Sun's Downhill Rims|
Wednesday, June 23, 1999
Bombing down extreme vertical terrain requires more than just skill, luck and guts. Good equipment is often the difference between standing on the podium and a thirty mile an hour face plant. Some of the most important equipment a downhill rider can own is a quality set of rims.
Sun Ringle makes some of the toughest rims out there. We were able to get our hands on two of their top-selling models.
First off is a rim designed for the amateur-level downhill racer and freerider. The Sun Mammoth rim offers a 30mm wide profile that provides extreme stability even in the hardest corners. The Mammoths also feature an oversized braking track to ensure proper alignment for your rim brakes.
The inner rim features what Sun is calling a composite "shield." To us it just looks like a cheap sticker. This shield is supposed to stiffen the rim, protect the spoke face from damage and reduce mud buildup. That being said, it still looks like a sticker.
At 708 grams, the Mammoths are no light-weight rim. But then again, weight should not be your primary concern when shopping for a set of downhill rims.
On another test bike, we threw on a set of Sun's new Double Wide rims. The name double wide can't help but conjure up images of trailer parks in the outskirts of Anytown USA. Truthfully the name fits. The rim is about as wide as a typical mobile home and weighs just slightly less.
The Double Wide is a serious downhill rim. Once one of our team racers showed up at an event with these rims freshly built up, heads immediately turned. These are some big, powerful rims that look super cool too.
Sun refers to the Double Wides as their masterpiece downhill disc rim. That is an understatement. These hoops of pure testosterone are truly incredible. Pro racer Shaums March couldn't hurt these rims riding them with a flat tire down 2.5 miles of a World Cup downhill race last year and I bet you can't hurt them either. If you do manage to damage these rims, you're not walking away.
These rims aren't only bombproof, but these 47mm wide bad boys also feature a rounded bead clinch that dramatically reduces the chance of getting a pinch flat.
The 47mm wide rim can easily take a 3" tire, though our test set up used a 2.6 inch tread. But because it is so wide you will need an extra-wide fork that can handle the Double Wide's girth. Our test bike was equipped with an RST XXL.
These rims aint light. If you want to know how much the rim weighs, then it isn't for you. Our fully built wheel including a 2.6" tire, Hugi thru-axle hub and disc brake came in at 7.5 lbs. for the front.
The Double Wides are available in both a 26" and 24" version and come in both 32 and 36 hole drillings and are for disc brakes only.
These rims were a huge hit with the DirtWorld.com downhill team and when pressed for any complaints, all they could come up with is that the paint chips fairly easily.
If you're a cross-country racer, why did you read this far? If you're a downhiller, both these rims are worth considering. If you're looking for totally bombproof, check out the Double Wide rims. If you're looking for tough, but the Double Wides are overkill, then consider the Mammoth.
Special thanks go to Aaron Goss at Aaron's Bicycle Repair in West Seattle for their expertise in building up the wheels for this review.