Inventor Stephen Metz showed us the SpeedRelease quick-release thru axle system at Taipei Show earlier this year. His latest project are these boxy carbon enduro rims for debut at Eurobike, built around a staggered lacing concept that provides even bracing angles for each side of the wheel regardless of differences in flange-to-center differences created by brake mounts and freehub spacing. As Metz puts it:
“The tech is known as Radially Staggered Lacing (RSL). It is based on having a different height on the left vs. the right spokes on the wheel, thus modifying the bracing angles in relation to each other.
The goal of any 1:1 wheel is as close to equal bracing angles as you can get and this is just one more tricky way to get closer. The side benefits are incredibly unique look and a box section on our Enduro rim that is super strong and laterally and torsional stiff while remaining very light.”
While not quite as wild looking as Alchemist’s latest I-beam design, these are certainly worth a closer look…
Specs on these 27.5″ enduro prototypes are a 25mm inside width, 7mm height differential for left to right spoke bed and 28 hole lacing. It’s a full carbon rim that uses their “Snugfit” tubeless ready bead profile.
Equally as interesting is the story of how these rims are being produced. They’ll be exhibited by Quai, which is a contract manufacturing company that helps inventors get products up and running when finances or other support systems might otherwise leave the idea stagnating in someone’s mind. In their words, their mission is “To champion innovation through the creation and commercialization of a ‘Pilot Brand’ for the benefit of the inventor, the sales channel and the consumer.”
If they believe in the idea, they’ll help fund an initial run and even shop it to their OEM customers, which is the stage these rims are in. Hence their debut at Eurobike.
Metz is already working on two more versions, too: A 700c PolyRoad (that’ll probably have a cyclocross version, too) with a 22mm inside width and 24 hole lacing; and a 29er Cross Country / Trail wheel with 22mm inside width and two lacing options – 28 hole and 24 Hole for 2:1 lacing
Both will share the same 7mm differential and Snugfit tubeless ready design. Stay tuned for more coverage when Eurobike starts on August 25th!