Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Pacenti TL28 Rims (Building)

In order to attract more readers to our team blog, I'm going to be reviewing various bike related products that I feel people would enjoy. I'm going to start off by reviewing the new Pacenti TL28 29er rims. Let me start off by saying that Kirk Pacenti is the man. Super nice guy, and really easy to work with. Anyway, this review will be more about the building process and features. I will do an actual ride review once the snow melts here in Fort Collins. I turned to these rims because I was looking for a training wheel set for the season. I decided instead of building another wheel set, I was going to look for a rim that could be used for training and racing successfully. I wanted something wider, to get the benefits of a wide rim (see pic below).

These rims are 28mm wide, and have an inner bead width of 23mm. Comparatively to my Stan's ZTR Crests which were 24mm wide with a 21mm inner width (see picture below). Also the TL28's are eyeletted, which allows you to run higher tensions, and makes for a stronger wheel. Kirk recommends 100-110 Kgf. Below is a diagram of the rim profile. These rims come in at a average weight of 450 grams a piece, but the rims Kirk sent me were lighter than this (luck of the draw).

On the left is the TL28 rim, and on the right is my old ZTR Crest rim. The difference is obvious.

I built these rims up with CX-Sapim ray spokes (best strength to weight ratio), 14mm aluminum sapim nipples, and Chris King Iso Disc Hubs. I'd say my wheel building experience is moderate, as I have built somewhere around 20-30 wheel sets before. These rims built up very well, and I had little problems getting them tensioned, true, and round. After building them up, I used 25mm Stan's tape to make them tubeless compatible. I threw on my Maxxis ardents (2.4 front, 2.25 UST rear) and pumped them up to 30 psi a piece. The rear one went up with a floor pump, but I had to use a compressor for the front one. They sealed up pretty good, but not quite as good as my old ZTR crests. I won't see how this tubeless system really works though until I get out on the trail.

If any of you read Velonews, Nick Legan had a great explanation to why wider rims are better in the 2011 buyer's guide. In short, wider rims offer more volume which makes for a cushier ride, straighter sidewalls, which provides better cornering and less chance of you denting your rim, and a wider contact patch. The contact patch is actually shorter, but there is less rolling resistance because there's less of the tire length wise on the trail (see diagram).

Here's a snapshot of them all built up. As soon as I hit the trails I will do an actual ride review. If you liked this review bookmark our blog so that you can see other reviews I plan on doing, and keep up to date on Team Eriksen's 2012 race season!

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