Boyd Cycling rolls out some seriously light singletrack wheels with the new carbon Trailblazers. Offered in both 27.5 & 29er variants with the same 26mm internal tubeless carbon rim profile, they offer a new lightweight option for XC racers looking for something faster than Boyd’s Ridgeline enduro wheels. And at the same time, they could drift over to gravel riders, being significantly lighter than their mid depth Pinnacle wheels.
Boyd started out to build a thinner, lighter & faster cross-country mountain bike wheelset than their recent Ridgeline trail/enduro wheels. But they ended up creating something more versatile. Available as 29/700c & 27.5/650b, the Trailblazers are tough enough to handle modern XC racing and light trail riding (they’re the wheels of elite CTS Cycling Team, like Ely Clark who supplied the on-bike photos here). But, they are also a reasonable rim width for gravel, meaning a tough option that’s going to still be lighter than most other gravel specific wheels.
The Trailblazers are built around a lightweight hookless tubeless, asymmetric carbon rim. – a claimed 340g for 27.5 & 370g for 29″. Dimensions are 26mm internal, 32mm external, and 25mm deep, with 2.8mm offset rim bed for more even spoke tension, stiffness & long-term wheel build durability. Boyd says that mid rim width offers good support for fast rolling 2.1-2.4″ XC mountain bike tires, or just as well for more narrow gravel tires down to around 32mm wide.
And the wheels do build up light, just 1330g for 27.5 & 1380g for 29ers. So is it a cross-country wheel or a gravel wheel? Boyd’s thinking is that as gravel wheels (and tires) get wider and XC wheels get lighter that the line between the two starts to blur. As for the Trailblazer, “the rim is strong enough to be ridden on mountain bike trails, gravel roads, and for cyclocross. Due to the fact, however, that most current mountain bikes and gravel bikes having different dropout width standards, the Trailblazer wheels will be most often used as a mountain bike wheel with Boost spacing and a gravel or cyclocross wheel with standard 100mm front and 142mm rear spacing.”
The Trailblazer wheels are handbuilt in Greenville, SC with Boyd’s equally light Quest Disc MTB hubs (120g front, 245g rear) and Pillar Wing aero j-bend spokes & alloy nipples (24 front & 28 rear spokes).
Those Quest hubs offer quick 5° engagement, centerlock rotor interface, the option to run gravel or MTB thru-axle diameters (or even QRs), and standard or Boost-spaced hubs. Then, Shimano, SRAM XDR & MicroSpline freehubs are available (and interchangeable tool-free.)
Trailblazer – Pricing & Availability
The wheels come with black Boyd logos & white Trailblazer decals, and are available as a set for $1650 regardless of wheel diameter, or individually ($775 front, $875 rear) – either direct from Boyd or through their growing independent bike shop dealer network. If you buy from Boyd direct with PayPal, they’ll even give you 6 months to pay for the wheels with no interest. And order before the end of March for free shipping on anything in their shop.