Not all coatings are created equal!
There has been a lot of buzz and interest in our ceramic coated Altamont and Altamont Lite wheels! The ceramic coating looks great, improves the braking performance and modulation, and best of all . . . it will not wear off.
The coating that we are using is unique in that it is extremely durable and covers the entire rim. There is a bit of confusion as there are multiple types of coating available on rims. While they all achieve the same goal (making it so the alloy rim does not have a silver brake track), the coatings are vastly different.
Almost all aluminum rims are anodized. To anodize rims, they are dipped into an anodization tank and the coating is electrically discharged into the rim. This helps to protect the rim from corrosion. After the rims are anodized, the brake track gets machined which gives the shiny silver brake track appearance.
There are a few companies who will machine the brake track and then anodize the rims. This makes it so when the rim is brand new there is a black brake track. However, the anodization is not very durable, especially under wet weather conditions. The first time you ride in the rain with an anodized black brake track the coating will immediately start to wear off.
For this reason we have never used an anodized brake track, and it’s not a good solution because of how quick the coating wears off.
Gen 2 Coating: Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation – PEO
This coating is a much more durable coating than the previous coatings. The entire rim is dipped into the coating, which has much better hardness and wear resistance than other coatings on the market. Note that the Thermal spray coatings are NOT a PEO coating!!
In wet conditions the anodization will wear off on the first ride, the Termal spray will start to wear off after about 1,000 KM (depending on braking conditions). Under our testing under various riders, the PEO coating on our rims is still going strong after 8,000 miles in all weather conditions.
There are things that can damage any coating. If you use brake pads on a normal silver brake track you can pick up slivers of aluminum in the brake pad. These slivers of aluminum can scratch the PEO coating so we encourage you to swap out brake pads when using other wheels. We include a set of the Swissstop BXP brake pads with any of our ceramic coated rims at no charge.
Below are some pictures of the PEO coated rims both brand new and after one of our professional test riders has put over 8,000 miles on them in all types of weather conditions.
Below are photos of how the coating looks after 8,000 miles of riding in all different types of terrain and weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a few nics and scratches. Overall, the coating remains in good condition and is still providing really good braking performance. In fact, Winston just came back from a trip to the mountains of Colombia South America where he was doing rides like this!
Gen One Coating: Thermal Spray
This is a coating that has gained popularity in the past couple of years. This is a spray on type of coating applied at very high temperatures. The spray is applied to the brake track only, and the rest of the rim still has an anodized coating. The Thermal spray coating will hold up well to wear, although after riding in wet weather slivers of silver will start to show through. Because the brake track is treated with a different coating than the entire rim, after a while the wheel can start to look like a non-coated wheel with a dirty brake track.
We actually went into production our Altamont alloy wheels with a Thermal spray coating and had 122 rims produced (more on that later)
Below are some pictures of how the coating looks when it’s brand new, and how it can look after riding for a while.
Another popular rim has been released recently that uses Thermal spray. A quick Google search reveals silver streaks showing through on customers after a while. This will heavily depend on weather conditions you ride in.
Thermal Spray Coated rim after 900km on an this other brands rim (photo courtesy of a post on Road Bike Review)
Our rims that we had produced with Thermal Spray. AKA – Gen 1 coating!
Remember earlier when I said we had 122 rims produced with the Thermal Spray coating?
Well, we’re not just going to throw them away! Under our own testing the coating still works. Even when silver streaks start to show on the brake track, the coating still contributes to better braking performance, and the brake track will not be as shiny as a regular machined brake track.
We have decided to sell the Thermal Spray coated rims at a reduced price in order to clear them out! These are the same great Altamont rims as normal, just with a Thermal Spray coated brake track. Just like with other Thermal Spray rims, we are making no guarantees about how long the rims will last until there are some silver streaks showing on the brake track.
Every wheelset will come with skewers, rim strips, and a set of the Swissstop BXP brake pads. We include the Swissstop BXP brake pads at no charge for our PEO coated rims, but they also work well with the Thermal Spray.
We are blowing these wheelsets out starting at only $650 for the set!! That is $100 less than our normal pricing with no coating on the Altamont and Altamont Lite wheelsets. This deal will obviously not last long as stock is very limited! These are only available on our Prime road hubs.