6.02.2010

Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: Mid-Term Update! [from Guitar Ted]

It's looking like a P35 kind of week. Yesterday we shared with you the release of our new Velotape for the P35, along with a review done by Brain at Gram Light Bikes. Today, Guitar Ted posted over on TwentyNineInches.com his Mid-Term review on the P35 wheelset, below I've posted most of it here but be sure to check it all out in it's entirety over at his site. If you're looking for another honest review of the P35's check out this months newest Dirt Rag Magazine.


Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: Mid-Term Update!

Well, this has been a long time coming, but here is the Mid-Term update on Velocity’s P-35 rims and wheel set that I have been riding for about six months now. If you want a refresher on the wheel set, you can check out the Out Of The Box post which will give you all the data on the rims and hubs. Let’s take a look at what I have found so far with the P-35 rims and also with these wheels as a whole……..

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The P-35 rims really stretch out the foot print of your tires!

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I’ve been riding these with the Soul Cycles Dillinger Gen III frame during the test.

The P-35 Rims: First, let’s focus on what the rims do and don’t do for you. As stated in the Out Of The Box post, the P-35 in 29″er size is listed at a sub 600 gram weight. I didn’t get to weigh these specific rims, since the wheels were built at Velocity’s U.S.A. facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but suffice it to say, they do not feel heavy, or all that hard to spin up. These are definitely a lighter weight rim than the other wide rims out there. Does it sacrifice lateral stiffness? Well, so much of that is how a wheel is built, the tensions used, and what have you, but to my feel, these are definitely not quite “Gordo” stiff. That isn’t to say they are not acceptable, or even good. Actually, they are quite nice in this area, but the Gordo’s I have, (first production run), are definitely a stiffer rim. All but the heavier riders will think P-35’s are stiff though. I would rate them at above average for sure. Keep in mind- A stiffer rim will most likely weigh more too, unless it is carbon fiber, but that’s another story. You want the ultimate in wide and stiff? I would point you to the MTX-33, but it weighs 750 grams too. See what I mean?

For most folks, the P-35 is going to be just peachy. The combination of the width, weight, and stiffness is a pretty nice one for average trail riding and probably up to light All Mountain pursuits. Could you XC race this rim? Well…..yes, of course you could, but there are lighter weight choices that make more sense for that sort of thing.

dillinger2010 006What else does the P-35 rim do? Well, it really puts more tire down on the trail, just like any wide rim does in this class. I was really surprised when I was able to mount the Ardent 2.4″ tires tubeless and run them at about 15psi on packed snow machine trails. The rims put so much tire on the packed snow that I could ride for miles as long as the surface had been traveled heavily by the snow going vehicles before me. This isn’t to say that I had a “fat bike”, but in a pinch, you could really do fairly well on these rims with the right tires on packed snow. The fun continued on dirt as well. I was really noticing the way the Ardent’s were gripping the trail, and I was still running fairly low pressures in the low 20’s. Yes, you have more rolling resistance, but the traction you get in certain situations with certain tires will be amazing. Keep in mind, not all tires will get better on a P-35. Some will actually perform worse, so remember that in your experimenting. I would recommend sticking to 2.35 tires and wider, but don’t let that stop you from checking something else out.

The Wheel Set: The wheels as a whole are actually pretty dang impressive as well. The wheels bearings were impressively smooth and free running when I received them. They have remained that way despite my attempts at snow riding, mud riding, and commuting in less than ideal situations with them. No play has developed during the test period, and I have had no issues at all with them. The spokes and nipples have also been doing their job, keeping everything running straight and true throughout the first half of the year. Some may lament the fact that the front hub is not convertible to 15QR or 9mm QR, but I know that I would rather have a beefy front rim on a more aggressive rig, so the 20mm through axle is the way to go for me. (Front hubs are available in standard quick release if so desired) Also, it is worth noting that Velocity used the “old school” threaded free wheel style hub interface for the rear hub. Of course, we have White Industries free wheels to fall back on, thankfully! But that may put you off if you have a stash of several cassette based single speed cogs.

Note: Twenty Nine Inches received this wheel set at no charge for test and review. We are not being bribed or paid for the review here and we will stive to give our honest opinions throughout.

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