WTB Scraper i40 Rims - Review

Oct 6, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
WTB Scraper i40 rim review


WTB was one of the pioneers of the Plus rim and tire format, and their first rim design, the "Scraper," grew into a range that covers 26, 27.5 and 29-inch wheel formats, in both 40 and 45-millimeter inside-widths. Scraper rims are aluminum, and all are drilled with 32-holes, which are angled in the directions they need to be when laced to a hub. A shallow extrusion helps keep weight to a minimum, while preventing the rim from riding too harshly. WTB is a strong supporter of the UST bead standard. The Scraper's low-profile hooked flanges are designed to interlock with the rectangular UST bead, but will also accept conventional "tubeless ready" tire designs. The rim's drilled spoke bed is heavily reinforced in lieu of eyelets, and inside, the dropped center section is gently profiled to encourage tires to seat up tubeless with minimal fuss.

I was interested in the "narrower," i40 27.5-inch model, because I wanted the option to experiment with tires from 2.5 to 2.8 inches wide. Graciously, WTB built me up a set of wheels using White Industries XMR+ hubs and Pillar bladed spokes. The complete wheelset weighed 1920 grams, taped and with valves installed, which is a respectable figure for wheels in this category. Weight for the 27.5 Scraper i40 rim is listed at 550 grams (530g in 26" and 555g in 29") and the MSRP is $124.95 per rim in all sizes.

Scraper i40 Details:

• Use: trail, adventure, back-country touring
• Construction: 40mm inner width, aluminum, pinned joint, 32 "4D" angle-drilled spoke holes, thin-profile extrusion features UST bead-lock flange design.
• Tubeless ready design requires sealing tape
• Sizes: 26 x 40mm, 27.5 x 40mm and 45mm, 29 x 40 and 45mm
• i40 optimized for 2.8" tires, i45 optimized for 3" tires
• Claimed weight: 550g (27.5 x 40mm reviewed)
• MSRP: $124.95 USD
• Contact: WTB
WTB Scraper i40 rim review

WTB Scraper i40 rim review


Riding Impressions

WTB's Scraper i40 rim, with its slim profile and low flanges, seems too lightweight to handle a serious pounding, but I would soon discover my opinion was unfounded. Used in their intended role to support performance Plus-width tires up to 2.8 inches, the 40-millimeter inner width provides a significant degree of lateral support for tires with lightweight casings, like Schwalbe's 2.8-inch Nobby Nic, and other-worldly grip when used with heavier, more aggressive rubber, like the Maxxis 2.8-inch High Roller II. Some of the i40's lateral stability can be attributed to the rim's low flange design - a feature that was originally pioneered by Stan Koziatek to stabilize the bead-seat of tubeless tires, and provided a surprising degree of lateral support.

WTB Scraper i40 rim review
WTB's thin rim profile and low-flange design seem to provide a supple ride without sacrificing strength or cornering support.
WTB Scraper i40 rim review
The 40mm internal width rim still produces a rounded tread profile with a Maxxis 2.8" High Roller II.


Installing a tubeless tire on the i40 rim is an easy task. I got some 2.8-inch Schwalbe Nobby Nics aired up first try with a floor pump, but the Maxxis tires would not mount up without a boost pump. My go-to inflation for similar sized tires is 14 psi for the front and 18 psi for the rear tire. At those pressures, there is climbing traction a-plenty and no sense that the tires were wallowing during high-pressure cornering. So far, so good.

A broken carbon rim gave me the opportunity to push WTB's aluminum Plus rim well beyond its intended role. The i40 wheels were installed on a 170mm-travel Pivot Firebird for two months and thrashed on downhill trails. Shod with a 2.5-inch Schwalbe Magic Mary front tire and a similar size Rock Razor in the back, the wide rims did not square off the tread pattern much, while boosting cornering and straight-line grip to a noticeable degree. I expected the rims to last a week before they began to look octagonal from repeated rock strikes, but that did not occur. The rear rim suffered a cosmetic dent in the flange on an infamous rocky descent that also digested a tire, but it still runs true and spoke tension on both wheels has remained consistent.
WTB Scraper i40 rim review
A shout-out to White Industries' beautiful XMR+ hubs. The quick-engagement freehub is titanium and the bearings are micro-adjustable.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesWTB earns some cred' with their Scraper i40 rim design. It delivers the ride quality and the support that makes Plus-width tires a viable option for trail riders who want true all-terrain grip, but don't want to sacrifice shred potential on the downs. It's a sturdy, lightweight, aluminum option that offers the assurance that if you do manage to bang one up, in most cases, you'll be able to ride home before you throw it into the recycling bin.RC



66 Comments

  • + 50
 26"?? What is this, a wheelsize for ants???
  • + 3
 Yeh, the 26" rim only weighs 30 grams apparently ????
  • - 2
 "Yeah we've made the rims 1.5" bigger it's a revolutionary step forward"........no it's annoying, my bike has a 24", and a 26", and I really wonder out loud whose bad idea it was.
  • + 4
 @Kramz: you mean 1" bigger bigger, right?
  • + 1
 @Singletrackmac: I guess I shouldn't be so negative, the 24" rear wheel is laterally stiffer, but needing 2 separate everything is a bummer, and you'd think optimal bike wheel sizes would have been figured out in 1950. Can't complain though, bike's pretty sweet, couldn't build a better one myself I guess.
  • + 6
 My 26" i40's squash ants.


www.pinkbike.com/photo/15246437
  • + 3
 @Ideate: looks like damn fun bike
  • + 8
 I had White Industries hubs on my GT Lobo and loved them, especially how they looked in polished silver - you don't see many hubs that look like that anymore. I actually thought that White Ind had disappeared 20 years ago! Might have to check them out........ also the rims look .... meh!
  • + 5
 They are still around and you can even still get parts for the Speed Racer Hubs (circa1995) - Great company, just installed another of their killer freewheels on an SS.
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: awesome! My first proper bike had their cranks on it, square taper, 3 chainrings, almost new & because I knew eff all, I swapped them for deore!

Always wanted a set of either those or Hadley hubs. Do Hadley still make them too?
  • + 5
 @cunning-linguist: Hadley is still going strong!
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: Hadley are still around, balle racing is their distro.

got a 10 year old hadley SDH 150 that's going grand. Just needs a bit thicker grease for our conditions. can't say anything bad about them
  • + 3
 @cunning-linguist: Hadley is still right here in Colorado Springs.Their support is top notch, they actually pick up the phone!
  • + 2
 @E-ROG: Balle Racing is in Colorado Springs, CO...Hadley is in California

Fantastic hubs...just wish Hadley had their own website
  • + 1
 @E-ROG: epic! Good to know they are still about. I remember the times when Peaty and others would chip their sponsors off and buy their own Hadley hubs as they rolled that much quicker!
  • + 8
 I would argue that it would be almost impossible to separate rim ride quality from the tyre characteristics when running such baggy rubber. Certainly, you could rate rim strength, but ride quality?
  • + 0
 But the rim surely effect the ride feel of the tires so rim ride feel can be noticeable indirect, and few ride rims sans tires on purple so isolated rim feel is kind of theoretical?
  • + 6
 Personally I think these rims are kind of weak. I've ruined one and dented one the first ride after rebuilding the wheel. I'm kind of wondering if its more of a plus bike thing. If I run 21 lbs my wheels bounce all over...19 lbs and I crush my rims. I ride aggressively but not crazy. Any one else had similar experience. I switched to a heavier casing maxxis and still dented my rim...I've run other non-plus bike hardtails and have not experienced this issue. Not willing to run cushcore/hucknorris on a hardtail. Any one else experience this?
  • + 4
 Agreed. After spending time on plus, I'm still trying to figure out how it's advantageous to run a such a heavy tire where the only advantage stems from running pressures so low that higher speeds are wobbly and unruly. To each their own though. I suppose if you are in an area without rocks they would work. I struggle to keep my 35mm external rims dent free with 2.5 tires.
  • + 5
 @ryan83: agreed on denting 35+ external rims on 2.5's. and mounting 2.5 maxxis tires on those size rims is like wrestling yer bucktooth cousin who lives in the hill country.
  • + 3
 Yeap I've got these as well and I've already replaced the rear and that one has it share of dents in it. I know I should be running more air pressure but I've got a second set of Spank 395+ wheelset that's way tougher, running the same pressure.
  • + 4
 Yup. Got a pair of the Scrapers in 45mm, the rear one is dented to shit.
  • + 1
 On my wtb St i23 running 21 psi (I'm 125 lbs) I had managed to put a dent almost every 3 inches from one day at Killington and had snapped the rim seam while at 30 psi on a square edge. Pass on wtb rims, pass on wtb paper thin tire casings as well
  • + 2
 Maxxis tires likely don't air up easily because WTB is using their UST-like bead interface. Maybe I'm misguided, but that is the reason I've stayed away from all their rims (which is too bad because they look nice otherwise).

Anyone out there routinely airing up Maxxis tires on WTB rims who can weigh in?
  • + 2
 Only one set of tires so far, but a DHF 2.5" WT and Agressor 2.3" popped onto my WTB Asym i29 rims with no fuss at all
  • + 2
 yeah no issues on my old i25 rims. Mounting WTB tires on a Flow EX on the other hand was impossible. I think WTB tires have a slightly smaller bead diameter than others so pair up with their rims better.
  • + 1
 Yes running maxxis minions 2.8. Never had a problem airing up with a compressor, just issues with the rims lasting. That being said after my ride yesterday I burped out the rear tire and the huck norris got me home but hopefully I can add fluid and they will seal up.
  • + 1
 Misguided for sure. Plenty of their hoops out the door and never had an isssue with maxxis (most commonly sold option). Only ever had issue with some older conti tire.

Otherwise they bead up in no time flat.
  • + 1
 I have Maxxis Chronicle tires mounted to the WTB Scraper 45s for almost two years now. Thousands and thousands of miles of hard use and no trouble. I do have a good air compressor, so I can't speak to how easy they mount with a floor pump on these rims.
  • + 2
 Running minion dhf 2.8 and HRll 2.8 both inflated with track pump real easy. Actually had more issues with wtb 3.0 tyres. Will say that they're soft as shite. Don't run them on a hard tail like I do. 2 months in and there's more dents in them than on my wife's car!!!!
  • + 2
 I'm rocking the i40 rims on 26x3.0 WTB Rangers and they've been great. It is a fine line on pressures though to get everything dialed in but not dent your rim. My rear has definitely received a few now but I blame it on the tire. When the 26x2.8 Minnions come out, I'll be stoked.
  • + 2
 The 26+ Minions are super dope. They've been out since last spring but it was a limited production run. Should be back in shops in a month or two. Bought a lightly used set off a guy on PB recently. Great tires.

Able to run ~14 psi with less squirm/roll/bottoming than the Dirt Wizards at 16 psi. Nice casing... hope it proves durable in the rocky shit though. DD version might be nice..
  • + 2
 Solid, that's what I want to hear. I know they'll be sick. Yeah they've been out of stock at the local bike shop for a while, so I will run these WTB tires bald until I can get some DHR 2 in my life.
  • + 1
 @carlomdy: I think you can order them direct from the Maxxis Webstore. From distributors they are projected as being available starting 11/17, along with a slew of other tires. Come On @Maxxis ! Bring us the tires already! :-) 26+ on the hardtail has been fantastically fun, but we really need the Minions and HRII's.
Also hoping for a fast rolling 26+ option for hardpack/summer conditions, like a MinionSS, Aggressor, Tomahawk, or Rekon. Any talk of something like this coming out for 26+??
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham

So was that a 2.35" rock razor or the new 2.6" they have on their website? Any thoughts on the wider version (if that's what you used)?

Did you fit the 2.8" HR2 ok in the Firebird?
  • + 3
 Travel66: The Firebird can fit a 2.6, but it can't (and probably shouldn't) fit plus tires. We just switched out the wheels, using the same tire: 2.35" Schwalbe Magic Mary (F) and a 2.35" Rock Razor (R), both with the reinforced casings. The reason was to hand the wheels over to another test rider who could thrash the rims harder.

Schwalbe's casings measure correctly, so they look like most tire maker's 2.5's, which is probably why they worked well on such a wide rim.

I'm also interested in the 2.6" format, so l'll order some for review and report back soon
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: thanks for clarifying. Will be interesting to see what you think of the new 2.6" tyres, now there are several options from different manufacturers.
  • + 5
 26"............
  • + 2
 No 26" option, everyone is dying and saying that they still ride them.
A company releases 26" rims, everyone hates on them.
Pinkbike logic.
  • + 3
 So glad to see a company still producing 26”!
  • + 3
 But how many stairs can it hit, à la Danny McKaskill's Reserve rim?
  • + 2
 Who cares, you can buy a new one every 6 months for years when you compare the price of rims. Might wanna learn wheel building, though haha
  • + 5
 @JesseE: You missed the point.
  • + 0
 @JesseE: except for all those free replacements you’d get from Santa Cruz...
  • + 1
 Just built up a spank 395 and a dhf 2.8 for the front insanely good.going thru rock gardens with a smile won't be going back to wimpy tires ever
  • + 1
 What size does it measure up as? I'm can't be the only one who gets irritated with aspirational sizing measurements on a lot of tyre sidewalls these days. Case in point: recently ordered the new 2.6" Schwalbe MM Addix DH tyre off CRC, came with 2.5" written on the side, but measures up exactly the same size as the 2.35" MM that I just pulled off it.
  • + 0
 I run these rims with 2.8 Maxxis minion and highroller on my steel hardtail, Genesis tarn 20, they're a great combination, grip for days.
  • + 0
 Thank you for the review. It is interesting read for me. I feel that plus size would benefit mostly hardtails which is what I ride.
  • + 2
 So, I guess all the cool names for products are taken?
  • + 3
 I for one appreciate WTB's transparency in naming.
  • + 1
 These rims came on my Big Honzo DL. No complaints..
  • + 1
 I was always wondering why is WTB called WTB if they make no bikes?
  • + 1
 SO that's what WTB stands for.
  • + 4
 You mean Wilderness Trail Bikes?
  • + 1
 @slumgullion: if your talking about their saddles, Way Too Boxy. At least for my butt.
  • + 0
 Micro-adjustable bearings? Please tell me it's not like Mavic !...
  • + 1
 Shimano...
  • + 1
 What a "supple ride"?
  • + 2
 It involves lots of candles and Barry White.
  • + 0
 Does Steve Potts ride these rims?
  • + 1
 Steve Potts doesn't ride much of anything since his surgery.
  • - 2
 I always assumed it stood for Women's Traction: Butt

They have made a few seats.
  • - 1
 Friends don't let friends go backcountry riding without 40mm rims on 2.8s.
  • + 5
 ugh you're so 2016.
  • - 2
 @scottzg: "Friends don't let friends..." is so 1983, brah.

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