French rim & wheel maker Duke Racing has an all-new mountain bike rim lineup covering both carbon & alloy under a new 6ters concept (read: Six-ters… sis-ters). Pairing wider front (& often deeper) rims to more narrow rear rims of mostly the same weight, Duke promises better steering control and improved rear wheel durability for everything from XC to Enduro. And Julian Absalon is onboard as an ambassador, racing exclusively on the new mixed-width wheelsets in his semi-retirement.
Duke Lucky Jack SLS 6ters carbon mountain bike rims
The highlight of Duke’s overhauled 2019 mountain bike line-up are the new Super Light Series II rims, developed on the 6ters front & rear specific rim concept. At the top of that are new Lucky Jack SLS 6ters carbon XC rims selected for elite XC racing by both Julien Absalon & Mathieu Van der Poel.
The Lucky Jack SLS Front measures 28mm internal & 20.5mm deep at 330g, while the paired Lucky Jack SLS Rear measures 25.6mm inside & 19mm deep at only 307g. Duke says that the mixed width rims & improved carbon builds these into the most technologically advance mountain bike wheels on the market. Price per carbon rim is 466€, and you get to chose logo & decal colors to be all matchy-matchy.
Tech Details – 6ters & SLS II carbon mountain bike rims
We see a number of road wheel companies building mixed-depth wheelsets to balance aero & handling gains, but off-road few companies address the different performance needs of the front & rear wheel on a mountain bike. Sure, front & rear specific tires are a thing, especially in competition for cross-country to downhill, but Duke is looking at what we ask of the rims too.
“A front wheel must give grip, be light, stiff and handy. A rear wheel must be more comfortable, stronger and offer more efficiency. Thus the front and rear wheels have different profiles and lay-ups.”
So their 6TERS front & rear profiles were developed to more efficiently deliver the needed support without excess material, and now cover Duke’s XC, AM & Enduro ranges. Wider front rims for more grip & stiffness and weight optimized. Rear rim profiles reworked with an overall smaller section and material placement to improve compliance & increase impact resistance.
The second generation SLS II carbon wheels then build on refined manufacturing & layup processes that have allowed Duke to drop weights by around 10%, and no longer require sanding or paint out of the mold. The new rims also get fatter Anti-Pinch beads to prevent tire cuts, with a side benefit of 20% better impact resistance.
Duke Lucky Star HD 6ters alloy XC rims
Beyond Absalon’s ultimate carbon XC wheels, the asymmetric 29″ Lucky Star HD 6ters offers a lot of the same differentiated rim performance for light alloy wheels. For just 94€ per rim, you get more attainable wide aggressive cross-country and marathon performance. The Lucky Star HD Front measures 27.5mm internal and 18mm deep at 420g, while the paired Lucky Star HD Rear measures 25.5mm inside and 17mm deep at 425g.
Duke Crazy Jack 6ters carbon all-mountain rims
It’s not just XC racing to get the 6ters treatment. Duke’s Crazy all-mountain family shares all of the same tech in a wider package. For 495€ per rim the carbon Crazy Jack SLS Front measures 30mm internal & 22mm deep at 410g, while the paired Crazy Jack SLS Rear measures 27mm internal & 20.5mm deep at 395g. It gets a much more reinforced carbon layup to tackle any trail, again in 29″ only.
Duke Crazy Star 6ters alloy all-mountain rims
Again the alloy star version knocks the price down to 94€ a rim, with the Crazy Star F 29.5mm internal/19mm deep/490g, and Crazy Star R 26.5mm internal/17.5mm deep/460g.
Duke Fury Jack 6ters carbon enduro rims
Duke does enduro too, with Absalon brother Rémy racing the EWS on the 506€ 29er rims. The carbon Fury Jack SLS F is 32.5mm inside, 24mm tall & weighs 420g. The matching rear is 29.1 inside, 22mm tall & weighs 450g to take the extra bashing abuse.
Duke Fury Star 6ters alloy enduro rims
The alloy Fury Stars are 31.8mm wide internal/21mm deep/560g up front, 28.5mm internal/19mm deep/475g in the rear, and sell for 94€ a piece.
All of Duke’s carbon & alloy rims are designed in France and exclusively produced for Duke in Asia. The sell the rims separately or build up their on their own, in-house in northern France. They also offer their own hubs that are 100% manufactured in France, or you can get builds with standard hubs like those from DT Swiss. The new 6ters & SLS II rims will be available later this year for the 2019 mountain bike race seasons.