G-Ted/Blunt SL: Mid-Term Report

Guitar Ted over at Twenty Nine Inches just finished his mid-term review of the Blunt SL. Enjoy:

Velocity Blunt SL Comp Wheels: Mid-Term

July 17th, 2011 by Guitar Ted

With more ride time on the new Velocity Blunt SL’s I am ready to write my Mid-Term Report on these rims/wheel set. Meant as a “race day” type of rim, the Blunt SL is the P-35’s little brother, even though it carries the “Blunt” moniker. The bigger P-35 was where the Blunt SL got its “design DNA from”. In fact, the same width tubeless tape is used for both the P-35 and Blunt SL. Because of this, the Blunt SL is easy to set up tubeless with Velocity’s Velotape, and the set here for testing has been problem free throughout in that regard.

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Wheel Performance: Since I received a version of the “Comp” wheel build with the Blunt SL’s I must also include the entire wheel set in this review. To date, the wheels have been trouble free. They remain straight and true as the day I received them, and no issues with the free hub, or with regards to any other mechanical aspect of these wheels has arisen.

I will add that I have not treated them in any regard as other than “daily drivers” and have not taken any measures to be overly kind to them. That said, I wouldn’t expect these to be great wheels for root and rock infested trails where dings and flat spots are common with other wheels. Velocity rims have a history of not being the greatest “rock resistant” rims out there, and the Blunt SL’s should be considered in the same manner. However; for those that can manage to keep the air pressures up within reason, and don’t normally ding up wheels, these should hold up just fine for you. And once again, these are pretty dang light rims. ;) (For all the technical data, see my Out Of The Box post here.)

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As far as riding the Blunt SL’s as set up in this wheel set, I have definitely found that there are two distinct personalities to them. One shows up when you are hitting technical, rutted out or rooty single track. Picking your way through a section, you might feel flex in the Blunt SL, and I could definitely feel it when hitting ruts that ran along the trail where the wheel would “load up” a bit with flex and then release as you tried to maneuver out of a rut, let’s say, or if you were battling a root that ran diagonally across the trail in line with the single track. This was most pronounced if you were going slowly.

However, running at “race pace” the wheels would simply come alive. On open single track, the wheels then would only exhibit slight flex in corners, and then it was a totally manageable feel that did not upset me at all. A lighter, more finesse rider may not even feel a thing in this regard on a typical XC/Trail ride. As I mentioned in the First Impressions post, really tight corners would flex the rear wheel noticeably, but again, I must consider that many riders are lighter than I, so this is a minor concern.

Climbing was met with no issues at all. The rear hub, as mentioned, has been flawless so far, and the wheels seem reasonably stiff enough for spirited, out of the saddle stomping.

Now I will continue to ride these for a few more weeks and then it will be time for the Final Review. I might try mounting a different set of tires on these to check how other brands might fit, but I am liking these Specialized Ground Controls too much right now! ;) Stay tuned…………

Note: Velocity sent these wheels for test/review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed, for this review. We will strive to give our honest opinions throughout.

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