Astral Cycling takes the best of Rolf Prima’s latest trail-ready mountain bike wheels, and builds them up with more conventional spoke lacing. If those new wider 30mm internal Rolf trail bike wheels look appealing but you can’t be sold on the paired spoke concept, then Astral is the brand for you…
Astral Cycling wider mountain bike wheel overhaul
A complete revamp of the Astral mountain bike wheel family simplifies things to two lines – 27.5″ Backbone & 29″ Serpentine – both available in alloy or carbon. Using rim profiles developed from the Rolf Prima line, the MTB overhaul also sees the introduction of complete wheel builds with US-made hubset options, and keeps the separately available rim option with traditional 28 or 32 hole spoke drilling.
Update: A bit of complicated raw aluminum tariff-based economics has meant that Rolf/Astral are now producing these new 30mm internal aluminum MTB rims in Taiwan in order to maintain reasonable pricing. The new carbon rims are also made abroad, too. Then, all complete wheels are being built in the states.
Now the Astral MTB lineup centers on the 30mm & 28mm internal Backbone for 27.5″ and 30mm internal Serpentine for 29″ wheels. The Asian-made alloy rims on their own retail for $135 each, and the American-made carbon rims for $600 each.
For complete wheel builds, Astral offers two American-made hub options. The base hubs are branded as Astral, made for them by White Industries in northern California. The more premium wheels are built up with Project 321 hubs, made in Bend, OR. Either option is available in standard 142 or Boost 148mm spacing (plus Super Boost for P321 wheels), and Shimano 11 or MicroSpline & SRAM XD or XDR freehubs.
Astral alloy Backbone & Backbone Carbon 27.5 MTB wheels
The aluminum 27.5 Backbone is the same asymmetric, hooked rim shape as the new Ralos 30 from Rolf Prima, but drilled for 28 or 32 equally spaced spokes (485g claimed weight, 557.5 ERD).
Complete alloy Backbone wheels sell for $1000 with White Industry hubs (claimed 1720g for the wheelset) or $1300 with P321 hubs (1655g).
The carbon 27.5 Backbone Carbon isn’t quite as wide, sharing the older 28mm internal symmetric, hookless tubeless profile of the latest Rolf Black Rock wheels, again in 28 or 32 holes (400g claimed weight, 544.5 ERD).
Complete Backbone Carbon wheels sell for $1800 with White Industry hubs (1665g) or $2200 with P321 hubs (1600g).
Astral alloy Serpentine & Serpentine Carbon 29er MTB wheels
For 29ers, the new aluminum Serpentine rim is the same 30mm internal profile as the smaller diameter Backbone, 28H or 32H (515g claimed weight, 595.5 ERD).
Complete alloy wheelset pricing is the same as for Backbone – $1000 with White Industry hubs (1760g) or $1300 with P321 hubs (1705g).
And in carbon, the 29″ Serpentine Carbon is the same profile as the Backbone Carbon, 28H or 32H (420g claimed weight, 591.5 ERD).
Complete carbon wheels sell for $1800 with White Industry hubs (1705g) or $2200 with P321 hubs (1650g).
Several Astral alloy wheel builds are already in process, with the remaining alloy options available before the end of July. All of the new carbon wheels should also be available by mid-August 2019. Everything will be available for pre-order from the Astral website at the start of next week.
Do you want the same rim profiles in Rolf paired spoke builds, check out the new Rolf Prima 30mm internal wheelsets too.