Derby Carbon Rims 27.5” AM DH 35i 40mm 32H
(My specific wheel build)
-I9 Torch Boost Center-lock Hubs, gold
-Sapim Laser Spokes, black
-14mm alloy nipples, gold
-44mm alloy stem, gold
-STIKRD LLC decals, custom
- Maxxis Recon 3C EXO
Front wheel complete weight: 741 grams; tire not included
Rear wheel complete weight: 877 grams; tire not included
Tires: Maxxis Recon 3C EXO: 780 grams/each
Ladies and gentlemen, lads and lassies, are you ready to don your helmets, or, Derby’s, and hit the trails?
Derby carbon rims offer true value in times where carbon-rimmed wheelsets for mountain bikes can cost $3000. Ray Scruggs, Derby’s owner, is truly a mad-hatter supreme, in that he’s created superb carbon rims that are high quality and won’t break-the-bank; well maybe your piggy bank. Ray has been on the vanguard of rim design since his initial release of carbon rims in 2013 that were 35mm and 40mm wide. Historically, they were the widest carbon rims made. They were tubeless compatible, stiff, and durable. In addition, Ray stated that from a statistical standpoint, based on failure rates, his rims were equal to or better than his well-known, high-end competitors.
While riding on Derby rims, I’ve noticed a gain in traction while climbing rocky trails, which is resultant from decreased tire pressures made possible by wider rims providing increased tread compliance with the ground. I’m currently riding on Maxxis Rekon 3C EXO tires, which exhibit a burly profile, are 120 TPI, and feel sticky to the touch. My tire pressures front and back are 17.5 pounds and 18 pounds respectively for sandy trails, and 19.5 pounds and 20 pounds respectively for rocky trails. Ray, in an email conversation, recommended PSI calculated as follows for the AM-specific rim: 10% my weight + my bike’s weight + 2-4 psi. I weigh 155 lbs with a bike weight of 26 lbs = 176 lbs; 0.1 x 176 =17.6 psi + 2 = 19.6 PSI recommended. Note that for sandy trails, I’m riding below the recommended inflation pressure, however, I’ve run PSI as low as 16-16.5 without issue on other brands of carbon rims, including ENVE, down steep, rocky mountainous terrain. Despite my lower PSI, I’ve never experienced burping of the tires nor damage to the rims.
In addition to increased traction, handling on tight corners is improved and I’m navigating corners at higher speeds versus my hardtails that are equipped with 2.3” and 4” wide tires. This is likely a result from more exposure of the tire’s tread to the ground from increased rim width, combined with lower PSI and increased rim stiffness. In addition, versus the 4” wheelset, it’s stiffer and lighter in weight. On the dusty, rocky, and dry desert trails, correct PSI, tread-type, and rubber composition are critical to staying on track; not sliding out and/or crashing at high speed. This is true for wet trail riding, which I keep to a minimum in-order-to minimize damage to the trails.
Some individuals claim they’ve experienced increased climbing times on steep rocky trails, but my fat bike, sub-25 pounds, climbs like a rocket, and my new 27.5 Derby-equipped Ibis climbs slightly faster. All things considered equal, your endurance, power, climbing technique, and wheels are key. I’ve ridden other carbon rims and liked them, yet it’s taken me awhile to take the plunge into owning a set of carbon rims. I’m glad I did. I’ve noticed the ride feels a bit stiffer, which I prefer, given my decades of riding hardtail fat-tubed aluminum road and mountain bicycles, wherein proper usage of bodily posture to absorb shock is essential and second natured. Even now, as I enjoy my full suspension bike, and despite it climbing, descending, and cornering prowess, the feel of the lateral play produced by the suspension system, is annoying at times. But to address this issue, I employ my body, freely maneuvering in the cockpit.
I’ve ridden with individuals that let their shocks absorb everything without choosing the least perilous line along a trail, and without using their bodies as springs. It’s like: “My suspension system performs this work for me.” But, I use my body in conjunction with the bike’s ‘system’ plus I navigate precisely and nimbly along trails. By riding this way, in conjunction with appropriate PSI, I feel that carbon rim failure can be minimized. I’ll verify or rebut these claims after I’ve ridden them a few years. But, for now, my arguments are logical. However, and to address the issue of carbon rim durability, individuals have cracked carbon rims from every manufacturer, but I believe this depends on how one navigates a trail.
I believe one of the strengths of my new bike’s ride experience, is the coupling of Derby rims to I9’s Torch Classic hubs. I’ve owned diverse hub-sets in the past, including those from Chris King, Campagnolo, Bontrager, Hi-E, and Shimano, but I prefer the incredible smoothness of I9 hubs, which are light and durable, over any of those brands. In addition, the buzzing sound produced by the pawl engagement on the rear hub reminds me of my youth when it was commonplace to attach playing cards via clothespins to the rear triangles of our banana bicycles in-order-to produce those clicking sounds. An added advantage from that cicada-like sound is the forewarning of hikers, forthcoming cyclists, and slithering or hopping or crawling critters of my imminent arrival. I9 manufactures their products in the USA in a wealth of eye-popping, hue tantalizing, mouth-sweltering colors. I own I9 hubs anodized in red, blue, green, black, and gold; all are lavish and rich in appearance. In addition, I9 manufacturers hubs that are compatible with most mountain bike designs that include 26-27.5-29” wheelsets, bolt-on or direct mount options, boost or plus, even competitor hubs specificity.
I9 Torch Classic Hubs specifics:
Front hub: 130-135 grams
Rear hub: 260-265 grams
Driver: Shimano HG 9-11 speed or SRAM XD
3 degree engagement, 6 pawl freehub, 120 point engagement
QR 100mm; 15 x 100mm; 15 x 110mm Boost
QR 135mm; 12 x 142mm; 12 x 148mm Boost
Hole count: 28H or 32H
Colors: black, blue, gold, green, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, silver, turquoise
Let “I9 be mine”, now make it yours with new Derby rims from WWC. Worldwide Cyclery offers Derby rims and I9 hubs, which they can custom assemble into your dream wheelset(s). Expert wheel-building is part science, part art, and a well-built wheel will remain true for a long time.
I’ve heavily ridden these wheels for over 2 years upon rocky lunarscapes without need for re-truing spokes. WC has a user-friendly staff that is expert in all things related to cycling. I’m very pleased with their customer service, fast shipping, fair pricing, and great repeat customer perks. They are truly a one-of-a-kind, universal cycling experience.