SRAM has launched its first mountain bike wheelset today. Dubbed RISE, the new range includes two wheelsets aimed at cross-country riders and racers with a 29er option.
We wonder why it has taken SRAM this long. Several years ago they aquired Zipp, the road wheel brand, and used that purchase to launch its own branded road wheels. Years passed but still no mountain bike wheels. Until now.
Six fundamental factors have been the focus for these new off-road wheels, with the designers ensuring they meet high demands when it comes to weight, inertia, engagement, lateral stiffness, frontal stiffness and efficiency.
“A lot of wheel companies tend to focus on one design attribute on their wheels, such as low weight or lateral stiffness," said SRAM Wheel Product Manager Bastien Donzé. “Our goal from the start was to design a wheel that offers all the best possible ride characteristics."
Finding the critical balance of weight and strength is key to a good wheelset, and SRAM focused on rim design, developing a carbon wheel aimed at racers and those concerned with weight, and an aluminium wheel intended as an all-rounder.
No detail was left unturned in the quest for a top performing wheel. Loads of hub designs, different flange and spoke angles and rim materials were tested during the development stage before the final choices were made. A unique pawl design in the aluminium hub that "maximises efficiency and power, making the most of every pedal stroke."
Onto the wheels in question then. The RISE 60 is the flagship wheel, and features a carbon fibre rim with an asymmetric design, 24 two-cross Sapim CX-Ray spokes and aluminium hubs. Axle compatibility extends to all the current standards front and rear. The 26in wheelset weighs 1330g while the 29in comes in at 1420g.
Next up is the RISE 40, probably the most appealing of the range. An aluminium rim brings the price down but weight does rise significantly; 1710g for the 26in and 1840g for the 29in.
No UK prices yet but in Euro they start at €465 for the Rise 40 and €1800 for the Rise 60. Availability is slated for October for the 40's and December for the 60's.
An aluminium rim for the RISE 40
The RISE 60 will come in 26in and 29in flavours