WTB are releasing a new line of rims called Frequency. These use the same TCS technology as the company’s Stryker wheels so they’re tubeless compatible despite being drilled for standard spokes. The new rims should allow wheel builders to produce high-performance custom tubeless wheels in 26in and 29in sizes at a reasonable price.
“The Stryker [rim] is welded,” Chris Schierholtz, WTB’s marketing manager told BikeRadar. “And it uses a slightly different aluminum that we call WT69 and is a proprietary aluminum [the Frequency uses 7000-series alloy]. The weight difference is minimal, it’s between 5g to 8g, so from a value standpoint this is a great rim with a lot of features for a good [price].” Schierholtz said WTB have no plans to offer the Stryker rim as a standalone product at this point because of its high cost.
Unlike other sealant-based, tape-type tubeless systems, WTB’s TCS rims comply with UST and ETRTO specifications, enabling industry-wide compatibility for tires. OEM manufacturers can safely and legally combine WTB’s prebuilt TCS wheels with any UST tire; with the Frequency line, WTB hope to bring the same advantage to the custom wheel building market.
“We had the Stryker wheelset with the TCS technology, which is great, but we found that a lot of people want rims and to be able to build them up with whatever hub or build style they want,” said Schierholtz. “The biggest thing with our whole TCS concept is that the rim is actually UST compliant.”
The new TCS rims offer a proprietary On-Ramp tire bed, which allows easy tire mounting with just a floor pump, according to WTB. Once mounted, the rim’s Bead Lock ensures that the tire stays locked onto the rim even in the most rugged riding conditions.
WTB’s 4D spoke hole drilling, I-beam rim support and Unbendium Bulge technologies are also found throughout the line. (The latter involves adding material to the outer sidewall to improve torsional, radial and lateral strength).
Four Frequency rims are available: the 26in i19 TCS (19mm wide, 32 spokes, 385g) and i23 TCS (26in, 23mm, 28 or 32 spokes, 435g), plus the i19 TCS 29in (19mm, 32 spokes, 431g) and i23 TCS 29in (23mm, 32 spokes, 455g). The 26in rims cost $75 and the 29er models $80.
For tubeless use, the rims require WTB’s TCS rim tape, which comes in rolls that cover five wheels and in 24mm ($15), 26mm ($16) and 28mm ($17) widths. TCS removable core valve stems ($8) and sealant are also needed; WTB offer their own TCS sealant, which is made by Stan’s NoTubes.com.