Please contact us for customized orders before purchasing.
- Series tech
- Rim Design
- Manufacturing & Testing
The best way to calculate spoke length is the measure the ERD on the rims in person, and use a calculation method that you are familiar with. If you choose to use an online calculator and order spokes in advance, there is some risk that the lengths could be incorrect.
Our ERD measurement is measured from the nipple bed on one side of the rim to the nipple bed on the other.
Nipples with standard heads - Most online calculators can use our standard ERD dimension to get an accurate spoke length. Round up to the nearest mm when the calculator gives you the spoke length.
Internal Nipples - Typically you would add 8mm to the ERD listed on our website.
Nipples with raised heads (Hex, Squorx, Double Square etc.) - Add 2mm to our ERD dimension. Round up to the nearest mm when the calculator gives you the spoke length.
If you purchase rims from us but need assistance in calculating the spoke length, here is the information we’ll need to know:
- 1. Internal hole rim or external hole rim
- 2. Hub manufacturer name and model
- 3. Brake style (rim brake, 6-bolt or center lock)
- 4. Hole counts
- 5. Front and Rear Axle width
- 6. Straight pull or J bend
- 7. Spoke Lacing preference (2-cross? 3-cross?)
- 8. Nipple preference
- *Let us know the exact model, internal or external style, standard nipple head or Hex/Squorx/double square etc. The nipple type can significantly change the spoke length required. Internal nipples typically add about 8mm to the length for example!
Asymmetrical rims are designed and drilled to compensate for the offset design of most hubs. The asymmetry of the rim allows the spokes to equalize in tension between the drive and non-drive sides of the wheel. The result is in more even spoke lengths and a stronger wheel build which requires less truing than a traditional rim.
Symmetrical rims utilize standard drilling practices and do not compensate for the offset hub design.
Asymmetric rims have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. By shifting the nipple bed over slightly, an asymmetric rim creates a stronger, stiffer, and more reliable wheel building when compared to a standard rim. In the following video, we walk through why asymmetric rims are advantageous and explain how they should be oriented when you are building your wheelset. Click this link to see the differences between Symmetric and Asymmetric rims.
The weave patterns you see on some of our rims are only the external layer and are done for cosmetic reasons. This layer utilizes the same resin system as the rest of the rim and so the weight and performance are not significantly changed. UD is the most popular option. Click this link to see the differences between the three weaves.
32h rims are produced in a larger quantity and have the lowest average weight (fewer holes). So although there is some overall weight savings from a reduced spoke count due to the spoke/nipple savings, the overall wheel weight is surprisingly similar. For most riders, we recommend 32h because the wheel builds have more strength and the forces are spread out between more spokes.
Some really light riders want less wheel stiffness, so a lower spoke count and smaller gauge of spoke can be used. Choosing 28h strictly to save weight is not necessary.
Alloy nipples save about 40 grams per wheelset (rotational weight) and come in a variety of nice colors so they are the most popular choice. Traditionally, brass nipples had a more outright strength and handled corrosion better than alloy nipples.
We like to use the double square version of their Secure Lock nipples which have several advantages over other nipples. Besides the enhanced corrosion protection, they provide full thread engagement due to the enlarged head, have significantly higher shear strength, the 7075 series alloy is harder than competitors alloy nipples, feature a special treatment to reduce friction when building wheels, the secure lock function prevents nipples loosening prematurely, and the angle at the base of the heads is tapered more so that they pull more in line with the spokes.
View the detailed comparison of the two nipple types here.
Picking the correct rim depth should be as much about choosing one that is comfortable and confidence-inspiring than it is about choosing one that is just as fast as possible. The deeper is not necessarily the better - it depends on the terrain you’re riding, your weight, rider’s cycling skill, and riding event types you will compete in. As the depth increases, the stability, stiffness, and aero gains of rims vary.
View our rim depth choosing guide here.
Here is a collection of hubs we stock at the Global warehouse and also the hub options on our website when you are configuring the wheelset. View the full hub list of 2020 here.
A. Least expensive options
B. Moderately priced
C. Costlier options
This is a collection of hubs available at our North American warehouse. View the full hub list here.
|Brand||Model||Type||Thread diameter (mm)||Weight (g)||Gauge||Material||Spoke Color||Riding Style||Available|
|Sapim||Race||Double Butted||2.0 - 1.8 - 2.0||"5.7g
|14G||Stainless||Black||Heavy Duty||Canada, USA|
|D-Light||Double Butted||2.0 - 1.65 - 2.0||"4.8 g
|14G||Stainless||Black||Versatile||Canada, USA, China|
|N/A||Stainless||Black||Light Aero||Canada, USA, China|
|DT SWISS||Competition Race||Double Butted||2.0 - 1.6 - 2.0||"4.8g (260mm)"||14G||Stainless||Black||MTB||China|
|Pillar||PSR X-TRA 1420||Aero||2||" 4.4g (260mm)"||N/A||Stainless||Black||Inexpensive Aero||China|
Spokes offered in North American warehouse
|Nipple Brand||Model||Type||Material||Color||Length||Available (Warehouse Location)|
|Sapim||Polyax Secure Lock||external||aluminum||black, red, green, blue, gold, purple, orange||14mm||China|
|Double Square Secure Lock||external||aluminum||black, red, green, blue, gold, purple, orange||16mm||Canada, USA, China|
|Polyax Secure Lock||external||brass||black||14mm||China|
|DT Swiss||Double Square Secure Lock||external||brass||black||16mm||China|
|DT SQUORX (PRO HEAD PRO LOCK)||external||aluminum||black, red||15mm||China|
|Standard PRO LOCK||external||brass||black||14mm||China|
Nipples offered at North American warehouse
Here is our general recommendation on the tire width range that works best with a given internal rim width.
This is an estimation of rim width tyre size chart to help identify what rims you should look at, however tire brands will have their own recommendations which should be adhered to. This information can be found on the sidewall of your tires.
Generally speaking, if your tire is narrow compared to the rim, you risk pinch flatting and damage to the wide rim. If your tire is too wide compared to the rim, you risk burping/excess tire roll, and poor stability.
|Internal rim width (mm)||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34||35||40||45||50|
|Tire size 1.9"||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.0"||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.1"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.2"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.3"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.4"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.5 - 2.7"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 2.8 - 3.1" (Plus)||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
The recommendations are based on our rim-tire compatibility tests with some of the most popular tires. This chart only serves as a general guide since bead design, inflation pressures, and other variables will affect the actual rim-tire compatibility. Please send the rim profile to the tire manufacturer to double-check.
We don’t suggest choosing the largest or smallest values of a size range. For example, with a range from 1.9” to 2.1”, 2.0” is an optimal option for most riders.
The chart is only applicable to Light Bicycle rims with a unique rim-tire interface. If you use rims of other brands, please send a rim profile to the tire maker for recommendations.
|Internal rim width (mm)||17-19||20-21||22-23||24-25|
|Tire size 23-25C||√|
|Tire size 25-28C||√||√||√|
|Tire size 28-30C||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 30-33C||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 33-35C||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 35-38C||√||√||√||√|
|Tire size 38-40C||√||√||√|
|Tire size 40-43C||√||√||√|
|Tire size 43-45C||√||√|
|Tire size 45-48C||√||√|
|Tire size 48-50C||√|
The recommendations are based on our rim-tire compatibility tests with some of the most popular tires. This chart only serves as a general guide as bead design, inflation pressures, and other variables will affect the actual rim-tire compatibility. Please send the rim profile to the tire manufacturer to double-check.
We don’t suggest choosing the largest and smallest values of a size range. For example, with a range from 25C to 30C, 28C is an optimal option for most riders.
The chart is only applicable to Light Bicycle rims with a specific rim-tire interface. If you use rims of other brands, please send a rim profile to the tire maker for recommendations.
|Internal rim width (mm)||55||60||65||70||75||80||85|
|Tire size 3.8 - 4.2"||√||√||√|
|Tire size 4.3 - 5.0"||√||√||√||√||√||√||√|
The recommendations are based on our rim-tire compatibility tests with some of the most popular tires. This chart only serves as a general guide as bead design, inflation pressures, and other variables will affect the actual rim-tire compatibility. The chart data should be verified with the tire manufacturer.
We don’t suggest choosing the largest and smallest values of a recommended size range. For example, with a range from 4.3” to 5.0”, 4.7” is an optimal option for most riders.
The chart is only applicable to Light Bicycle rims with a specific rim-tire interface. If you use rims of other brands, please send rim profiles to the tire maker for recommendations.
|Rim Tape Width||1 Layer (Center over holes)||2 Layers (Left/Right)|
|"18mm (Full coverage 17mm rim)"||17-23mm||26-30mm|
|"25mm (Full coverage 24mm rim)"||24-26mm||35-40mm|
|"31mm (Full coverage 30mm rim)"||30-32mm||41-50mm|
Rim sizes are internal widths.
For our plus rims with 45mm internal width, use 31mm tape.
For our double-wall Fatbike rims, use 25mm tape in 2 wraps to cover holes.
|Rims Depth||Recommended Tubeless Valves Length|
What size road tires to use? We’ve just measured the actual width of various road tires on our R/AR/WR-rims. The tire size we pick ranges from 23C to 32C (Vittoria, Maxxis, Continental, and other big brands). Also, we rank the ease of tire mounting from 1 (the easiest) to 10 (the hardest) with some installation tips. All the measurements are done when the tire is inflated to 60psi. View the data here.
The asymmetrical rim shape means that the spokes hole and rim shape are offset from the center line. This helps to even the spoke tension between drive side and non-drive side, while, at the same time, allowing for more equal spoke angles and spoke length in the build.
Using an asymmetric rim results in a stronger, stiffer, and more reliable wheel build when compared to a standard rim.
Looking for more information? In the following video explain why asymmetric rims are advantageous and how they should be oriented when you are building your wheelset.
Take AM930 rim profile for ref, the rim is with 2mm offset.
Spoke hole is drilled on an angle according the hub flange. This allows the nipple to pull straight in line with the spoke for reduced stress. The result? Fewer broken spokes and nipples.
Bead lock is the small ridges on either side of the drop channel the help hold tubeless tires in place all along the bead. These ridges all but eliminate any chance of burping or blowing off tires on our hookless rims.
All of our MTB rims utilize a hookless design, and this bead type has become an option for the road market. On a hookless rim the carbon fiber is allowed to flow continuously over the bead area to improve impact resistance. Without the hook, we were also able to thicken the rim wall, making it even stronger. Finally, using a hookless rim simplifies the manufacturing process and leads to a more consistent carbon compaction - a technical way to say this leads to a stronger rim.
Hookless rim walls are both smoother and straighter than hooked beads. This means that the tire will touch rim walls fully and mounted perfectly, allowing you to run lower tire pressure without risk of air loss or pinch flats.
Tire Pressure Note
The hookless version is designed with low pressure impact resistance in mind and the maximum recommended tire pressure for our hookless rims is 70psi for road type and 50psi for gravel.
View our detailed comparison of hooked and hookless designs here.
Take AM935 rim profile for ref, the rim is with 2mm offset.
Both our R series and CX series feature a U-shape profile spreads the force of impacts and creates a more robust product. The U-Shaped profile also decreases lateral wind resistance and is both more stable and faster in a crosswind than a traditional V-Shaped wheel.
R-Series: With a 17.9mm internal width and 25mm external width, our R-series wheels (U25, U35, U45, U55, and U65) are the most aerodynamic and fastest rolling with a 25mm or 28mm tire.
The wider CX (CX36 and CX46) series rims have a 21mm internal width and 28mm external width perform optimally with a 33-42mm tire. Wider rims help provide more stability, excellent handling and, at the same time, a more comfortable ride. They are ideal for disc brake equipped road, cyclocross, and gravel bikes and are available in both rim brake version and road disc version, and in a hook and hookless design.
Both the R-series and the CX-series feature a U-shaped profile that offers a number of benefits when compared to a more traditional V-shaped rim profile when it comes to aerodynamics, stability, and strength. While a V-shaped profile and U-shaped profile of the same depth offer roughly the same aerodynamic resistance in straight headwind, the U-shaped profile reduces the lateral resistance in non-direct winds. In the real world this means that the U-Shaped profiles are both more aerodynamic and stable in crosswinds.
Similarly, a U-shaped profile allows for the usage of a wider tire without an aerodynamic penalty. Our R-Series and CX-Series have a 25mm and 28mm outer width respectively. This means that the profiles are aerodynamically optimized for up to 25c (R-Series) and 28c (CX series) tires. Our U-Shape rims also feature non-parallel brake tracks which improve airflow over the tire, eliminate the need to toe in your brake pads, and help dissipate heat build up on the edge of the rim. U-Shaped rims are also stronger than traditional V-Shaped profiles because the U-shape spreads the force of impacts more evenly across the entire rim.
All of our R-Series and CX-series rims are also tubeless compatible. Tubeless valves and tape can be purchased directly from our website at the time of purchase or can be ordered separately.
Standard - This model is lightweight and suitable for cross country and all-mountain riding. The AM model is also suitable as a front rim for lighter Enduro riders.
Heavy Duty - Our heavy duty versions have another layer of carbon on the rims that adds approximately 100g. The thicker walls can handle heavier and more aggressive riders and make this the best choice for enduro, park, and downhill riding.
Our lightest construction method uses an exclusive unidirectional prepreg with a very low fiber areal weight. A variable thickness nipple bed reinforces key areas around the spoke holes, eliminating excess material. A blend of Toray T700 and T-800 offers the weight saving benefits of T800 carbon without compromising the strength or stiffness of the rim.
What Are the Flyweight Rims?
If it isn’t clear from the name, the Flyweights are the lightest rims available from Light Bicycle and, for that matter, some the very lightest available on the market. Despite what you might think, the Flyweight does not refer to a particular rim, but rather a construction process. We’ll talk a lot of exactly what this process is later in this blog, but the short version is that Flyweight rims are built to be as light as possible by using a blend of Toray T700 and T-800 carbon, a new prepreg, and a new layup. The result is that each rim built using the Flyweight construction process drops anywhere from 100-80g compared to the same mould using our standard rim construction. So far Light Bicycle has launched the RM29C06 29” XC rims (280g), the RM6100BC09 27.5” XC rims (260g), and the RG922 700c Gravel rims (380g), ect are using Flyweight construction, but as we continue to develop the process and update our lineup, more and more rims will become available with Flyweight Construction.
New Construction Process
We modified three main processes in our construction to make the Flyweight rims as light as they are: 1) We used a blend of Toray T800 and T-700, 2) We used a lower FAW (fiber areal weight) and new preg and, 3) We used a new layup design at the nipple bed to reduce the amount of material needed.
As we were saying, the flyweights rims are built using a mix of Toray T800 and Toray T-700 carbon fiber. What does this mean? Most of the rims that we build and, for that matter, that anyone else builds use exclusively Toray T700. The reason for that is quite simple; T700 is a little heavier, but far more robust than a Toray T800 rim. A rim Toray T800 is would be far too stiff, because of that, be quite brittle and crack easily. However, for the past number of year we have been experimenting with using a blend of Toray T700 and T800 to build a super lightweight rim that is still tough enough to race on. The result of this is the Flyweight construction process.
One of the keys to the Flyweight process and what is largely responsible to allowing us to use Toray T700 and T800 in the same rim is our new Prepreg. The new Prepreg has a much lower Fiber Areal Weight and we can create a more adjustable layup. This means that the stress between layers is reduced and the T800 can be used without creating the stiffness problem that typically comes with building a Toray T800 rim.
Another feature of the Flyweight construction process is a new nipple bed layup. On the flyweights we build up the layers differently depending on what the spoke hole drilling is going to be. The layup takes quite a bit longer to perform than our standard layup, but results in those no compromise marginal weight gains that we wanted out of a race wheelset.
Strength and Testing
You’re probably wondering, are these super light XC rims strong and stiff enough? The short answer? Yes. Although they are intended as a race wheelset, one of the main priorities with the Flyweights was to make a race oriented rim that could handle whatever even the most technical XC tracks through its way.
Not only did we use lab testing to make sure that this was the case, but we also sent some of the first Flyweight rims to riders that are more likely to be found racing Enduros than they are to be found on a Cross Country course and told them to ride them the same way they’d ride their Enduro wheels.
We even had one of our 175lbs test riders drop the pressure far below what we would recommend and rip down a double black diamond trail just to check the Flyweights impact resistance. Despite bottoming out the rims on rocks numerous times, he didn’t break it.
Obviously that kind of riding isn’t recommended for these, or any, rims, but we wanted to see what type of real world forces our Flyweight XC rim could handle. The answer? A whole lot more than you’ll find on a cross country trails.
All of our new road disc have dropped 25g and 30g from each rim. We've achieved this lighter weight by using a new fiber layup that removes unnecessary excess material on the disc rim to save weight without compromising the rims strength. This technology is available on both our R Series (25mm, 17.9mm internal) U-shape rims and our CX-Series (28mm, 21mm internal) wide disc brake specific road rims.
RRU35C02, RRU45C02, RR36C02 Disc Version: 30g lighter
RRU55C02, RR46C02 Disc Version: 25g lighterLearn more >>
Both our R-Series (25mm) and CX-series (28mm) rims feature a wide profile that allows for wider tires without an aerodynamic penalty. When the rim width is more close to the tire's width. This airflow tends to be smoother than the lightbulb shape of a wide tire-narrow rim.
So why a wider tire is better? Wider road tires reduce the risk of pinch flatting at a given tire pressure and reduce rolling resistance. You can also run lower air pressure which absorbs more road shock, and improve the traction and stability. Wider tires tend to have better grip on web or irregular road surface. In the past, road racers used 21mm tires at 1100 psi (10 bar) for everyday usage. However, more recently we have seen nearly a universal adoption of 23 and 25mm tires by the Professional Peloton at pressures from 90 to 115 pounds. It is even becoming popular to use 28mm tires and even lower pressure for particularly rough courses.
Second, the wide rims improve handling or cornering by creating a larger contact patch. If you were to image that you have a set of 25mm tires and mount them on both a 23mm and 25mm rim, the contact patch on the narrower rim will be more narrow. The wider rim, however, has both a wider contact patch and increases air volume slightly, and makes the tires sidewalls more vertical. This means that the tire casing has to deflect less to make the same size contact patch.
Every part, including the rim serial number, air bladder and carbon prepreg is gathered, inspected and weighed to verify everything is accounted for.
In between EVERY manufacturing process we have a QC check. The rim or parts are carefully inspected and weighed with a gram scale. The weight needs to be within a close tolerance if it is to pass and move on to the next process. The weight and worker ID# is recorded on a computer for permanent record keeping.
Each rim requires between 30-40 layers of carbon fiber prepreg. Our most experienced workers apply the prepreg by hand and the process takes 30-45 minutes for most rims.
We use the latest generation of machinery to achieve the most stable temperature and air pressure throughout the heating, curing, and cooling process. With careful control of all aspects during the ~45 minute cycle, we can make rims with a flawless finish.
All rims are drilled with a high speed CNC machine. It is a computer controlled drilling machine which customizes each spoke hole to an exact position and angle.
Extra resin that has wicked away during the curing process is removed, and the spoke holes are deburred.
Rim graphics are applied, and a clear coat is applied (if applicable to protect waterslide decals). Glossy, Satin, and Matte finishes, and customized graphics are available.
Final QC Check:
In additional to the standard QC check, we also check roundness (must be within 0.2mm), flatness (within 0.15mm) and with some products the tire pressure check is performed.
In China and Canada, all wheels are laced and trued by hand. There are needs at least 4~5 stress relieve rounds during the process. At our US warehouse, wheels are lace by hand, and a carbon-specific robot by Holland Mechanics handles the truing of most wheels.
Products are packaged well to avoid damage during transit, and items are cross referenced by the order ticket to make sure no parts are missing.
We have several options for shipping depending on your warehouse location. We partner with EMS, DHL, TPD(tax included), Fedex, and UPS.
Standard version:Constructed with premium Toray T700 carbon fiber. The good strength to weight ratio with no expense spared.
Flyweight version: Flyweight is a technology we developed to manufacture the lightest rims in our lineup. Keep an eye out as we’re expanding this technology to other products as we grow. Targeted specifically towards racers who seek every possible edge on the race course. Hybrid construction of Toray T800 and T700 was used to reduce wall thickness in key areas while enhancing the overall rim stiffness. These rims are available with the UD material only due to the strict standards required to produce the Flyweight model. We used a lower FAW (fiber areal weight) and a thinner prepreg to achieve a more adjustable layup schedule design which reduces the stress between the layers of carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber layup orientation is one of the most important steps to make rims strong but keep them lightweight. Each rim of LB carries its own unique layup schedule documents which are followed meticulously by the layup workers.
While many companies manufacture with a 3-layer wrap which accelerates production, we have larger equipment that allows for a one-piece continuous layer. This uninterrupted layer not only produces a stronger rim, but a lighter one!
(4).No Pre-cured Ring
Some manufacturers use a pre-cured carbon ring at the nipple bed to accelerate production and create a smooth nipple bed appearance. The drawback is that it essentially goes through the curing process twice so it’s not as stable or as durable. Some go so far as to significantly increase its thickness so the strength is improved, but that’s just needless weight.
At LB, we build up this area layer by layer which results in much better spoke tension tests results and a lower system weight.
In the past due to the type/thickness of the air bladder, a square hole was used in the removal process. This square notch was a weak point even after a carbon patch was installed and main rim structure was not as strong as it could be. With a change to the bag material we were able to use a smaller round hole for removal. At the end of the curing process the hole is then used as the valve hole, thus eliminating any excess loss of material or inherent weakness.
(6).Improved Internal Uniformity
If a rim is not uniform it’s inevitable that there will be weak points that result. With our modern layup schedule, removal of the pre-cured carbon ring and change in the air bag removal, the resulting rim is a huge step forward in strength and uniformity.
(7).Smoother Inside Walls.
The air bladders are made from a special material which produces smoother walls, result in a lighter rim, and are completely removed without harsh chemicals. They are removed through the valve hole with a unique process so that the rim does not have to be patched like traditional manufacturers use which improves the strength of the rims.
(8). CNC Machine Drilling.
We use a high speed CNC machine to drill all the