Whether it's a sunset lap with friends or a race run against the clock, a broken wheel ruins any ride. We set strength and impact resistance as our highest priority, but strength doesn't have to mean uncomfortably stiff. Our wheels are compliant enough to avoid that harsh "wooden" ride that gives some carbon rims a bad name offroad. We only make offroad bikes at Santa Cruz, so we have the privilege of being able to focus purely on the mountain bike experience. Everything from the thickness of rim beads to external spoke hole reinforcements comes purely from our experience of knowing what riders need at every level from international racing to your local trails.
A new line of premium carbon mountain bike rims and wheels from Santa Cruz designed to be the strongest, most reliable on the market.
Designed, tested and prototyped in Santa Cruz, California using our new our in-house carbon lab and well-established carbon fiber expertise. Made in our exclusive factory.
Backed by the best product support program in the industry the Santa Cruz Lifetime Warranty, just like our frames.
Mountain Bike-Specific Design and Testing
One thing we knew for certain going into this project three years ago was that the industry standard impact test for carbon wheels wasn't going to cut it. That test, approved by the UCI, impacts both sides of a rim equally with a flat rubber pad without a tire mounted on the wheel. It's designed to replicate a pothole-type impact on the road.
On a mountain bike, a rock is much more likely to only hit one side of the rim, so the rim beads have to be independently strong. We created a test in our lab that simulates one side of the rim landing directly on a square-edged rock from over 3 feet in the air with no suspension, and a lightweight tire inflated to 25psi.
As we began to put some of the other rims on the market through this test, we broke a lot of them more or less like we expected to on the bead but we also found that a critical failure mode was the spoke nipples pulling through the rim due to the sudden increase in spoke tension as the wheel flexed on impact.
Testing reveals our rims to be significantly stronger than competitors.
Our width-to-height ration of 1.5:1 strikes the optimal balance between ride quality and strength
Rims that are a taller ratio tend to ride harshly and transmit trail shock
Rims that are wide but shallow make for a flexy feel
We also made specific profile and dimensional decisions based on intended use, which we�ll see later
Asymmetrical rims build up into stronger, more reliable wheels by improving the bracing angles and equalizing spoke tension side-to-side
Our carbon layup is optimized to resist torsional forces
All wheels are hand built with 28 spokes, 3-cross for strength and comfort
Lifetime. No gimmicks. Not limited. If you do actually manage to break our rim while out riding, we'll replace it for free. And probably high five you in the process! If it gets run over by a truck we'll help you out with a low cost accidental 'crash replacement', because life's too short to argue. We know riding time's too precious to keep you waiting, so we'll do our best to sort you out fast.