Boyd Cycling 15-pound aluminum road bike wheel for wind tunnel testing

Boyd’s been rather busy since showing us his Eternity Hub at NAHBS this past spring. What’s new? Everything. All alloy and carbon wheels are completely new. And they’re introducing MTB wheels.

For the carbon rims, the new shapes were proven in the wind tunnel with this machined alloy prototype that’s built in two halves, joined together and then clear coated. These are made for the few best designs after they’ve done CFD development so they can test the real shape in the wind tunnel. It weighs about 15 pounds, but is far better for testing than 3D printed plastic wheels for two reasons. First, a plastic printing process is stepped, so they’d need to be sanded down, which could alter the shape slightly. Second, it’s strong enough for them to inflate a tire to 100psi for testing, which is what they set tire pressure at on competing wheels they’re benchmarking against.

Here’s the results of all that effort…

2016-Boyd-machined-alloy-prototype-wind-tunnel-test-wheels02

A close up look at the alloy test mule, which turned into this:

2016 Boyd Cycling carbon clincher tubeless ready road bike wheels

The new Boyd 60mm carbon clincher shows off the revised rim shapes were developed around a 25mm tire since more and more riders are putting the larger rubber on their bikes now. That meant putting the widest part of the rim near the brake track, moving away from a very flat, Zipp 404-like profile.

2016 Boyd Cycling carbon clincher tubeless ready road bike wheels

All carbon wheels get tubeless rim beds, wider profiles and better aerodynamics. They also get a slight textured braking surface for better wet weather performance. It’s subtle, so it won’t chew through brake pads, but it’s there. And they added new resins that handle higher temperatures. Outside the lab, they’ve tested it by riding down Paris Mountain in Greenville, SC, on hot summer days dragging the front brake continuously for about 7-1/2 minutes with no issues.

2016 Boyd Cycling carbon clincher tubeless ready road bike wheels

Note the bead shelf to hold tubeless tires firmly in place. Each rim depth is different, optimized for that particular size.

2016 Boyd Cycling carbon clincher tubeless ready road bike wheels

The 28mm deep rims, which are all-new, are 25mm wide (18mm inside).

The 60mm and 44mm deep rims move to 27mm wide (19mm internal), up about 3.5mm from the prior design. Weight actually stays the same because they were able to improve the manufacturing process with higher pressure molding for better compaction, with bladders fully removed, which helps them make up the 20g or so that going wider would normally add.

The 90s are still in CFD, but they’re looking like they’ll end up at 25mm external to pinch the tire just a bit for better head-on aerodynamics. That’s done because on windy days where you’re worried about crosswind aerodynamics, it’s unlikely you’ll be riding a 90mm deep wheel. So, they could optimize for frontal winds more, and the tire shaping this design produces helps keep the air attached to the tire/rim combo for longer, which means less drag and turbulence.

 

They’re offered in 20/24 and 24/28 spoke counts. All have disc brake versions, only in 24/28, but use the same rims.

2016 Boyd Cycling Altamont Lite shallow wide alloy road bike wheel

The alloy wheels switch to a welded rim with bead blasted finish and tubeless ready profile. The blasted surface allows more anodization to seep in, which makes it stronger and stiffer.

2016 Boyd Cycling Altamont Lite shallow wide alloy road bike wheel

The new Altamont Lite gets a smaller, lighter rim than the standard version, coming in at 24mm wide (19.5mm internal) and 25mm deep. That helps it save 100g per set compared to the deeper, wider regular Altamonts. 1430g per set, starting at $700.

2016 Boyd Cycling Ridgeline carbon mountain bike wheels

New MTB wheels are named after trails in the Carolinas. The Ridgeline carbon wheel is named after a trail in Dupont State Forest, NC, and gets a hookless, tubeless bead.

2016 Boyd Cycling Ridgeline carbon mountain bike wheels

Widths are 26mm internal, 33mm external.

2016 Boyd Cycling Kamuga alloy mountain bike wheels

The Kanuga is alloy and named after a trail near Paris Mtn, SC.

2016 Boyd Cycling Kamuga alloy mountain bike wheels

Width is 25mm internal, 29mm external.

Both are all purpose wheels, since they know most riders put one set of wheels on their bike and go ride everything. They’re wide enough, but not ridiculous.

Wheelset weights are not final yet as they’ll be getting new Quest hubs, which is the MTB version of the Eternity road hub shown at NAHBS with the super wide bearing stance and titanium freehub body. Pricing will be just under $1,000 for the alloy ones, and $1,800 for carbon. They’ll have threaded end caps to swap between QR and thru axle.

2016 Boyd Cycling carbon clincher tubeless ready road bike wheels with carbon axle Infinity hub

That Eternity hub gets a slight revision that’s pushed back its production until about now. They were originally using a dual alloy axle, but a team rider hit a pot hole during a sprint and bent the outer sleeve that supports the freehub body. So, they replaced the threaded alloy sub axle that the freehub body rests on a carbon fiber piece, which is stronger. The main axle is still alloy and runs through the entire hub. (hit that link for a detailed run through of how that hub works)

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Cutaways of the carbon rims show that the bead hooks are molded, not machined, which makes for stronger, more durable wheels.

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Now that everything’s gone tubeless, they’re offering extended length tubeless valve stems to fit the deepest of rims, including their own upcoming 90mm. That little tear drop shaped bit is a clever valve stem nut that gives you a bit of extra leverage when installing or removing it. Ever tried removing an overly tight or stuck round nut? Then you get it. Simple, smart and now on our want list.

BoydCycling.com

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Colin
Colin
6 years ago

You could sell that prototype to the slowtwitch crowd who believe that having a flywheel is better than lightweight wheels.

MaraudingWalrus
MaraudingWalrus
6 years ago

I have had several sets of Boyd wheels, and absolutely love all of them. I can’t wait to see the 2016 carbon stuff, having already seen several sets of 2016 alloy wheels, and I’m stoked for the MTB stuff.

I’m very excited to get my hands on a set of the new hub, and the valve stem nut is a cool idea.

Brad
Brad
6 years ago

New segment: descending wheels. Swap your bike at the summit for one with these uber quick downhill hoops.

JC
JC
6 years ago

What will the mountain wheel weight be?

Mikey
Mikey
6 years ago

Nice valve stem nut, simple but clever! Yet another product that makes me think why it wasn’t invented earlier.

Velo
Velo
6 years ago

Why didn’t they develop around 28 mm tires?

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago

Because very few people race on 28mm tires?

Freddie
Freddie
6 years ago

Why are the molded bead hooks in the left photo so different from one side of the rim to the other?

Pit
Pit
6 years ago

Uh zipp 404 is not flat (V) since about 2010. The Firestrike is one of the most copied shapes in modern wide rims.

Larry Falk
Larry Falk
6 years ago

Very impressive rims, especially the moulded-in tubeless features. I like the ideas behind their Eternity hubs, but I would wait a few years on the rear so all of the issues can crop up (my prediction) and then can be fixed.

ifbikes
ifbikes
6 years ago

@pit, what are you talking about? No one thinks v shape 404 when talking about flat 404 profiles. The current 404 is flat, nearly parallel on both sides. The firestrike is probably the least copied rim shape, since it just came out! so I assume you mean the firecrest is heavily copied, which I agree with. This article says Boyd is moving past those copied Zipp shapes. Zipp however, has been very slow to come out with an evolved firecrest rim. Which either means its good, and/or they are happy to keep taking peoples money!

Dylan
Dylan
6 years ago

“That Eternity hub gets a slight revision that’s pushed back its production until about now. They were originally using a dual alloy axle, but a team rider hit a pot hole during a sprint and bent the outer sleeve that supports the freehub body. So, they replaced the threaded alloy sub axle that the freehub body rests on a carbon fiber piece, which is stronger.”

In other words, exactly the sort of failure that Boyd said couldn’t happen [in the comments on the previous article], did happen. Fancy that. My guess is that the new carbon sub-axle doesn’t solve the problem because it is stronger, but because it’s deformation is elastic. I.e. if you hit a big pothole, the sub-axle could still hit the main axle, but will spring back to it’s original shape rather than staying bent like the alloy version did. Whether this turns out to be a long term solution remains to be seen.

“Boyd Johnson – 03/06/15 – 5:54pm
Hey guys!
Great discussion here. I do want to say that with the hub shell extention, its not just an extension out of the hub shell. It’s a full on axle that has a telescoping end and threads into the hub shell. This creates the strongest possible design as any possible fatigue point is in the middle part of the axle (which sees the least amount of stress). For any possible failure an axle would have to break in the middle, and that doesn’t happen.”

Boyd Johnson
6 years ago

Hey Dylan,

Yep, we did underestimate how much force that sub axle could go through in an impact like what my teammate had (sprinting at over 30mph and slamming into a pothole). The good news is we are testing this hub both in lab environments on on the road under a lot of riders. The final version will have gone through more impact testing than a rider could ever put on a wheel (unless they are riding 5,001km of cobblestones without stopping, as our test is 5,000km).

I have told people before that I love it when we can get a product to fail, as long as it’s in the testing and development phase. It ensures that we are pushing the boundaries of what the hub will go through, and designing to surpass that. We were probably a little premature to announce that we hoped the hub would be ready this past spring. . . but it’s a fairly common theme in the cycling industry to be 98% done with a product and think you are so close to release. The main thing to remember is we won’t release until we are 100% satisfied that we have a foolproof design.

Haya
Haya
6 years ago

Straight pull spokes please.

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
6 years ago

Boyd, let me know if you need more test pilots to destroy your beautiful carbon goodies? I’m Available mon-fri 5p-8p and sat/sun all day! Just drop me a line or ship directly to me 🙂 thanks!

Boyd Johnson
6 years ago

@Freddie

That rim is cut at an angle. It’s sort of an optical illusion. The left side of the rim is taller than the right side so it makes it look like the hooks are different in the picture.

Cheese
Cheese
6 years ago

“The blasted surface allows more anodization to seep in, which makes it stronger and stiffer.” That’s pretty funny.

boom
boom
6 years ago

the aluminum CNC process is pretty common for prototyping, actually. I remember reading about Bontrager doing the same thing.

Freddie
Freddie
6 years ago

Regarding the preload collars (see announcement post for cutaway view)… if the bearing is pressed up against the shoulders on the axle and the bearing preload collars press against the inner race how is this applying preload? On a cup/cone arrangement the cone is turned in to apply preload through the bearing to the cup. I just don’t see that in the Eternity arrangement. Scroll down this link to cutaway of FSA front hub with preload adjustment. There are no shoulders on the axle. http://www.pinkbike.com/u/richardcunningham/blog/first-look-fsa-carbon-wheelsets.html

Or Alto Velo’s design where one end cap is part of the axle and the other cap applies preload. The axle slides through the bearings for installation, no shoulders:
http://bikerumor.com/2015/09/15/ib15-alto-velos-ultra-smooth-stiff-wheels-getting-disc-brake-versions-for-road-cyclocross/

Are the bearings in Eternity hubs angular or radial?

Also, the front axle looks like it is thinnest where it should be thickest (or at least not tapered) to resist flex?

eadm
6 years ago

they should make a solid rear disc prototype

Jon M
Jon M
6 years ago

Haters gonna hate!

Carlos
Carlos
6 years ago

Feel free to use me as a guinea pig for those MTB wheels…

Clancy
Clancy
6 years ago

Stepping back and looking at where the industry was just ten years ago, its truly amazing how far wheel design and innovation has come. Mind blogging, really, how many great choices are available. I’ve never owned a set of Boyd’s although I’ve met him and was very impressed by his professionalism and enthusiasm. It’s cool to see that a small but aggressive company can bring cool products to market and compete with the big brands. A set of his wheels are certainly on my short list.

Boyd Johnson
6 years ago

Concerning the pre load, you do need to have the inner race supported on both inner races. If you don’t you will have side load pressure that will kill bearing life and with enough side load force bind up the bearings.

The way our pre load works is the hub shell holds the outer race. The inner race is just a hair from hitting the axle. When the pre load is tightened down the races engage and the bearing is supported without any side load pressure. You actually want the tiniest bit of play (about .001 inches) as when you clamp the skewer the pre load will compress a bit and take out that play.

A good example of what happens when the inner race is not supported can be shown in the freehub body. More than likely there is a tube between the inner races of the two bearings in your freehub body. If you take this tube out and repress the bearing everything will still spin fine, even with the hub fully tightened. However if you coast while leaning the bike hard to the left you will notice your chain will start jumping forward. This is because when leaning hard left, your weight pushes the hub shell hard against the freehub body and the bearing starts to side load and bind up.

With our pre load system when we showed it to Enduro bearings they actually said they wanted to showcase it for how a pre load should be done.

We use angular contact bearings for 3 out of the 4 bearings in the hub. The middle bearing in the freehub body has no load pushing against it so it can be radial.

Daven Gomez
Daven Gomez
6 years ago

@Boyd Johnson
can you deliver outside US? in my case Philippines. Thanks!

Boyd Johnson
6 years ago

Yes. We ship internationally all the time.
One of the things we have been working of for the European market is having a warehouse and shipping facility there so wheels can ship from within the EU.

But we have shipped to the Phillipines before.

Daven Gomez
Daven Gomez
6 years ago

how much is the shipping fee to the philippines?
do you have a dealer in the philippines?
how to proceed on ordering?because in your site the shipping options are only available within US.

Rich
Rich
6 years ago

I like the Boyd alloy goods. Solid. The carbon stuff? I’ve had bad luck with those.