Velocity Dually image

Velocity Dually 29+ Rims: Quick Review-by MG

The Velocity Dually rims have been covered a fair bit by Twenty Nine Inches, both on an all-mountain 29″er and on a 26-inch fatbike. The generous width (45mm outer/39mm inner) and tubeless-ready design seemed like they’d also be a great match with 29×3.0 tires for the Rooster, Singular Cycles‘ new 29+ prototype. With a few calls, I got my hands on a pair of black Duallys and recycled a set of hubs from an existing wheelset I wasn’t using for the build.

After verifying the correct spoke length for the hubs I was using (Hope Pro 2 front, Shimano XTR (M975) rear) on his computer, I went down to my local bike shop to have EP cut some spokes using DT Competition 14/15g butted spokes. Trimming longer butted spokes to-length shortens the thicker 14g section of the spoke, which in turn reduces the weight of each spoke, if by just a little. On this wheelset, we left about 10-12mm of the thicker 14g section beyond the top of the spoke nipples.

Dually close-in

Custom DT Competition butted spokes save a little weight, while brass nipples consciously add a few grams in the name of durability.

Light, strong wheels are the result of a lot of little choices, all of which add or subtract grams from the weight of the wheels.

One conscious decision I made was to build (as I always do) with brass nipples. Yes, brass nipples are heavier than alloy, but when the wheel is two (or more) years old, the functional difference between brass and alloy is easy to see, and more importantly, feel. It’s simply easier to true the wheels with brass, and the nipples are more durable over time. It’s grams well-spent.

Once I had all the parts, it was time to build the wheels. I sat down and laid everything out. I built the front wheel first, and it was an absolutely unremarkable build in the best way possible. The wheel simply came up to tension with the right dish, courtesy of the awesome accuracy of EP’s spoke trimming. The build of the rear wheel went just as well, and the resulting wheelset looks fantastic on the prototype Rooster.

There aren’t many options available today in the 29×3.0-inch tire size pioneered by Surly and christened “29+” just a few short years ago. Fittingly, I went with a the first true 29+ tire, the Knard 120tpi folding bead tires. While not designed to run tubeless, the Knards were easy to inflate without tubes (but with sealant) on the Dually rims out of the box. To seal the spoke holes, I used one complete wrap of Gorilla brand tape, cut to fit exactly bead-to-bead without running up the bead wall. It’s little details like this that make tubeless easy to use, and tires easy to change and inflate.

Knard on Dually

The 29×3.0 inch Surly Knard is a great match for the generous 45mm width of the Dually rim.

In addition to the Knards, I tried a variety of 2.2 to 2.4 inch 29″er tires on the Duallys. The bead shelf design of the rims made it a snap to run every tire tubeless.

First, I tried the new WTB Trail Boss 2.2 tires. Immediately upon inflation of the first tire, I could see it wasn’t a good match for the 39mm bead-to-bead width of the Dually rim, so I didn’t even bother airing up the second tire. Ironically, after I had the Trail Boss off the wheel, I read a note on the tire sidewall specifying a rim width of 19-29mm. Those extra 10mm of rim width indeed seemed to make a difference, as the tires showed a much more rounded, efficient profile when mounted on a set of Mavic Crossmax 29 wheels.

I then tried a set of Panaracer Rampage 2.3s, as well as the well-regarded Maxxis Ardent 2.4s. Both were a better match for the width of the Dually rims, but I still preferred the ride quality, rolling and overall performance of Surly’s Knard 3.0 tires on the wider rims.

Ardent on Dually

The Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4 inch tire was also a good match for the Dually rims.

The Duallys have performed without blinking over a wide variety of trail conditions. One unintended test of the rear rim’s strength came when a wheel strap broke on my bike rack while I was traveling at 75mph on I-80 recently. As the car rebounded from the impact of a bridge approach, the strap broke with a loud bang. The rear wheel bounced into the air and the bike rotated on the headset bearings, so it was now being dragged behind the car (out of my sight line). I quickly pulled onto the inside shoulder of the busy Interstate. Did I mention this all happened in rush hour traffic deep in the Omaha Metro? To say it got my heart rate up is an understatement… It was flat out scary.

I felt a lot luckier when I got the car stopped and saw my bike though. I had expected the wheel and tire to be trashed, at the least. Much to my amazement, it spun freely through both stays with just a small wobble. I was able to straighten the wheel back to perfection with a quarter turn on four spokes (two tighter, two looser). And the tire? It didn’t look any worse for the wear, not even losing pressure or burping sealant. Considering it took at sideways hit at 75mph onto a paved highway, I’d say the tubeless-ready design of Dually rim is solid. The tread is a little worn on the right side across a couple of the tread blocks, but given what happened, the results were the best case scenario that could have been expected.

A few folks have asked if the 5mm difference between the Dually and Surly’s Rabbit Hole rim is a detriment in any way, and after riding the 29×3.0-inch Knards on both rims, I can’t say I feel the slightly wider rims. I do however, prefer the true dual-wall construction of the Dually rim, as it’s simply a better, stronger design. I’ve built a fair number of wheels over the past 22 years, and dual-wall rims typically build straighter, rounder wheels. Surly’s rims are nice, but I judge the Velocity Duallys to be just a notch up in quality and design. Plus, the tubeless-ready bead design has proven to be rock solid. I’ve got a strong aversion to running tubes, so that works well for me.

Rooster at Sunset

Thanks to the tubeless-optimized design of the Dually rims, a wide variety of tires can be run tubeless with complete reliability. Good stuff indeed…

If you’re building up a new 29+ bike, or simply want to build a killer new set of wheels for your existing ride, the Velocity Dually rims are a great choice. Wide enough to be great in both trail bike and 29+ roles, the Duallys prove that it’s not just the diameter of your wheels that matters.

Editor’s Note: MG is a new test rider and writer for us who lives in Nebraska. MG is a veteran of the cycling industry and has been a fast XC and gravel road racer for several years. Look for more from MG in the future.

Note: The Velocity Dually rims were sent over to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we strive to give you our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.