2.01.2010

Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: First Impressions [from Guitar Ted]

A little while back we sent the 29er guru, Guitar Ted, some of the P35's to check out, ride and review. Over on his site TwentyNineInches.com, he posted this today:

Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: First Impressions

January 31st, 2010 by Guitar Ted

The Velocity P-35 rims are one of the wider rims now available for 29″er freaks to use. The wheel set that we are testing here was built up on Velocity’s hubs at Velocity U.S.A. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can catch up with the details here. This post will touch on the finishing touches to the wheel set and introduce the bike we are testing the wheels on. (Which will have its own test write up coming soon)

I set the Velocity P-35’s up with these 2.4″ Ardent tires we are testing and they are tubeless. The P-35 has the effect of stretching out the casing by about a millimeter over a more common 28mm wide rim with the effect of a slight flattening out of the tire profile in the process. This does two things over a narrower rim: It puts more tread on the trail without running lower pressures and it also brings the tire beads out wider, more underneath the tire tread edge, which gives the tire more support, especially under lateral loads.

In regards to tubeless set up, I used a home brew rim strip which worked beautifully on the P-35. Velocity does not recommend you do yours this way, but would rather see users going with a 32mm Stan’s tape or in the future, use the system they are developing for the P-35. That said, setting up these rims tubeless was a snap. Very easily done, and the bead seat works very well in terms of getting a good tire/rim interface. The Ardents set up on these with a short blast from my air compressor and have been trouble free so far.

Note: The Ardent by Maxxis is not a tubeless tire and running it as such is done at your own risk. Twenty Nine Inches does not recommend running your Ardent tires as such.

For disc brake rotors I set up the Velocity hubs with these Ashima rotors with which I have had good performance from in the past. I used a 185mm up front and a 160mm rotor out back with Avid BB-7 mountain calipers doing the squeezing here. I spun on a ACS Claws 18T free wheel for a rear gear. That wrapped up the set of wheels as complete units, ready to ride, and riding was done, even though it is very cold and snowy here.

Here are the wheels on the bike they will be tested with. A Soul Cycles Dillinger Gen III frame. The set up with a Rock Shox Reba Team with a 20mm Maxle Lite is pretty fun to ride, but I’ll get into that when we introduce the Dillinger a bit later. For now, I’ll focus on the wheels.

The tubeless set up had a bit of a hiccup due to a poor rear tire, (Not a 2.4 inch Ardent), but after matching the front with another 2.4″ Ardent, things have been trouble free. The amazing hub bearings spin really freely, reminiscent of the Easton XC-One single speed wheels we tested last year. The wheels have been noise free, and laterally pretty stiff. With rock hard frozen ice chunks, ruts, and some off camber bits that I could find, I have not been able to discern any lateral flex. When the trails become ride-able, I will put this to the test better in situations at speed.

So far the P-35’s seem as if they should be, at the very least, decent and on par with the Gordo from Salsa Cycles. This will be the inevitable comparison product, as there are no commonly distributed rims in this range out there. Yes- There is a Kris Holm branded rim, but it is quite a bit rarer. My next update will not be for a while yet until the trails open up and I can get these properly ridden. Stay tuned!

Note: These products were provided to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for reviewing. We are not being paid or bribed for this review. We will give our honest opinion or thoughts through out.

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