Okay, so this is the post we have all been waiting for. The way the Edge rims actually perform. I can say that I only have a couple of rides in so far, but I can tell you a few things that I have noticed in that time.
It would be easy to load up all of the commonly used cliche’s and post up some views on these wheels that would pass as some sort of article. However; I think that it might be useful to know what I am guaging these thoughts against beforehand. I don’t mean to brag, but I have been afforded the opportunity to ride some pretty stellar wheel sets in the last two years or so. Wheels like the Bontrager Race X Lite set, the Mavic Cr29max wheels, a set of Bike 29 Royale wheels, a set of Industry 9 single speed wheels, and most recently a set of Salsa Gordo/Hope Pro II wheels. All of these great wheels have been ridden extensively by me and all of them (sans the Gordo set) exhibit one trait that I do not care for. Lateral flex. Until I had recently ridden the Gordo/Hope wheels I built I figured some lateral flex was going to always be part of the game in 29″er wheels.
I can truthfully say that now I know that 29″er wheels do not have to always be this way. First the Salsa Gordos showed me this, and now a lightweight option- the Edge Composites XC rims- are showing me that you do not have to have a heavy wheel to get rid of lateral flex. Not that there is anything wrong with the Gordo. It is in a wholly different category of rim from the Edge Composites XC. It’s just that I never expected a wheel this light to be this stiff, especially for a big guy like myself.
Just a couple of other notes so far. The American Classic hubs are great. Nothing noticed really other than the free hub makes a noise that is reminiscent of early five speed free wheels when you coast. The hubs spin really well and the engagement, while not on the level of my Hope Pro II’s or Indutry 9 hubs, is decent. The quick releases, which were re-designed for ’09, clamp with authority. A nice feature in my mind.
The off camber situations and hard cornering where I would normally find a wiggle in rear wheels is simply not there with the Edge rims. These built up stiff! Of course, acceleration is top notch, which is to be expected with such a light rim. The one thing that was stressed to me over and over again at Sea Otter back in April was that the ride quality of the rims is what is the best thing about them. Not the light weight. Well, I can say something to this already.
The rims do impart a sense of smoothness, maybe lack of vibrations would actually sum it up better. The other trait I have noticed so far is the quietness of these wheels, well…..except when you are coasting, of course! The rims seem to damp noises quite well, which only makes sense when you thnk about it. I guess I never knew how noisey my aluminum rimmed wheels were until these came along. Sticks and rocks that normally “pinged” off the rims were now mere thuds or lightly heard “whacks”. Not unlike wood on wood. Kind of a unique sound that I noticed right away.
There will be much more testing and analysis on these wheels to come. Look for an update in a couple of weeks.