Loaded Precision likes to put out lighter weight parts for any category it’s in, and the new X40 wheels for enduro/trail/gravity do the same.
The 27.5″ carbon rims are all new and come in at just 430g each, which is impressive considering they’re a whopping 40mm wide. The complete wheelset weight is a claimed 1,650g. That’s with X-lite V.3 hubs, laced with 32 spokes and thru axles.
Why so wide? And why hookless?
Loaded’s Michael Mulder says the idea was to reduce the likelihood of pinching the sidewalls since the width reduces the inward curvature of the tire enough, but not so much that it squares off the tread section. That said, you could run a 2.3 on it, and it’d make that tire feel more like a 2.5, but it’s really designed for 2.5-2.7 tire widths or more. It’s a good thing forks are about to get wider!
As for going hookless, it was to ease installation and removal of wire bead tires, something many gravity riders are still using. “We’d recommend people ride normal, folding bead tires. But for tires like the Maxxis High Roller II with a wire bead and super stiff sidewall, people were breaking their carbon rim sidewalls trying to pry them on.
“With the hookless design, we don’t use our TBT (True Bead Technology), which refers to our bead hook channel that locks the bead into place,” said Mulder. “So, they’re tubeless ready, just add tape and sealant, whether you’re running folding or wire bead tires.”
The cross section above shows what they’ve been testing, but production rims will actually be about 420g and won’t have the bead channel on either side. Mulder told us they “decided to add the extra ~35g to be extra sure people will have something durable. We have been testing the 380g rims with no issues, but safety and durability is our #1 concern.”
The complete wheels will be built with their newer Xlite v.3 hubs, which have a 6-pawl dual actuating system and swappable end caps to work with either thru axle or QR. The wheelset weight target is 1650g, which would make it lighter than their AM-X carbon wheels by about 30g or more, depending on configuration. Look for them in February at about $599 for the rim and $1,599 for the wheelset with AM-X front hub and X-Lite V.3 rear hub, but they can also be built up with any of their hubs and configurations.
It’ll also be available in a 29er size, with a claimed weight of 440g (+/-15g).
Not shown, they’re also introducing a custom graphics program that lets you pick any Pantone color and get the decals matched, making it easier to have them coordinated with you bike, team kit or shop colors. It’ll run about $40 per wheelset.