Ready to go full send? What if you could gain reliable flat protection without resorting to pricey carbon rims or heavy tire inserts? That was the goal of the newest aluminum wheels from Ibis—which also happens to coincide with the launch of their all-new component brand.
Continuing with the ‘bird, but make it rad’ naming theme, Ibis will now be marketing their own components under the Blackbird brand. Or, BLK BRD as it’s written on the rims. Why the name change? We’ve seen this from a number of companies, and it boils down to coming up with a cool product name that someone who doesn’t own an Ibis bike would still want to run on something of a different brand. It should help that Ibis nailed the branding and the look here with minimal branding and great design.
It should also help that the new Blackbird Send rims seem to offer a very unique and beneficial take on the aluminum rim. If you look at the rim channel profile above, it would be easy to mistake that for a carbon rim thanks to the wide bead wall.
But these aren’t carbon, they’re made from 6061 aluminum. Instead, they use an extrusion with a hollow box-section profile for the bead wall. That’s what makes that wide profile, and it’s why the Blackbird Send rims are much less likely to cause a pinch-flat. The wide bead wall doesn’t slice through the tire sidewall when the tire is compressed on a big hit like other rims.
According to Ibis, their EWS team has been running the Send 1 up front and the Send 2 out back for the past two years. That’s four different racers with multiple stage wins, three podiums, and a Swedish National Enduro Championship, all with only one flat on race day. That seems pretty incredible for aluminum rims. Note that the team ran the Send II on the back which gains a pair of ribs directly under the bead seat to make a stronger rim. This adds 45g to each rim, but Ibis says it’s lighter than the tire insert you would need to protect the rim otherwise. Without that extra rib, the Send 1 is apparently almost the same weight as the previous S35 aluminum rim, even with the hollow bead wall.
It seems that Ibis is positioning the Send 1 as the front rim and Send 2 as the rear, though you could probably double up on either depending on your needs.
The rims are also properly wide at 35mm inner width and 44mm outer width. That’s really no surprise—Ibis has always been at the forefront of the wider-is-better rim concept. The Send rims are essentially an update of their aluminum S35 rims, and continue using Stan’s Bead Socket Technology rim design. The end result is an aluminum rim that weighs 543-590g for 27.5″ or 565-625g for a 29″.
Blackbird Send Pricing & Specs
The Blackbird Send I and II will be available as a rim-only, or as complete wheels with Ibis’ Logo hubs and Sapim D-Light J-bend spokes. Both will be offered in 27.5 or 29″ sizes, while complete wheels will be Boost-only. The best part may be the $529 price tag for a wheelset!
Aftermarket rims will be available starting today. Send wheels will begin shipping on Ibis bikes starting in mid-February, and aftermarket wheel availability is still TBD.