RockGuardz XC/AM carbon rims review

Wide carbon rims at a relatively cheap price

BikeRadar score4/5

While the sight of four-figure price tag carbon rimmed wheelsets is increasingly common, a growing number of riders are trusting to smaller brands for their carbon bling, often sourcing direct from Chinese factories. These RockGuardz rims are one example, with this version ticking the boxes for a decent width and stiffness.

Our 650b set was built onto Hope’s hassle-free Pro II Evo hubs, giving a solid base for testing, and weighing 1727g for the pair. They’re available in narrower XC, XC/AM as well, with all but the AM/Enduros coming in all three wheel sizes.

The rims have a 24mm internal width, giving a good and square profile to tyres without being overly draggy. The unidirectional carbon outer layer gives no hint that you’re rolling on anything out of the ordinary, but within the first few turns the stiffness is noticeable, even with 650b wheels. We’ve battered them down everything steep and rocky we can find without issue and they’ve been run tubeless without any problems with aftermarket rim tape. After a hard few months, they’re still tracking true and with even spoke tension.

Performance wise, they’re great and while there’s little to differentiate them from other cheaper carbon offerings, buying from a UK brand gives a degree of peace of mind that you wouldn’t get taking a punt on eBay specials.

Superstar’s Carbon AM offerings do offer a bit more backup in terms of an extended two-year warranty as well as the reassurance of being independently lab tested in the UK, but we’ve had no reason to doubt the quality of the RockGuardz rims during testing. If you’re after stiff, light and durable carbon rims, these are a great option.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 62kg / 137lbs
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 92cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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