By Eric McKeegan
The market for complete wheelsets looks to be getting even more crowded with the announcement of three new models from SRAM. These new wheels are aimed squarely at the trail/all-mountain market, joining SRAM’s existing cross-country oriented Rise line of wheels.
The new wheels, named Roam and Rail, share a host of new technologies. A single length straight-pull spoke is used for both front and rear wheels, simplifying spoke replacement and spare parts. Of course, the different wheel sizes use different lengths. This single spoke is made possible due to the rims’ offset spoke bed, which reduces dish and equalizes spoke tension.
DT Swiss star ratchet internals are used in the new hubs, and the easily swappable end-caps handle all modern trail bike axle standards. They also use a 6-bolt rotor interface, and either a standard 9-10 speed cassette body or proprietary 11 speed XD driver. The rims are all built to UST standards, and can be converted to tubeless with tape. Both Roam and Rail wheels will be available in 26, 27.5, and 29-inch sizes.
Roam 50 $1,072
The Roam 50 is claimed to be one of the lightest alloy rimmed trail wheels on the market, and at 1,530 grams for the 27.5-inch size it is definitely a contender. The rim has a 21mm inner width and uses a tapered inner wall to insure strength and dent resistance, while remaining lightweight.
Roam 60 $2,220
The Roam 60 utilizes a carbon rim, but, interestingly enough, weights more than the Roam 50. The internal width is the same as the alloy rim (21mm) but it is taller and wider externally (26/28mm vs 21.5/25mm), suggesting increased stiffness. It also gets upgraded to a 36 point star ratchet, and are laced up with fancy bladed spokes.
Rail 50 $1,072
The Rail 50 is burlier than the Roam wheels, and uses a rim with a 23mm inner width to better utilize wider tire. Weights for all three wheelsizes are very competitive, if the wheels are as stiff and strong as SRAM claims these could be very, very popular on the Enduro race circuit.