Velocite Introduces Their First Full Carbon, Tubeless, Clincher Wheelset

You’ve seen their bikes on our pages before, now Velocite has introduced their first wheelset with the RT50. Rather than just another carbon clincher wheelset, Velocite went all in, making a road tubeless (RT) compatible wheelset that can use regular tubes and tires as well. While Velocite claims that the RT50s are the only RT compatible carbon clinchers on the market, Corima has offered their Aero+ Tubeless S carbon wheelset (also sold as Hutchinson RT1), along with MadFiber’s clincher wheels that claim they can be run with or without tubes. It still doesn’t take away from the fact that there are very few carbon RT wheelsets on the market, and Velocite is certainly early to the game.

With more and more tubeless tires popping up every trade show, are carbon RT wheels the next big thing? Read on to see Velocite’s take on the matter.

Built on 50mm deep, 23mm wide rims, the wheels weight in at 1630g. That weight though is without the tubeless kit – which Velocite mentions contains rim tape and the valves. Rims are built with a mix of unidirectional carbon with a 3k carbon weave finish for a smooth finish. The RT50s have a fairly high Tg or glass transition temperature which is basically the point where the wheel starts falling apart from too much heat. Based on Velocite’s testing of the heat resistance of the rims, they established a Tg of 192.8 degrees Celsius which is apparently pretty high for a carbon clincher. Rims are finished with a clear coat, and for now the decals are not only reflective, but removable as well.

At the center of each wheel are Gram hubs, with a 20h, radially laced front, and a 24h, 2:1 laced rear. The 2:1 rear wheel has 8 radial laced spokes on the non drive side and 16 2x spokes on the drive side. Velocite claims the Gram rear hub has the widest non-drive flange hub spacing on the market which helps to brace the non-drive spokes.

Curious how the wheels go through testing – check out the RT50s going through Velocite’s testing protocol.

Wheelsets will retail for $1989, and should be available soon.

Comments

David - 03/12/13 - 9:54am

not really the best phrase “tubeless tires (keep) popping up”

Mark M - 03/12/13 - 10:20am

I will be all for carbon road tubeless when SRAM and Shimano release their hydraulic road disc brakes. Dissipating all that heat into a carbon rim makes me nervous, no matter what the engineering claims.

Greg - 03/12/13 - 10:31am

I read the full overview of these on Velocite blog. IIRC these are built to withstand the braking temps of descending from a high mountain pass with plenty of room to spare. There are more than a few poorly made carbon clinchers out there that would fail this test. Disc brakes are just way overkill, and un-aerodynamic to boot.

Dave Schroeder - 03/12/13 - 12:31pm

I’ve been running carbon clinchers converted to road tubeless for about 6 months now. Bottom line, I feel they perform better than carbon tubed clinchers, with no issues as far as heat dissipation from normal or hard braking. I used a cheaper set, Reynolds R2′s for the set. Reasons for this, they were cheap for the experiment and the brake track is lower quality than Reynolds other wheels. I figured if the R2s could hold up to regular use then really almost any carbon clincher converted to RT can. To date, I have about 5,000 miles on them and they’ve performed flawlessly. I’d say $2,000 is way too high for carbon clincher/RT tires. You can buy a set and convert them yourself (exactly what Velocite have done here) for about half that. You can probably end up with a lighter set too.

Pancakes - 03/12/13 - 12:52pm

If a RT tire is getting blown off the rim because of heat, a tubed tire would as well, and neither situation would end well.

Wrigley - 03/12/13 - 4:42pm

2 grand for a set of Gigantex rims is an awful lot…

Haya - 03/12/13 - 4:54pm

Giant also makes a RT 50mm carbon rim – with alloy brake track – perfect.

RLR - 03/12/13 - 5:26pm

I’ve been running ENVE Smart 6.7 tubeless with Stan’s tape, valve extension and sealant, hutch fusion 3 tires, custom built by Rob English ( he builds excellent wheels as well as winning NAHBS award this year for bike) for a year with NO PROBLEMS.

Dave Schroeder - 03/14/13 - 12:18pm

RLR… that sounds like a awesome setup! Well done.

Greg - 03/21/13 - 11:40pm

These are NOT Gigantex rims.

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