Saturday, June 19, 2021

Announcing Project Wide Gravel Wheels v2

A Pair of Spank 359 rims walked into the door Friday for this project.
 Back about five years ago now, I started a project to explore what a wider inner rim width might do for a set of gravel grinding wheels. I called it "Project Wide Gravel Wheels". (I know- what a genius name for a project, right? )

Anyway, probably six months after I launched those wheels out into the countryside a lot of wheel manufacturers were touting 24mm inner rim widths. Mine were 25mm, but the point is, my "wide gravel rims" were now ordinary. Hrrrumpf! 

Not that I cared that much. In fact, I was pleased to see it after my experimenting with 25mm inner rim width went really well. So, this was seemingly spot on. The industry seemed to go ahead with 24mm being at least something of a standard, but then things crept up wider. First it was 25mm, now I am seeing 26mm inner rim width. Hmm......

You all know I've been searching for some rims to match up with my DT Swiss hubs. Well, parts, as you all must realize by now, are near-non-existent. I had my eye on some Velocity Blunt SS rims, to be honest, and those are on back-order for me still. Those push the limits at 26.6mm inner rim width. So that is why I wanted to go there with my next wheel build. However; I got a text message late Thursday from a former co-worker and he informed me that he happened to have a brand new set of rims- 28 hole drilling- and he was willing to gift them to me for this wheel project. Thanks Craig!! 

Okay- so you got some MTB rims? Yes. See, this is part of my point with this trend toward wide internal dimensions for gravel. We already are using MTB rims! Look at what passed for MTB rims ten years ago. They were what we use now for gravel bikes. So, why not try something outrageous? I figured that the Velocity rims I was trying to get would be that, but these Spank 359 rims are truly outrageous! 

So, this project will really be a "Wide Gravel Wheel"  since the inner rim width will be a eye-popping 30.5mm wide! Ha! I doubt that the bicycle industry will quickly follow suit on that! I dare them to! So, at any rate, I aim to find out just what this crazy wide inner rim width will do, (other than the obvious), and I figure worse case scenario I just run 700 X 47-50mm tires on this wheel set. 

The hubs are black, the rims are black, and I am going with my "Guitar Ted Signature Spoke Set" which is all black spokes with silver nipples on one side of the wheel and all silver spokes and black nipples on the other half. By the way, the OG Project Wide Gravel Wheels were laced like that. Anyway, stay tuned! This should come together rather quickly now that I have parts in hand.


Daniel said...

I remember when HED Belgium + rims were the widest road/gravel rims you could get and now those are below average. Crazy how times have changed in just a few years.

DT said...

I had some Roval Traverse wheels (29mm internal) on my AWOL back in 2016. They were definitely "too wide" for that bike, since the max clearance was about 50mm. But I used them with no mishaps from 32mm Continental Gator Skins up to 29x1.9" mtb tires.

Jon Bakker said...

I run 30mm internal width rims with 700x47 Teravail Cannonballs on a Fargo. WONDERFUL ride! Hope you enjoy the build.