The landscape of rim brake rims is changing all the time. We’ve had to our one out for the HED Belgium and Belgium+, the Easton R90SL, the Boyd Altamont, the AForce Al33, and who knows what’s next. This escalated so quickly that we made the decision to go public with the affair we’ve had with the Rail 25 and Rail 55 rims that we’ve used for wear-out and crash replacements for Rail customers. But we’re also firmly entrenched behind the validity of alloy rim brake clincher rims.
Since our entire history is an open book, you know (or could find out) that we used to sell quite a lot of Velocity A23 rims. They were, in fact, the impetus behind our original Rail design – at the time, the 18mm inside width was revolutionary, and we thought the world needed an aero carbon rim with the benefits it brought. But you can also find out that we became disenchanted with A23s when Velocity brought production to the US from Australia. We had a lot of problems, mostly with unstable joints but also with janky spoke hole drilling and some other things. We’ve only taken a few rims off the menu, and we hated to do it but we had to. To their credit, Velocity was great about it, which made us keep the door open.
When the Quill first came out, it was too light. We were in the throes of finding out that the Pacenti SL23 wouldn’t always hold up as well as it should, and were dead set against going through that routine again. So we tested a few out, thought the overall design was great but underbuilt and unstable as a result, and that was that. We weren’t alone in this assessment, as Velocity retooled and added 40 or so grams to it, and made it a way better rim. At the time, we were swimming in great rim options, and so we merrily went on with life without it. #missedconnections
Once we sniffed the change in the wind, we took a closer look at some of the rims we hadn’t been using, and the Quill jumped to the front of the line. We ordered some, and wow had they gotten their s—t together. Near perfect joints, clean hole drilling, and super nice extruding. We built some up, and it was clear we had a great new option on our hands. They build straight and round with almost completely uniform spoke tensions, they hold spoke tension under tire compression, and the sidewalls hold straight even under high spoke tension. Without being outrageous, the 25mm depth, 20mm inside width, and 475g weight are absolutely in line with what works for a lot of builds these days – the difference between a Quill build and a Belgium+ build is pretty narrow indeed, and Quills even have a full height brake track.
The looks are, well, they look like a nice looking alloy rim. The graphics are what they are, and some of what they are is easily removed if they aren’t your cup of tea. They have a bit of a generous fit with some tires – the Schwalbe Pro Ones pictured here wouldn’t giddy up without the compressor, but Conti GP5000s had an easier time. The engagement once inflated is absolute – the tires stay locked in the rims even at 0 psi.
Pricing is reasonable, and we have the usual suspect build options loaded into the store.
Like absolutely everything else in the world of bikes right now, we’re waiting for more to become available. We have a very few in stock but should see more before Labor Day.