Tech

Despite being a smaller company, the technology in our wheels rivals some of the largest and most advanced wheels on the market.

We find that we need to punch above our weight class. People love supporting a smaller, family run business, but nobody wants to buy high performance wheels if it means there’s a disadvantage by supporting the little guy. In fact we find that we have to be even better to earn our spot in this industry. If we were “just as good” as an established brand then there’s no reason for people to look at our company. To establish ourselves as one of the best wheel companies out there, we know we have to provide better options than what people can already find. Because we are a smaller brand and don’t have the overhead costs as a lot of the larger brands (like sponsoring multiple Pro Tour teams) we can bring this tech to the consumer at a much better price. The pricing in place is to support a family, not multiple layers of a large corporation, owned by other corporations.

This is why we have worked so hard in the design of our hubs and rims. Every aspect of our design is highlighted on the left side of this page. We use the best spokes and nipples on the market and hand build all of our wheel sets in our own wheel building facility in Greenville, SC.

Aero resistance is the primary force we are overcoming at almost all times we are riding.

In part of having the total package, we knew that having the most aerodynamic wheels were going to be a major factor. Wheels are the biggest upgrade a rider can make to their bike. Having a wheel that cuts through the wind more efficiently will maximize that upgrade. Below is a wind tunnel graph from our trip to the A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, NC. The lower the number of grams or drag, the better the wheel will cut through the air. With the advanced aero shapes of our rims, combined with the aero Sapim CX Ray spokes, the Boyd Cycling wheels have aerodynamics comparable or even better to wheels costing 2-3 times as much.

One of the other major benefits of the advanced rim shape is better crosswind stability.

With the smooth transition from tire to rim, and the rounded shape near the spokes, the wind flows over the rim much better in heavy crosswind situations. What happens in crosswinds is that your wheel has two leading edges. On the front of the wheel the tire is still the leading edge, but on the backside of the wheel (behind your fork) the rim becomes the leading edge. Having the air flow smoothly over the rounded edges that both the rim bed and tire provide, the crosswind handling is dramatically improved. This means you can run a deeper wheel and be more aerodynamic, without worrying about fighting the front of your bike on heavy crosswind days.

Wheel components are things that CAN make for a good wheel set.
However, making sure the build quality is as high as possible is a final huge step. This is why all of our wheels are 100% hand built in-house in our own wheel building facility in Greenville, SC. To ensure the highest possible quality all tools are calibrated multiple times per day to ensure the highest possible consistency.

Our tension meter calibration jig that we built to ensure all our tension meters are calibrated for every wheel. The spoke in the jig is at 120.2KgF.

Each wheel is properly stress relieved multiple times to make sure it won’t ping and pop on those first few rides, and so it stays in true through the break in period as well. The wheels are built from initial tensioning to final touches by the same wheel builder allowing them to work with each small intricacy that a wheel may have. Finally, all our builders only work on our wheels. They know exactly how each one will build up, down to the point of how many turns to put on a nipple to get initial tension. The industry standard is to use high volume assembly factories where each builder is working on dozens of different brands and expected to build between 40-50 wheels per day. Speed is placed at a premium over quality, and in many cases the first 50-90% of the build process is handled by machine.

By placing such an emphasis on quality, and by building in house, we have many layers of QC that are not found elsewhere.  For you, the customer, it means you can always expect the highest quality wheel to be delivered to you whether it’s a carbon or alloy, January or July.

A radial spoke cannot transfer torque from the hub to the rim.
On a regular front wheel, it’s sort of along for the ride, so radial laced spokes are fine for a front wheel. The exception being with disc brake hubs where you have negative torque going to the hub when you are braking, which is why on our disc brake hub wheels we double cross the front spokes.

On the rear wheel you are putting a lot of torque to the hub and this has to transfer to the rim to get the wheel to spin. By crossing the spokes on both sides of the wheel, we have up to 15% better torque transfer compared to a wheel that has radially laced spokes on the rear wheel. This makes for a better responding wheel that will accelerate faster, especially in sprinting or climbing situations.

We offer multiple spoke counts on all of our wheel sets.
Not everybody has the same demands in a wheel set and to say that one wheel build will work for everybody just isn’t true. A 120 pound female triathlete is going to have much different demands in a wheel compared to a 200 pound masters crit racer who wants to use the wheels for everyday training and racing. So we offer the builds in options that will maximize both durability and performance. Going with the higher spoke count only adds about 40 grams to the weight of the wheels (less than half the weight of an empty water bottle), but will make for stronger, stiffer, and more durable wheels. If you are a larger, more powerful rider, and planning on using the wheels for years to come, you will want that added durability.

We also offer realistic weight limits and recommendations for all our wheels.
We like to build like a custom wheel builder would, and if you are 190 pounds there’s not a single custom wheel builder in the country who would recommend a 16/20 spoke count. A lot of times companies will use weight limits almost like a marketing campaign, stating outrageous weight limits for very low spoke counts or even claiming no weight limit at all. We prefer to have the longevity and durability of our wheels be the primary focus, and having happy customers as our marketing campaign.

We offer multiple spoke counts on all of our wheel sets.

Not everybody has the same demands in a wheel set and to say that one wheel build will work for everybody just isn’t true. A 120 pound female triathlete is going to have much different demands in a wheel compared to a 200 pound masters crit racer who wants to use the wheels for everyday training and racing. So we offer the builds in options that will maximize both durability and performance. Going with the higher spoke count only adds about 40 grams to the weight of the wheels (less than half the weight of an empty water bottle), but will make for stronger, stiffer, and more durable wheels. If you are a larger, more powerful rider, and planning on using the wheels for years to come, you will want that added durability.

We also offer realistic weight limits and recommendations for all our wheels.
We like to build like a custom wheel builder would, and if you are 190 pounds there’s not a single custom wheel builder in the country who would recommend a 16/20 spoke count. A lot of times companies will use weight limits almost like a marketing campaign, stating outrageous weight limits for very low spoke counts or even claiming no weight limit at all. We prefer to have the longevity and durability of our wheels be the primary focus, and having happy customers as our marketing campaign.

Spokes:

We use the Sapim CX Ray spoke on our wheels. They are the lightest, most aero, and have the highest fatigue rating out of any spoke on the market. With the shape and size of the spoke, aerodynamics advantage is maximized at all yaw angles, whereas larger bladed spokes have a large penalty in any sort of crosswind situation.
We use J-bend spokes on all our wheels which are easily found in most bike shops.
Cycling is a sport done with lots of other people around. There is always a chance of getting a skewer caught in spokes or a crash happening that could break a spoke. Being able to fix something like this with readily available parts (vs. having to wait a couple weeks for a special spoke to arrive) means you can get right back on the bike again.

Nipples:

We use Sapim Brass Polyax nipples in all our builds as well. The Polyax features a rounded bottom of the nipple, this allows the nipple to take on the perfect angle for the spoke to enter. Traditional nipples force the spoke to make a sharp bend as it enters the nipple which can place a lot of stress at this junction. By having this seamless transition, the wheel becomes more durable and the risk of breaking spokes is greatly reduced.

Brass nipples are stronger and resist corrosion.
It will add a trivial amount of weight compared to an alloy nipple, but will make for a longer lasting wheelset that is much easier to make adjustments if needed. Alloy nipples can corrode, especially in areas near the ocean or where salt is used on roads in winter. They are also not as strong as brass nipples which can lead to cracking or rounding off while trying to make any adjustments.

All our wheels feature external nipples which makes adjustments very easy.
With an internal (or hidden) nipple any small adjustments that would be needed would mean you’d have to remove the tube, tire, and rim strip. . .or in the case of a tubular tire completely take off the tire and then re-glue it after making an adjustment to a nipple. One of our goals is to have wheels that can be easily maintained, and internal nipples makes maintenance extremely difficult.


Hubs can be one of the best ways to increase the stiffness of the wheels.

If you think of a wheel as a triangle instead of a circle, the spokes have a base at the hub and come to a point at the rim. By increasing the base of this triangle you are making for a sturdier object, which translates directly to a stiffer wheel. Our hubs have some of the widest flange spacing on the market, which combined with the strength of the rims help to make for incredibly well responding and stiff wheels.

Hub stability is something that is often times overlooked.

However, stability can be felt immediately when standing (such as when sprinting or climbing). To accomplish higher stability the bearings were also moved out as far as possible on the axle. Many hubs have a long end cap on the non-drive side with the bearing quite far from the edge of the hub. By supporting the non-drive side bearing and moving it out to the edge of the axle, the wheels stability is greatly increased.

Pawls and Engagement Teeth:

Four oversize pawls drive the hub forward. Each pawl is supported by a leaf spring underneath for guaranteed solid engagement. There is no chance of ever having the hub slip and not engage.

The pawls engage against 32 teeth on the ratchet ring. This provides quick engagement and a wheel that responds faster. With this combination of larger pawls that engage quickly, our hubs are designed for anything you can throw at them. Jump out of a final corner in a crit and know your hubs will propel you towards that finish line!

Pre-load:

Our rear hub features a pre-load system to tighten the hub together. A pre-load allows you to dial in the tension on the bearings, remove all play, and prevent side loading the bearing. This leads to a hub that rolls very well and has increased bearing life. Once the pre-load is adjusted and the tension is dialed, it gets locked in place using a 2.5mm allen key. Then the end cap locks into place against the pre-load, unlike traditional hubs where the end cap locks into place against a bearing.

See the instructions for adjusting the pre-load here:

If your hub has a 22mm cone wrench slot on the non drive side (2013 model hub), the instructions for adjusting the pre-load can be found here:
2013 model year hub pre-load adjustment

If your hub has the pre-load with a 2.5mm allen key on the pre-load (like the above picture), the instructions for adjusting the pre-load can be found here:
2015 model year hub pre-load adjustment

Bearings:

Our bearings are a high quality steel bearing made by Enduro.

We are using Abec 5 angular contact sealed cartridge bearings in the hubs. A sealed cartridge bearing helps protect the ball bearings and grease inside the bearing. When the bearing gets contaminated with water, degreaser, etc the grease can wash away leaving a rough and gritty spinning bearing. By having a sealed bearing system, you have a maintenance free system that lasts in all weather conditions. It also means you don’t have to constantly be taking apart the hub to repack the bearings with new grease.

The ABEC rating is an overall rating of the complete cartridge. The Abec rating is a score assigned to the overall quality of the cartridge, including the balls and race. The testing is actually a noise test; bearings are spun to very high rpms to look for precision and noise levels inside the bearing. The Abec rating of the system is given.

Typical hub bearings are ABEC 3 rated cartridges. While the ABEC 5 rating of the Enduro bearing is only greater by two digits, this difference represents a much higher quality bearing (the higher the ABEC rating, the greater the quality). The ball “grade” is a reflection of how perfectly round the individual ball bearings are. With ball grade, the LOWER the number, the more perfectly round the ball is. The Grade 5 balls in the Enduro cartridges is extremely high quality when compared to the industry standard of Grade 25 ball bearings.

By using this system you have a hub that spins incredibly well, especially with load on the bearings, and that will have great durability and longevity.

We do not offer ceramic bearings on any of our wheels. There are lots of drawbacks to using ceramic and no benefits (besides a lighter wallet).

The main advantage of ceramic bearings is they dissipate against heat better, so when you have products spinning 10,000+ rpm that is where ceramic bearings have a place. When you are riding at 30mph your bike wheel is spinning 340rpm, relatively standing still in terms of bearing forces.
The other big drawback is that while the ball bearings inside the cartridge are the ceramic material, the race that surrounds them is still steel. This means the harder material of the ball bearing can wear grooves and pits into the steel race. When this happens there is a lot of friction and play in the bearing and it needs to be replaced. So with the ceramic bearings you end up having to replace them much more often and spending lots more to do so.
This is all in hopes of getting a tenth of a watt at most extra out of using them. The claims of the people pushing ceramic bearings are a bit over the top. In addition, with the differences in material strength between the ball bearings and the race, the impact resistance of ceramic bearings is not as high as a high quality steel bearing. So, for those riders wanting to do any dirt road riding or cross racing, ceramic bearings will not hold up to that riding.

This is why we only use high quality steel bearings. . .ones that spin very well and that will last for years to come.

Because the hub features a pre-load system, we use angular contact bearings.

Traditional ball bearings have the race on the top and bottom of the ball bearings for support (this is called a radial ball bearing). When you can dial in the tension with a pre-load, you can have a system where the race surrounds the ball bearing at an angle. In standard radial bearings, only 3 or 4 balls make contact during the load, at any given time. In Angular Contact (A/C) bearings, ALL balls are engaged and spread the force over a larger surface area, to decrease friction, and minimize wear. Wheel play can be adjusted out of the hub, to giving a more stable wheel, while still spinning freely.


What more could you want from a disc brake hub set?

Disc Brake hubs are fun! They take us on adventures, away from the hustle of our everyday lives, away from traffic, sometimes way into the unknown. When designing a great disc brake hub set, there are a few things on everybody’s mind. Weight, stiffness, and smooth rolling bearings are things we have all come to just expect from our hubs. However, on a set that is going to be used in the middle of a mountain bike trail, miles from cell phone coverage, and sometimes with nobody around for hours. . . strength and durability take a precedence. With the design of the new Quest hubs, we have touched on all this and more to give every possible advantage and confidence in your wheelset.

Centerlock

The Centerlock mount is simply a much better way to mount disc brake rotors. You don’t have to tighten down 6 individual bolts to a specific torque setting. This makes swapping rotors super quick and easy, and ensures the rotor is perfectly mounted every time. If you have a current favorite 6 bolt rotor, you can easily run a centerlock to 6 bolt adapter and still run your favorite rotors. The Centerlock design also helps for weight savings, and provides a cleaner look.

Quick Engagement

When you are riding technical trails, cross racing, or starting a sprint after jumping out of a corner, the faster you can start to pedal again the more of an advantage you will have. This especially holds true on the mountain bike trails, going over technical sections where you may need to stop and start pedaling multiple times in a matter of a few feet. Having your hub engage extremely quick can be the difference between making it through that rock garden or having to put a foot down and walk (promptly getting laughed at by all your friends).

With the Quest hubs we have 6 pawls operating in a 3X3 manner on 32 engagement teeth. This results in a super-quick 5.6 degrees of engagement. Now your hubs can have a quicker engagement than a reality TV star!


Multiple Axle Configurations

It’s no big secret that the past few years have been dominated by a whole slew of axle “standards”. Up until a few years ago, every bike had quick release front and rear. However with disc brakes we went from having a few millimeters of adjustment between rim and brake pads to a couple tenths of a millimeter between rotor and disc brake. Wheels need to be lined up perfectly, or you will have brake rub. With the thru axle, the wheel is always centered so you never have to worry about if your wheel is in the dropout just right or not.

It should have been that simple. . . but this is the bike industry, and nothing is ever that simple. Instead of just having one thru axle size for front and rear, we now have to know what size axle our bikes take and match the hub up to that. Fortunately for you, the Quest hubs feature a super easy to convert end cap system where you can run the hubs on any axle standard they can dream up.
Available axle configurations are
Front:
100XQR
100X12mm thru axle
100X15mm thru axle

Rear:
135XQR
135X12mm thru axle
142X12mm thru axle

Boost Sizing Hub and Axle Configuration

Remember just above when I said that this is the bicycle industry and nothing comes easy? Well, lets talk boost spacing! As we all know, wider is better for stiffness and stability. With mountain bikes, and some of the loads the wheel and frame sees, going to a wider flange spacing, wider bearing stance, and wider support on the thru axle just makes sense. Unfortunately, with the current size of 11 speed cassettes there was no way to accommodate going wider without changing the frame dimensions and spacing. The frame and fork dropouts, flange spacing, bearing stance, and thru axle support all got wider, giving an overall stronger and more stable ride.

However, a boost version of the hub is NOT compatible with non boost frames. Also non boost hubs are NOT compatible with boost spacing frames! If you have a mountain bike with boost spacing you MUST run the boost hubs. This is extremely important, so please read this paragraph a few times!!

Fortunately it’s very easy to tell a boost frame mountain bike. The measurement between dropouts on the front fork will be 110mm. The measurements between dropouts on the rear of the bike will be 148mm.

All boost frames and mountain bikes use the same axle standard (yay!)

Front – 110X15mm thru axle
Rear – 148X12mm thru axle

Shimano, Campy, and XD Driver compatible

Easily swap freehub bodies as simple as swapping end caps. You can choose Shimano, Campy, or the Sram XD Drivers. Note that the Sram XD driver is only compatible with Sram cassettes meant for XD drivers. If the Sram cassette is not an XD driver cassette, you will need the Shimano freehub body.

Specs

Centerlock Design
Front hub weight – 150 grams
Front hub spoke counts – 24 and 28
Rear hub weight – 269 grams
Rear hub spoke counts – 28 and 32
Swappable end caps for any axle configuration
Separate Boost and Standard Sized Hubs for optimized geometry
5.6 degree engagement
32 teeth – 6 pawls, engaging 3X3
Extremely easy to service

Rims are the most important component of a wheel.

The majority of time spent in developing the wheel line was on the rims. We looked into aero design, weight, structural and impact features, and braking performance. It used to be that carbon wheels were a “special occasion” component, suited for race day use. With the advancements of both carbon and the resin systems, many people are using carbon wheels as their everyday wheels (and still racing on them as well).

We have invested in our own molds and tooling

We are not a “sticker company” that slaps a sticker on a pre-bought wheel and claims they are now a brand. We knew that in order to have the highest possible consistency and quality in rims, we had to have them produced just for us. We have contracts in place with our manufacturer about materials, lay up and production methods, weights, and strength. The rims are produced specifically for us and you will not find these rims on any other wheel brand.

Rims are designed for the real world

This means they aren’t just designed to be a race day only wheel. If you have ever ridden a tubular wheelset with internal nipples you know the pain of having to rip off a tire and reglue it just to give one nipple a slight adjustment. We feature external nipples on all of our rims, with a rim bed specifically designed to fit the profile of the nipple and align it with the spoke entry. This means you don’t sacrifice any strength, yet have a wheelset that can easily be adjusted if you ever have to make any small tweeks.

Weights are extremely competitive (sometimes even the lightest option in a given depth), yet the strength of the rim was the most important factor. These wheels are designed to be ridden.

Brake pads were produced specifically for the rims

When the rims had been finished and passed all the testing, we sent them to a brake pad manufacturer who made brake pads specifically for these rims. The rims feature a high temperature resin so they can used everyday and in hillier terrains, but we also wanted brake pads that helped keep the temperatures cooler. The end result was the Onyx brake pad, a brake pad that performs very well, modulates excellently, builds up less heat than any other brake pad on our rims, and also will NOT squeal. Stopping is a part of cycling, and by developing the brake pads in conjunction with the rims, you can do that more confidently.

  • Proprietary Rim Design
  • Top of the Line Aerodynamics and Weights
  • Wider Rim Profile
  • High Temperature Rated Carbon
  • Maximum Stiffness and Stability in Hubs
  • Solid Engagement Power
  • Sapim CX Ray Spokes and Nipples
  • Multiple Spoke Count Options
  • Strongest Lacing Pattern
  • 100% Hand Built In-House in Greenville, SC
  • Best Value for the Performance!