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Video: Why Racers Can't Let Go of These 'Outdated' Rims - Leogang DH World Cup 2024

Jun 6, 2024
by Henry Quinney  



2014 World Cup 4 Leogang

In this video I wanted to explore why, a decade after Gwin's infamous run, many of the top riders are still using DT Swiss EX471. The alloy rim, which uses a 25mm inner width, is a hit for so many reasons, not least its mixture of durability and compliance. Speaking to Troy's mechanic, Aaron, and he explains that the narrower profile can also give a rounder profile to the tyre, which is preferential for some. He's not the only one either. Notably, the Specialized Gravity team often opt for the classic rim, too.

Troy Brosnan getting a bit loose in the dust
Troy putting the EX471 through its paces in Fort William earlier this year.



Neko Mullaly piloting his Frameworks into the mid-track tunnels.

Since starting the Frameworks project, Neko Mullaly has already completed a few muddy Leogangs under his belt. However, I'm sure many of the riders will be hoping for better conditions this week.

The Bike Park access is open right up until the World Cup, and Neko made use of the lift access yesterday to ride back-to-back runs on his standard alloy front triangle and a new, USA-made steel one. The steel front is a further exploration of the bike that was made with Cotic last year. This bike, thanks to using different gauged tubing, 3D printing the bend in the downtube and a 1 1/8 headtube, is markedly lighter, as well as helping the team further hone in their demands for balancing both stiffness and compliance.

Frameworks Racing x Cotic steel DH bike
The steel bike made by Cotic last year.

photo
The new front triangle.


Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
346 articles

101 Comments
  • 88 0
 Were these to be two different articles?
  • 9 10
 It requires watching the video. Headline is just a piece of the story.
  • 24 8
 Haha - I was just trying to cover the topics of the video in writing a bit.
  • 8 3
 One of them genuinely made me angry that pinkbike was resorting to actual clickbait titles within their own website
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney: argh no mention of Cy Turner and all his great work on keeping Steel Real in the Frameworks project…..I know that was Bike 001 but still important that COTIC made such an important input…

BUT….brilliant interviews….questions which really relax the interviewers … and the Spesh interview really great
  • 21 0
 Awesome stuff. Neko's clarity of thought and purpose are always fun to hear. His humility is also remarkable and refreshing.
  • 6 0
 Couldn’t agree more. Love the way he promotes his riders. Particularly Asa. Class act for sure.
  • 12 0
 I am going back to 471 for rear over the 541 or 511 the next time I inevitably put a huge ding in from the side. Narrower gives less chance for harder side-of-rim rock strikes which is common where I ride. It also gives a better chance of off-center impact being spread to both sides of the rim.
  • 13 2
 give a go to Newmen rims, tough as nails and their angled flanges seem to do what it says in the box
  • 1 0
 @iiman: never heard of them but will check them out
  • 4 2
 I've had some huge hits into my 541 and its been tough as.
125KG+ on the ebike and the rim seems unfazed.
  • 7 1
 EX471 forever. + a pair DT350 hubs, cheapest wheels I built so far, and so far... so good, responsive and reliable, even with 28holes (post covid shortage / no 32H available). I might go for sexier hubs in a near future, but if it's about ordering a pair of rims, I'll stick to the 471 and that's it. As simple as this Smile
  • 3 0
 @danstonQ: You built the perfect trail wheels. Not the lightest, but the most reliable and durable.

Spend more for colors if that’s your jam (I still have a soft spot for 3d violet parts) but they won’t work better.
  • 1 0
 @iiman: The rims are great but I almost died when the Newmen freehub failed on me pedalling into the Fade to Black step down road gap. It turned into a one footer take off and landing
  • 3 0
 @iiman: one of the best rims and wheelsets around, cost vs performance. Not well known in the UK
  • 5 0
 @phalley: Fitting that it was probably a Fade hub
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: that's what I read everywhere. But I (70kg) got myself a big ding on my 3rd ride with my new FR1500 on the rear. Quite disappointed tbh. Probably just bad luck.
  • 1 0
 @Lirs777: In my experience, everything breaks if you hit it hard enough! I sort of have to treat wheels like consumables
  • 2 0
 let me backpedal here; I had a look on Newmen's website and apparently in the last few weeks they have released a new generation of rims with different flange desing, weights and naming convention.
I was speaking of the Evolution sl a.30 (last gen). I might grab a pair while they last
  • 1 0
 I found a set of 471’s in my shed a few weeks ago…new in a box still wrapped…I don’t remember buying them…
  • 2 0
 @danstonQ: I built a set with Shimano SLX hubs which have been absolutely bombproof, and the slx hubs were under $100 for the pair.
  • 1 0
 @Lirs777: I've been at a shuttle location today with my ebike and had several Big rim dings through some DD tyres at 25psi, On hard fast rocks & roots. Rim still perfect.
  • 1 0
 @iiman: Happy owner of two a.30 sl wheelsets, on the enduro and ebike, those things are tough. Got the second pair after they launched the Beskar ones, better price for those last stock sets
  • 1 0
 @Lirs777: nope. Same here. They just aren't that tough. Gonna go 471s again next time
  • 1 0
 @iiman: can you get rim-only? I am having trouble finding that option
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: no problem in Europe
  • 14 0
 Excellent vid, super informative
  • 15 1
 Henry, wear elbow pads next time.
  • 9 0
 I was, and would have been cooked without them haha.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: Are we going to see you on Fridays Fails?
  • 6 0
 @bigtim: Absolutely not, sadly. It was some of my best work yet.
  • 8 0
 Strong, reasonably priced, you can run the spokes a touch aft for extra compliance-and also perfectly round /true out of the box.

If you like lighting piles of $$$ on fire, run carbon DH rims (that weigh the same). If not, 471s are a benchmark product.
  • 3 0
 *a touch soft*
  • 3 1
 I’ve been on enve’s racing pro dh for 3 years, and I have only had to warranty once or twice. Free replacement just send a pic of the break. Been through many many aluminum wheels before, constantly was breaking them. Enve for the win.
  • 5 0
 I finally went with carbon wheels (on sale) because I was tired of destroying metal ones. I was rehooping the rear once a month (on average), checking tension every ride. I'm now nearly 4 years into the same carbon wheels and rarely even have to tension them.

I'm saving money with these expensive wheels now.
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: Absolutely, I still have the original reserve 30's. They look a little rough but they're still true and they sure have taken a beating. I've never had wheels last as long especially without any real maintenance.
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: Seconded, or thirded maybe....
rear alu rims monthly, touched up with a spoke wrench every ride. It was almost cathartic, spinning a wobbly rim in my truing stand.
Switched to a set of WAO Unions, my stand hasnt been used in over 2 years, might just put it up for sale....
  • 9 0
 Great video Henry, particularly loved the Suspension talk at the end
  • 8 0
 Looks like it, that Cotic reminds me of the Kona Stinky from the day
  • 3 0
 Yes, especially with the white paint job.
  • 4 1
 so, silver spokes have less grinding than black spokes, less friction of the spokes moving against each other means the wheel should have slightly better virbation damping and be a little itty bit more compliant?

Silver Spokes
Send: +10
Comfort +0.0001
Grip: +0.0001
  • 1 0
 And honestly look pretty killer with black nipples
  • 4 2
 The true secret-secret weapon from DT is the HX 531 e bike rim. In lab testing it performs better in impact tests than the EX 411 and EX 571 offerings, but is actually lighter. Of course DT dont advertise this as it was unintentional and they dont want to make their own enduro offerings look bad.
  • 2 0
 Folded both beads outwards enough to lose air instantly on my HX 531 rear rim. It was only a small rock in the landing, the tyre didn't have a scratch on it and I weigh fuck all. So not the biggest fan personally.
  • 3 1
 A great comparison here: www.wheelworks.co.nz/a-close-look-at-the-dt-swiss-fr-541 Not only it is not lighter, but also has less material on the bed hook than EX not to mention FR. The only upside of this rims is being cheaper. Sorry buddy.
  • 2 5
 @lkubica: I spent 6 years at DT Swiss HQ in Switzerland, so despite the 5g difference in the two rims which I was mistaken about, I know what I'm talking about. sorry buddy.
  • 1 0
 100% agreed!

Running the HX491 since 2.5 years on my dh and trail bike. No problems so far Smile
  • 1 1
 That seems like silly reasoning,
DT makes rims, and sells them, poaching sales from their own lineup (assuming similar ROI, margins, etc) wouldnt make a difference to them.
If it did, theyd just put a different sticker on it, and include it in their enduro offerings.....
If those things mattered, theyd just have all their sponsored DH racers ride rims with appropriate stickers regardless of the model
  • 1 0
 An e-bike rim? The world's gone mad. Can anyone explain how a rim knows that the bike has a motor, and it's not just got a heavier/faster/more careless rider?
  • 1 0
 @spicysparkes: I completely caved the top of an ex511 with an insert and DH tire and 30 psi and the tire was totally fine as well
  • 3 0
 i have No doubt the front triangle on Nekos bikes is make by Reeb. Reeb told me they might make a dh frame in the near future. What a collab that would be!
  • 3 1
 I believe it's actually Cotic
  • 5 0
 The front end was made by Adam former Reeb employee that went on to open his own fabrication shop. So there is sorta a Reeb connection.
  • 6 0
 Always silver spokes!
  • 2 0
 DT Swiss rims have a compliance and sensitivity that make riding any bike feel so much better. You can feel the ground through them so well and they have an elastic pingyness to them thats just right.
  • 1 0
 @on-the-move 'elastic pingyness' is my new favorite band name. lol
  • 7 3
 Stop using the word alloy when referring to aluminum. Steel is also an alloy.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, that is a little pet peeve of mine as well. Alloy is such a non-specific term and could refer to literally any of the metallic materials used on bikes. The only exception I can think of would perhaps be the "CP" (Commercially Pure) titanium used on some really cheap Ti bikes in the 90s. Not sure if the Magnesium used in fork castings is an alloy either.

The point is, you're right, saying it's "alloy" with no further specifiers tells your audience nearly nothing other than its some sort of metal, and so it is a very sloppy way of offering information.
  • 1 0
 @thekaiser: Perhaps since steel is always an alloy, saying "steel alloy" is redundant. So we just say "steel".

And then, no one makes pure aluminum/aluminium (4 or 5 syllables) frames even though pure aluminum does exist. So all "aluminum" frames are made from an aluminum alloy and depending on where you're from, shortening 6 or 8 syllables down to just "alloy" makes sense and we can all agree that we know what we're saying to each other.

But don't get me started on saying e.g. "you need more compression" when we mean "you need more compression *damping*"
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: or dampening? I guess their fork ran out of oil..
  • 1 1
 Most engineers in the UK call it ally or ali. It's just short for aluminium. Maybe we'll stop when you North Americans put all the vowels in
  • 1 0
 Whoever's on camera, you may want to look at the Sony series of pro camcorders. They have a fully variable ND filter that allows you to scroll through instead of having noticeable jumps between each step. Super nice feature when you're trying to hit the correct amount of light to your sensor.
  • 5 1
 Might've missed it - Do we already know what happened to Henry's elbow?
  • 65 0
 Partying w/ Nina Hoffmann.
  • 3 0
 Skinny rims, steel frames, narrow head tubes, hard suspension - the 90's revisited! Excellent!
  • 2 1
 I will watch the video when I'm not working, but how has rim technology moved on from the EX471?

It's still my rim of choice and I'm not sure what else I should be expecting a rim to do?
  • 1 0
 I believe Henry is running that baggy t-shirt to hide the first signs of his pregnancy...by val di sole he'll be in videos whilst always standing in front of large wide objects...
  • 1 0
 Seriously, that video was one of the coolest things pinkbike has ever done. Henry clearly knows his shit and talking to people that are also on the ball and not driven by marketing is really interesting and refreshing.
  • 3 0
 Well done video with lots of cool info.
  • 2 0
 Neko's chill and knowledgeable demeanor is very inspiring, huge respect bro.
  • 1 0
 I run 2.4 tyre's on my 23mm Stan's Flows. Rear rim is dinged to hell but never had a pinch flat. Narrower especially our back is better.
  • 3 1
 Henry Brilliant interview's and insight into the top of the game! Ok Ok I'm a geek! Cheers
  • 1 2
 Interesting insights. Nicely done.

471 works and works well for compliance and reliability so why change to something that doesn't work as well!

FW.... Nico moved from a working frame after lots of testing to the latest fashion of lugs and tubes which had to invalidate lots of his testing results so now he is trying steel to try and get something reliable and a closer feel to the original alloy frame (sometimes you get something working and should just leave it, searching for marginal gains after spending countless R&D hours getting to where you are doesn't work).

Specialized... Its no secret that lower spring rates, more damping and slower rebound are coming back for the best traction. The pro's bike are insanely stiff for us normal folk as we don't push as hard as they do, we are not as strong and none of us are aggressive like a pro is.
  • 1 0
 Neko didn't move on. He partners with builders who offer to develop prototypes. The lugged frame was a collaboration with Faction Studio in Canada. His team is still racing the tested frames and Neko is testing new ideas and exploring cool new tech.
  • 1 2
 @BermSkid72: do you think steel is cool new tech?
Honestly, he has gone down the development rabbit hole and is now in freefall scatter gun approach hunting for a golden egg somewhere.
If he worked for a company the senior staff would be saying .... Calm down.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: Faction was the cool new technology You obviously don't follow his story. The steel was a fun side project and collaborations with friends.
  • 1 1
 @BermSkid72: you missed the point
  • 1 0
 Nothing reminds me more of good bike trips than seeing Tegaderm bandages on the knees and elbows. looks like you're having fun henry
  • 2 0
 Solid feature - cheers Henry
  • 2 0
 Love how in depth you get Henry!
  • 2 0
 Nice in-depth stuff. Thanks, Henry.
  • 6 8
 The bigger questions is: Why does Henry think the DT Swiss EX 471 is outdated? Is he just a slave to marketing and the need to talk about what is new just to keep his job. If they work, they work. Something better to talk about is how have we ended up with inserts. The industry wants us to believe there are better solutions only to introduce two new problems by solving one problem. We need to return to tubular tires with the insert built/sewn in.
  • 5 0
 I think that's the point in the quotations.
  • 1 0
 Prosauce absolutely killing it between Nemo’s frame and the ministry stuff, so excited to see what he does in the future
  • 2 0
 Dang, that’s some good content! Very good interviews on this one.
  • 1 0
 lol…why can’t racers learn to run proper tire pressure and set up suspension better!
  • 2 0
 Huh?
  • 1 0
 1 1/8 headtube? What’s old is new again!
  • 1 0
 Elbow pads, Henry.............you aint' no spring chicken anymore!
  • 1 0
 Great video! Thanks Hen Hen.
  • 3 1
 Outdated? Nah
  • 2 0
 25 aint dead
  • 1 0
 Aw crap….I have slowly purged all my narrow rims and now run 35 internal on almost all my bikes. Looks like I may have been too open to the ‘wide is faster’ analysis of so many journos and reviewers. I think I still like running them but I might do some more back to back with the remaining narrow rims to see if I have just been a naive victim of fashion. The Grom has 30 internal DT on his DH Canyon Sender and he … er … sends it.
  • 2 0
 @vercorin1: ride what you have as long as your tyres don't fall off
  • 2 0
 @overconfident: yep…you’re right…I often over-sweat the small stuff…but you’re on it, that’s an excellent approach….

And if you’re into cutties then wide low pressures are not A Thing, hard and narrow is.
  • 1 1
 Old doesn’t mean outdated Henry.
  • 1 0
 I run them on back
  • 1 0
 Very good video
  • 1 0
 If they work, they work
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