Rim Reviews: Boyd Altamont Disc 2021

Rim Reviews: Boyd Altamont Disc 2021

A much more prompt review of the new 2021 Altamont Disc rim from Boyd, which have now been built and ridden about one hundred miles. While it would be wonderful to do full life cycle testing on these things, you can't. I chuckle when I read forum posts from people who give satisfied reviews of wheels they've ridden for a few hundred miles, simply because if something has left you undelighted in that short a time, you've got a problem. Alas, the window for a review to stay relevant is small, and presumably we have some expertise in looking at these things that allows us to be a good filter. 

At the outset I will say that my impressions of the Altamont Disc and CCC rims are high enough that I intend to use them as my "1 bike, 2 sets of wheels" solution for this year, outside of some events where it will be more favorable for November for me to use more "us branded" stuff. The Altamonts and CCCs together create an exceptionally useful pairing for this approach.

The gravel oriented CCC have an inside width of 25mm, 29mm outside width, and are 23mm deep. The road oriented Altamont are 21.5 inside, 25mm outside, and 26mm deep. The CCC suggest a minimum tire width of 30mm at max 70 psi. The Altamont is suited for 25mm tires up to somewhere around 40mm. 

The Altamonts will get the Conti 4000 28s you see here (with latex tubes), and the CCCs have 33mm Schwalbe G-Ones. This lets me ride the Woodstock Wednesday night mixed surface ride on CCCs, with lots of "Class 4" roads and some single track along with paved roads, and then switch to the Altamonts to do the Killington Stage Race road stage loop on the weekend. In RI, it'll be mostly the Altamonts. Perfect. 

(Yes my 10 year old HOT BUNS disc is the bike that I ride basically every day. Some day it will be replaced, but today is not that day. Also, if you aren't using some sort of fenders, get on it. That will be its own post. They're great.) 

As with the CCCs, man these suckers are light, and as with the CCCs I say that half with enthusiasm and half with trepidation. A 410g (exactly) rim is pretty light. We still aren't weight weenies by any stretch, but if you ask us "all else being equal do you prefer 100 grams more or 100 grams less," we'd like 100g less, please. Build options will be 24/28, 28/28, and 28/32 - no 24h rears. This is both per Boyd's recommendations and per our sense. In 24/28 with White Industries CLD hubs and brass nipples (our standard for QuickShip™ builds with these), you get a wheel set that's about 1520g. That is light. If lighter still is your thing, you can get down into the low 1400s with I9 Torch hubs and alloy nipples. 

You might notice that these are built with alloy nipples, which is generally something we don't recommend. I do it for color, not for weight. You can, too, but they still don't last as well as brass. 

I've set these up with tubed tires with these, for several reasons. For general road riding this is a smooth, fast, and fantastic setup. These won't last forever, and then I'll have to figure out what's next. Buying tires ain't a simple thing these days, thanks to stunted supply chains. The rims, of course, are happy to be used with tubeless tires. Tire fit is moderate. I wouldn't recommend Conti 5000s as a first choice, because they are hella tight. Someone will no doubt comment that they fit Conti 5000s on x rims with no problem, and I'm happy for that person. The broader experience has been that they're pretty f-ing snug, and as such they're both charming to install and they put a bunch of compression on the rim. The Schwalbe Ones I tried on these made a small spoke tension drop, but nothing out of hand. 

The recommended spoke tension is the same as the CCC - 110kgf. The generous offset once again makes using a ton of spoke tension unnecessary, and the rim stays centered once a tire is on. The light weight again raises an eye, but Boyd has a good track record and equally importantly they're good if problems do arise (which for the record is one time in our experience). 

The construction quality is high. One rim had a tiny wobble at the joint, which would have been machined off were these made for rim brakes. No way would you notice it in a built wheel. Apart from that, round and straight and able to be built with very even spoke tensions. 

In build and in riding, these are plenty stiff and stable. Stiffness will remain a subjective thing that people swear they can feel and rank between wheels, and that is what it is. The amount that these move in the stand test is in line with other wheels that have conclusively proven to have absolutely adequate stiffness. 

As with the CCCs, the graphics are a great upgrade from previous generations. The black on black decals don't even show up when you look at the bike from any distance, leaving you with the tasteful white logos at the valve, and a nice subtle surprise with the Boyd logos when you look closely. 

With so much bad news on the alloy rim front, and rim availability front, the Altamont and CCC are a wonderful reprieve. These are a great addition to the rim choice mix, serve a segment that has suffered some painful losses, and are absolutely worth a look for your next wheels. 


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Michael – Great question. These are more similar to the Lites, and they will be the only version (at least so far as anyone has been told). Dimensionally, these are almost the same as the Lites. You can even use the same spoke lengths as the Lites, it’s like .5mm different on the calculator.


Thanks for the review. Are the current Altamonts available in regular and “light” versions like the previous ones?


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