Following the 2016 launch of a revised Roam 60 wheelset for 27.5" wheels, today SRAM has announced that fans of bigger wheels can get their hands on the wider, stiffer 29er wheels themselves, with the Roam 60 29".
Bigger wheels tend to roll over terrain better, enabling them to sustain speed more easily, but this comes with its own challenges when constructing a wheel. Larger diameter rims mean more weight, and in just the wrong place, while the bigger radius means lateral stiffness needs extra thought. If SRAM's claims are correct, it looks like it has addressed this.
The rim is an all-carbon affair. The rim wall has a hookless design with a 30mm internal width. It's tubeless ready and has an asymmetrical profile. It has a matte unidirectional finish, and decal packs will come with the wheels. This all helps take the wheels down to the claimed 1,790g weight.
Spoke count has been increased over the 27.5" wheels, rising to 28 from 24. There's also a four-cross lacing pattern used to connect the straight pull spokes to the rim.
As per the smaller wheels, the 29" wheels use their 'Solo Spoke' system, whereby there's one length of spoke per wheelsize, regardless of whether it's front or back, drive or non-driveside. The spokes are connected to the rim by brass nipples, which are more corrosion resistant than alloy ones that are often found on factory wheels.
A new hub shell has been designed, but it comes with the features we saw on the smaller wheels last year. The Double Time freehub has a pawl system whereby one of the two sets of pawls is in contact with the 26t ratchet ring at any one time, meaning 52 points of engagement and 6.9 degrees of engagement.
Compatibility fans will be happy to hear that the 29er wheels will fit pretty much any big-wheeled bike. The hub's end caps can be swapped for QR, 15x100mm or 15x110mm on the front. Both 15mm versions also come with SRAM's Torque Cap options — a 31mm diameter wheel/fork interface rather than 21mm standard — as seen on the latest RockShox forks.
At the back, frames with QR, 12x142 and 12x148mm dropouts are easily used, while there are also end caps available for 12x135mm set-ups too. Both SRAM's XD driver and Shimano's standard freehubs will be available.
We're waiting to get hold of a set for testing, however our colleagues on MBUK magazine are currently testing the 27.5" wheels. So far they're impressed — often carbon wheels can feel harsh, however it seems like SRAM has managed to engineer some compliance into these rims without them feeling overly flexy or vague.
Look out for a full review in the coming months.
The 29" Roam 60s are due to be available in August this year, and will retail at £778 / £866 and $900 / $1,000 for front/rear.