As many others do on here, I've been looking at wheels again, hard to find what you want/need at a decent price. Three bikes now, decided to upgrade 'middle' one to a fork that has a 15x100mm front axle. That means four front wheels (three 26" and one 27.5") in my garage are basically outdated with 9x100mm QR because my 3rd bike has a dedicated QR front wheel.

So I was looking at 15x100mm front wheels, most of them are around $300 each. I can get a carbon 26" wheelset for $630 but I don't really need a back wheel since all 3 bikes have QR in back and I already have two 26" rear wheels. I would be using the 26" wheels for two 27.5" frames if that matters to anyone (low bottom brackets are fine if you don't pedal strike going too fast --- I have not had a crash yet because of a pedal strike, close calls but no crashes yet). If the front wheels are $300 each, I could just pay an LBS to relace new spokes to a 15x100mm hub; with labor, spokes, hub it would be about $200 each. Doable until...

I looked at the current pricing on the SRAM Roam 50 wheels. They are on a few different websites, front is selling for $149??? This is a carbon rim with a 25mm internal width, 26, 27.5, 29 wheel sizes. The wheelset is 3.65 lbs total, not the lightest carbon wheelset but still well over a pound less weight than the typical aluminum one that may be as expensive or more. I mean, isn't that a steal for a carbon wheel that has a decent width to it?

I like this deal so much I may get two: one for 26 x 1.95 for pavement and maybe some light hardpack/gravel, and one for 26 x 2.8. I'm sure the perfectionists on here are going to criticize putting a 2.8 on a 25mm internal rim. On paper that's 71mm / 25mm = 2.84 tire to rim ratio, pretty high especially for a plus tire. I agree with that!

However, for a change let's be practical on here for a moment (just a moment of your non-perfectionist time, please, I know it hurts but you can do it). Many if not most plus and even voluminous tires don't measure what they are advertised, EVEN ON THE 'CORRECT' RIM SIZE. That means you just can't divide 71mm / 25mm and get the tire to rim ratio because the tire isn't 71mm wide to begin with. Even on a 40mm rim a lot of plus 2.8 tires only measure 2.65 inches wide. This can also happen with voluminous tires like 2.6: my 2.6 Rekon on the 'correct' 35mm rim measures 2.45 inches wide; in both cases with 2.6 and 2.8 that's 0.15 inches less than advertised and keep in mind this is measuring from the side knobs and not even from the casing. If the tire is on a wide rim, the casing may be the same width or even more than the side knob-measured tire width. On a skinnier rim, the casing measures less than the side knobs, often another 0.2 inches less. In other words, for a 2.8, of which I currently have two mounted, measure 2.60 at the side knobs and 2.40 at the casing, both on 25mm or 26mm internal rim widths. Obviously (I hope obviously), for tire to rim ratio you measure from the casing, not the side knobs. So that really means 2.40 = 61mm / 25mm = 2.44 tire to rim ratio, NOT 2.84. 2.44 is much more acceptable for a plus tire...that in reality isn't really measuring as a plus tire anyway. I've ridden both plus tires over 1000 miles on 25/26mm rims and they have been fine. The main issue is that sometimes you can't get the bead all the way in on both sides and end up with a wobble. If the wobble is bad you have to redo it, add a tube, etc. So yes, there can be a problem, potentially. But other than that a 2.8 tire is totally doable on a 25mm internal rim, I'm confident of that. Besides these Roam 50 wheels are for normal trail use, not for cornering at 25 mph or anything.

If you are looking for a cost-effective wheelset (or just front or back wheel), the Roam 50 should for sure be looked at, for a wide range of XC/trail riding styles. I'm glad I found them.