Initial Review: WTB Exposure 30mm Tires

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Initial Review: WTB Exposure 30mm Tires

After being skeptical of road tubeless for a handful of years, I have decided to give them a chance.

The Set Up:

Tires: WTB Exposure 30mm
Rims: Pacenti Forza
Tape: WTB TCS Tape
Valve: Boyd Cycling
Sealant: Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex

I was able to set up the tires with a floor pump. The WTB tape is similar to Stan's NoTubes as far as thickness goes. To my eyes they're identical but both companies offer different widths. I used 2 layers of the 24mm wide tape to ensure a good seal from bead to bead.

The Boyd valves are nice with a meaty rubber interface to sit in the center channel. The wingnut they designed for their valves is such a simple design and makes it a nice experience instead of having to use pliers to tighten a standard round valve nut.

Tire fit was tight and gave me confidence that I would be able to use the floor pump. The fit isn't as tight as anything like a Stan's rim and the tire casing is supple enough that it was fairly easy to mount. I did have to employ the use of a tire lever for the last ~4 inches at the valve. Work gloves could also be supplemented for the tire lever.

I positioned the bead onto as much of the bead shelf as I could - this certainly ensured easy floor pump set-up. When using the pump I did have to pump at a rapid pace for about 10 pumps and then I was set up. I did this with two pumps to see which worked better. I used an SKS Rennkompressor on the front tire and a Bontrager TurboCharger HP on the rear. The Rennkompressor was the victor in speed of pumping action and ease of setting up the tire. The Bontrager still did it but not as easily or quickly as the SKS. Measured tire width on Forza rims is 32mm.

The Caffelatex is easy to install- like most sealants on the market. I have the 1000ml bottle and use a nasal aspirator to get the fluid up from the provided cup (marked with volume notches). I do feel that maybe more sealant is required than recommended as I did lose air overnight. It's impossible to see what the sealant has to seal inside the tire when setting up. 
[Side Note: I managed to set up non-tubeless Pari-Moto 650b tires on Pacenti DL31 rims with sealant and haven't lost air. There was some weeping through parts of the sidewall and extra was indeed used but results have been positive!]

I've only managed to log about ~200 miles on them. Ride quality exceeded my expectations. Super comfortable, felt just as fast as a 25 at 80 psi (for 150lb rider). I played around with pressure, initially starting at 60 psi front and 65 rear. I've found on pavement I like 50 psi rear and 40-45 psi front. On gravel/dirt roads I like to run 35-45 psi. Cornering feels confident- excellent grip and tire contact. Standing climbs and sprints feel stable with no tire squish from the lower pressures. The tires are very supple feeling but the tubeless casing is more rigid than a Vittoria Corsa or Challenge Paris-Roubaix. Overall these tires feel fast and can handle everything I've thrown at them so far.

I'm looking forward to getting more miles on them and really enjoying that low pressure and absorbing all the cracks, bumps and potholes that the Baltimore area has.

I'm really happy to be able to offer the great products that WTB puts into the market. If there are any questions about their products or any featured in this entry - feel free to ask!

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Mavic Open Pro UST Build

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Mavic Open Pro UST Build

A couple weeks back I got in a set of 24-hole Mavic Open Pro UST road (rim brake) rims. I wanted to see how one of the cycling industry's longest running and iconic manufacturers is approaching a modern road rim for aftermarket builds. Sadly, the Exalith version of the rim is slated for late 2017 / early 2018.

 A major step for Mavic - utilizing their machining technology for standard spoked rims.

A major step for Mavic - utilizing their machining technology for standard spoked rims.

I averaged the weight between the two rims at 407g which is was impressive but also drew concern about durability and ease of building. It's listed on Mavic's site as 430g. 

  • ERD : 592mm

  • Internal Width : 18.6

  • External Width : 22.8

  • Weight : ~407g

  • Max Pressure: 87psi

  • Hole Counts: 24; 28; 32

  • MSRP: $99.99 USD

Rims were laced with Miche Primato road hubs. I wanted to keep the budget low on these wheels to allow people to try them. I want to offer quality rims and hubs at an affordable price that can be customized through spoke, nipple, hole count and lacing pattern. 

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The front wheel is radially laced with Sapim D-Light spokes to prevent the wheel from feeling too flexy while cornering, climbing out of the saddle or sprinting. The rear wheel was laced 2-cross on both sides with Sapim D-Lights on the non-drive side and Sapim Race on the drive side. I wanted to keep the weight down a bit as well as maintain some acceleration stiffness on the drive side. Nipples are Wheelsmith silver brass for longevity and cost.

The Build:
The rims were overall fairly round. I was able to build the front wheel with ease. Radially it was very touchy due to the low weight and shallow depth. It finished at 94kgf with 2.1% variation in overall tension. The rear was less round and did put up a bit of a fight. I finished the drive side tension at 117kgf to help the low non-drive side tension. I've heard max tension is 110kgf - so I feel I am safe with the tension drop after a tire is mounted. Spoke tension tolerance was ~6%. Not under 5% that I prefer but not astronomical like a lot of wheels that come through my stand.

 A little valve hole vision

A little valve hole vision

I did not use the recommended Mavic UST tape as I was not aware it did not come with the rim with the purchase. That being said, I used blue 3M tape.
Mounting tires proved stubborn but not as difficult as a Stan's NoTubes or v1 Pacenti SL23. It was not set up with tubeless tires. I am waiting until WTB gets their Exposure 30mm tires back in stock. I'm in the middle of doing a review on those tires (on Pacenti Forza rims) for a later blog post.

These wheels are available for demo in the Baltimore area with the option to run Shimano or Campy. Feel free to email me with any questions regarding the build, rims or hubs.

This set will average $650 for anyone interested in ordering.

Stay tuned for a short review from Chris Bishop who got to ride them the day after I built them!

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Boyd Kanuga 29" Rims

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Boyd Kanuga 29" Rims

I recently received a set of the new Boyd Kanuga mountain bike rims for a customer. I took some measurements and will say that I am very impressed so far.

The measured ERD of 595mm is consistent around the rim. The weight for the 28h rim was 451g and the 32h weighed 437g. The internal width was 24.6mm and external width of 29.2mm. Rim depth is 22mm. Impressive weight for such a wide rim. The center rim well is narrower than their Altamont road offering. The bead shelf is also very different by incorporating a small bead locking lip to help prevent tire burping.

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