Rim Reviews: RaceFace ARC 25 Offset

We consider this rim to have started life as the Easton ARC 24, which was a favorite of ours from way back. I built myself a set and initially used them for narrower mtb tires, but for the last couple of seasons they've had gravel tires on them. They're on (I think) their 3rd set of hubs (always trying new stuff) and they get a lot of use. 

But then all of a sudden the ARC 24s vanished... Zoinks, Scooby, it was a mystery! And then they came back, with 1mm extra width, an offset nipple bed, and relabeled as the RaceFace ARC 25 Offset. For those of you confused by this, and it's easy to be, RaceFace is sort of to Easton what Truvativ is to SRAM. Same company - one branding for mountain, the other for road. But who gets the family gravel? (anyone get that reference?)

So it's a bit confusing to even find them, and if you are reading this, you are probably much much more familiar with Easton than you are with RaceFace, and there's that. So it's normally a bit of an education process with people on these. We haven't really helped ourselves, because our category sorter thing in the store dropped them out of the category they should be in when the name change to RaceFace happened, so the only non-custom option they're available in as a ready-to-buy is with Aivee hubs. We need to work on that. But don't let that deter you from considering what's a great rim.

Like all the others in this roundup group, they go 25mm wide on the inside. These are 28mm on the outside. They're 19.5mm deep, so "maximizing aero" isn't their special strong point. They weigh 450g each, which is still quite good for a rim of their width. The finish is a gorgeous brushed anodized black, and the quite good looking (in my usually ignored opinion) decals are very easily removed.

The 2mm offset provides more tension equality between the spokes on either side, which is great in shallower rims. As we've discussed before, shallow rims benefit more from the offset as they suffer more from spoke tension loss in tire compression, and the offset is also less likely to cause issues in shallower (say, sub 34mm or thereabouts) rims. These are actually pretty good in compression resistance, but there's no worry about your offside spokes going slack. 

Lacing options are limited to 28 and 32 hole. The 28h set I built yesterday (pictured above) has QUITE good stiffness in the freakishly reliable "squeeze the off side spokes and see how much the rim deflects" test. You might "get away with" 24 in some uses, but 28/28 is good and reliable and I don't think this quibble disqualifies them for anyone. They're still plenty light. 

They're really well priced, at just under $100/rim. As we said in the HED Eroica post, any component's retail price is an element of how it gets frappéd into our final build price, but with the aforementioned Aivee-Based build coming in at $665, they're among our most budget friendly rims. Does the quality suffer as a result? Negative. Though they aren't at quite the same "hyper" level of the HED Eroica, you get a nice, stable, durable build out of them. Since we were probably the first people to blab about how Easton R90SLs are built in the same place that HED alloy rims are built, I'll say that the same labeling and packaging evidence doesn't exist for these. Their relative quality/finish levels are very similar, but since people will wonder about that I have to say that there's insufficient evidence to support that guess. 

I'm somewhat famously ADD on switching rims and never sticking with something for long, but I always want to find a way to put the Easton 24s on my bike and these are very much also covered by that halo. 

Tubeless setup is dead simple and secure. The minimum tire size that I've used these with is 30mm Schwalbe G-Ones, which get to about 60psi when I do a long road ride to get to the fresh pow. RaceFace tells you that 38mm is the minimum, and for public recommendations we'll go with that. That's the sizing most people are after nowadays anyhow. 

I think that's it. Questions?


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  • Dave on

    Oooh, excellent guess – obscure, complex… but I was thinking of this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqonUyJpgxg

  • Ron on

    “family gravel” Sly, very Sly.


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