Carbon at the moment seems to the be the ultimate material when it comes to rims. It’s extremely light, can be made incredibly strong, but it’s also nowhere near as easy to manufacture as an aluminum rim. Founded in 2012, NOX Composites is fairly new on the carbon scene but they bring a wealth of engineering experience to the table with the company founded by two engineers who also happen to race bikes. With a firm belief in wide, offset rim design and offering the performance of carbon wheels at a more attainable price point, NOX set out to reinvent the carbon wheel.
Ok, they didn’t really reinvent the wheel, but they have put a lot of effort into making a wheel that they feel is superior. The rim starts with their own proprietary design, layup, and a controlled manufacturing process. Built mostly from Toray unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber, the rim is supplemented with 3K weave in places of high stress, around drilling holes, and to reinforce the lip of the rim to protect it from square edged impacts out on the trail.
As of now, NOX offers the XCR-29 wheelset and will have an AM-275 wheelset in the near future. The 30mm external, 23mm internally wide XCR-29 rim weighs in at 385g (+/-10g) and a wheelset weighs 1449g with American Classic hubs or 1594g with Chris King hubs, both with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and DT Swiss Prolock nipples.
The AM-275 rim is wider at 33mm external, and 27mm internal and is a bit burlier at 410g per rim. Wheelset weights are listed at 1475g with American Classic hubs and 1599g with Chris King. XCR-29 wheels are offered in 28 or 32 spoke options while the AM-275 will be 32 spoke only. Both models will eventually be offered in both rim only or complete wheels with all King wheelsets offered in your choice of color for the hub.
A large part of the NOX design is based around the asymmetric rim bed with a 2.4mm offset. The same rim is used for both front and rear by flipping it, and the design results in around a 15% increase in low side spoke tension which results in a more even wheel build for better durability, stiffness, and performance. When used with hubs like the AC 225, NOX is able to get a nearly equal spoke tension on both drive and non drive spoke beds.
All NOX rims are designed to be run tubeless with tensilized polypropylene tape for normal or tubeless ready tires. The rims use a tight bead diameter to ensure a solid seal and reduce burping and eliminate the need for thick tape or rubber rim strips.
Pricing for rim only is set at $449 for the XCR-29 and AM-275, with XCR-29 wheelsets going for $1438 with American Classic hubs, and $1598 with Kings. The AM-275s are available for Fall pre-order only and will retail for $1398 for American Classic equipped wheels and $1598 for the King bling.
We’ve got a pair of the XCR-29s on the way, so stay tuned for a full review!