Alloy rim brake rims - you win some, you lose some

This is a warm enough topic that most readers will need no foreplay on it. The alloy rim brake rim market is in tumult. We haven't got perfect visibility into a lot of plans, so for example while Easton R90SL road rims (notice no hot link, because I just made all of the associated products unavailable) are out of stock now, and we don't know if they're coming back. There are indicators that they might come back in October, but neither the timing nor the certainty of their return is assured. 

We've also secured a pile of HED Belgium+ rims, again taking inventory against our standard practice. Desperate times... We were surprised to be able to get some, no one at HED is saying anything about whether they are actually discontinued or not, and we're just glad to have what we have. It's limited, so if you must have a set, get a set. 

As noted last week, Al33 is gone. The most similar rim to it, the Boyd Altamont, is also gone, except in ceramic (not ceramic) form. We did what we said we don't like to do and bought a bunch of them for inventory while they are still available. It's not an endless supply by any means. Boyd is one of the few (maybe the only) brand that is investing in alloy rim brake rims, and is coming out with a new rim for 2021. Details are under gag order, but from what we've seen they look nice.

Velocity Quills have been a hot seller out of the block, perhaps a little too hot as Velocity is out of stock for a few more days. And, since I spent this morning's web site management time on deleting or hiding a bunch of things that are either temporarily or permanently unavailable, I still haven't gotten to post the Astral Radiant builds that have taken off. There's no question that the rim brake rim market is in flux, but it's really only in comparison to this wild amount of choice that we recently had that you could say it's limited. 

Of course, there are always Rail 55s and Rail 25s to scratch your itch as well. I've brought my rim brake Timoneria out of its medically induced coma just to out some Rail 25s in it. They're pretty awesome. 

None of these is currently available with DT350 hubs, as DT doesn't have usable stock of 350 hubs in the US. We'll do a post about the hub situation next week. It's less dramatic than the rim situation for sure, but it's in some flux.

Since it always bears noting, we don't generally hold hubs in stock. None of our hub suppliers even holds all of what we sell from them in stock. There are disc hubs and rim brake hubs, 2 rotor attachment types, 4 drive types, 3 main front axle types, 2 main rear axle types, and at least 3 spoke counts each for front and rear. So if you simply asked "what black hubs have you got that meet my specs?," that  only narrows it down to about 100 (give or take) hubs to have the one you need. It's a terrible hit rate. Going back to our previous post, if we limited to just one hub type, and that hub type was an inexpensive OEM hub like what a lot of brands use, we could manage it. But we like great hubs and we like choice, Carb cakes and football, that's what we do (someone must get that one, right?).

Oh, and the Tour has been really fun to watch. Have a nice weekend. 

 


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  • Scott on

    I try to generally not be an alarmist… I’ve switched to BXP pads and show no concavity to the brake track on my Nimbus Ti build (24/28, Pacenti rims). Should I buy a pair of HED rims (if I can find them) and squirrel them away for when I do need to replace these? The bike they’re on can’t go any wider than 25 front/ 28 rear, so the 23mm wife variant would serve my needs well! Have a great weekend!

  • Richard Herbin on

    Alex had been making some decent, 35mm deep, alloy rim brake rims… Haven’t seen anybody building with them.

  • Mike on

    Just picked up my rim brake road bike from having a full tune up on the brakes and cables, and the November hubs/Belgium+ rims look so good and work so well. Maybe they are retro now but I don’t know maybe they are also the pinnacle of form and function. Hope you can continue offering them.

    On the subject of hubs, my gravel bike’s Aivee MP4 disc/Belgium Eroica wheelset is a nice example of November’s ability to find just right solution – in my case a not-too-flashy reasonably priced ultra-smooth hub choice. So, yeah, offering lots of hub options is appreciated.

  • Ike on

    “It’s like trying to cover a f*cking racehorse.”

  • Ray on

    Mmmmmmm carb cakes, a Delmarva specialty



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