Rim review: Boyd CCC

This review is over a year late, which is entirely on us (me). Boyd's CCC rims have been out for about that long or even longer, and we just haven't given them their due. To be fair to ourselves, there have been a few things going on, but still. 

As ever, we remain allies of alloy. There is plenty afoot to make you think that it's dead and serves no further purpose in context of carbon's ubiquity and declining cost. But when you look at our CCC/White Industries build priced at $954 (and also the new gen Altamont - same price - but more on that later this week), it's still a few hundred less than our equivalent RCG build (or any of our other carbon builds with WI hubs). As an old boss of mine used to say, if that money was sitting on the table you and I would be scrapping over it. 

I hate that alloy rim reviews always need to have that backdrop, instead of just going on their own merits, but they do. So what are the merits of the CCC rims? Well, they're far from heavy. An All Road 38 rim is a few grams heavier at the same inner width (25mm) though greater depth. A GOAT rim is about 40 grams lighter at the same depth, though with a narrower 22+ mm inner width. Carbon rims will have a higher yield strength (defined as ability for rim A to withstand bike B hitting rock/pothole C at speed D) and somewhat higher stiffness, which we account as being important for the build and less so while riding. More significantly, they are about 25 or 30g lighter than the HED G/Eroica rims of which we are unabashed fan boys. It could be time to resurrect our Celebrity Death Match series. They're light rims, and though we constantly have to talk people off the ledge of chasing lightness around, all else being equal light makes your bike feel fun. 

Light also comes with some red flags. Boyd puts a 110kgf spoke tension limit on them, which is always a concern. As we talked about recently, spoke tension is important. Some rims become completely unstable when you put the amount of spoke tension required of most modern wheels - so either the wheel is going to be unusably unstable if you put that much tension on, or the build will fail and spokes will break because you didn't use enough. In building the CCC, I used well more than the mandated 110kgf limit to see how unstable it would become. The answer is none, at 130kgf. I then backed it off to slightly over 110kgf for the final, anticipating some tension drop after tire install. Because of the rim's nearly 3mm offset, the tension on the non-drive side was in the high 60s kgf at final build. Shallow/mid rims like this are an excellent application for offset rim designs, and the CCC works great in this regard. Even with the tension drop after tire install, there was plenty of spoke tension left. The rim stayed centered to within whatever amount we could measure after the tire went on, which should be the case with offset rims but it sometimes isn't. The world is full of mysteries. 

Tire mounting is easy. The tubeless design is pretty simple, with no tire retention barbs. There are bead hooks, which there's no reason not to on alloy rims, and the hook area is somewhat reinforced as it is on the HED G. the pictured Schwalbe G-Ones, which are well loved at this point, needed an air boost to inflate with 2 wraps of our tubeless tape installed. Once inflated, they could go down to 0 psi without disengaging from the shelf. 

Top of the test hill

On the ride, you know, they worked. With the benefit of a nice tailwind I topped Ian Boswell by a few seconds on the local 25 to 30 minute northbound climb (there's also a southbound one about as long). He probably did his time on a mountain bike in a headwind, but hey I'll take it. They felt great whether standing or seated, and the tires felt superbly supported. The G-Ones I used are 33mm which is probably the smallest tire you'd use with these. They measure 32.5mm on the CCCs at 50psi. Max tire pressure is 70 psi, and Boyd states that these aren't road rims, which we agree with. They're gravel rims, and apparently quite good ones at that. 

Last but still important, the graphics are great. The loud Boyd logos are gone, replaced with a super subtle black treatment that doesn't even really show up in photos (you be the judge) with a cool CCC logo at the valve hole. A lot of people objected to the louder graphics, so here you go. Case closed there. 

The true test of rims is over time, right? We sniffed out the problems in our initial go through of the Al25, and that rim has apparently had a 100% failure rate in the field, so hooray for us. But that situation is rare. What we hear about CCCs so far is all to the good, and we're excited to put more people on them. They're also readily available, and well priced. We'll even have a super rare Discount Dave exceptionally limited time build option on them (available here and here).

I think that does it, but if not please fire away with the Qs. 

 


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  • Wayne P. on

    I’ve been riding Boyd CCC’s with Panaracer 35mm Gravel King + tires since last April and love them. Mostly on hard pack dirt and gravel in northern Westchester, NY. They were recommended by a friend who knows a lot about wheels, and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Lively, great feel, and stable.

  • dave on

    Good question. Sometimes is the answer, and it depends on the carbon rim and how much hoop strength it has (proper technical term – I hate calling rims “hoops” but that’s my issue) and basically how well it’s engineered. The biggest driver of reducing spoke count to maintain the same wheel strength is rim depth. If you keep all else equal, a deeper rim allows removal of spokes. If you keep all else equal, a carbon rim might allow you to remove spokes but not necessarily. This is reflected in how we standard spoke carbons – RCGs and GOATs and All Road 38s are 24/28 standard because that works GREAT for basically everyone. All Road 50s are 24/28 because they get taken on single track. Cafe Racers are 24/24 because they’re basically road wheels and they’re deep enough to get into the bonus round of wheel strength thru rim depth. Make sense?

  • Appendage on

    All other things begin constant, can spoke count be reduced in the case of a composite rim due to the difference in strength between a composite and an aluminum rim?


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