EB13: WTB Rolls KOM, the “Ultimate Enduro Mountain Bike Rim”

WTB KOM enduro mountain bike rims

The new WTB KOM rim was designed for racing enduro, hard and fast.

Enduro World Series competitor and WTB employee Jason Moeschler says they were seeing carbon rims cracking and breaking at the races, but they liked the weights.

So, they wanted to make a rim that was lightweight but could take a beating without prematurely ending someone’s race.

The material is an alloy that’s similar to scandium, so it’s light, but the real story is in the shaping and design…

If you hit a rock, the bead is designed to fold in and actually hold the tire tighter. Then, there’s a crush zone on the sidewall that runs down to just below the tire bed. That means if you *REALLY* hit a rock and dent the rim, it shouldn’t affect the integrity of the rim.

It has a 23mm inner width with a UST compliant shape. Weights are 392g (26″), 412g (27.5″) and 432g (29er).

The other benefit of carbon is the lateral stiffness. To match that, they made it 32 hole only and gave it a massive 160kg of force spoke tension limit.

So it can be built stiff, but I won’t be so stiff that it compromises what the tire can handle.

Basically, Moeschler says it’s the rim that can get you where you want to go quickly with the least amount of issues.

Available near the end of the year, retail pricing TBD, likely around $100 (€70-75).

Comments

James S - 08/31/13 - 3:33pm

So before there was “enduro” racing, nobody was riding uphill and then going hard and fast downhill? Weren’t there “trail” riders and “all mountain” and “free ride” mountain bikers? I guess I am just wondering why we need yet another categorization. The bike industry is starting to lose it’s collective mind. Don’t get me started on “gravel” vs “cyclocross”…

PDXFixed - 08/31/13 - 3:59pm

Yeah, I can’t understand what makes a product Enduro specific, as opposed to just being a good idea for a “mountain bike”.

Ham-planet - 08/31/13 - 4:08pm

Firstly, scandium is an element – not an alloy.

Secondly, the whole point of enduro racing is to bring competition back into the realm of the riding that most of us do every week. That means no lightweight sacrificial parts. That’s what’s meant to separate enduro from downhill.

mtbrider - 08/31/13 - 4:13pm

That cross section looks just like the new Sun Ringle wheelsets; the Charger Pro SL specifically.

JaseSp - 08/31/13 - 4:26pm

Being able to tension up to 160kgf has nothing to do with being able to be “built up stiff” and what the hell does it mean when you say “won’t be so stiff that it compromises what the tire can handle?” Are you telling me my tires have a limit to how stiff a rim they can be mounted on. wtf?

Tom - 08/31/13 - 5:12pm

A Enduro specific item with a Strava reference! I like WTB stuff but as I only ride a bike for fun it looks like this rim is not marketed for people like me.

Murphy - 08/31/13 - 5:22pm

@Ham-planet – scandium in the bike industry almost always means scandium doped aluminum alloys.

Velociraptor - 08/31/13 - 6:36pm

@Murphy: No, it means aluminum doped with a small amount of scandium (and other elements).

Velociraptor - 08/31/13 - 6:38pm

@Murphy: Apologies… I misread your comment. You are correct.

skipdapbaddamarangdoo - 08/31/13 - 6:56pm

These look sweet! I’m picturing these laced to some Hope hubs with Sapim spokes at a fraction of the cost of my carbon Sram Rise wheels. Now I can affordably build an erm…..”enduro all mountain hardtail” that I’ve been fancying for so long. I just hope these will continue to roll down the trail if I use them for just trail riding or dinking around. Will they turn to squares if used for a non-enduro event?

Flip D - 08/31/13 - 7:00pm

23mm inner width. It’s a XC rim at best.

greg - 08/31/13 - 7:54pm

allowing very high spoke tension does nothing for lateral stiffness. allowing for thicker spokes would, as would increasing the spoke count beyond 32, but then youd be stuck looking for suitable hubs…

Max - 08/31/13 - 10:32pm

Clearly, the appeal of Enduro racing, from a manufacturer’s standpoint is that it’s a super awesome way to market super baller, race-weight products that will fit on a normal person’s trail bike. This development of lightweight trail bike parts gets me a lot more stoked than seeing XC wunderbikes and crazy DH developments, even if I do think those are pretty damn cool also.

PS not necessarily saying that these rims are all they are advertised to be, as I obviously haven’t ridden them or touched them. I do know that I’ve built and ridden the Frequency rims WTB has put out for the last few years, so I’ll be stoked to see what these are like.

Ralff - 08/31/13 - 10:41pm

Is the “all mountain” category still around? lol

Only regular single track in my area.

Evan T - 08/31/13 - 11:14pm

An amusing musing; calling something “enduro” is a politically correct way of saying “clydesdale XC race.” I’m squishy around the middle like rotten fruit, I’d rock a set of these on my hard tail!

ACMI - 09/01/13 - 3:57am

I hope they’ve fixed the durability issues with the Frequency rims. A good number of rims have failed in my area.

Tim - 09/01/13 - 4:50am

Enve AM rim weights: 26″- 404g
27.5″- 409g
29″- 444g
WTB Kom rim wieghts: 26″- 392g
27.5″- 412g
29″- 432g
Of course, all those are claimed. Looks like they’re also around 700 bucks cheaper per rim. Of course, Enve XC rims might be just as tough as WTB AM ones. Weights for Enve XC rims: 26″- 335g; 27.5″- 339g; 29″- 382g.

amnonis - 09/01/13 - 8:38am

James S you get such an amazing product and you do is whining. This kind of rim at this width at this weight and tubeless ready was a dream for every hard xc/trail/am rider for the last 5 years. now we got it it and you whining for call it Enduro racing?

bin judgin - 09/01/13 - 9:39am

THE NEXT BIG THING IN MOUNTAIN BIKING: MOUNTAIN BIKING.

new mtb wheels are the sh*t. mine weigh 1550 and can handle the rockies

g - 09/01/13 - 11:49am

@amnonis- don’t get me wrong, these look great and i’ll probably lace a set at some point, but we haven’t been waiting five years for these. the pacenti tl28 is the same width, tubeless ready, comparable weight, and has eyelets as a bonus. And james s. does have a valid point- most folks aren’t going to use these for “enduro racing”, they are going to use them for trail riding, you know, good old mountain biking.

Chet Bredwell - 09/01/13 - 12:59pm

Sucks to be Enve right now. Stan’s Arch EX and this new WTB both equal or beat Enve rims for weight in equivalent inner width.

I have a new marketing slogan for the Enve bling-sellers:

Carbon rims from Enve — when you don’t have time to whip out your AmEx Platinum card.

RAMBIS - 09/01/13 - 6:16pm

Two years on my stans arch 29 rims and a set of pacenti 29 rims. They are both in perfect working order. ONE month on ENVE all mt. rims and they get smashed at the rim both front and back. ONE race on ENVE tubular MT. rim and It is Broken. What a waist of hard earned $$$. Carbon MTB rims are not stronger then other options. Save yourself a lot hassle and a lot of cash and go with WTB, Stans or Pacenti.

Mindless - 09/02/13 - 1:45am

What was wrong with the stronger Frequency i23 rim? Works just fine for me.

Mindless - 09/02/13 - 1:46am

True UST profile for the win.

amnonis - 09/02/13 - 8:00am

RAMBIS very interesting stuff you’re telling us. What do you mean by smashed? Do you keep riding them? I also had the impression that enve has lifetime warranty

MGK - 09/02/13 - 9:04am

All these comments just make me smile; knowing I’m not the only geek passionate about bikes.

HoodGoat - 09/02/13 - 12:11pm

Glad WTB is providing an addition, relativly inexpensive option, but the marketing hyperbole is silly. I also challenge them to actuall NAME the carbon rims they say we’re breaking. Like ALU, not all carbon rims are created equal. I can pretty much guarantee no one running Enve in the series snapped rims. Finally, weight is not the defining characteristic for carbon, stiffness is far more important. Industry Nine nailed it with their new wheels and are as close to carbon as I’ve ridden (28 mm inner width to boot).

RAMBIS - 09/02/13 - 2:52pm

amnonis- By smashed, I simply mean I crack the hook on 2 Enve all mt. 29er rims. One front and one rear wheel. (On front of my bike I have 130mm of plush travel). On the rear tubular, the rim took a rock to the sidewall and made a crack and a soft spot in 2 different parts of the rim. This happened during 1, two hour ride. Like i said in my other post. I have had my other wheels for years and have ran the same trails in the same way and have had multiple rocks striking the sides of the rims. They have scratches and maybe a few small dents (nothing that I would even worry about and all wheels are still round straight and true). I have never dented the hook on any of my alloy rims, including A light weight, Stans crest front rim. The kind of riding I do is very rocky (square edged rocks) X-country trails on A 29er carbon hard-tail. I am not riding the carbon rims any more. The smashed hooks would not support A tubeless set up, and with tubes the bead-hook was bulging outward. Enves warranty is 1 year against manufactures defect. They do offer a crash replacement at about $500 per. rim. That prices me out. I hope this comment is taken as a positive one. Just explaining my experience with carbon rims as used for Mountain Biking. I have had good results with carbon on the road and for cyclocross. Take it for what it’s worth to you.

amnonis - 09/05/13 - 12:55pm

it is worth a lot! thank you for sharing

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