Initial Review: Deflexion Racing DH 2.0 Carbon Wheelset

Deflexion Racing Carbon DH Rim (4)The best products are inspired and developed by individuals trying to solve a problem. For Antonio Jimenez III and Deflexion Racing, that “aha moment” came at Mammoth Bike Park.

The shuttle assist lift riding found just South of Yosemite is notorious for moon dust, and requires running lower PSI for traction, which can often result in severely dented or even cracked rims. Fed up with the constant cycle of replacing outers, Antonio reached out his future father-in-law, who was & is a Boeing Composite Engineer, to help him design and manufacture a set of rims he could rely on.

After experimenting with a variety of rim profiles, the pair selected two they thought were optimal, and had  friend in Taiwan with a carbon facility create a pair of molds. A few months later, the two prototypes labeled the DH 1.0 and DH 2.0 hit American shores, and were immediately put to the test under an assortment of riders.

After over a year abuse, they settled on the DH 2.0 rim, which is what we’ve been taxed with abusing…..

Weights Deflexion Racing DT240 Carbon Wheel Weight Scale Shot

At 1745 g, this is the lightest DH wheelset Deflexion has built to date

Deflexion racing offers prebuilt wheels with either Hope or Industry Nine Hubs, but for our build, we sent over a pair of ultra light (and very reliable) DT Swiss 240 Hubs. Laced to those hubs, our 26″ wheelset hit the scale at 1745 g.

For comparison, a set of the new Enve M90s laced to the same hubs would weigh a claimed 1707, and cost nearly $3,000. Base price for a set of Deflexion Rims laced to Hope Hubs with double butted DT Swiss spokes is $999.99, and claimed weight is just a touch over 1800g. Coming just under that weight, their “team build” is laced with Industry Nine Torch hubs, and will retail for $1,3999.

A rim only option will also be available in the future, but pricing has yet to be announced.

Deflexion Racing 26 Carbon DT Swiss 240 Front & Rear Wheel Weight Scale Shot

The front wheel was laced with triple butted DT Swiss Super Competition spokes and weights 825g, while the rear was built with double butted DT Swiss Competition spokes, and hit the scale at 926 g

We do not have scale shots of the individual rim, but we’re told the 26″ 32H DH rim weighs 455 g.

A 27.5″ all mountain rim is also in development that weighs 408 g. It is currently being tested by the Intense/ Troy Lee Designs Team, and has already earned a top ten result in a World Cup race. Deflexion wouldn’t normally recommend racing a more trail oriented product on a downhill bike, but they’ve been holding up just fine under the punishment of up and comers Luca Cometti and Alex Willie.

TechDeflexion Racing Carbon DH Rims

 The rims are constructed from a full uni-directional Toray carbon, with a proprietary resin. Deflexion Racing Carbon DH Rim (3)

Following the American mantra of “bigger is better,” the Deflexion rims utilize a healthy 23mm inner width, and 30mm outer.

The bead was designed to work with both tube or tubeless setups, and their sponsored team riders have had great success using a strip of Gorilla tape and 1.5 scoops of Stan’s. We’ve had no issues with either setup.Deflexion Racing Rim LogoEach wheelset is handbuilt in the United States, so Deflexion is able to offer some unique customization programs – like matching hubs, nipples, and even decal colors.

The stock decals are black and white, with a clear protective coat, but for $30 you can have them printed in any color. A $15 fee lets you order hubs in your preferred color, and for an additional $35, you can also color match with aluminum nipples, rather than the stock brass DT Swiss nips.Deflexion Racing Wheel

The standard warranty guarantees the rims for two years  and covers any manufacturing defects. According to Antonio, if they break hucking Rampage, or your bike falls off a cliff, etc…, they’ll also offer a one time crash warranty replacement to the original buyer.

On The TrailDeflexion Racing Carbon Rim

The lifts are just starting to open, so we haven’t had the opportunity to batter our poor test ride on back to back runs in the bike park, but we have had the pleasure of squeezing in a few shuttle sessions.

Most of the trails in this area worthy of a downhill bike are littered with high speed shoots, man made berms, big transfers, and steep drops. You won’t find burly rock gardens a la Santa Barbara or East Coast, but there are a few hot spots.

Deflexion Racing Carbon DH Rim (1)

Because the wheelset is built with regular off the shelf parts, replacements are available anywhere

Out of the box, the wheels had nice even tension with no hop, and were dished perfectly.

While we often prefer to build burly wheelsets with brass nipples for the no fuss factor, the red aluminum nipples, and the two blue nipples framing the valve stem, were a nice touch of color.

Deflexion Racing DH Carbon Rim

Our V10 testing platform was already rolling on a custom but fairly stanrd Mavic/DT/Hadley wheelset, that are very stiff for alloy, but were much heavier. Not only do the Deflexion rims helps shave a quarter pound of rotational weight per wheel, they introduced a whole new level of acceleration performance.

 At under 35 lbs, the big bike was already encroaching trail bike weight, but now hammering on the pedals causes it to accelerate like a pod racer in a drag race on Tatooine.

Santa Cruz V10 with Deflexion Carbon DH Racing RimsThrough fast loose descents, and deep ruts, tracking was more precise, as was hard cornering. And in the air, the lighter weight was immediately apparent, as whips came far easier than muscle memory remembered, and snapped back with equal vigor.

The decals are beginning to show a little wear from rocks and debris, but after several bit impacts, including a memorable G-out over a rock strewn creek bed that harshly bottomed out the suspension, the wheels are still spinning perfectly true.

It’s only the beginning of a summer filled with road trips, camping, and good rides, so our long term report on durability is still in the air, but first impressions are solid. If you’re putting together a new race bike or just looking to upgrade, this carbon wheelset from Deflexion is priced competitively with other high end aluminum offerings, but offers some serious advantages.

Via Deflexion Racing

Comments

iperov - 06/13/14 - 3:14pm

no thx. My choice is china carbon 330gr mtb rim.

Tsavo - 06/13/14 - 3:50pm

If the long term review is solid I will definitely be grabbing a pair in 27.5 and tossing them on my new Nomad.

groghunter - 06/13/14 - 4:02pm

since when is 23mm IW considered wide? even rims not considered “wide,” for instance FLOW EXs, are wider than that..

Bntdbanter - 06/13/14 - 5:00pm

Since when does anyone need a 30mm IW downhill race rim????

Lars TB - 06/13/14 - 5:42pm

Try 30 mm IW once and you’re convinced!

groghunter - 06/13/14 - 5:53pm

@Lars TB indeed, and I’m not even saying they need to go that far. But at least 25mm should be the minimum for something running 2.4″ or larger tires.

Von Kruiser - 06/13/14 - 6:45pm

Running 35mm OD carbon rims, 28h, 27.5″… tracks damn good. Saved a lot of weight over previous wheelset. The 3.5 tires have a larger footprint w/ the wide rim and run slightly lower pressure so it tracks incredible. My Santa Cruz 5010 is 25lbs w/ a dropper post and single chain guide… it’s a ripper of a bike. Huge difference in handling w/ wide light rims, tires. Highly recommended to go with wide rims… carbon or alloy.

Matt - 06/13/14 - 7:48pm

@ iperov “My choice is china carbon 330gr mtb rim.”

You have a link and, if poss, a review?

Also, anybody else have experience buying carbon rims and frames direct from China?

greg - 06/13/14 - 9:58pm

china carbon rims, like light-bicycle, had a decent reputation until recently. seems like a lot of their rims are cracking now. i’d recommend against it personally. not all carbon is the same.

iperov - 06/14/14 - 1:33am

china carbon undestructable youtube.com/watch?v=5dkuaNX2zEs
i bought from taobao

Mazza - 06/14/14 - 6:59am

Derby dh rims?
/end of discussion

Psi Squared - 06/14/14 - 7:56am

iperov: the video is worthless. It tells you absolutely nothing about how the respective rims will hold up on a bike.

David French - 06/14/14 - 9:09am

$13k for the ones with I9 hubs? That’s a bit steep eh? ;-)

taldfind - 06/14/14 - 3:48pm

So…how do you buy these?

The Dude - 06/14/14 - 5:25pm

I rode an older set of the wider 26 inch rims for about 2000 miles. My weight was a from 210-240 lbs depending on the length of the ride I had planed. My current set is the hook-less 29r rims on DT 350 classic hubs (32h 15mm IS front, 32h 142x12mm IS rear) laced up with Sapim CX-Rays with their Polyax nipps. For the 26 inch wheel I had them on a Stumpjumper FSR S-Works and later a Pro Carbon. I did many rocky single track above the Kern Plateau and the only issues I had were a few popped spoke nipps due to over tightening buy the wheel builder and erosion from Stan’s milk. The 29r rims are my beater training wheels and have held up for the last 600+ miles with no issue. From what I gather about the http://www.light-bicycle.com rims or rim in question on the MTBR thread were laced up buy the owner of the bike and were very light. He had them on a 160mm AM/Park bike which is stupid and if you read his story he snapped a few with tire levers so he doesn’t sound very bright either. I’m not sponsored by Light Bicycle but I am a very satisfied customer. For pics and weights of the wheel builds look me up under sbrdude1 on http://www.pinkbike.com.

iperov - 06/15/14 - 1:55am

Psi Squared, china carbon rims for $350 is enough for most of world riders.

Alex - 06/16/14 - 12:08pm

Derby rims 100kg rider weight limit. /no sale

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