroad descents, etc.). So is it an aero advantage, yes.. is it something you could actually feel, I don't know.. but we don't default to bladed spokes because of aerodynamics, we do it for other reasons, primary weight while keep the wheel strong (like you said, they are stronger than an equivalent weight round butted spoke). They also contribute a small amount to increased tangential stiffness which is a cool side-effect.

    2. I'd push you towards 32/32. We've done a LOT of testing and research about this. The wheel is a system. Just because you have stiff rims does NOT mean you can "save some weight" with less spokes. In fact, stiff rims will make flexy spokes more obvious to you when it comes to noticing deflection opposite of wheel loading. If you're on a 29er, you need all the lateral stiffness you can get, period. I promise you you'll be faster with a extremely solid feeling front wheel (a good carbon rim with 32 spokes) than you would be by saving ~20g to go with 28 holes. Even at 32 spokes we still have wheelsets under 1450g. And these are not noodle race day only wheels, these are extremely stiff wheels. Making stiff rims and wheels is really the primary reason we got into this.

    3. No, but we will build with any hub you want. DT or Shimano are both good options if you want centerlock. You can even send in your existing hubs. Or of course you can buy our rims and have your local wheel builder handle it too. Our rims use standard spokes and standard nipples, so experienced wheel builders won't have any problems building with them. We're flexible (except for our rims.. which are stiff!) :-)

    4. Yes, American classic has a 9mm thru-axle hub option. It's not a configuration we keep in stock but we can order it for you in just a few days. King does not offer a 9mm thru option. And again, we are happy to customize a build for you using whatever hubs you want. We like AC hubs because they are very light and have been reliable for us, and for those less concerned with weight, we feel like Kings are the best you can buy from a durability and engagement point of view.

    And just for full transparency - our rims are not made in the US as someone noted above. We do final finishing, decals, QC and wheel building by hand in Tennessee. Unfortunately we wouldn't be able to sell rims of this quality at this price point if they were made in the US. It's something we looked into very hard, and it's a sad fact, but as many of you know, making carbon rims is a very labor intensive process.

    Thanks!
    Brad
    Nox Composites

  7. #7
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Cool. Im interested in sponsorship... Maybe my whole team too.

    I represent well, just winning the Us Cup East/SERC series as a cat 1 this season.

    Ill shoot you an email!
    John
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

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    Just to add a bit to this thread, I recently set up a dealer account with NOX and received a set of rims to build and review for Singletracks (On Test blog post coming soon). The rims arrived early this week, it'll be next week before I get them built and on the trail.

    The fit and finish is very nice. Consistent ERD measurements (tho my #s were different than their published number, as with ANY rim - always measure before buying spokes!). Mine were both right on target with weight - 383g and 385g. Schweeeet. They are VERY stiff, I'm looking forward to hitting the trails on 'em.




  9. #9
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    I recently received a demo XCR-29 wheelset to try out. I haven't had a chance to ride them yet, but I'm VERY impressed with the design and the quality. I'll post up a review soon.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  10. #10
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    To add on some initial impressions. I got my wheels this week, but due to school starting back up (teacher) I haven't been abel to get much time on them... should get some trail time tomorrow, but what I've noticed already:

    • Rim quality is great from what I can tell. Look beautiful, and if you care about these kind of things, their decals should lift off easy (I like 'em though)
    • Tubeless tape was preinstalled, and the Nox rims were the fastest tubeless install I've done. What I didn't expect was that one of my tires would not hold a seal with the old Roval rim, but on a whim, I tried the tire on the Nox, and bam; sealed up first time. Rim width seemed to help with the install as well, as the tire beads didn't have to 'fight' for space with the valve stem.
    • They're stiff. I don't have a lot (read: no) of experience with other carbon rims, but these far exceed other nice aluminum rims I've run (ACs, Stans, etc) They kill the stock wheels they replaced-as they should!
    • Weight was right on. I picked up a complete wheels from them and the weight was with-in the range given on the website.
    • What I've noticed in 5 -7 miles I have on them is that I'm spinning faster gears, which is awesome. I was a full 1 mph faster on the short Strava trail section I have been able to ride so far. Only change has been the wheels.


    None of this should be a surprise, I feel like, since these aren't cheap. But so far, I feel like they're worth every penny. I'll have more info on them when I get some real trail time during the labor day weekend.

    Just my 2 cents.

  11. #11
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    I have been looking at Carbon wheels for my Carbon Superfly for over a year. There are certainly many good offerings and in the last 6 mos or so price points of many wheels have become more reasonable. I had almost decided on Enve but was hesitant due to price and width of their XC wheel (24mm out/18mm in). The AM wheel is a good width (30mm out/ 24mm in) and is still a few grams lighter with Chris King Hubs than Nox Composites.

    I have had Chris King hubs on all my bikes for over 12 years now and that availability is an important consideration for me with carbon wheels. Due to cost of carbon with the availability of building with CK I have also been considering going back with a Stan's rim. But now seeing Nox composites, their building philosophy, price and location ( I am in the south) I am going to put in my order for a set. When I receive the wheels I will provide an update and eventual review.

  12. #12
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    Got mine laced up finally. Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs, 32H, Revolution spokes all around. 1,582g. I'll have some miles on 'em by the end of the week.




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    That's some serious bling Dustin. Nice work!

  14. #14
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    You know,
    There are some of us the still run our 26ers out there. Maybe not for XC, but I could be interested in a carbon rim.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    You know,
    There are some of us the still run our 26ers out there. Maybe not for XC, but I could be interested in a carbon rim.
    Deflexion Racing

    ^^they're on Instagram too, username deflexionracing

  16. #16
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    When are the 650B rims available?

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    We are finalizing the 650B prototypes this week! Currently our AM-275 is running 27mm internal width and will run about 415 grams. We will have them available in about 2 months once they pass all our testing.

    Other near-term plans include an AM-29 rim ~27mm internal width and bit beefier build and an XCR-275 rim at 23mm internal width and ~350ish gram weight. All rims will be asymmetrical.

    We aren't anti-26 or anything, just starting with what has the highest market demand.

    Brad
    Nox Composites

  18. #18
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    ok!! are you gonna make this am 29 rim big enough for chunky boys????

  19. #19
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    Boy this has me thinking about a set!!

    Would also be interested in saving some green by going with Revs or Supercomps.
    And I love beer!!

  20. #20
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    The rims look really nice and I'm stoked to see some more carbon rim options popping up. Nice going.
    I do have to make a couple of corrections to your claims about bladed spokes:
    Quote Originally Posted by NoxComposites View Post
    1. I'm not aware of an aerodynamic study specifically for mountain bikes, but obviously it has an impact to some degree, especially when it's common for average speeds at XC races to be 16-19mph for pro riders and typically there are some extended fast sections (road starts, fireroad descents, etc.). So is it an aero advantage, yes.. is it something you could actually feel, I don't know.. but we don't default to bladed spokes because of aerodynamics,
    From an aerodynamic perspective, you would be much better served by wearing an aero helmet than going for bladed vs. round spokes when they're running behind a 2.0(+) knobby mountain bike tire that is tearing up the air.
    Quote Originally Posted by HillDancer
    (like you said, they are stronger than an equivalent weight round butted spoke).
    While the extra step of turning a round spoke into a bladed one does add some amount of yield strength to the spokes, spokes do not fail by exceeding yield strength... not even close, and this "added strength" is not something that translates into wheels, so this claim is somewhat misleading.
    The bottom line is that bladed spokes do not build a wheel any stronger or stiffer than equivalent round spokes.
    I will add that the additional surface area of bladed spokes makes them much more likely to encounter rock or stick strikes and the process that made them "stronger" also made them more brittle.

    Quote Originally Posted by HillDancer
    They also contribute a small amount to increased tangential stiffness which is a cool side-effect.
    I'll say that this is just wrong. Making a bladed spoke out of a round one does not change the elasticity of the steel, which is what would be required to produce the effect you claim. That said, since you seem fairly well versed, I'd entertain whatever it is that led you to this conclusion, even though it is incorrect.
    I'm not at all trying to be combative, just helpful in getting what is already a pretty solid looking pitch to more factual accuracy, and I do recognize that there are many people in the bike industry that have mistakenly prescribed to these beliefs about bladed spokes.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoxComposites

    They also contribute a small amount to increased tangential stiffness which is a cool side-effect.
    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather
    I'll say that this is just wrong. Making a bladed spoke out of a round one does not change the elasticity of the steel,...
    I think you two are talking about different things. Nox is referring to the ability of the spoke to resist bending, you are referring to stretchy-ness. The spoke flat spoke would indeed resist bending in the plane of the wheel more than a round spoke. But I suppose a flat spoke would bend laterally easier, so it may not be buying you anything.

    If you don't care about aerodynamics, mount the blades sideways, or alternate

    Nox -- what is your philosophy on linear-pull spokes (or whatever you call it -- hubs that do not require the spoke to be bent)?

    Wheel Building Philosophy | Nox Composites

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    The spoke flat spoke would indeed resist bending in the plane of the wheel more than a round spoke. But I suppose a flat spoke would bend laterally easier, so it may not be buying you anything.
    That doesn't matter, for two reasons. One, the spoke can pivot in the hub flange, it's not a hard/fixed joint. But mostly, it doesn't matter because the spokes work in tension, not bending, so the elasticity is what matters. If you take a round spoke and flatten it, it still has the same cross section area (it's just a different shape) and therefore the same "stretch" for a given load.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    I think you two are talking about different things. Nox is referring to the ability of the spoke to resist bending, you are referring to stretchy-ness. The spoke flat spoke would indeed resist bending in the plane of the wheel more than a round spoke. But I suppose a flat spoke would bend laterally easier, so it may not be buying you anything.
    I'm glad you mentioned this, because it is another misconception about bladed spokes, and really spokes in general; that spoke bending plays any role in a wheel's response to load (it does not).
    dgaddis1 is right on.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1 View Post
    That doesn't matter, for two reasons. One, the spoke can pivot in the hub flange, it's not a hard/fixed joint. But mostly, it doesn't matter because the spokes work in tension, not bending, so the elasticity is what matters. If you take a round spoke and flatten it, it still has the same cross section area (it's just a different shape) and therefore the same "stretch" for a given load.

    I disagree with you. This bladed spoke is the fastest and strongest

    NOX Composites?-dtswiss.jpg

    Because it's RED
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  25. #25
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    All spoke opinions aside I'm very anxious to hear and see more about these rims!
    And I love beer!!

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