First Look: EIE carbon A29C25D22S wheel build

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You may not have heard of EIE Carbon, but chances are you will hear of them more in the future. They make a big range of rims, but what I was looking for in a rim needed to be something that hit the following numbers:

  • internal width of 24-26mm
  • Asymmetric for more even spoke tension
  • as close to 300g as possible
  • Not too deep
  • Not stupidly expensive

And of course I’d need to build them on hubs to suit.

What I found was the EIE Carbon A29C25D22S rims. As you might guess, they are 29″, with a 25mm internal width and 22mm deep. The ‘S’ denotes them as a super light model, using some T800 and T1000 carbon in there so they can use a little less for the same strength.

I ordered a pair in 28h, and ordered some DT Swiss 350 Centrelock hubs, with an upgraded 240 freehub body at the same time. This cuts some weight off very good value hubs, with a set weight about 409g. Spokes were DT Revolution (2.0/1.5/2.0) with Prolock nipples.

MarathonMTB EIE Carbon

The rims arrived and weight 304 and 307g each, which was awesome. It’s about time to finish a review on the Nextie NXT29AS30 wheels, as they have almost done a year of service. The key differences here are about 60g of weight per rim. The big changes otherwise were spokes, and spoke count, and the Nextie rims were a bit deeper and so potentially a bit more stiff vertically.

MarathonMTB EIE Carbon

The graphics are nice and subtle. Although you can get nude rims too.

Building up EIE Carbon rims

This wheels came together hours before flying overseas, and I relied on Jay Taylor from Taylor Cycles for the build. It’s the second wheel set he’s built me, and the first has been awesome.

EIE Carbon MarathonMTB

With a sneaky ceramic bearing upgrade, and Orange Seal tape, the wheels came in at 1290g, which is super light for a rim with a 30mm external width, 28 ‘normal’ spokes and a weight limit of 100kg.

They were built as race wheels, and really with wheels this weight that is what they should be used for. It wasn’t until our visit to Livigno that they were set up properly, and this is what we started the Tubolito Tubes test on. And after half a dozen rides on the tubes both in Livigno and in Lenzerheide ahead of the XCO World Championships, the rims were then set up tubeless. Not because the tubes weren’t working… but… tubeless. Right now that’s what we all know. The tyres beaded up easily, with no seeping.

Riding the EIE Carbon rims

So far, so good. The wheels have done plenty of laps in practice at the XCO World Championships under Imogen Smith, and then race day too. This has included the Lenzerheide Wall, rock drops, big root sections, and lots of riding at 17psi in the front and 19psi in the back. No burps.

So what are the initial thoughts? They’re good. Potentially great. Those 4 extra spokes on the front assists with some lateral stiffness, and the rotational weight is less while giving nothing up for tyre stability at low pressure thanks to the 25mm internal width. The new Maxxis 2.25″ tyres inflate very nicely on the rims, and there’s a chance we could even play with going 0.5psi lower given the slightly increased bag size of the 2.25″ tyre carcass.

For now – there needs to be more hours of riding and testing on varied terrain and under another rider or two. But they are very impressive.

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