Edge Composites XC Rims: Out Of The Box

Twenty Nine Inches has just taken delivery of a pair of the Edge Composites “XC Clincher” carbon fiber rims. These are the same rims we reported on at Sea Otter last April. Edge Composites also makes an “All Mountain Clincher” that is wider than the “XC Clincher”

Edge Composites logo
Edge Composites describes the XC Clincher with the following text:

A case can be made that our two-niner XC clincher is the fastest-rolling wheelset in the world. But can it make you a better rider?The lightest wheel on the market, in a 29er diameter results in a wheel with deft handling capability on the downhills, allows you to carry speed over short rises. But its biggest benefit comes on the ascents. Its light enough to carve significant rotational weight off your XC rig to power the longer, technical ascents. Less weight on tricky ascents equals less work, thus conserving the energy needed to power over technical terrain.

Rim shot!

They go on to talk about the benefits to the process used to create the rims by saying:

Our proprietary molding process creates a spoke interface that permits the running of higher spoke tensions than any carbon rim, of similar weight has seen to date. Not only does our spoke interface allow for higher tension, but it is also designed to enhance the durability of the wheel as a whole by limiting spoke fatigue and increasing durability. 

Rim well

I’ll have more specific dimensions in an upcoming post, but for now I can report that the two samples sent to Twenty Nine Inches weigh 380 and 390 grams each. I will be choosing hubs and spokes soon and will have a build report afterwards.

The rims appear to be very well crafted. The carbon fiber appears to be of the unidirectional type, although Edge say that they have honed the process to a point that they have produced a stronger yet lighter product than anyone else on the market. The spoke holes are not drilled in these, but molded in. Along with the spoke seat inside, it is a special design that allows the spoke to travel in a straight line from the rim to the hub. The rim has a deeper section than most 29″er rims, almost aero, if you will. The hook on the rim beads is well formed and uniform all the way around the circumference of the rim. A pretty impressive product all in all, and we haven’t even made it into a wheel yet!

Stay tuned for more soon. I’m off to go hub and spoke shopping now!


No Responses to “Edge Composites XC Rims: Out Of The Box”

  1. Shiny Flu Says:

    In the last episode of NCIS – the better half watches it – they had some MTBers discover a body. But they were both riding Niners and had Edge wheels.

    I’ve been waiting to see a review of them, will be following with great interest!

  2. Lionel Says:

    Hi Guitar Ted!
    Do you know the width of these rims?

  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    Lionel: I will have all dimensions posted in the next update. 🙂

  4. pazub Says:

    Guitar Ted
    Do you know the retail price of the rims? How about compatibility with tubeless ready tires?

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    pazub: I have to double check the MSRP, but last I heard, (at Sea Otter in April) the price was $650.00 per rim. I have not found out if Edge will recommend them for tubeless use. That will be something I will find out about and post in my next update.

  6. Cloxxki Says:

    What spoke counts do these come in, and how should I see the required number of spokes for these versus other high-performance rims, such as Stans Arches, at least according to Edge?

    My bling ’00 or so cross wheelset is Tube/Zipp, 24/28 bladed lightweight CX-Ray spokes. Very stiff laterally, with tubular rims around 370g each. Narrow of course though, or I would consider re-lacing them to run with discs and custom MTB tubulars. The braking surface functions like teflon lubricated steel anyway.

    Would I want a 32h Edge set, or is that totally overkill?
    Looking forward to your review.
    I’m seriously considering getting a pair of these for my Superfly build. It’s just, I have this compulsion to bling out a bike once in a while (it’s been 8 or 9 years since the Zipps).
    I’m hearing there will be 335g Stans alu rims soon…

  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    Cloxxki: These come in 32 or 28 hole versions. I too am aware of the upcoming Stan’s product. I have ridden the old Stan’s Olympic rims, (Or was it the 355, I can’t remember) anyway……..that first lightweight effort Stan’s did for 29″ers, and it was certainly a joy to climb on those wheels, but they were flexy in corners. Definitely the flexiest wheels I have ever ridden on a 29″er.

    Now Edge is claiming I can build these wheels with higher spoke tensions, and of course, being carbon fiber, they can be made to be very stiff. I am curious, and if they are as stiff as claimed laterally, yet have as nice a ride as all the Edge folks proclaim to me that these have, it may be the “holy grail” of light weight 29″er wheels.

    We’ll see about that! 😉

  8. Poor_Cyclist Says:

    $650 per rim!?! “Holy grail” or no….paying that much for a rim goes way beyond indulgent and right into the realm of the absurd.

  9. Cloxxki Says:

    Cheers, GT.

    Does Edge recommend a specific type of spokes? Superthin to have some give at high tension, or the same, but flattened ones to be extra immovable? Seems wrong to use plain DT Comps on such unique rims, there must be something more appropriate?

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    Poor_Cyclist: Ironically your comment matches the image that your on-screen moniker imparts. 😉 I imagine that there are a few more out there thinking in the same manner, and that is fine. However; some folks want the best, and in most cases that means expensive.

    Cloxxki: No, they did not specify spokes, but they did send along some special nipples to use. I agree with you on the spoke choice though. It must be something special, and so must the hub choice. Still looking around, so if you have some suggestions, I am open to any ideas you, ( or anyone else) may have. 🙂

  11. Chuckc1971 Says:

    “Still looking around, so if you have some suggestions, I am open to any ideas you, ( or anyone else) may have.”

    Send them to I-9 to be built up!

  12. Davidcopperfield Says:

    What about AM rims? Are they 36H or 32 only 😦 ? tubeless compatibility? I shall put 36H Tbuless on my 529 from Pivot cycles.

  13. Guitar Ted Says:

    Chuck1971: Thought about that, but I’m going to stick with traditional j-bend spokes on this one and have the experience of the wheel build be part of the review. Thanks for that great idea though.

    Davidcopperfield: Only a 28 and 32 hole model is offered in the AM series rim. Seeing as how these rims are stronger, I would submit that a 36 hole Edge AM rim would be overkill and just weigh more without adding any real benefit. At least that would be my guess as to why they do not offer that option.

  14. Z34ME Says:

    Just to clarify… the Rims are $800/rim for the XC and $850/rim for the AM…. They are both offered as a 32 or 28 hole. Having ridden these rims 36 holes is definitely overkill and that is why it doesn’t exsist.

  15. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Your mom rides edge wheels….

  16. Sevo Says:

    I’ve had a set for 4 months now. I’m 240lbs running 28 spoke front/rear 2x. No problems what so ever. The wheels are simply amazing and the only reason I’d say don’t buy them is once you ride them you’ll never have to justify the expense of expensive wheels again and you’ll want to out fit all your bikes which such.

    Yes, they are expensive. But no alloy rim comes close in weight. No alloy rim can beat the strength. In short, think these wheels are expensive? Well instead of riding say a $2200 ti frame sell it and buy a Niner EMD….use the money to put towards a set of wheels you’ll see a difference with. Skip XTR for Sram X9. I think it’s funny to put all sorts of money into stuff you’ll never see a difference in when wheels are paramount. I mean really, how many times have you seen someone with some fancy bike with every ti bit/carbon bit imaginable yet have wheels worth less than $500? Should be the other way around.

    Don’t get that idea? Then ride these wheels once and your next bike you’ll buy the wheels first then figure out what you can afford the next time you build a bike. And you know, you’ll love it.

  17. Broke Cyclist Says:

    The economy sucks….so buy two pairs of rims.

    Gotta have one pair for day to day and another for the racing steed.

    Somebody has to have one or two of those Economic Stimulus checks laying around, maybe we’ll get more this tax season. Use your tax refund to pump up the bike economy.

    Its only money.

  18. Davidcopperfield Says:

    No, I don’t think they would be an overkill. Of course I wouldn’t use Alpine III 2,34mm on them but aerolites in 36 number wouldn’t be bad, would they? My perception of 36H is to use lighter spokes instead of 32 or 28 in stronger&heavier variety.
    36- light spoked wheels- are not that wrong, especially when we are dealing with naturally bigger and heavier rider on 29ers with their weaker wheels than comparable 26er. I am certain that many heavier&agressive enduro riders on 150-160mm 26ers would choose 36H version when they finally make a switch.
    Now we are seeing that 36H rims for 29er are scant and rare- weight issue of 4 spokes? Heavy riders 90-110kgs on AM rigs don’t care so much. WFO9 and LUnchbox 6″ would lean more towards 36 spokes.

  19. Sevo Says:

    David Coppperfield: I am 240lbs and ride in Colorado. The wheels I built were with Aerolites at 28 spoke 2x to DT 240s on the “narrow” Edge rim (I believe that’s 25mm not the 30mm).

    The thing is these rims are VERY stiff on their own. The profile is almost 30mm deep I believe (don’t quite me haven’t measured them yet). You could cut the rim and half and have a tough time twisting it.

    I’ll agree 36 spokes are no questions asked the way to go with alloy rims for certain riders and rigs like the WFO and Lunchbox. But trust me, and I have a lot of background in carbon wheels, 32h would work just fine and I’d even dare say with light spokes.

  20. Davidcopperfield Says:

    Well it is holy war between 32 weightweenees and 36 stouters.

    “But trust me, and I have a lot of background in carbon wheels, 32h would work just fine and I’d even dare say with light spokes.”

    Thus if already deciding to use light spokes , then why not add a few grams per wheel- 20? and get more durable wheels? 36 egde would hold for longer.
    I own a wheelset, which consists of Stan’s flows 36 with aerolites + brass nipples and laced 4 crosses and would not swap them for 32 3X with alloy nipples.
    How much do the 30mm versions of Edge weight? I would take the weight penalty for those 4 extra aerolite spokes and 4 cross lacing. If weight is not much important having longer lasting wheelset is a definite plus.

  21. Davidcopperfield Says:

    This is where we discussed the topic

  22. Guitar Ted Says:

    Davidcopperfield: I admire your dogged determination in regards to your ideals, but in this case, I feel you have missed the point completely.

    What is being said is that even if Edge made the rim with 36 spokes holes, it would not *increase* the strength of the wheel over an Edge rim with 32 spoke holes. It would merely add weight, yes- a miniscule amount to be sure, but unnecessary all the same.

    The question would then become, “Do you gain any lateral stiffness with the 36 vs 32 spoked carbon rim?” Again, due to the stiffness and strength that the Edge rims are purported to have, the answer would appear to be “No.”

    So, to put it another way, “Why wouldn’t you want a rim/hub/spoke combination that was as strong or stronger than a 36 hole wheel and have a lighter weight wheel to boot?” In this case, they are saying that you do not need 36 spokes, just 32, or maybe even just 28.

    More isn’t always better. 😉

    That said, I fully expect you to stick to your guns! 🙂

  23. professed Says:

    Stans’ new proto (or might be in production now) rims match or beat the weight of these puppies but they are having reliability problems…wonder why?
    These look to be a terrific solution to the classic light but want it stiff problem..
    looking forward to your review GT

    A suggestion – can you build them up like Sevo’s wheels but with the minimum spoke count to counter the “more is better” luddite commentary here and with Sapim CXray or Aerolight and a “proper” set of hubs – not that ameican classic “ride it for a few weeks and it disintegrates” type of hub – DTSwiss or King or Ringle or something?
    Then it should be wonderfully stiff laterally and rotationally, have some give or spring for liveliness and roll super sweet..
    Perhaps i am imparting my own fantasies here..? 🙂

  24. Davidcopperfield Says:

    @GT Yes I know that 32 on those rims is fine, I am not implying that 32 spoked Edge wheels are wrong. I am just suggesting that building them with 36 spokes laced 4x crosses would be stronger. What I am getting from yous is that such wheel cannot have any advantage over 32 3x.
    May I ask how come a 36 4x wheels with Edge rims cannot be stronger or more durable&reliable than 32 3x?

    I may surmise that AM Edges will not endure higher tension than 32 3x exert on them, therefore 36 4x would have to be laced slacker, lest they should destroy the rim.
    Is it what yous are hinting at?
    If this is truth then I’ll agree and in such case I shall be asking for a little bit burlier Edge AM rim, a tiny bit just to just allow 36 4x laced at equal high tension as 32 3x.

  25. Guitar Ted Says:

    Davidcopperfield: No, no, no…………… You didn’t understand the point. It is simple: 36 spokes will not make an Edge rim/wheel assembly stronger at any tension. It will just weigh more. That is the theoretical point being proposed here. Will it prove out on the trail?

    The Edge Composites guy I spoke with at Sea Otter said that if you break this rim, you’ll have greater issues in terms of your body than your wheel being busted. Translation: If you wreck an Edge rim, you’ll likely have had such a catastrophic crash that you will be damged far worse than the rim. 😉 (My translation, not Edge Composites, by the way)

    So, I take it that the rim is extremely strong with only 32 spokes. Adding four more and having all of them be longer, (to accomplish your desired 4 cross pattern) is not necessary and would in effect be redundant, not an improvement. That is the point.

    This review will attempt to see if this is actually the case.

  26. Davidcopperfield Says:

    @GT So 32 is the sweetspot? If 32 is stronger than 28, then 36 than 32 should be, shouldn’t they? Was this rim designed to be the strongest with 32?
    I understand that 32 is just more than enough reliable that I don’t need more “reliablity” with 4 more spokes, right?

    “It is simple: 36 spokes will not make an Edge rim/wheel assembly stronger at any tension. It will just weigh more.” I like asking questions and I’ll ask this time- WHY is that? Because clydesdales over 100 kgs can ride 32 versions hard does not mean that 36 will not give any advantage if 32 over 28 does.
    In practice I will not be albe to destroy 32 anyway, I know, I am just asking.
    All in all, 26er versions have 32 option as well which is stronger than 32 29er.

  27. Sevo Says:

    Davidcopperfield-you really have no background in composites do you? Or low spoke count wheels or high end wheels? Because so far nothing suggests otherwise. I have built tons of high tension, low spoke count wheels using technology 6 years old in comparison to the Edge wheels. I’ve been riding the Edge Wheels for 4 months now.

    Your logic is lost and you must not be reading the posts. With your logic, why don’t you just build a 48 spoke tandem wheel and move on. You know just to be safe, why don’t you run bmx cranks and get a custom made 6lb Ti frame…you know…couldn’t hurt right?

    With these wheels 32 spokes would be overkill. I weigh 240lbs and ride some fun stuff out this way. No problemos. I used to run Salsa Race Disc rims, 32 spokes, 3x. Damn nice wheels but did need some up keep. I’m running 28h, 2x, Aerolights just because I want to see if I can bend/break ’em. So far? Nadda. True as could be. Oh sure could ask really nicely for 32 spokes but there is no point. Afterall, the goal of carbon rims are light weight and strength. If you aren’t going to take advantage of them why bother?

  28. Z34ME Says:

    Mr. Copperfield,

    Your point is well taken, 36 in theory should be stonger than 32. However there are several factors that you need to take into consideration. For one the exit/entry angles of the spokes into the rim. The Edge wheels are designed with molded spoke holes and for internal nipples. The nipple seats are conical and designed so that the nipple can articulate with the exit angle of the spoke. If the angle is too aggresive, then the nipple will force the spoke to bend or curve in an undesirable manner. Edge suggests that you do no more than a 2 cross pattern, but depending on the hub a 3 cross is just fine.

    Being that the spoke holes are molded into the rim they fibers supporting the nipple and spoke tension are continuous and very strong. The rim itself can handle much higher spoke tension than most light weight spokes can handle. For example the rim can take 180kg no problem, but an aerolite spoke will have begun to stretch long before that, or you’ll break or strip out he nipple. So in many ways not only is the 32 hole Edge rim lighter than any comparable aluminum rim, but it is also stronger than any comparable mountain rim even with 36 holes.

    There are big/aggressive guys riding these wheels. Conrad Stoltz (notorious for destroying bicycle components) has been riding them all summer. Jeff Jones ( founder/owner Jones Bikes) has been riding them very aggresively and loves them.

    Point being, yes 36 holes is great and acceptable for conventional aluminum wheels, but 32 is more than enough for the Edge 29er rims….

  29. Davidcopperfield Says:

    I am no denying that 32H isn’t durable, you are right. I am just saying that 36H would improve the wheels without adding unnecessary weight as some of you are trying to hint.

    You are saying that 32h 29er AM rim is enough but 32H 26er rim AM is stronger, thus why not adding 4 spokes for 29er version to cancel out that difference more or less? Bigger wheel should have more spokes, shouldn’t it?
    All i am hearing is that 32H is enough for 29er, yet 32 for 26er is
    enough as well and the difference exists. Consider it nobody complains that 32H on 26er is too much, few venture to go 28H on a 26er so they use overkill-like wheels in your opinion?
    Following your logic 32H in 26er is overkill, yet it is offered. Why? Is it silly?

    “For one the exit/entry angles of the spokes into the rim. The Edge wheels are designed with molded spoke holes and for internal nipples. The nipple seats are conical and designed so that the nipple can articulate with the exit angle of the spoke. If the angle is too aggresive, then the nipple will force the spoke to bend or curve in an undesirable manner. Edge suggests that you do no more than a 2 cross pattern, but depending on the hub a 3 cross is just fine.”

    This is a design issue in this particular 32H 29er rim not the overall impossibility. Apparently a 29er 36H Edge to fully accept 3 and 4 lacing pattern would have to be designed differently to optimize them and at simulataneously exclude 2x patterns. I contacted Edge on this very issue and they’ve written:

    “I understand what you are saying. The problem lies in the fact that due to
    our manufacturing process, you need an individual mold for each hole count
    of rim. It is not as simple as just starting to drill 36 hole rims. Each
    hole count and rim shape has its own mold. These molds are very expensive,
    and so far very few people have made a request for a 36 hole rim. We
    generally try to make what the people want, but we need to see the demand
    for it in order to justify the cost of cutting the tooling. If we see an
    increase in 36 hole requests, we will likely make them.

    In the meantime when you want to demo a pair of wheels let me know.”

    The problem lies in R&D costs and demand not in viability. I believe that 32H is enough strong, but what it takes to add 20-30 grams per wheel on a AM 29er rig to get a sbustantially stonger wheelset? If you feel that AM edge 32H 2x is indestructible then how would 4x 36H behave? I am sure it will last for longer and stay true for years after 32H 3x needs trueing.

    As long as Edge makes 32H 26er wheels I will not believe that 36H would be overkill. Larger wheel at the same hub flange spacing is always weaker than its smaller counterpart, thus why my wheels should be inferior to my buddy’s on a 26er?

    Once that I own a 36H 4X wheelset I really believe in these particular numbers on 29er. How many of yous own 4x 36h wheelsets to chime in?

  30. Davidcopperfield Says:

    “The rim itself can handle much higher spoke tension than most light weight spokes can handle. For example the rim can take 180kg no problem, but an aerolite spoke will have begun to stretch long before that, or you’ll break or strip out he nipple.”

    This reasoning speaks for more spokes, doesn’t it? More spokes= more tension to carry collectively before they begin to stretch or strip out the nipples.

  31. Chris Says:


    Any hope you’ll rim shot the crap out of this thing. Those rim prices are ABSURD but if the rims held up to bottoming out (something that happens tubeless to me) without breaking or denting, they’d conceivably save me money and worry over the lifetime of the wheelset compared to Stans rims.

    Please try to break them because I can’t afford to beta test $800 rims. 🙂

  32. Guitar Ted Says:

    Chris: That’s the idea here. 😉 We do the testing so you don’t have to. Hopefully we can do a convincing job of it. We certainly will give it our best shot.

    Just to directly address your concern now though, I was told several stories of instances where Edge Composites rims were thoroughly thrashed, dinged, and abused only to come out practically unscathed. User comments up to this point agree with the anecdotes I’ve heard. I suspect that if our experiences are similar, yur fears will be allayed, but time will tell.

    I was told at Sea Otter in April that Edge does have a crash replacement warranty on the rims, so you wouldn’t be out the full amount if indeed you did have an issue arise.

  33. Chris Says:

    Good. I want you to cringe when you feel that rock hit the rim 🙂 I had a few doozies at the end of the CTR when I was too tired to avoid rocks anymore and my tire pressure was probably in the mid 20s.

    To be realistic, I’ve got 2 sets of 26er Stans Olympic rims at 330 to 360g per rim. Both sets have thousands of miles on them, all tubeless and dozens of “ouch” rim shots. All 4 rims show dents, mostly minor but a few less than ideal. I can’t get away from the occasional rim shot unless I run tire pressures well above my liking. Despite the abuse and mostly rigid SS use, they’re all essentially true and seal/hold air perfectly. I really am amazed with modern light rims as I’m light but at 5’11″/155lbs and often loaded for my races, I’m not exactly featherweight.

    The Edges have my interest but we’ll see how your tests go.

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