This will be Part 1 of three that will introduce the rim, hub, and tire combination being used in our 650B wheel test. This part will focus on Velocity USA’s Aileron rim.
The 650B Test: Velocity Aileron Rims –
The 650B Test wheels feature the new-ish Velocity USA Aileron rim, which is Velocity’s take on an aluminum, deep section aero road rim. This rim was developed from the start as a disc brake only rim, meaning it makes no compromises for a rim brake track and matches up well with 23mm-28mm wide road tires for a very good aero profile. While that is nice, we are not going with that skinny of a tire here. Our 47mm Horizon tires are probably not going to be a good match in the aero sense, but any aero advantages we get will be welcomed, of course.
No, the real advantage here for the purposes of this test is that the Aileron rims are tubeless compatible. In fact, Velocity claims that only a “low profile tape” can be employed here due to the tighter tolerances of the Aileron’s design. Looking at the specs provided by Velocity, we see a 25mm outer rim width with a 20mm inner rim width. This isn’t “wide” by any stretch, but it is wider than traditional road bike standards, and in comparison to other “tubeless rim” designs for gravel, it definitely is wider. How that 20mm inner rim width affects the Horizon tires will be shared soon.
In terms of weight, we expect a bit lighter rim than you might see in a larger, 700c size. Velocity claims this rim goes on average at 445 grams. That compares to a claimed 460 grams for a 700c sized Aileron. The Aileron comes in several drilling counts, but our pair were both 28 hole models in black anodized color. Polished Ailerons are also available for a classic look or if you are just tired of black. We picked the black so the tan side walls of the Horizon tires would have some “pop”.
650B Ailerons are available for $126.99 USD, add $30.00 for the bling of polished silver.
Note: The component parts of these wheels were sent to Riding Gravel by the various brands/manufacturers for test/review at no charge. We are not being bribed, nor paid, for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.