FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


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.

Anodization

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.

Brand new rim with the PEO coating

Brand new rim with the PEO coating

With the PEO coating, the holes are plugged and the rim bed is coated

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!
https://www.strava.com/activities/1085264633

Gen 2 coating with 8,000 miles on it in all weather conditions

Gen 2 coating on a front wheel with 8,000 miles on it in all weather conditions

Gen 2 coating with 8,000 miles on it in all weather conditions

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.

Brand new rim with Thermal Spray. Looks very nice!

Gen 1 Thermal Spray coating with 2,000km on it

Comparing a brand new rim to a wheel with 2,000km with the Thermal Spray coating

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)

 

Thermal spray rim with 900km on it.

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.

Spoke Offset

  • 2.8mm Jocassee
  • 2.8mm Pinnacle

ERD

  • 580mm Altamont & Ceramic Coated Altamont
  • 590mm Altamont Lite & Ceramic Coated Altamont Lite
  • 585mm 28mm Carbon
  • 553mm 44mm Carbon
  • 520mm 60mm Carbon
  • 463mm 90mm Carbon
  • 534mm Jocassee
  • 570mm 36mm Road Disc & Pinnacle
  • 595mm Ridgeline 29er
  • 555mm Rideline 27.5
  • 595mm Kanuga 29er
  • 555mm Kanuga 27.5
  • 584mm Rouleur *round spoke

 

Almost all of our wheels have three spoke count options. Here are our recommended rider weight limits when deciding on a spoke count. When in doubt, always choose the higher spoke count. Spoke Count F/R.

Under 180 lbs (82 kg)

20/24

180-250 lbs (82-113 kg)

24/28

Above 250 lbs (113kg)

28/32

All thing disc brake!
Yes… All things! There is a lot of information here, but organized into different sections.
If you have a question about anything with disc brakes it’s probably answered below.

 

Centerlock

The disc brake hubs that we build on are centerlock. There are two methods for attaching the rotor to the hub, traditional six bolt and the newer centerlock standard. Six bolt relies on tightening six individual T25 torx bolts to secure the rotor to the hub shell. Changing a rotor require removing all six of these bolts and then securing all six bolts again. It can be a time-consuming process.

With the centerlock standard the rotor fits over top of a spline and then secured via a lock ring (similar to how a cassette mounts on a freehub body). To change a rotor, you simply loosen the lock ring, slide the rotor off, and then tighten the lock ring for the new rotor.

The important thing with this is that whether your hub has six bolt or centerlock rotors, you can run them on your disc brake equipped bike. The spacing of where the brake mounts sit is universal, so if you have one wheel with a six-bolt rotor and one wheel with a centerlock rotor they are interchangeable. Note that you will need to know what size rotor your bike is running to ensure you have that size rotor on your wheels. Example, if your disc brake calipers are set for 160mm, then you need to run 160mm rotors on your wheels.

If you have six bolt rotors that you currently using and would like to use them with your centerlock splined wheels you can do that with a centerlock to six bolt adapters. This adapter will fit over the centerlock splines and has tabs to mount the six-bolt rotor. You can use your existing six bolt rotors.

If you have centerlock rotors already, you can only use them on centerlock splined wheels. Due to space requirements and needs to conform to spacing standards there is no way to run a centerlock rotor on a six-bolt disc brake hub.

 

Attaching the centerlock rotors

With the centerlock rotors they simply secure to the hub by tightening a lock ring (part SM-RT96). With most centerlock rotors the lock ring will be included with the rotor. It’s often referred to as the internal lockring as the splines to tighten the lockring are on the inside and you use a standard Shimano cassette tool to tighten the lock ring. The exception to this is if you order a Sram centerlock rotor. These do not come with the lockrings so you would have to find the lockrings separately.

The traditional internal lock ring that comes with the rotors will work for the axles that have an outside diameter of 19mm. This includes all rear axles (quick release, 135mm thru axle, 142mm thru axle, and 148mm boost thru axle). For the front hub, this internal lock ring can be used for quick release and 12mm thru axles. Both of those use a 19mm outside diameter on the axle.

 

 

 

 

 

For 15mm axles (both 15mmX100mm and the 15mmX110mm for boost hubs) the outside diameter of the axle is 21mm. With this larger outside diameter, there is not room for the cassette

tool to fit inside the lock ring and clear the axle diameter. With this you need an external lock ring (part SM-HB20). The locking part of this is on the outside of the lock ring. You need a specific tool to tighten this lock ring (it’s the same tool used to tighten the external cups on a threaded Shimano bottom bracket).

 

 

 

 

 

End caps

The Quest disc brake hubs feature easy to install swappable end caps to accommodate the different axle sizes that your bike may have. Each end cap is conveniently laser etched with the spec of the axle size and where on the hub the end cap belongs (rotor side or non-rotor side). To convert from one axle standard to a different one, you simply need to slide the end cap off the axle and install the new end cap on the axle. This can all be performed by hand. There are no tools required!

Freehub body

The Quest disc brake hubs can also very easily swap between Shimano and Sram freehub body, Sram XD driver, and a Campy freehub body. The Shimano and Sram freehub body, and the Campy freehub body uses a traditional multi-piece cassette where each cog is placed on the freehub body and a lockring is tightened to hold the cassette in place. Shimano and Sram cassettes fit on the same freehub body and are interchangeable. If you have a Campy cassette then you need a Campy freehub body.

The Sram XD driver uses a different type of cassette. This is a one-piece type of cassette that threads on like an older style threaded freehub. If you are running a Sram XD style cassette then you must use the XD driver. That cassette will not fit on a Shimano or Sram style freehub body.

Swapping the freehub body options between Shimano/Sram, Sram XD Driver, and Campy is super easy, requires no tools, and requires no redishing of the wheel afterwards.

Boost Spacing Hubs

The new standard for mountain bikes uses a wider “boost” spacing for the front and rear hubs. The axle standard for boost is 110mm X 15mm thru axle for the front and 148mm X 12mm thru axle for the rear. The hubs will come with the correct end caps installed that is the ONLY end cap that will work with the boost spacing hubs. You can still swap the freehub body between Shimano and Sram freehub body, and Sram XD driver. There are no Campy groups that are designed for bikes that would have boost spacing.

Thru Axles and Skewers

If your bike uses thru axles, the axles that thread into your frame and fork will be specific to your frame and fork. There are a few different width, threading, and size options to where we could not supply the axle without knowing exactly which bike you had. With the thru axle style axle, the axle always stays with the bike, whereas the traditional skewer style bikes, the skewers were a universal size and most people would keep a set of skewers with each set of wheels.

  • If your bike is thru axle and you order the wheels with the thru axle end caps, a skewer WILL NOT be provided with the wheels as it’s not needed.
  • If your bike uses a quick release skewer to secure the wheels and you order the wheels with the quick release end caps we WILL include the quick release skewers with the wheels.
  • If you are ordering just the quick release end caps separately, the skewers WILL NOT come with the caps. You will have to order the quick release skewers separately here:

 

Swapping disc brake hubs between multiple bikes

If the two bikes you are swapping the wheels between have the same axle size and rotor size, it’s a simple removal of the wheel and installing it on the other bike. If both bikes have thru axle, you WILL NOT move the axle with the wheels. The axle will stay with the frame and fork, not the wheels.

If the bikes have different sized rotors or different axle standards then the hubs will need to swap rotors and/or end caps to fit into the new bike. Fortunately, with the Quest hubs, this is super easy to do with minimal mechanical knowledge and in almost no time required.

 

If you are upgrading to 11 speed, here is all you need to know to convert your Boyd Cycling wheels. The process is very simple and you can either get just a new freehub or a conversion kit from us. You will NOT need to get a whole new hub.

First of all, lets get into the 11 speed differences. There is an extra gear on the rear cassette (obviously), but to accomplish this the cassettes got wider by 2.8mm. With a Shimano 10 speed cassette there was a 1mm spacer that you needed to place behind the cassette. So, if you are running a Shimano 10 speed cassette on an 11 speed hub, you will need the 1mm spacer provided with the Shimano 10 speed cassette PLUS a 1.8mm spacer to make up for the added width of the 11 speed freehub body.

If you are running a Sram 10 speed cassette, there is no 1mm spacer needed behind the cassette. You will simply need the 1.8mm spacer on the 11 speed freehub body and the Sram cassette will go over top of that.

In both cases of Sram and Shimano, if you are using an 11 speed cassette on an 11 speed freehub body, the cassette will go on the freehub body with no spacers needed.

Upgrading your 2012 and before wheels to 11 speed:

Note that on the non-drive side of this hub there is just an end cap. There is no adjustment collar!

If you have wheels that use our older model rear hub (like what is shown in the above picture), then to upgrade to 11 speed you will just need a new freehub body. This can be swapped out using just two 5mm allen wrenches and the wheel will not need to be redished afterwards. The new freehub body will come with the 1.8mm spacer so if you are still running a 10 speed cassette then you will be able to use that cassette with the 11 speed freehub body.

Another way to tell. If your rear hub has a freehub body with 6 pawls (like pictured below), then you only need the freehub body.

If you try to use this freehub body on the hub that calls for a 4 pawl freehub, it WILL NOT work!!

Upgrading your 2013 and 2014 model wheels to 11 speed:

If you have wheels that use our 2013 and 2014 model hubs  (like what is shown in the picture above), then to upgrade to 11 speed you will need a conversion kit. The hub that needs a conversion kit has a 22mm cone wrench slot on the non-drive side. If you can fit a 22mm cone wrench on the non-drive side, then you must get a conversion kit to upgrade to 11 speed! The 6 pawl freehub body WILL NOT work in these hubs!

Another way to tell, if your 10 speed hub has four pawls, with a leaf spring under each pawl (like the above picture), then you need the conversion kit.

In order to optimize flange spacing for this newer hub configuration, we have different conversions for 10 or 11 speed. If you originally had a 10 speed to upgrade to 11 speed you will need this conversion kit. It consists of a freehub body, new axle, and end caps. After installing the conversion kit you WILL need to perform a very slight redish of the rear wheel afterwards. There are two options for the installation and redish.

You can install the conversion kit and redish the wheel yourself (or preferably through a local bike shop). We will ship you the conversion kit with everything you need to upgrade your 10 speed wheel to 11 speed.

or

We can perform the installation and redish for you at no charge. You will have to send your wheel to us (we will provide you with an RA number and instructions for sending in the wheel). There will be a $15 return shipping charge for wheels in the domestic USA. For International orders, it’s going to be much more convenient to have the installation performed at a local bike shop.

Thank you to Josh Whitmore of the Globalbike Elite cycling team for shooting a video on how to perform the 11 speed conversion. Please note, if you have a wheel dishing tool that is the preferred method for ensuring your wheel is properly redished after converting to 11 speed.

You can run your Boyd Cycling wheels tubeless

However, like any wheelset, there are a few steps you need to follow to successfully install and run a tubeless system.

Pros of running tubeless are:

  • More puncture resistant tire system
  • Ability to run lower PSI
  • Tire that holds pressure longer (less trips to the pump)
  • You get to tell all your friends you are running tubeless (if you have ever ridden with anybody who is riding tubeless you already know this)

Cons of running tubeless are:

  • Tires can be a lot harder to mount
  • You usually need an air compressor to get initial inflation
  • Changing a flat on the side of the road can be very difficult

Despite the cons, people like the tubeless set up because of the better protection against flat tires. You will be running sealant inside the tire, and with only having a tire to seal (vs. both a tube and tire), small punctures seal themselves. Note that any major cuts, or snake bite flats from bottoming out can still lead to flat tires, even when running tubeless. Yet, for the majority of times where a pinhole type of puncture occurs, tubeless will not flat in those situations.

We spent years in coming up with the new rim profiles to ensure a perfect tubeless setup.
Things like angle of the rim bed, center channels, rim diameters, even spoke hole width were considered. With this, we are confident we have the best possible solution for running a tubeless setup (right down to the nut used to tighten the valve). Below is a video that shows the Boyd Cycling tubeless advantage and why Boyd is the real first name of tubeless.

Things you will need to run a tubeless tire system

Tubeless specific tire – The tire MUST say tubeless specific on it. Tubeless specific tires have a reinforced bead on them, if you try to run a non-tubeless specific tire as a tubeless set up it will not seat right and will blow off the rim.

Tubeless valve – In order to create an air tight seal, you need a valve that securely clamps in place. We have tubeless valves designed for every depth of rim we offer. Each tubeless valve will come with our patent pending tubeless wing nut, a unique solution to being able to tighten and loosen the nut on your tubeless valves.

Tubeless rim tape – We give you the option of adding a tubeless set up on your wheels. When you do, you will have two layers of our blue tubeless tape installed on the rim. If you are looking to convert the 2016 model rims (with the tubeless rim bed) and need tubeless tape, you need 25mm wide tape for the rim bed.

Sealant – The sealant is what helps make the tubeless system more puncture proof. After you have the tire and valve installed, but before inflating the tire, you will want to add the sealant inside the tire.

Tire levers – Tubeless tires fit tighter on the rims and can be a lot harder to install. If you are not comfortable using a tire lever then tubeless may not be the best option (especially if you flat while out on a ride). The alloy wheels will be easier to mount a tire on compared to the carbons. With the carbon clinchers, the bead seat is already fairly tight, so installing a tubeless tire on them will be difficult. Use a tire lever, go slowly pushing small part of the tire over the hook. The good news is you don’t have to worry about pinching your tube when installing a tire. Note that we have installed dozens of tubeless tires on carbon clinchers and have never had one that was close to being impossible. Some tires go on much easier than others.

Air compressor – In order to get initial pressure into the tire and get it to seat in the rim, a pump usually will not supply air fast enough for this. An air compressor can save you a lot of unnecessary pumping (cyclists are notorious for not having arm strength).

The carbon wheels with rim brake rims will come with a set of our Onyx Brake pads. These bake pads were designed in conjunction with our carbon rims and so they are the brake pads we recommend the most. We like people to use them so we make them pretty affordable as well at only $25 for a set of 4 pads.

However, we know there are situations where you need carbon brake pads right away and can not wait until a set of the Onyx brake pads ships to you. Don’t worry, we are procrastinators too! If you need to use other brake pads on the carbon rims you can use the following.

  • Swissstop Black Prince (our favorite substitute!)
  • Zipp Tangente Platinum
  • Enve Brake Pads (standard, not for their textured)
  • Shimano Carbon Brake Pads
  • Kool Stop Carbon (although these will wear out very fast)
  • Reynolds Cryo Blue (although these will wear out very fast)

The following brake pads are prohibited on our carbon rims

  • Swissstop Yellow King – This can have very high heat levels and leave a lot of yellow residue all over the textured brake track
  • Any cork brake pad – Our rims are designed for a synthetic rubber material, not a cork pad
  • Any generic, no-name brake pad. We have found with testing that this can leave behind rim damaging residue under prolonged braking.

You got your new carbon wheels and you want to make sure they last as long as possible. So do we!

The good news is that carbon rims can be relatively maintenance free and should last longer than alloy rims! With an alloy rim when you are braking you can slightly wear off pieces of the aluminum. Over the course of years of use, this can make it where the rim becomes concave and thinner on the brake track. Because carbon rims do not shed any material under braking conditions, the rims will last longer.

Note that you will want to change out your brake pads once they get to the indicator level. Completely worn out brakes will alloy the metal shoes of the brake caliper to contact the carbon rim, and this will be extremely bad for rim longevity!

For cleaning the carbon rims, simply use rubbing alcohol and a rag. Keeping the brake track clean and making sure the brake pads are free of any debris will ensure maximum longevity of the rims.

The hubs we have designed are designed to be easy to work on, and be relatively maintenance. That being said, it’s the only part of the wheel that has both moving and non-moving parts. This is where you want to ensure that you check over the hubs at regular intervals to keep everything running smoothly.

The easiest thing to check is the bearings. If you spin the wheel in your hand, you can feel if the bearings still feel nice and smooth or if they have gotten gritty over time. Bearings are a part where they are good until they are not. Once they feel like they have gone bad you will want to replace them. Riding on bad bearings for a prolonged period of time could lead to the bearing suffering a failure and leaving you stranded (similar to if you drive your car on a bad wheel bearing). Pressing in new bearings is very easy and usually relatively inexpensive.

Keeping the pawls and driver ring lubed is important. This is the only spot on your bike where you have metal parts moving against metal parts (not counting bearings). The hubs will come pre-greased, but over time this grease can wash out of the hubs. I usually add grease to my pawls about twice per year to ensure everything remains properly lubed and running smooth. We sell the NixFrixshun Speed Coat grease that was specially designed to work on the insides of hubs. One tube is pretty much a lifetime supply and will keep your hubs running smooth.

On any of our hubs sold after 2013 there is a pre-load adjustment to dial in tension on the axle. If you go to the page for our Prime hubs you will see a video on how to adjust the pre-load. Checking this every couple of months takes about 10 to 20 seconds, but ensures that your hubs are running smoothly with no play and no side load on the bearings.

Hub noise is something that intrigues a lot of people. Why are some hubs super loud, and others almost silent?

The answer is because when the pawls click over the teeth inside the hub, they make a noise. Depending on how many pawls, how many teeth, and how powerful the springing mechanism is to push the pawl outward, will dictate how loud the hubs are when you are coasting.

Our hubs use leaf springs to push each pawl outward. When you are pedaling, each pawl will push against the driver ring and move the wheel forward. When you are coasting, the pawls will click up and down over top of the ramped teeth in the driver ring. Because we are using the leaf springs, we ensure very solid engagement that will not skip or jump when you stomp on the pedals.

This image shows the leaf spring and pawls on a freehub body

 

 

 

 

 

The noise level with this system can actually be adjusted slightly. By adding grease to the pawls and driver ring, you will dampen the sound a little. With this you can choose if you want your hub to be attention getting loud, or a stealthy clicking style.  We encourage people to use the NixFrixShun SpeedCoat when servicing their driver ring and pawls.

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