Ibis just released the details of its latest products: three carbon wheelsets with internal rim widths that trend wider than the current norm.
The Santa Cruz, California-based company may be better known for its curvaceous carbon mountain bikes, though company founder Scot Nicol has seen the sport evolve from its inception and notes that some of the early pioneers of the sport were on to something when they started repurposing wide Araya 7X rims from beach cruisers for use on mountain bikes.
Wider rims increase the volume of a given tire, provide more sidewall support, improve traction and allow the rider to run lower tire pressures, which can result in lower rolling resistance. Read more on the case for wider rims here.
“I have to say that jumping on the 41mm rims for the first time is a little bit like the first time I rode a RockShox front suspension (coming from rigid), you have to relearn what the bike is capable of. It’s that dramatic,” writes Nicol.
The downside to many of the wide mountain bike rims of the past was strength and weight — two hurdles that can be conquered through carbon.
Ibis worked in conjunction with Derby Rims to bring the first wide carbon fiber rims to market in 2013. Ibis went so far as to fund half the original tooling expense of these rims. Derby Rims provided Ibis with invaluable testing for the company’s own concepts. Ibis notes that Derby’s rims are made in a different factory, as Ibis needed to produce rims on a much larger scale.
All three of Ibis’ carbon rims feature a hookless bead designs. Ibis tested the impact strength of several major brands of carbon fiber rims and discovered that the change to a hookless bead was a major advantage in impact strength. The hookless bead design, along with the carbon layup, results in a claimed increase in impact strength of 50 to 300 percent over competing carbon rims with bead hooks.
Ibis’ new rims seek to harness the properties of carbon to make wide rims that are both light and strong:Courtesy
For now, Ibis will only sell its rims as part of complete wheelsets. The hubs feature 32-hole drillings, use Enduro bearings, and will be available with either a Shimano or SRAM XD driver body. The rims will be laced to the hubs using triple-butted (2.2-1.5-2.0) J-bend spokes that thread into alloy nipples.