Velocity Blunt Rims: Update

Back when 2006 turned to 2007 I got a set of wheels built on the original Velocity Blunt rims. At the time, they were some of the widest, (at 28mm) and competitively light weight rims for 29″ers available. Like many rims for 700c mountain bike tires, the fit was not very good. That was par for the course then. Now things are radically different, and seeing that, Velocity set out to update the Blunt slightly . Early this year rims started showing up that reflected the change to get tires to fit a bit better than they did on the original Blunts. The rest of the design, with exception to the more subdued graphics, remains largely unchanged. I again obtained a set of pre-built Blunts on XT hubs and have been riding them for the past couple of months now. Here is my update on the Blunt rims.

julytesting09 036

As you can see, I went for a subtle color. (ha!) Velocity Blunts now come in a myriad of anodized and powder coated colors. The graphics are much better, (my opinion) and I don’t have to feel like a rolling billboard while using these. Okay, so much for the looks. That is fine, but how do these stack up against the advancements since early 2007?

julytesting09 037

My feeling is that in 2009 going forward, if you have a rim design, it had better have some sort of rim strip design that can be employed to make it tubeless, or be a tubeless rim, and have the manufacturer’s blessing upon said system. Now, Velocity designed this rim in 2006, so I can understand the Blunt not being tubeless, but a tubeless design/system of some sort needs to be developed by Velocity, or their rim designs will become antiquated in a hurry. That said, I discovered a way to make the Blunt tubeless for me that worked and seems reliable for me. I am not recommending this as a solution, nor does Velocity recommend this. So, if you do this, it is at your own risk.

I used a plastic Rhythm rim strip from Bontrager which fit rather well in the Blunts. The tires here are Bontrager TLR XR models. No issues at all with the set up, for me. I wish rim companies would take the initiative to develop or recommend certain solutions for tubeless use, but in the meantime, we are left to our own devices. Again, this worked for me, your mileage may vary. Hopefully the new Velocity rim design that is currently in development will be part of a tubeless ready system.

julytesting09 035

The set up has been problem free so far with the Blackbuck having been switched over to a rigid fork since this image was taken of it back in July. The rims are still true and round. The width gives the XR tires a great footprint on the earth and I really think the XR’s have come to life because of it and the tubeless set up. I have bottomed out a couple of times but no damage to the rims so far. Rigidity is harder to gauge due to the fact that I did not personally build the wheels, but knowing Velocity rims as I do, I would say that they are on par for the course in this regard. Did the tires fit better? While I never tried the tires with a traditional tube set up, I would say that the fit still isn’t all that tight when compared to say, the Salsa Semi/Gordo rims, which I would hold as a benchmark for tubed tire fit.

Conclusions: My take on the Blunt rims is that they are a great training/XC type of product that will work for average trail riders looking for something different in looks and color options. If you are abusive, aggressive, or a really big fella, these may not be for you. Unfortunately the Blunt came out at a time when factory tubeless ready tires were still a bit of a pipe dream for 29″ers, and because of this, there is no real recommended way to make them tubeless. Enterprising tubeless devotees have done it, but keep in mind that you assume responsibility for your actions regarding the conversion of a Blunt to tubelessness.

Velocity Blunt rims are available through several sources and on-line as pre-built wheels from several sources in a wide array of color combinations.


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No Responses to “Velocity Blunt Rims: Update”

  1. phatphil Says:

    I think i fall under the really big fella category 275 nekkid and have not had an issue with the blunts. i did have to replace the rim on my front wheel after a crash that turned the front wheel sideways and me over the bars. i am pretty sure no matter what rim i had on there it would have needed to be replaced.

    for what its worth

  2. Andre Shoumatoff Says:

    Good post Mark… I have a set of 650b Blunts that I like quite a bit with about the same comments. Nice work…

  3. Keith Says:

    About the hubs, are they the XT M775’s? If so, how did they hold up for you? I’m looking for a dependable, no frills, decent engagement, not too heavy hub for a wheel build, and those might fit the bill.

  4. Willie Says:

    GT-Good work as always! Just wondering the weight of the Blunt/XT wheels?

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    @ Andre: Thanks for the compliments.

    @ Keith: No, I am afraid these are the FH-M756 models. So far, the free hub mechanism is doing well, but I see that several folks do not have luck with them. I think that they will be fine, as other XT hubs I have ridden have held up for me. They are easy to maintain for me, and parts are available anywhere. They are not particularly light, though, as they list out at just shy of 500 grams for the rear alone. Which leads me to….

    @Willie: No- these are not particularly light by any means, but lighter hubs and double butted spokes with alloy nips could easily get these down below 2000 grams for the set. I am sure I am pushing 2200-2400 grams at the moment, but this wheelset was very inexpensive, so for the cost, it was not expected that they would be light. I never did weigh them, since I figured I was better off not knowing. 😉

  6. jake Says:

    which color is that?

  7. Schmucker Says:

    Keith, I used the M775 on my Pugsley all winter, so it got a pretty solid beating in all kinds of Wisconsin winter conditions riding. The extra engagement is nice to have, especially with a bike geared as low as the Pug. It’s much nicer than the 765 hubs that I have, but those are on hauling bikes.

  8. mark Says:

    I have had luck recently mounting SB8’s ghetto tubeless with stan’s on my set. In fact, one thing I did notice about this rim/tire combo when I was running it with tubes is that the bead would not seat consistently or correctly. It seemed I would always have a pretty good wobble on the tire. When mounted ghetto tubeless they went on perfect. I would have to attribute that to ample soaping, which I will do from now on regardless of which method I decide to run em.

  9. Monk3y Mike Says:

    I’m there with phatphil.

    I’m 6′ 220, and recently built up new wheels for my Asylum and my SIR-9. Since I built the Asylum I’ve been taking log rides and 2′ drops on it with zero issues. My SIR-9 is running singlespeed, and I did have detensioning issues with it the first couple times out (no reflection on the rim, just the wheel builder).

    Decent weight, great colors, good performance!

  10. Thug Says:

    I converted my Blunts (laced to Hope Pro2’s) to tubeless very easily on my On-One Scandal. I sealed the spoke holes with fibre tape. I then cut to size & fitted 20″ road tubes; fitted Hutchinson Pythons tubeless ready tyres and they sealed up straight away.

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