Rim Suggestion - Middle Schooler Race Hard Tail?
I'm getting ready to build up a set of wheels for my son to go on a new composite hard tail. He's 13, about 100 pounds, racing cross country, but he bangs pretty hard, will pinch flat when he's on tubes, and cuts tires before he wears them out; high volume would be nice. He's also a thorn magnet so we'll need to be tubeless. I'm not a big fan of improvised tubeless so we'll want a real UST or equivalent rim. Not a big fan of Stans because of the tight bead and tension changes when you mount the tire. The wheels will probably be 32h, 3 cross. Carbon hoops are probably not in the budget. Probably built on a set of Hope hubs.
I've had good luck with the i19 but I'm open to other ideas. Any suggestion on rims?
I've not used the i19's, but I have had the i23's on my bike for a while (recently put a Sun Ringle Inferno 27 on my rear, long story!) I can say for certain that they are a very good rim, the setup tubeless super easy too. However, getting tires off is a real hassle due to the design of the rim. The bead, even on normal tires, really locks in tightly and takes a good bit of muscle to unseat. That said, if running tubeless such an issue is negated almost entirely unless your son manages to burp the tire, which I've never managed to do, despite my best efforts.
Mavic's offerings are another good option; while most are not a true UST rim, they are all easily convertible to tubeless simply with the use of proper rim tape and are just about the top dogs in terms of reliability. Generally a bit heavier, but in the long run, even as a racer, I'd go for the durability and strength of an eyeleted rim any day. That said, the frequency series rims from WTB aren't exactly fragile either!
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of true UST rims on the market. The trend is more towards "tubeless compatible" rims and tires which give lighter weights over true UST stuff, and are almost as reliable. If you open up away from pure UST beaded stuff, I think you'll find a much greater selection. Sun Ringle's narrower Inferno rims (23 or 25) are a great option, the WTB laserDisc trail i21 is very similar to the i19, albeit wider, a bit heavier, and more importantly; eyelets. While lacking the true UST bead seat area, the design used is very similar and again, readily works with tubeless.
Read reviews, talk to some people at your LBS; maybe they have an experienced wheelbuilder on hand who can help you decide as well! Best of luck to you with the rims and best of luck to your son in his racing! If there's a high school NICA league near you, get him into that as soon as he's out of junior high! I'm on my second season of High School racing and I'm loving it!
*EDIT* Also, is this bike a 26" or a 29"?
2014 Felt Compulsion LT3
2009 GT Sanction 2.0
1994 Cannondale M400
Another vote for i19's. Though I haven't used them, I really like what I've read. I would be on them if they made an i26 or i27.
Its a 29er. My older son races Nica/Norcal, but he got a late start so its slow getting up to speed. The younger one will have a few seasons of racing under his belt and so we're hoping for a land-shark.
Originally Posted by Spykr
I'll check out the Mavic rims. Thanks.
I have the i23s on my bike and love the reliability of the tubeless system. I've had much less luck with the compatible systems so I'm gun shy at this point. My "compatible" dt rims dumped me several times at pressures that were 10 pounds heaver than what my i23s are safe at. There just doesn't seem to be much point in tubeless if you have to run tubed pressures to keep from burping and crashing.
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