SRAM Introduces Roam 40 and Roam 30 Wheels

May 2, 2014
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  
SRAM

A More Affordable Wheel

Wheels. The machines that we spend so much of our time on are useless without them, but how much time does the average rider put into thinking about wheel choice? Deciphering all the tech and marketing acronyms can be a daunting and confusing task when it comes time to purchase a new set of wheels, and it comes down to a few simple points for many riders who don't enjoy delving into those engineering secrets: get something that is reliable and won't require excessive amounts of maintenance, get something that won't have you sucking extra wind on the climbs, and get something that hopefully won't empty your savings account. In short, the wheels need to work for how you ride. SRAM's two new all-mountain wheels, the Roam 40 and Roam 30, have been designed for how many of us ride, while also employing cost saving methods that see them come in at a much lower MSRP than the company's elite wheel offerings. We traveled to Terlago, Italy, to learn the ins and outs of the new additions, and also to sample the area's great trails.




Prices and Weights

Two years ago, SRAM debuted the Roam 60 and Roam 50 all-mountain / trail wheels. These represented one of SRAM's first foray's into the mountain bike wheel market and the intention was to provide a high-level product. 20,000 kms worth of testing later, two new offerings will be joining the SRAM family at a more affordable cost to the consumer: the Roam 40 which weighs a claimed 1615 grams for 27.5" set and costs $697; and the Roam 30 (shown at right) which weighs 1785g in 27.5" and costs $497 USD. These two wheel sets are very similar to the previously released aluminium Roam 50, but with a few key changes.





A New Hub

When SRAM originally launched the Roam family they combined a SRAM-designed hub shell with DT Swiss internals. By making this decision, SRAM was able to get into the market fast and make an impression while using technology that was tried and tested. Now, with the introduction of lower cost models into the family, they've decided to utilize their Double Time hub design that has been in the works since before the release of those original Roam 50 and 60 models.


The Double Time hub was first introduced on the X0 wheels and, more recently, in the XX wheel set which launched at this year's Sea Otter. You may wonder why the high-end XX wheels have ended up with same hub as the lower cost models shown here, and how this works out to be more cost effective than using the DT Swiss hub for the new 30 and 40s. The bottom line is that DT Swiss is an established player in the wheel market and are able to charge a decent premium in return for using their product. However, SRAM are now manufacturing their own hubs - the cost savings associated with this, along with receiving a considerable discount for bulk ordering of the parts to be used within the construction of the Double Time system, drops the price point substantially. SRAM says that the Roam 50 and 60 will still be using DT Swiss' internals, but we wouldn't bet against seeing Double Time put to use there is well in the future.

Internally, the Double Time system uses either a four pawl or less expensive two pawl layout. The four pawl system has 52 points of engagement on the 26 tooth ratchet ring, whereas the two pawl design offers 26. The more points of engagement there are, the faster the initiation time. Instead of threading into the shell, the ratchet ring features an external splined interface that mounts to the hub shell permanently. With this system, the threat of the thread becoming corrupted due to excessive forces is removed.

SRAM also opted to work directly with a ball bearing manufacturer as opposed to working with a bearing trading company to develop their Speed Ball technology. By going directly to a manufacturer, SRAM were able to work one-on-one with the company to get a very specific bearing made for their particular system's requirements. When integrating the bearing into the system, SRAM chose to use contact seal on the outside, something that provides additional protection from debris and gunk getting inside the system, but it is also an approach that increases friction. The inside seal is a non-contact design to counter this.

The rear hub uses a 17mm tapered axel that saves weight where stress is low and increases strength where stress is high. The body is a bonded three piece shell that functions the same as a single piece hub shell but saves on manufacturing costs due to there being less machining required. The three pieces consist of a middle section and two spoke flange pieces that are bonded together. Another nice feature which has been carried over in the is the interchangeable end cap system that requires no tools to swap from quick release, 10 speed, or an XD freehub.


SRAM

How the Roam 40 and Roam 30 Wheels Differ

Firstly, the Roam 40 wheel comes with the same taper core UST certified design as its Roam 50 predecessors. But, instead of a welded joint, the Roam 30 uses a sleeve joint that offers big manufacturing savings as there is no requirement to hand grind and polish the flash away from the weld site. Although the rim is exactly the same design and material as the Roam 40, it is not certified UST. This is due to the fact that the sleeve joint does not make the rim air tight, although this fact quickly becomes irrelevant as sealant and a tubeless kit can easily remedy the issue. With the sleeve adding less than ten grams of weight, SRAM have been pretty savvy at saving cost on this specification.

Another difference between the two wheels is the 30's use straight gague bladed spokes that come with a reinforced head and brass nipples as opposed to the 40's double butted straight pull spokes and aluminum nipples. The use of brass for the 30s nipples should mean that the wheel is more serviceable in the long run, but you do lose out in the weight game against the alloys. Finally, as talked about above, the Double Time hub on the Roam 40 uses the 4 pawl system and features quicker engagement as a result, whereas the 30 uses the two pawl system.

Roam 40 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / trail
• Available in 26'', 27.5'', 29'' sizes
• Asymmetrical, Taper Core aluminum rim with a welded joint
• 21mm internal width, 25.5mm outer
• UST tubeless
• Convertible to any axle type
• 9, 10 and XD compatible
• SRAM Double Time 4 pawl hubs
• Straight pull, double butted bladed spokes
• 26'' - 1560g, 27.5'' - 1615g, 29'' - 1695g
• Available in June
• MSRP: $697 USD

Roam 30 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / trail
• Available in 26'', 27.5'', 29'' sizes
• Asymmetrical, Taper Core aluminum rim with an internal sleeve joint
• 21mm internal width, 25.5mm outer
• Straight guage, straight-pull bladed spokes
• Tool-less axle conversion
• 9, 10, and XD compatible
• SRAM Double Time 2 pawl hub
• 26'' - 1730g, 27.5'' - 1785g, 29'' - 1870g
• Available in June
• MSRP: $497 USD

SRAM




Sampling Mount Teralgo s trail network.

Riding the Roam 30 Wheels

We spent just a single day riding the Roam 30s, so we're not going to pretend that we can provide cold hard facts as to if they are better than similarly priced competition, but we can certainly give you an honest run down of our time on them. The trails around Terlago had seen rather epic rainfall in the lead up to our visit, but this didn’t put too much of a damper on the enjoyment factor of our experience. Although boggy in places, the trails are mostly made up of deep and loamy soil with a few rock gardens and rooty sections thrown in for good measure, but all in all it’s pretty easy to get up to some pretty quick speeds without worrying too much about what is around the next corner. So, what can we tell you? We had a really good time on our bike! Parsed down, this means things were operating as they should, and if things are operating as they should, that means they are functioning properly and feeling good. And if all of the above is happening, you are able to enjoy the ride. We didn't feel anything flimsy beneath us other than the compliant, spongy dirt. We didn't feel a clunk, pop, or s single tick. What we felt were fast rolling, fun and peppy wheels beneath us. No noodles here. We'd have to say that in order to deliver an honest report, we'd need to spend much more time on the them, but for one glorious day the Roam 30s kept us rolling through Italy on our bike. What's not to be enjoyed about that?



www.sram.com
Photos by Adrian Marcoux




71 Comments

  • 67 15
 Too narrow for me. Move along.
  • 19 22
 I agree way to narrow for aggressive riding
  • 100 8
 Whats aggressive riding? Is it like when you ride your bike and your giving people attitude and being abusive as you pass, because I reckon you can do that on any width wheel.
  • 23 5
 seriously, I know Keith Botranger started everybody out on 19mm internal width rims, but this stuff has to stop. minimum width for MTB should be 25mm. Otherwise, we'll never see tire mfgs start making shorter sidewall tires, which will improve performance considerably, and probably reduce weight.
  • 17 25
flag mountainbiker929 (May 2, 2014 at 9:37) (Below Threshold)
 aggressive riding is cornering hard, charging through rock gardens and stomping drops. Any thing below 25 mm is too narrow for a good tire profile, My next wheelset will most likely have Velocity Blunt 35 rims, which have you guessed it 35 mm wide external width, which improves volume and give the tire a more rounded profile for better cornering grip. Ibis' new wheels also look nice but they're a bit expensive.
  • 58 3
 OH, right I get it now cheers dude. Can you know explain to me what sarcasm means Wink
  • 16 14
 Sarcasm: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt
  • 27 3
 Stans rims on pro 2 hubs, cheap and strong- job done
  • 17 1
 @mountainbiker929

A wider tire would give a more square profile.
  • 13 5
 A square tire profile rolls slower, because you have more surface contact with the ground. Yes it will give more grip, but you need to strike a balance between rolling resistance and traction. For most 2.3 tires I find a 23-25mm internal width to be spot on, but the trend of 30-40mm rims is ridiculous unless you're rocking 2.6 Michelin DH tires.
  • 8 0
 These are gonna be back in next year. I'm heading to the attic of my LBS to get 8 sets - www.pinkbike.com/photo/699485
  • 2 2
 dude 35mm carbon rims is the way to go ..specificlly zelvys or nextie
  • 6 3
 @hypermoto you can have a wider rim with a round tire profile, they just have to shorten tire sidewall. less rubber means the tire weighs less, which will negate any weight gained from the wider rim, and less floppy sidewall means less squirm and creep. Think about what a street moto's tire looks like: the tread goes almost down to the bead. Obviously we don't want to go that extreme, since we're off road, and need a taller tire to protect the rim, but there's definitely space for improvement.
  • 8 3
 It seems strange that you think that this is all there is in a good wheelset. The new Mavic enduro wheelset rear wheel is 19mm ID and 21mm ID front, and is run by some of the best riders in the world. I imagine if it works for them it will work for you.
  • 19 5
 Pros run what their sponsors give them, Mavic continues to make too narrow rims. News at 11.
  • 2 1
 I genuinely smiled to myself when I read that. Soo funny
  • 14 1
 props to sram for keeping the 26'' options alive
  • 12 2
 Rim width is only one factor in what makes up a good wheelset, stiffness, hub engagement and weight are also important, rim width is a contributing factor and in my experience wider is better. wider tires and lower pressure, both of which work best on wide rims, give you more grip and lower rolling resistance according to a study which you can find here www.mtbonline.co.za/info/mtb-tyre-rolling-resistance.htm. In any review you find on the Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheelset the reviewer mention the narrow rim width " Mavic claims that a narrower rim paired with a narrower rear tire reduces rolling resistance. This goes against a study by Peter Nilges from the German College of Physical Education in Cologne, that found wider, high-volume tires better absorb the terrain, resulting in less deflection and better rolling. " Bike Magazine-Seb Kemp. and In my earlier post I meant to say a more square profile.
  • 11 12
 Stop, this a mountainbiking website not a physics forum. Stop bitchin and ride your damn bike
  • 16 6
 I ride 2.2" conti mountain kings on ~18mm rims, just because the rims were OEM .... fun fact: still can ride as "aggressive" as possible, no wobbling, no flats and no dents. I even took my bike to the bikepark when my DH bike was fckd up ... still smoked those go-pro herds.
funny how all the armchair engineers discuss about things they have no clue about, because most of them are not able to feel any difference between 21 oder 25mm.
mavic ultimates are 21mm internal. hill smashed on ex1750 wheels back in the days..... and now. marketing tells you "wider is so much better" --> result: "pfff 21mm too narrow for me, bla bla bla".
these are all-mountain/trail wheelsets. I want to see you guys bring the wheels to their limits while riding "allmountain/trail" because of being 21mm internal instead of something wider.... all those honks, riding allmountain with their +25mm rims, balloon tires with mega heavy duty carcass 900g, super sticky compound ... just because of grip and stability ... and in reality the tire's sideknops are like new when the mid ones are ripped of, because they have no idea of how to lean an corner a bike.
i always come here to read the comments, but holy hell ... reading that stuff really starts making me more and more aggressive visit after visit.

same as with super low stems and flatbars. "buy that stuff, the lower the front is, the more pressure and grip you'll have on your front wheel" --> armchair engineers buy and hate frontends that are higher than their balls --> 2 years later everyone is running 38mm rise renthal bars and spacers under their stems to get things right.
  • 3 0
 I love cutaways!
  • 5 3
 You can ride narrow rims it is just that wider IS better. Wider allows you to run lower pressure thus giving you more traction. Wider gives more sidewall stability and because of this fact you can run single ply tires with a lower chance of pinchflating AND the tire rolling off the rim. The reason that narrow has been prevalent is that it is light (less material duh!). However now with carbon fibre you can have 35mm DH rims that weigh as much as XC 23mm alumium rims.
More and more companies are coming out with wider rims so I think tires will be redesigned to fit these rims and thus there will be more tires availabe that still give a round profile on wide rims.
And yes Muzzle I think there are people that won't notice the difference but same argument can also be applied to people buying dh bikes and using them only in super smooth bikeparks...
  • 6 0
 I don't know if it generally IS better. my experience is that there (as always) are pros and cons. I once had ex729 on my DH bike, ran same pressure/tire as with ex721. but I didn't like the transition to the sideknops, as the profile was more square than round, and the tire was breaking loose earlier when leaning far, that also made the transition from side to side more sluggish in my opinion. relative to the tread the sides of the rim are further outside (yes that gives you more support when riding lower pressures --> able to run lower pressures without wobbling of the tire --> more grip) ... but, as the sides are further outside I wasn't able to run them at lower pressure because the rims got big dents all the time in fast rough corners. so I had to increase the pressure back to normal, still got more dents than normal, the grip benefit was gone, and the tire profile was too square.

yes probably time will change my mind, when tires will be redesigned, or probably carbon rims offer a better dent resistence than aluminum ones.
but I'm not willing to pay 1000$+ for carbon wheels and I personally don't like the square feel of todays tires.

for sure there are people that do like the feeling of wider rims more than narrow ones, or that do not have dent problems. everyone should ride what they like more :-)
but I just do not support statements like "narrow is shit because its technically worse and old fashioned" ... truth is, that it's all just personal preference. some like chocolate, some like milk ........... :-)
  • 3 1
 I never meant to imply that narrow rims suck, they have worked well for me in the past, mostly I am surprised that an innovative company like Sram isn't using a wider rim. Wide rims have advantages and disadvantages, currently tire selection is holding back wide rims the most. I think that in the future wider rims will become more widely accepted, like 1x drivetrains and wide bars, and for a company that likes to be ahead of the curve (2x10 1x11 ect.) it is surprising Sram hasn't used wider rims. Maybe I'm wrong people with much more expertise then me at Sram, and Mavic seem to think so, but for me and many other riders, gear testers, engineers and physicists wide rims feel better.
  • 2 0
 MuzzLe, my thoughts and experiences are very similar to yours. I think what people are forgetting is that the increased volume created by the wider rim comes at the expense of tire height which can lead to more pinch flats at the same psi. I've tried 19, 21, 22.5, 23 and 25.5mm internal width rims in the last 2 years. I think Tyre profile and size have a huge impact on how that tyre performs on any given width rim. For me, a huge tyre like a 2.35 Hans dampf works really well on the 25.5 rim. The new maxxis 2.3 works really well on 21 to 22.5 rims, and the old maxxis 2.35 sizing works really well on 19 to 21mm rims.
  • 2 1
 mountainbiker929, aggressive riding, you must be the man. How did you got a the latest WC or EWS?????????
  • 3 1
 Yeah man, How did you a got the latest WC or EWS?
That's a really great sentence there, so good it almost makes sense
  • 27 3
 1st and 2nd place in EWS last year were won on 21m ID alu rims.

(Much like 650b) The improvements of going wider are smaller in real life than on the Internet
  • 2 1
 I have at least 120 days of pummeling at Schladming & Maribor on a 21mm ID aluminum rim and they are still going strong. When the rear dies, it will very likely get replaced with another unless a wide rim happens to fall in my lap.
  • 16 5
 "Wheels. The machines that we spend so much of our time on are useless without them, but how much time does the average rider put into thinking about wheel choice?"

Seriously? Are we trying to sound deep here?

And I thought a whole heck of a lot about my wheel choice... as do most of the people I know/have sold wheels to. Sounds like someone thought this sounded like a cool way to start an article and then never went back and thought it over.
  • 8 3
 too deep for you
  • 23 0
 3deep5me
  • 3 0
 Careful with that edge, might get a paper cut Wink
  • 5 0
 I'm just glad they finally are making wheels for the way I ride, these square wheels bounce over everything...
  • 1 4
 203 engagment profiles on nextie crabon rims ...... al i need is straight pull spokes and id have the best thing known 35mm btw
  • 12 2
 Didn't know rims came in different widths...was too busy riding...
  • 3 1
 PB will diminish your mind. Don't read online, go riding instead.
  • 9 0
 But does it make an obnoxiously loud clicking noise?
  • 8 4
 So, us Pinkbikers will debate wheel size on any article, regardless of it's topic(s). Post something on the front page ABOUT WHEELS? It's on!
  • 11 0
 Well, they make them in all three sizes, soooo
  • 6 4
 Mtb rims are too narrow! Mtb rims are too narrow! Mtb rims are too narrow! Got it manufactures (except you Syntace, I love you)

Think about the rim to tire ratio of just about every other vehicle out there: cars, trucks, motorcycles, quads, dirt bikes, even road bikes. The rim is just a little narrower than the tire.

Why are us mountain bikers still riding on ballons?
  • 2 1
 Maybe bec they have 4 wheels?
  • 1 0
 I like the idea behind straight pull spokes, but every spoke I've ever broken has broken at the rim end where the nipple threading starts. Straight pull spokes look way cooler - that's the only advantage I've ever really experienced from them.

I do like the idea of a 3 piece bonded hub instead of a one piece machined hub for cost savings, as I don't think it will make a difference to anyone unless they get a defective product.

I've definitely broken more pinned rims than welded rims when jumping...but I think either will work just fine for this application.

However, I will nitpick here.....I don't think custom bearings are a justified expense. No matter how they are shielded or set up, we eat bearings like crazy in the PNW, so that is something that would significantly add to the cost of the wheel set over time. Plus, I wouldn't be able to source replacements from local bearing distributors (much much cheaper and quicker to get) like I can with almost EVERY OTHER HUB on the market.

Other than that quibble, I really do like the wheels. And they hit a great price point and a pretty solid weight for each. I bet these will be some really good wheels for the money.
  • 3 1
 They can't make these wider cause if weight. Unless you're running carbon wheels on your 27.5 or 29er, you gonna have some rotational weight issues.
  • 6 5
 my stans flow rims are 29mm ID and are lighter than enve's...
  • 9 0
 Flow EX are 25.5 internal - maybe you measured at one of your flat spots, my Enve's don't have those. Smile
  • 2 0
 25.5 ID Flows are.
  • 1 0
 After Stan's Flows and now Flow EX's...I'll never go back to a rim this width. If you haven't, try wide. It works well. Fun times.
  • 4 0
 @enduro27 No way Flow EX's are lighter than Enve.

530 grams for Flow EX (650b)
453 grams for Enve M70
  • 1 0
 Probably talking about the old enve's and the entire wheel weight. Also envies make your wallet a lot more lighter too...
  • 3 1
 When I first saw this I thought OMG Now we are going to Have 30" and 40" wheels ??? LOL I am a dork!
  • 5 0
 I was hoping for 30 and 40mm width
  • 4 2
 hmm,i had a set of flow ex's built with Pro2 evo's for less than the roam 40 set?!.
  • 2 2
 I'm rolling a set of Arch EX 29s with 3.30 hubs that are 3-prawl (never slipped on me), are convertible, weigh less than the 30's and have been flawless for over 2000 miles for less than $490 as well.
  • 2 0
 I'll stick with my stans on hope pro 2's
  • 1 0
 A 26" mavic crossline with maxxis 2 ply tube type tyres,keeps me rolling ride after ride.
  • 1 0
 They don't support this product. You CANNOT buy a new rim if you ruin your rim.
  • 4 3
 Way to narrow for me to I want at least 29mm wide
  • 2 0
 no 40mm width? Frown
  • 1 0
 are there rims Tubeless Ready ?
  • 1 0
 Anyone know the replacement cost of a Roam 40 rim?
  • 3 2
 Nice review.
  • 2 1
 "Cost friendly"..
  • 3 3
 Wait, what? No 32 wide?
  • 5 8
 So 26" is dead...? Buuuut they are offering these in 26" still.
  • 3 2
 26 inch bikes still exist......but manufacturers of frames are clearly moving away from that size....doesn't mean all 26" parts will be abolished lol
  • 3 0
 Consumers are moving away from 26. Go to your LBS and ask them how many 26" bikes they are selling nowadays.
  • 7 0
 as someone who works at a LBS i can vouch for the fact we sell none
  • 1 1
 Thats what Im saying, why are such a large brand who are partnered with companies who are pushing new wheel sizes, still making 26.
  • 1 1
 I still ride 26... ordered my custom frame to fit them two years ago. But that was a choice that I made... certainly not dictated by what I seem to be selling more of every day. I certainly see the day when Ill have a 29er or a 650b, just cant afford 6 bikes right now...
  • 4 1
 Tons of people still have 26" bikes, and will continue to pay for support for them, so it makes sense to sell the 26 size wheels. However, if buying a new bike very few are going to buy a 26 frame.

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