Since we launched the Rail 52, it's been a hit. As easily controlled as shallower options while being faster, and as fast as deeper options while being much more easily handled. The 18mm bead seat width is still in the heart of the strike zone for optimizing aerodynamics with the tires most people prefer to use with them. Durable enough for every day, plenty fast for race day. If we were to design it all over again, we'd make the same exact shape.
So we did. The time came for a new mold (molds wear out), and as that time approached we had discussed exactly how we'd change the 52 in order to bring it up to date. The answer as far as shape is concerned was nothing at all. Through use and through very precise testing, the 52 continues to prove itself, so we kept the exact same aerodynamic shape and 18mm bead seat width.
There was one thing we really wanted, though...
It's no secret that we're fans of tubeless. In our experience, it works wonderfully, and adding a tubeless ready tire bed detracts nothing from those who have no interest in using tubeless. The rim is just as happy whether you use tubes or not.
"Can Rails be used tubeless" has been one of the most frequently asked questions we've had over time, and while the old ones could, the new ones can much more easily. Tires are easier to install and inflate. With more and better tubeless options coming on the market all the time, we expect that more people will want to use tubeless than ever before. And again, if you don't want to, there's no detriment.
The other change is from the unidirectional brake track that the Rail has had, to a woven (3k) brake track. This provides a benefit in stopping power and brake feel, and helps to reduce brake noise. Not a huge difference, but refinement and steady improvement is what we're all about here.
We've been out of stock of 52s for a little bit, as our last order from the old mold sold a little more quickly than we'd thought it would, but don't despair - we'll launch a pre-order in the coming weeks for delivery in late January/beginning of February.
The next question will, of course, be "are you adding a disc-specific version to the range?" In fact we are. It is called the Range. Nifty name, huh? The Range is dedicated to extending your range, whether on the road, on the gravel, or on the cx course. Employing the same aerodynamic philosophy and know-how that make the Rail 52 so good, the tubeless ready, 45mm-deep Range offers a nice turn of speed, and is tuned for slightly wider tires. Making a rim fully disc-specific allows a significant reduction in weight over switch-hitting versions, and it's also got one surprise we're keeping up our sleeve for the moment.
Build options will continue to include both standard Nimbus Ti-based and custom options, and you'll be very pleased with 2016 pricing as well.