Edge Composites XC Rims: Update On Wheel Build

Well, all the parts and pieces finally came together for the wheel build on the Edge Composites XC rims/ American Classic hubs wheels. I had a devil of a time getting the right length spokes, as the combination of the American Classic hubs large diameter flanges and the deeper profile of the Edge rims made for an odd length spoke. I wanted something light, and well…..weight weenie-ish. So, the choices were limited, but I got the job done. Here are the results.

Edge rim, American Classic hub
American Classic hubs

The spokes ended up being DT Swiss Aero Lite spokes. I know, I know! Some of you may think it is a crazy choice, but I was going for a sub 1500 gram build, and that was the only choice in stock at the places I normally deal with in the lengths I needed. I am quite confident that since these are race wheels that they will hold up just fine. Edge touts their rims ability to have higher than normal spoke tensions, and with 32 spokes in each wheel, things should go well. But…….that’s why we test things here! We will certainly find out soon enough. Edge claims these rims are strong. DT Swiss claims those spokes are amongst their strongest ones. So we will see just how it all holds together.

It should be noted that the nipples are a special design that resemble a flange-less alloy type nipple.They seat against a molded pocket in the inside of the rim cavity, so no part of the nipple is exposed outside the rim. This means that you must true and tension the wheels through the spoke holes in the rim well. Fortunately a proper sized nut driver will suffice in getting the job done since the alloy nipples provided were of a hexagonal shape. One end of each nipple is rounded to mate wih the spoke interface on the rim. The other end has an insert, not unlike a DT Swiss Pro-Lock nipple, that resists the spoke wanting to back off and unwind from the nipple after tensioning.

All this means that if your Edge rimmed wheel set needs tensioning, you would have to remove your tire and rim tape to do the job. Same goes for a spoke replacement. Not a huge deal if you are dedicating these to race duty only, but it might be a problem for every day users. This also would not be encouraging for those thinking about converting these to tubeless duty.

Edge Composites XC wheel set

All this is a little easier to swallow when you see the weights. Front Wheel: 670 grams, Rear Wheel: 770 grams. Looks like my goal was met for weight! No doubt the American Classic hubs had something to do with this. The whole package is just amazing to hold in your hands. The lack of weight is astounding when put in the context of 29″er wheels.

Now we’ll finish off the ensemble with a cassette, rotors, and some tires and (yes folks) tubes! Then we will be seeing how these ride and perform in a variety of conditions and locations. Stay tuned for another update coming up soon!


No Responses to “Edge Composites XC Rims: Update On Wheel Build”

  1. David Pals Says:

    Dead Sexy

  2. Dave Says:

    What kind of weight-weenieish weight weenie worth his salt uses TUBES?

    You’re trying to be a pioneer with this wheelset? Then ditch the tubes, man!!!

    PS – They look sweet, and if the DTs are like the Sapim CXrays, they should be strong.

  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    Dave: I didn’t say “I” was a weight weenie! πŸ˜‰ But yeah, I know where you are coming from. As for the Sapim vs. DT choice: I tried to obtain CX-Ray’s, but the length I needed wasn’t available in those. You are right though, the DT’s I chose were the equivalent spoke in DT’s line to the CX-Ray.

  4. Willie Says:

    In your last post you mentioned that you would post the rim width on you next post.
    Did I miss it? I know the profile is 30mm, but what is the width?

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    Willie: Yes, you are correct! Sorry I missed that. It is 24mm in width.

  6. Shiny Flu Says:


    First time in a long time that I’ve for bike-geek-envy over a product (or sum of products).

  7. Willie Says:

    Pretty narrow considering it is as close to the “perfect” rim as any now made.
    GT any thoughts as to when you might be testing the Salsa 30mm Semi?
    Keep up the good work!

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    Willie: The Semi wasn’t available aftermarket last I checked. I will be looking into those for sure though.

  9. Desert9r Says:

    GT- would you mind sharing the final price of the build?

    I am also interested in a long term review on these, seeing if the quality is worth the cost.

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    Desert9r: I figure it at around $2600.00 for the set or so (MSRP). That’s parts only. The labor isn’t added and would vary depending on wheel builders rates.

    We’ll be thrashing these for awhile in various locations so stay tuned!

  11. Brandonecpt Says:

    $2600?! Couldn’t you build a set with Stan’s ZTR 355 29er rims for about $700 or so? I’m all about cool, new stuff, but $1900 extra dollars to save about 20g per wheel?

    You could even get some Zipp 202 rims and tubular Dugast MTB tires laced to AC hubs for less…..now THAT would be sexy!

    Well, cool build, but I’ll be sticking with my Stan’s I think.

  12. prphoto Says:

    GT I am using a set of Velocity VXC’s with the CX-rays and have had no problems. Weight is 1675g. They are ridden everyday in SF on a Jamis Dragon commuting 10-20 miles. I hope you get good results with the edge set-up, don’t fear the carbon!

  13. Broke Cyclist Says:

    One of our local shops is liquidating GF superfly’s for $2,499.00 which isn’t too shabby.

    Lets see pick up one of those and pitch the stock wheels for a set of these and you’d have bottom end roadie bike with way more technology for a little more than $5200 or so.

    Carbon on carbon and sub 23ish.

  14. Nik Says:


    Any idea what the ERD is? I’m figuring it to be 596.


  15. Guitar Ted Says:

    Nik: That is correct as it is published in Edge Composites 2009 catalog. 596 ERD for both the All Mountain and XC series 29 inch rims.

  16. Nik Says:

    Excellent, thanks Ted!

    I have DT Swiss 240 28h hubs and it looks like I need 3 different sized (revolution) spokes.

    294 (rear drive)

    292 (rear non drive)

    292 (front left flange)

    295 (front right flange)

  17. Guitar Ted Says:

    Nik: Hmm, sounds kinda long. Is that 3 X? Edge recommended a two cross build in the literature I had available to me.

  18. Nik Says:

    Yes its 3x. Interesting. I bought the rims from Fairwheel Bikes and they recommend 3x for disc use. Now I’m confused, lol! I’ll call Edge tomorrow.

  19. Nik Says:

    Straight from the horse’s mouth (Edge).

    DT Swiss 28h 6 bolt hubs: 597 ERD Front disc side 280, non-disc side 286, rear drive side 282, non-drive side 280.

    And my local shop had the Revolutions in stock – bonus!

  20. Brandonecpt Says:

    Can someone explain these to me? I love cool stuff, but at only roughly 10g lighter than a Stan’s 355 29er rim at 10x the price, I just don’t get it….

    They are cool, and I am all about the bling, but at 10x the price I just don’t get it.

  21. Guitar Ted Says:

    Brandonecpt: Well, if you’d like 10 times the stiffness over the your stated wheelset, then you’d “get it”. Really, these are that stiff.

  22. Brandonecpt Says:

    Can you show me somewhere that these really are 10x as stiff? Or is that just an opinion? Either way, even if the Edge wheels are slightly more stiff, I’ll happily keep the extra $1500 in my pocket.

    But, that’s just me.

    Now, if these rims were $300 each, maybe even $400, I think I’d give ’em a chance. But at $775 I could go get a tubular Zipp rim that’d be lighter with a tubular tire and save a few hundred grams.

    Now that would be bling.

  23. Brandonecpt Says:

    On a side note, has anyone tried to set these up tubeless yet?

  24. Nik Says:

    5th place at Leadville this year ran them tubeless.

  25. Guitar Ted Says:

    Brandonecpt: Well, I am writing to someone that has made their mind up already, but I have ridden 355’s and they were “noodly” and no where near as stiff as these wheels. Again, if you valued stiffness above all else, then these wheels are the pinnacle in those terms for an XC/Race wheel.

    If you don’t see the value, that’s fine. They are spendy hoops, and they are not for everyone.

  26. Brandonecpt Says:

    Guitar Ted: How much do you weigh? I wonder if that has to do with how “noodly” the 355’s were to you. Also, do you have a way to test the “noodliness” of wheels, or is this just an opinion?

  27. Guitar Ted Says:

    Brandonecpt: Well, I weigh 240lbs, and the 355’s were unacceptably flexy for me. A few riders I know at 200lbs agree, and one rider I know at 180lbs, (A highly respected wheel builder) won’t recommend them for anyone over 180lbs. So, with that in mind, let’s say you are lighter weight, and the 355’s are somewhat flexy, but not bad. well, the Edge wheels would be an improvement.

    Again, you are convinced the Edge wheels are not worth the price. You have made that very clear. So be it. You probably won’t be convinced no matter what I or anyone else says. That is your prerogative.

    As for “how” you test for “noodliness”, that is a very subjective procedure done by actually riding said wheels extensively. I stand by my opinions. πŸ˜‰

  28. Brandonecpt Says:

    Guitar ted: No need to tell me what I have decided or not decided. I was actually trying to track down a set to use today!

    And at 170lbs in the off-season, I notice very little flex in my wheels. But with that said, I will give them a shot, I’m not about to make decisions without trying them. But, odds are for this price, I’ll go for a set of Zipp tubbies with some Dugast tires and have one sick set of wheels.

    I would say anyone at 240lbs is better off dropping some weight off their body than worrying about 100g saved on their wheels. Trust me, at 180lbs you’ll be MUCH faster than any set of wheels will make you.

    Oh, and I’m not much for subjective testing, maybe that’s my science background stepping in…..

  29. Guitar Ted Says:

    ETURK: Great question! I chose those hubs because #1: I thought they fit the philosophy/intentions of the Edge Composites rims. I did look at DT Swiss, but their stuff is so high priced, and I haven’t been smitten by having ceramic ball bearings in standard bearing races. #2: I felt that American Classic had addressed past concerns about their hubs sufficiently to the point that I wanted to try them out again. The addition of the steel insert on the cassette body really sealed the deal as well.

    In terms of engagement, I feel that as long as a hub isn’t noticeably sloppy in engagement, then for the intents and purposes of XC/Trail riding most hubs are more than sufficient. In terms of instantaneous engagement, well, the American Classics are not in that class, but I question the necessity of that in the light of this wheel sets intended use. Single speed, techy riding, and trials riding are a different story.

  30. Guitar Ted Says:

    ETURK: #1: Steel insert: Ever had a cassette get stuck on an aluminum freehub body because the individual cassette cogs dug into the aluminum? (Most common with SRAM cassettes) American Classic faced three of the splines on their newest free hub bodies with strips of steel which prevents this from happening. See this post: http://twentynineinches.com/2008/10/18/edge-composites-xc-rims-update-on-hubs/

    #2: No, Edge Composites dictates the two cross pattern because of the angle the spokes would exit the spoke holes in the rim on a three cross wuld contact the carbon fiber and may damage the rim. I have found that 2 cross is plenty strong with the extremely high spoke tensions that you can achieve with these rims. (Edge encourages using a high spoke tension, by the way)

    #3: Absolutely, these are everyday wheels. I wouldn’t feel afraid to use these on the Colorado Trail race, and in fact, races like that play to these rims strengths, I think, despite the peception that they are XC race wheels.

    #4: XC models are 24mm wide, and the Enduro model, (not tested here) is 30mm in width.

  31. Brandonecpt Says:

    GT: “I did look at DT Swiss, but their stuff is so high priced”

    WHAT?! You were building into $775 rims.

  32. Guitar Ted Says:

    Brandonecpt: Compared to what you can get with an American Classic hub, I stand by that comment. Rims not with standing. πŸ˜‰

  33. Brandonecpt Says:

    GT: LOL, fair enough! I’ve liked my 190s hubs, but can’t feel a noticeable difference between my AC hubs. Now, looking at a set of I-9’s I have built into some 355 rims, and then I can notice a difference!

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