All-mountain wagon wheels.
Mid-travel 29ers are taking over the all-mountain scene. For good reason. Suspension design has finally agreed to make room for wagon wheels, and wider axle standards and the ever-improving state of carbon manufacturing mean the noodliness we all remember from our first 29ers is a thing of the past. Knight's 29 Trail rims with Project 321 Boost hubs Wheelset adds one more advancement to this mix. It bumps the inner rim width out to 25mm, suiting it to 2.35 or 2.5in tires for proper trail 29er traction and cushion.
Given that Knight was founded by ex-pats from leading wheel and frame companies, the rim construction is something special. But before we get there, the Project 321 hubs definitely warrant some attention. The hubs are built around a freehub that uses six pawls in offsetting sets in order to bring engagement to below three degrees. You read that right. We're not 100% certain, but we think this may be the lowest engagement angle on any pawl freehub design, and since it operates with magnets instead of springs, it freewheels with less friction. Given the types of terrain that the new breed of all-mountain 29er thrives on, having that virtually instant catch is a definite plus.
As hinted above, the rims are no slouch, either. They're built around Knight's EPS form, which eliminates the imperfections (and the risk of structural failure they produce) of construction processes that use inflatable bladders to shape the inner face of carbon. Knight's method ensures that the rim's interior is wrinkle free, features no areas of resin pooling, and molds to the precise spec that the engineers cooked up in their virtual kitchen. It also means there isn't any excess material hanging around to resist accelerations, another benefit that rewards the climbing aggression of wagon wheels.
- An all-mountain 29er wheelset
- Carbon construction maintains low weight
- Low-engagement hubs catch at under three degrees
- Magnetic pawls reduce friction while freewheeling
- Built to pair with 2.35-2.5in tires
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I've been looking for a quality alternative to Envy wheels. First, this isn't a bash on Envy but they provide a harsh ride quality that I just don't like. The Knight Composite wheels provide a bit more compliance vertically and maintain a solid precision when it comes to handling. That being said, they will be a bit harsher than an aluminum wheel. Previously I had I9s.
This was my first encounter with the Project 321 hub and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised. They have great engagement much like I9 with a little less noise.
I've had these for about a month and have put in a little over 400 miles on them. I'm feeling pretty good about the durability as I've had a couple harsh hits on descents with no damage.
Hey Shawn - any idea on the weight for these? Thanks! Luke
Luke, I haven't weighed them. If I had to take a guess with tape, I'd say their in the 1550 g range. Weight wasn't my main concern in purchasing these. Prior to this I had I9 Trail 245 32h which weigh in around 1700 g. The loss of rotational weight with these was immediately noticeable in both time and effort.
Thanks - trying to decide between these and Enve. The external nipples are a big plus.