Having last overhauled their wheels in 2013, Boyd Cycling announced an entirely new range for 2016 while at Interbike. Along with reworked road rim moulds, there is soon to be a USA-made hub focusing on increased stiffness and reduced bearing drag along with the brand’s first foray into the mountain bike wheel market.
Wind-tunnel testing carbon designs can be a costly exercise for many brands. Makers are usually financially committed to a particular shape by the time moulds are made for testing. But Boyd have taken a different approach and machined up various prototypes in solid alloy for use in the tunnel.
These heavy rims can be laced up to tension, have a clincher installed and then tested at speed. From this testing, Boyd now has completely new rim shapes, all from their own moulds.
Along with the new shape, Boyd changed manufacturers, so the braking is claimed to be greatly improved, with a textured brake track. All road clincher models also feature a revised tubeless-ready bead shape that’s said to be easier to inflate and offers a secure bead hold with its downward-angled profile.
28mm Carbon is built light for the mountains
Starting with the lightest option, the 28mm Carbon features a 25mm external rim width (18mm internal) and a round 28mm depth. They’re claimed to weigh just 1,270g in a clincher version.
Boyd’s most universal wheel, the 44mm Carbon, sits next in line. Having been wind-tunnel tested against the likes of the Zipp 303, these sit at 27mm external rim width (19mm internal). A clincher pair is claimed to weigh 1,475g. Both the 28s and 44s will be available within the next month.
Getting a little deeper, the new 60mm Carbon offers a 27mm width (19 internal), while the to-be-finalized 90mm should be a little narrower at 25mm (17mm internal). The 60mm version is about two months away, with the 90mm option expected early next year.
Expect to pay $1,500-$1,600 for a pair of carbon clincher wheels. Tubular versions of all the wheels above will be available for $1,400-$1,500.
New alloy rim designs offers tubeless-compatibility, high volume and low weight
Available now, the new Altamont and Altamont Lite alloy wheels offer a 20mm internal width rim, tubeless compatibility, a welded seam and a machined alloy brake track.
The Altamont features a 30mm depth rim and is said to weight 1,530g for the pair. While the Altamont Lite wheelset with its 25mm deep rim is claimed to weigh an impressive 1,430g. Both wheels are priced at US$700.
All but the new 90mm Carbon and Rouleur Alloy are also available with the option of disc brake hubs.
Eternity road hub
Eternity hubs are now just a month away
To be made in the USA, Boyd's prototype Eternity road hubs (an item first seen at NAHBS) uses some neat engineering trickery in the rear hub to cut bearing drag in half, while both front and rear come with boosted stiffness claims.
Related reading: In-depth look at the Boyd Cycling Eternity hub design
Two axles – in the name of speed
With a total of four sealed-cartridge bearings in the rear hub, the drag reduction is achieved by isolating the two freehub bearings from the two axle bearings. For this, the freehub has its own carbon axle to spin on when freewheeling. When you’re pedalling, the ratchets take over and these two bearings no longer move. This is different to traditional designs where, when pedalling, the bearings within the freehub would still spin over the wheel axle.
The design should be positively stiff too, with the two-wheel axle bearings set extremely wide. A wide flange spacing will help to create a laterally stiffer wheel too.
Other features include a titanium freehub body for durability, electroplated pawls and driver ring and a special ‘Speed Coat’ grease. The freehub system will offer an extremely quick 64 points of engagement for fast response after coasting.
A pair of Eternity hubs will add $350 to the price of a Boyd wheelset.
Boyd enters the mountain bike market with one carbon and one alloy model
Having built a reputation in road, Boyd is entering the mountain market with two models, the carbon Ridgeline and the alloy Kanuga. Where it’s common to see more established players offering multiple widths and designs to suit individual disciples, Boyd has taken the simpler approach by offering ‘wheels for the general mountain biker’.
Featuring a welded, tubeless-ready rim, the Kanuga MTB Alloy offers a 29mm external and 25mm inner width. While complete wheelset configurations are still being worked out, the 29er rim is claimed to weigh 400g, with the 27.5 option sitting at 360g.
Building on the Kanuga with increased stiffness and strength, the Ridgeline MTB Carbon features a 33mm external and 26mm internal width. Using a hookless bead design, the 24mm deep tubeless-ready rim is said to weigh 415 and 395g, for the 29er and 27.5 sizes respectively.
Pricing and build details for the mountain bike wheels are to be finalized, with product expected by December.
Boyd also had these neat new tubeless valve stems. Note the wing-nut styled valve nut for easy spinning and a little tightening leverage. Why has no one thought of this before?