Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rims...

I alluded to receiving some new rims that aren't available anywhere else.  That's not an entirely true statement.  They are available.  It's just that you have to order them direct from the manufacturer in China and pay $35 shipping per rim.  That puts that rim at $105 each.  Not bad as there are rims that cost more and rims that cost less.  

What rim is this?  It's the H Plus Son TB14 rim in 36 hole.  Currently, this rim is only available from US distributors in 32 hole.  After receiving a couple requests from folks for this rim in 36 hole, I ordered a couple boxes of 36 hole rims in polished silver, black, and hard anodized finishes direct from China.  Seems there's quite a few folks looking to rebuild their old 36 hole wheels with a silver box section rim to keep the classic look of their bike intact.  Box section rims in the old Mavic MA2/MA40 style are about as rare as hen's teeth. The TB14 rim is a rim that is a natural extension of the old Mavic classic rims.  The profile matches the Mavic rims to a "T," while bringing it into the 21st century with a 23mm wide cross-section that is great when running 25 and 28 tires.  It even gives a 23mm wide tire a more voluminous shape.  The rim joint is welded and the brake track is machined.  I've built a few of the 32h TB14 rims and they do build into nice wheels.  Weight?  Don't know for sure as my scale is broken, but they weigh what they weigh - not too heavy, not too light.  According to the website, they're supposed to weigh 490 grams. 

The guys at H Plus Son were great to work with and only a few days after they received payment, I had a FedEx delivery of rims.  The good news is that the 36h TB14 rims I have are only a couple dollar upcharge over the 32h rims at $82 for polished silver or all black and $94 for hard anodized.  So, there ya go.  They say the aluminum box section rim is dead.  I say long live the aluminum box section rim!

H+Son TB14
H+Son TB14

(What's playing:  Johnny Cash I Won't Back Down)

12 comments:

Neil said...

When you say same profile as the MA2/40, does that mean one can transfer the spokes from the old wheel?

Thanks for this service, by the way. Very cool.

blackmountaincycles said...

The ERD of the TB14 rims is 610. MA40 rims are 613. If the spokes are on the short side in an MA40 it likely would, but if the spoke length is right on, they'll likely be 1mm too long. I, personally, like spoke length to be right on.

Chris said...

Mike,
Do you prefer these over the venerable Open Pros? I have a OP/Ultegra wheelset I really like and Handspun (QBP) A23/105 set I don't really care for...

What's your take on the TB14's compared to these?

Thanks,
Chris

blackmountaincycles said...

Chris, there's no doubt that the Mavic Open Pro rims are great rims and build into outstanding wheels. The A23 are nice rims, but there's a certain something that the Open Pro rims have that the A23 doesn't - mainly a slight stiffer feel due to the bit more robustness of the Mavic rims.

It's not really a fair comparison to put the Open Pro against the TB14. The Open Pro is a narrower, lighter rim. It really is all about proper application. If you want a lighter/more racy modern looking wheel, the Open Pro is excellent. If you want a more classic look, want to run fatter clinchers in an older 70s/80s road bike or rando bike, the TB14 is a good choice. That kind of rambled.

franklyn said...

Are these available in 650b?

blackmountaincycles said...

700c only. The Pacenti PL23 is a good rim for 650b applications.

Chris said...

Thanks Mike... it sounds like I might coming to Petaluma for 7 weeks of EMT school at some point when we get travel money back in our budget... if I do I plan to bring my BMC and might have you build me a new set of wheels... ;^)

blackmountaincycles said...

Sounds good, Chris. I could have wheels waiting for you.

topoDcat said...

I like the box section profile of this rim.
watched the cool video of rim production...I figured the manufacturing facility probably makes somebody's 650B rim. . .so how hard would it be to have a TB14 in the 650B ?. . .I know I know, ain't gonna happen, but still. . .
sure, the PL23 has a great sectional profile that seats the tire nicely, and fills the demand. . .

blackmountaincycles said...

"how hard would it be to have a TB14 in the 650B?"

Probably as simple as someone stepping up and ordering several hundred rims.

Tim said...

remind me what a 650b is for exactly?

blackmountaincycles said...

Tim, 650b is for mountain bikes from companies who are having a hard time selling 26" wheeled bikes.