by Marc Basiliere
September 6, 2013
Wide, light trail rims- at a nice price.
Carbon width, carbon weight, alloy pricing. That’s idea behind WTB’s new KOM (King of the Mountain) rim. Designed as–wait for it–an Enduro rim, the forthcoming model is designed to bring the sort of widths that riders increasingly demand at a weight-to-width ratio previously limited to carbon fibre. Have they hit the mark? Initial figures suggest that they may have: the KOM i23 series measures 23mm inside (28mm wide outside) while the 26in version weighs in at a climb-friendly 430g.
How have WTB done it? The company’s proprietary TT69 alloy is said to be 20% stronger than common 6000-series aluminum. Using the company’s “4D Drilling,” WTB align the nipple seats with spoke angles, making eyelets unnecessary. Tubeless compatibility was designed in from the start, with an “On-Ramp” profile that makes tyre seating easier and locking the bead in place. The inward curvature of the rim’s walls is designed such that that the inevitable ding should serve to hold the bead even tighter, keeping things airtight.
With 32 holes and using standard sealing tape, there’s nothing proprietary about the KOM i23. This allows riders to use their favourite hub and keeps wheel repairs simple. With all of the proprietary bits flying around and many companies dropping 26in support, the KOM is refreshingly inclusive. The WTB team is still putting the finishing touches on the line, but the KOM i23 should be available shortly in 26in, 650b (463g), and 29in (550g) models. Pricing will run from £55/$95 (26in) to £60/$100 (29in) and will be available in the UK from HotLines.