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Gulo Shows Prototype 1,140g XC Wheels & Ultra-Wide Gravel Wheels

prototype gulo xc mountain bike wheels with ultralight rim and carbon spokes
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Gulo Composites upcoming XC mountain bikes may be the lightest on the market when they hit with a complete 29er wheelset weight around 1,140g. And for gravel, they have a big new idea around matching rim and tire width for optimized aerodynamics.

gulo composite carbon fiber bicycle spokes closeup

Quick refresher: Gulo makes braided carbon spokes in the US, and designs their rims and hubs around these proprietary spokes. They’re lighter, very strong, and add a bit of damping and radial compliance while keeping the wheel laterally stiff. Check our initial coverage of the brand for a deeper dive.

prototype gulo xc mountain bike wheels with ultralight rim and carbon spokes

A few years ago, they updated the wheels with lighter, wider rims. Now, it looks like they’re taking it even further and have a new, wider edge to prevent pinch flats. Or, maybe the rim sidewalls are just thinner to save weight, or both. They weren’t giving up all the tech details on these yet as they’re still prototypes, but…

prototype gulo xc mountain bike wheels with ultralight rim and carbon spokes shown on a scale
Gulo also showed off a bike from their first OEM parter, Neuhaus Metal Works.

…they did throw the front wheel on the scale to show just how light it really is (530g), which is mainly achieved by a new 275g rim. No word on rider weight limits yet.

prototype gulo xc mountain bike wheels with ultralight rim and carbon spokes

The oil slick hub finish is a free option on their wheels. Launch date is TBD, target is early summer at the latest.

Prototype wide gravel wheels

ultra wide gravel wheel prototypes from Gulo Composites

The challenge with aerodynamics on gravel bikes is the big tires. Since the generally recognized ideal is for the rims to be ever-so-slightly wider than the tires to optimize aerodynamics, that means gravel rims would have to be comically wide.

So, that’s basically what Gulo is doing. These prototypes look right at home against 40mm tires, which is a common choice for racing, especially among the pros who don’t mind sacrificing a bit of comfort and grip for all-out speed. Target launch date is around Unbound, more details to come closer to that time.

GuloComposites.com

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TheWiseFool
TheWiseFool
28 days ago

Curious to how these compare ride-wise to wheels with BERD spokes. The idea of being locked to specific rims and hubs is annoying….

Oliver
Oliver
28 days ago
Reply to  TheWiseFool

They’ll be harsh, even vs steel. This appears to be full cf spoke. Not a braid with kevlar or dyneema.

Billyshoo
Billyshoo
28 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

I highly doubt they’re harsh. I ride Hunt road wheels with carbon spokes and, although the wheels are stiff and light, the vibration dampening of the spokes is utterly sublime; they have a ride quality I never thought possible and never would have believed without experiencing it myself.

Oliver
Oliver
28 days ago
Reply to  Billyshoo

Lol – Hi Hunt rep. Carbon spokes are the absolute opposite of what you describe. Vs steel or better dyneema or kevlar, carbon spokes amplify vibration considerably. As everyone has said ever … except you. You trade strength and vibration damping for lightness and stiffness. Unless you braid it with something else (Hunt use generic carbon spokes made in Xiamen like everyone else), that will always be true.

LarryJerry
LarryJerry
27 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

Nope, I have the gravel wheels on a bike and they are super plush. They flex in all the right ways. Get some and try them before you decide what they ride like.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
16 days ago
Reply to  LarryJerry

Every carbon spoked wheel I’ve ever ridden has been terrible

Billyshoo
Billyshoo
27 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

Hello, Oliver! I’m not a Hunt rep, just an old guy who lives in Minnesota and was intrigued by (and paid full price for) the Hunts for the price, weight, and looks. I replaced the stock wheels on my Sirrus X and my comparison is against the stock (steel-spoke, alloy rims) wheels with the same tires at the same pressure (size 32 Conti GPs). Again, the vibration dampening is incredible; I wasn’t expecting that. I trust you realize that material isn’t the sole factor in vibration mitigation?

Mike
Mike
28 days ago

Duke makes XC wheels that are 1110-1150g (depends on rims’ inner width: 25-30mm) while using steel CX-Ray spokes so that “The lightest on the market” statement is already invalid.

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