Why Knight 29 Race?
As we populate our carbon rim selection, we thought it would be a good idea to more deeply explain why we’ve chosen the particular rims we have. It might seem random, but each was chosen for a specific set of reasons. We’ll start with the Knight 29 Race.
22.5mm internal width
27.5mm external width
5 year warranty
Lifetime crash replacement policy from Knight
250lb (at least) weight limit depending on hubs and intended use
The disc brake wheel market is growing and is only going to continue to do so. More and more people are seeking out unpaved routes both for their inherent fun, and to get away from cars and congestion. Most component manufacturers predict they’ll sell more disc brake groups than rim brake groups in 2018. As we've discussed before, carbon rims once again conditionally make sense for us, as they're able to be lighter and more durable than alloy alternatives. Especially as you get into wider rims, these advantages accelerate.
We were on a mission to find a great answer for gravel and cross wheels that excel with tubeless tires from 32mm to about 50mm wide. To be this rim, it wanted to be about 22 or 23mm internal width, able to take some tire pressure, be very high quality, be tubeless ready, be hookless, be light enough to offer meaningful benefit over alloy rims, and be strong enough to offer durability benefits over alloy. Our additional stipulations for any rim we’ll use are that it must be branded and source-verifiable, and be covered by a robust warranty and product liability coverage.
The Enve M525 rim fits this bill exceptionally well, but it’s a very expensive rim. The Knight Race 29 is a great alternative that does most if not all of what the M525 does, with a set price that leaves space for a set of really nice alloy wheels between.
Knight was started several years ago by a bunch of experienced bike people who know what they’re doing and are generally grown ups, with the aim of producing really fast aerodynamic rims, which they’ve done. What they’ve also done, which is what interests us, is to create disc specific wheels with disc-specific layups and resin structures, which create a much better purpose specific rim than rims that are engineered and use materials for rim brakes, but get pressed into switch hitting as disc rims. The Knight Race 29 is a from the ground up disc specific rim.
So if you've got a gravel bike on which you use anything from 35mm to 2.25" tires, this is a great rim. If you want a really light set of wheels to use for tubeless cross, this is a great rim. And if you have a mountain bike on which you run "narrower" 2.25"-ish tires (which would have been called pretty f-ing fat not that long ago at all), then this is a great rim. And if you have all three of these use cases and want to cover them all with an "A" set of wheels and swap it around to whichever one is the current focus, this is an AWESOME rim.