So, we've launched the new Range for preorder. The Range is a disc specific, 45mm deep, 27mm outside/20mm inside, 700c tubeless ready carbon clincher wheel. Weight per rim is 440g, and build weights will be in the mid 1500g range, depending on hub choice. Options exist for all known axle configurations. Spokes are a combination of CX Rays on the non-drive side of the rear and drive side of the front, and CX Sprints on the drive side of the rear and rotor side of the front. We use brass nipples, and deliver the wheels with tubeless ready rim tape installed.
Astute followers will be aware that we are about... oh... four months behind where we wanted to be with this. As sometimes happens, testing revealed a few things that we wanted or needed to improve. We have an ambitious mandate for the wheel, incorporating elements that are either new or haven't been used in the combinations we're hitting. It took a lot of iterations to get those worked out.
We made quite a few adjustments as we went through the process, strengthening the spoke bed, tuning the tubeless interface, refining some of the molding process, etc. Because it's an asymmetrical rim, the stress map models aren't quite so refined as they would be on a normal rim.
So what is an asymmetrical rim, and why did we go that path for the Range?
As you can see in the picture, the inside of the rim is lopsided. This is very much by design. Because both wheels in a disc build are dished, the tensions from one side to the other are unequal in both wheels. Off setting the spoke bed allows you to increase the lower side's tension while decreasing the higher side's tension. This in turn leads to a stronger, stiffer, more stable wheel. The structure of the rim gets a bit challenging (as we well learned), but overall the juice is well worth the squeeze.
We chose the dimensions quite carefully. Ranges will be equally at home in road, cross, and gravel use - they have a broad range of use cases, and allow you to cover a lot of range (get it?). Our width choices were well informed by the extensive disc brake experience we've gotten with rims like Stan's Grail and Pacenti SL25. 20mm inside seems to be the sweet spot for making cross tubeless work best, while also working perfectly with tires up to around 40mm width. Road tires also work great with 20mm inside width. The depth gives road users a good aerodynamics boost, while avoiding parasitic weight for the cross and gravel crowd. The 27mm outside width really followed the rest of it, once the other two were established.
Weight is very competitive - close in weight to anything as deep, and notably lighter than disc wheels made from slightly (or un-) modified rim brake wheels. We'd initially tried to get them even lighter, but it sacrificed strength so it was a bad trade. These are meant to be ridden hard, not just weighed and admired, and the design is as tuned as it can be for disc use.
Tubeless for road and gravel is pretty simple at this point, so if you get the cross tubeless right, the other two fall into line right away. All of the tires we came to love and trust last year are supremely compatible with Ranges, and we will be updating that list with this year's crop of new tires.
Of course they will all be built in house, by us.
Pre-order pricing is $100 off the standard pricing of $1385 based on White Industries CLD hubs. CK hubs cost a bit more. Pre-order is scheduled to be open through the 29th, with deliveries starting the third week of August.