Does Boost Spacing Really Make a Stronger Wheel?

Apr 27, 2017 at 11:04
by AJ Barlas  
We’ve heard enough about wheels and standards relating to them in recent times that it could send us to the looney bin. It really was the main thing to note at Sea Otter—every man and his dog are either starting a wheel brand or pushing “new” wheels to the audience. But what if there was a different take on how to make wheels stiffer and stronger? Is it possible that many of these wheel makers are, more or less, just following each other around in circles (no pun intended) on this whole Boost 110/148 thing? One man, American Classic's Bill Shook, thinks so.

American Classic 2017

It was with a similar borderline insanity that I stumbled over—not from drinking, but rather, fatigue, thanks to a busy week and having dealt with wheels enough to last anyone a lifetime—to the American Classic booth. However, when I arrived I was greeted by Bill, who shortly after greeting me went on to share his concept behind what actually makes a strong wheel, and that from his research, everyone is using Boost to do nothing more than generating a wider flanged, but still problematic system.

Bill’s research led him to go with a more symmetrical front and rear wheel. He moved the rear wheel's disc side out 6mm, which resulted in the center of the hub moving 3mm, creating a rear wheel with the rim sitting almost symmetric between the hub flanges. On the front Bill designed a new axle to work with the Boost spacing, which resulted in a total of 10mm being added to the non-disc side of the hub, also creating an almost symmetric spacing.

American Classic 2017
The drive-side flange on the rear hub was left in place, rather than shifting it over 3mm...
American Classic 2017
And on the front the disc side flange has moved out 3mm to create a more symmetric front wheel.

So where does the idea for all of this come from and how is a slightly narrower flanged, symmetric wheel actually stronger than a wider one that creates a larger bracing angle for the spokes? The theory around conventional Boost wheels makes a lot of sense to many, but Bill has a fairly insightful point to add. He notes that when the stats for the Boost width flanged wheels are made, it’s in relation to a static wheel, and from this perspective, he agrees that they are indeed a stronger wheel. The problem is that we ride our bikes (hopefully) and that movement on a wheel puts varying forces into the wheel at different points, so why are we looking at stats from a static test?

When riding a set of wheels different loads are going through the spokes. Bill notes that when rolling the spokes are loaded from the top and at the bottom, the load is relieved. As a result, the tension in the spokes is constantly moving up and down as the wheel rolls. A non-symmetrical triangulation (dish) in the wheel generates a pull from side to side, a result of the tension moving unequally because of a lack of symmetry. With that said, if a wheel is going to be used (as in, if we were to look at the numbers for a dynamic test), Bill has found that a stiffer wheel can be created from a symmetrical setup, with the axial tension changing the same amount on each side and the rim remaining in the center. If the non-drive side were pulled out, creating an unequal dish, then as the tension in the spokes goes up and down the rim will be pulled over, releasing tension every time. This is one of the causes of wheels going out of true—a symmetric wheel will stay true better because it is not moving the rim around as it is ridden.

American Classic 2017
  American Classic believe that there is enough 'triangulation' with Boost spacing to work on symmetry, rather than making spokes wider.


The flipside to this is that the flange spacing can be too narrow, creating a wheel that is not stiff enough and Bill is the first to admit this, but with the current measurements, American Classic believe that going for symmetry over the wider bracing angle afforded with boost, is of more benefit to riders. Bill says that Boost is a good thing, thanks to the extra space allowing the spacing to be shifted and worked within, while still granting enough triangulation in the wheel.

We also asked Bill why not utilize an asymmetric rim in an effort to achieve the same thing. He noted that while it is possible to gain greater spoke symmetry with an asymmetric rim, it's not the best way to do so when considering function and wheel life. Asymmetric wheels need to be very off center in order to achieve the same amount of symmetry and this creates a twisting motion in the rim itself. That twisting will cause fatigue to the rim quicker than a rim without it.

At the end of the day, everyone is trying to make a stronger wheel with Boost and Bill Shook’s alternate theory is a compelling one. Yes, Boost 148 affords a better spoke bracing angle but the holy grail of wheel building has always been evenly tensioned spokes. It's a bit of a wonder why our industry seemed to put all of the cards on pushing the hub flanges out and improving the bracing angle when they could have done as Bill seems to have here and created a wheel with less dish and more evenly tensioned spokes.

Of course, absent a dynamic test that compares a Boost 110/148 wheelset with an identical wheelset (in terms of materials and lacing patterns) featuring American Classic's approach, it's impossible to say exactly where the truth lies at this point. The likes of Yoann Barelli and Cècile Ravanel, however, are putting these American Classic wheels to the test on the Enduro World Series this year… If we’re looking for further proof of the concept, perhaps we should start by keeping and eye on how those riders fare on American Classic's wheels.

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213 Comments

  • + 395
 "Of course, absent a dynamic test that compares. . ."
Give me data or eat dicks, industry. Even then I don't care that much. 0.4% stiffer and 0.2% stronger wheel? Wow! Let's see what difference adding a few mm here and there makes, and then let's see who really cares other than a pro looking to shave fractions of a second off a run time.
  • + 318
 “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” - W. Edwards Deming
  • + 137
 Agreed, when I saw the title I was like "sweet Pinkbike got some empirical evidence!" and.... nope.
  • + 30
 Thanks for stating what I was thinking. If a company won't show it's comparative data (I know they all buy each other's stuff to test) to some reasonable competitors they aren't getting a cent from me. This industry hype, media sh*t is such a bummer. We could actually be discussing true advancements and not some fake news.
  • + 4
 Hubs have to have some dimensions to them, so why not try to give them the best geometry?

No one is saying you need to discard your current hubs because they're a horrible failure, then run out and buy these. If you're buying new hubs anyway, why not buy ones with a smarter design?

I agree with the Evo6 offset rear design, but I disagree with narrower flanges and symmetry. My preference is for flanges pushed out to the maximum width, combined with different spoke gauges on either side to balance the forces. This works for lateral forces and ignores radial issues, which I think is a valid approach for mountain bikes; road bikes may benefit from symmetry, though Campagnolo/Fulcrum and Shimano wheels with 2:1 spoking and maximum bracing angles beg to differ.
  • - 2
 Egg zackly.

Marketing: find some angle the rubes don't grok, then mess with it in some irrelevant way and sell it as progress. It is great to want symmetry but bad to prioritize symmetry over common sense. The static analysis is correct wrt stiffness and load and wider flanges rule.

Would have been nice to see an interview on this between Bill Shook and Bontrager, just to see Bill get torn a new one.
  • + 37
 This article is crap. Less words, more pictures and math.
  • + 24
 "When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind" -Lord Kelvin
  • - 6
flag snowcrash19 (May 4, 2017 at 13:14) (Below Threshold)
 Eat dicks. Welcome to cycling.

Seriously though data is a valid point, however if we head down that route your just going to get something equivalent to the Tri crowd where every wheel is the "most aero" or fastest thing you've ever seen. Initially the data is relevant to its own wheel - IE an AC hub pre and post Boost. Then you can compare the data against each other. This would require a 3rd party.

However valid your points are this is pretty much the best realy world testing your going to get. EWS Elites... "The likes of Yoann Barelli and Cècile Ravanel, however, are putting these American Classic wheels to the test on the Enduro World Series this year…"
  • + 12
 "This is one of the causes of wheels going out of true—a symmetric wheel will stay true better because it is not moving the rim around as it is ridden." An article that argues on logic and physics makes such a bold assumption. Sorry, that's just bullshit.
BTW Cannondale achieved all things in question (perfectly symmetric wheel with 142mm hubs) with their Ai Drivetrain, it wasn't proprietary either. Still neigher the industry nor the magazines or customers really jumped onto the train.
  • + 11
 @MatthewCarpenter: the Ai Drivetrain is awesome but it doesn't force people to buy new wheels they don't understand Smile The responses to this article prove it.
  • + 4
 Boost or no boost, am carbon rims crack for fun.
  • + 4
 If the spokes are alternated and pull at different angles (left and right) won't it still vibrate as he describes?

Maybe we should all get some Crankbros Cobalt wheels to avoid the wheel vibration that noone has ever noticed or seen in testing.
  • + 6
 @MatthewCarpenter: Isn't Hope now doing the same with their prototype bike?
  • + 12
 Agreed...
Furthermore, I don think the pros even care much. Pay for travel, supply equipment, write a paycheck, keep them racing bikes and away from a desk job.....pros will ride what ever is given to them (within a pretty wide breadth of reason). My few data points (talking to the few pros I have met) reflect this sentiment.
  • + 27
 @duro1: if you ever want to see what the "best" ride, find an ex-pro with no more sponsor obligations. it's funny once those disappear the frankenstein bikes that they put together. They have contacts and the cash to get what they want, and they will run the best. It also shows what matters and what doesn't.
  • + 61
 @RONDAL: THAT would be a cool pinkbike article: Unsponsored Pro Bikecheck.
  • + 10
 @MatthewCarpenter: No kidding. I wish people would look past all of Cannondale's past "look at me" innovations and give AI a fair shot. I've seen Boost, and AI is superior in every way.

cannondale.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219101107-Ai-Asymmetric-Integration

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfLcSIHeZK8

and as far as all the parts you need to convert your existing wheelset to AI
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTfZfvDdj3Q
  • + 8
 Data is cool, but percentages suck! When I buy a product, I want to know how good it is, not how much they've improved over the last version.
You may get a wheel which stiffness was improved by 200%, if that is to bump from marshmallow to silicon, it'll still be shit.
Maths and numbers are very cool , but you gotta be super careful when you use then for one can get figures to say anything.. while always remaining true.
  • + 3
 @j-t-g: yep,...where's the 3rd party testers at and who's gonna pay em?
  • + 1
 Added some data below.
  • + 27
 Wow. MTB'rs are so jaded by the wheel thing that a small innovator using straightforward common sense, and time-proven, real-world evidence that evenly-tensioned spokes build the strongest, most durable wheel get this kind of negative response? You'd think the guy a) invented Boost, and b) forced everyone to buy it.

Bill has some of the simplest, best solutions in the wheel world. For Example... for years now while everyone else has either had to wrestle and curse to pry a well-used cassette off their gouged aluminum freehub body, or run a heavy full-steel one, Bill said hey why don't we just use some thin steel pieces on the freehub splines so you can remove a cassette without a jackhammer? Weight gain, 5g? Problem solved. Ditto his use of nice tall hub flanges for a stiffer, stronger wheel. Shook deserves FAR more credit for simple, strong solutions than he's getting here. The guy didn't lead some Boosty-Boost-or-Eat-Toots brigade - he just made the best use of current options.
  • + 5
 @RONDAL: I couldn't agree more. I'm certainly no Pro (or ex-Pro) but all my bikes are what many would consider Frankenstein​ bikes, because once you get over all the brand name hype and start picking components that are the best for your riding style, home terrain, and personal taste in fun, then it becomes obvious that no single brand or brand group makes all the "best for you" components and that there is more to being a good component than having the lightest weight, most stiffness, or being the newest standard.
  • + 11
 @RONDAL: I few of my riding buddies where pros. Their insight is quite enlightening. The way they ride a bike even when they are in quote "terrible" shape will put you in your place in a hurry as well. Nothing like having a guy on a 15 plus year old clapped out 26" hardtail with 2.0 Super Sonics, rim brakes, and a blown fork smoke you on every climb and descent.
I don't need bigger wheels, tires, carbon frames, slack and low geometry. I need skills camps and bigger balls. Oh there's that something in my head that needs removed as well. Then maybe just maybe, I could be fast on a bike.
Damnit who am I trying to kid. The industry says I can't go fast without a $10,000 carbon 29er enduro, boosty everything bike.
Thats ok because I'm 40 and it's all Dh for here!
  • + 8
 Here we go again. What a bag of shite. I've never broken a wheel in my life. Bryson Martin said same in his interview last week. Wheels are strong enough as is. Axles were fine at 20x110. Stop fixing stuff that isn't broken FFS!
  • + 2
 This same issue was dealt with by a local bike company here in SA two years ago. They shifted the hub spacing in their frame to change the chainline and have a more even wheel dish, effectively killing two birds with one stone. AND its done without the need for proprietary hubs or parts, just the "normal" 142x12 axle.

www.bikehub.co.za/features/_/gear/previews/first-look-pyga-stage-mx-and-plus-five-chain-line-concept-r2401
  • + 5
 Hence....26"aintdead
  • + 3
 @teamcliff: Pace did this nearly 30 years ago. I expect someone did it before that. I've never understood why asymmetric rear triangles didn't catch on.
  • + 2
 @teamcliff: It looks really smart but I am left wondering is this OK for XC but not for AM? How compromised is the strength of the rear triangle or maybe not at all?
  • + 4
 Every few years the industry is changing a standard, and it really is for change's sake. Boost is, first and foremost, a strategy to stop people from carrying over wheel sets from one frame/bike to another. There are work-arounds, but most of the people are looking for plug-and-play.
  • + 1
 @Travel66: Difficult to say I guess - I would expect the strength difference is negligible, as the rim/tire is still centred on the frame? Most CS are asymmetric in design if not at the hub spacing anyway, to account for clearance issues at the chain ring/front mech.
  • + 1
 @teamcliff: I didn't know that...I guess if it makes no difference then they all might as well crack on with sorting it so we can stop stretching our chains across to the big sprockets and have some asymmetric wheels...dodging the patents would be a big score bike brands.
  • + 2
 I am groot?....
  • + 2
 @Bikethrasher: like i said, they also show you what matters and what doesn't. you don't need to be on the bleeding edge to enjoy riding your bike. I would actually argue that being on the bleeding edge takes away the enjoyment.
  • + 1
 On point@caveley:
  • + 1
 @Travel66: how much of a problem were the old 142 hubs? These will be better than those.
  • + 3
 equal spoke tension always makes sense. Seems he's countered the shorter bracing angle by just making the hub flanges massive. I always wondered why companies didn't do that. Tooling costs I guess?
  • + 1
 Eat dicks industry my favorite line of the year. I do appreciate progression but hang your ever-changing standards in the tree of dicks and pick as many as you like.
  • + 50
 Marketing ....
  • + 43
 Welllllll not actually. Bill's on the right track here. Equal spoke tension is what increases the strength of a wheel more than anything, ask anyone who builds wheels. Not needing to dish wheels makes them stronger.
  • - 1
 BTBS... Baffle Them w Bull Sh*t...
  • + 16
 my rear 150mm reverse efs hub does exactly this, it nothing new as my hope pro2 150mm rear hub also did it. It builds a stronger wheel as forces are equal. Its been known for years.
  • - 3
 Market-chaching$$$$$$$$
  • - 1
 @mnorris122: engineers are liars ... I know that because I'm on of them lol
  • + 5
 @bat-fastard: Boost will, in my opinion, turn into super boost in a few years. Removing the dish and being able to equalize spoke tension is going to be the answer to wheel stiffness issues.
  • - 1
 @mnorris122: A boost wheel with an offset rim has equal spoke tension...and wider flanges. So it is better.
  • + 2
 @Lastpikd: not sure how wide flanges need to be there is a point they will start to get weaker when too wide. I think the new 20mm boost with equal spaced flanges for the front might be wide enough. The 150mm rear with short 7 speed freehub of the reverse efs has the spoke a quite an angle. Some proper testing needs to be done to show optimum strengths.
  • + 6
 @MisterJones: Bad engineer then
  • + 1
 Yip, pretty much marketing. Similar to Samsung/Apple pushing the latest and greatest every year. Deeming your previous version of the same device as obsolete
  • - 1
 @parallaxid: The article speaks to this point and talks about the offset rim twisting so it is not ideal for long term use.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: Well, his argument against asymmetric rims is rim fatigue? When was the last time anyone heard of a rim failing in fatigue? impact, sure, braking surface wear, sure. not fatigue
  • + 1
 @Lastpikd: Super Boost is already here. TBH it's what Boost should have been to begin with. New standards aren't bad. It's the half-measures. nsmb.com/articles/super-boost-plus-better
  • + 2
 Boost is making shorter chainstays on bikes. That is the best thing it does !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 @Lastpikd: my 1997 Cannondale perp had a 150 millimeter rear spacing Hub. Long before the invention of boost. I also believe the Norco aurum has a 157 rear spacing
  • + 1
 @MrDiamondDave: Wait. Everybody rides longer fronts and longer RC/CS are getting more and more popular.
  • + 1
 @MrDiamondDave: no it doesn't. it's a bogus claim. the shortest chainstays on 29ers are still on bikes without boost (Canfield riot, process 111, specialized enduro...), and those haven't gone shorter once they switched to boost as well. Most boosted up models have longer chainstays than 430mm.
  • + 40
 Article: You don't need Boost hubs.

Side Panel: Click here to buy Boost hubs!
  • + 16
 That's not actually what it says, it says equal tension is more important than bracing angle, it's still easier to do this on boost hubs and maintain more bracing angle, whether the width is optimal or not remains to be seen. I do not even slightly buy this incremental, bit by bit change of standards, because "the market has to be eased into change", the main motivation to not make drastic changes is to continually make obsolete the used bike market.
  • + 32
 Boost spacing is kinda like the waterproof rating on your watch... Sure, Brand A is waterproof to 100 meters but wow...!! Brand B can go to 200 meters!!! Inconsequential in every day life...
  • + 15
 Dang 200m, what watch is that haha
  • - 4
flag piersgritten (May 4, 2017 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @JPickel: this one:http://www.thewatchhut.co.uk/casio/mens-casio-g-shock-military-black-alarm-chronograph-watch-ga-100mb-1aer-ga-100mb-1aer.html?utm_source=google-products&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=shoppingfeeds&source=google-products&gclid=Cj0KEQjwoqvIBRD6ls6og8qB77YBEiQAcqqHexdisye4AoW2PZ4UdmlpKsz4CyEYRl8MAzUctznZifsaAkPR8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
  • + 48
 @piersgritten: I remember my first hyperlink
  • + 1
 @greasecheese7: First laugh of the day - thanks
  • - 1
 100M does not mean meters. 100M you can wash your hands. 200M maybe snorkel.
  • + 23
 Wait, so this is just an opinion article from only one mfg, without actual testing numbers talking about stiffness on wheels or frames? Or talking about the added benefit of frame tire clearance? Come on PB, I thought you were better than that. We want to nerd out here.
  • + 10
 With all due respect, it's common sense that a wheel built with symmetrical design and equal spoke lengths will be stronger.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: It is, but will it provide a difference in real-life useage? As pointed out at some other comments already, it doesn't matter to 99% of the customers to get like 0.5% more stiffness in your wheel, you won't even notice. And Boost is only half of the truth, take a look at the Evo6 standard of Syntace. Same O.L.D., better spacing. Not even to mention why they couldn't just have modified the old 150mm DH standard...

Marketing bullocks, I'm running 150mm and 142mm rear spacing on my bikes and I don't see myself changing to another 'standard' soon, as the industry seemingly isn't able to provide the physical-wise best solution yet. So why upgrade to an almost equally retarded (engineer-wise) system?

Coming up about wheel stiffness: Buy a pair of Lightbicycle rims (or similar) and be happy with rock hard wheels, much more than that what every aluminium rim with perfect spacing could ever provide. Get some Huck Horris, too and enjoy like 3x the limetime of you aluminium rims, too. In the end the costs over some years aren't higher than running a light aluminium wheelset.
  • + 1
 @Highclimber: It actually makes a large difference where wheel tension is concerned, and equal tension results in a more stable wheel that is less prone to being thrown out of true due to the large mismatch in tension between drive and brake side currently. As a former mechanic, the 'best' wheels I built were the ones closest to equal tension, these lasted the longest as well, which is expected given the loads we see (jumping and DH tend to pull wheels out of true pretty quick compared to all other forms of cycling, mostly due to moment loads being applied along the axis). Equal tension should be the goal for us, but it appears we aren't there, and instead as you illustrate are focusing on silly 'improvements' that do little to actually improve things.

You running LB wheels? May give them a try this year.
  • + 1
 @Highclimber: I agree, especially when running carbon hoops. Aluminum 29" rear wheels could use extra stiffness and strength, but that's about it.
  • + 23
 Bill is right; boost gives you more space to play around with designs, and whether symmetric or traditional dish is better is besides the point.

HOWEVER, our issue as bike riders this that 148 is completely unnecessary, and 15mm thru-axles were also completely unnecessary. There already were wider rear hub standards and 20mm thru-axles!!!!!
  • + 8
 Fox and SRAM change standards all the time not for performance but to get rid of the smaller guys.
  • + 3
 All they needed to do was make 142 into 150 (add 8mm) and then add 4mm to the offset of cranks rather than the 3mm that was added to match 148.
  • + 1
 Disagree on QR15. It basically replaced 9mm QR and 20mm for everything that isn't a department store bike or a dual down crown DH fork. These fringes are hardly calling the technical shots. No more squidly 9mm shit on XC bikes and no more bulky 20mm on your trail bike.
  • + 9
 @miff: bulky 20mm? Really? It's almost exactly the same! On the fox 36 RC2 (which is the best fork you can get), it is more bulky at 15mm!

15mm is the biggest bag of shit ever. Even more so than boost!
  • + 1
 I don't understand his design though : look at all the unused space next to the disk, he could have fitted all that in a 142mm axle
  • + 3
 @miff: no reason XC couldn't go 20mm. I think the weight difference is what 30 grams over 15mm? 20mm being bulky is rich. Nothing wrong with more clamping force.
  • + 3
 @jaydawg69: it's actually a lighter axle(thinner wall, yet stiffer significantly) and can be made to a lighter overall assembly. XTR had 20mm hubs when they thought it would go in that direction, but alas, new 15mm axle means more sales, and tougher for the rest to follow. Here we now are with 15mm forks everywhere.
  • + 3
 @atrokz: the industry is completely messed up and is actually biting them in the ass. So many people are sitting on the sidelines not buying bikes waiting for standards to clear up. Industry should work on geo instead of these small incremental improvements.
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: agree. I was due for a new frame this year, but I'l hold out with my ludite-bike Process 134 with those antiquated 142 hubs that add an additional 30 minutes onto an hour loop.
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: pretty much everything decent was 20mm in 2010.

Depending on setup, for example with a hope hub and fox 36, 20mm is lighter than 15mm.

The weight issue is a smoke screen.

Some of this companies should be putting their money behind teaching people to ride properly, or making trails. You know, something that actually makes a difference. Instead all we get is "NEW! 1.6g lighter than last year and it's 0.4% stiffer! And it's light orange! Which is awesome! Because our pros use it!"
  • + 17
 Brilliant. Ask any wheel builder what makes a strong wheel and they'll say "equal spoke tension". Not having to dish wheels is great, as is only needing to keep one length of spoke on hand in case of breakage.
  • + 3
 A more accurate answer would be "higher tension on the low-tension side". With highly asymmetrical spoke angles, the low-tension side has to be very low if you don't want to destroy the high-tension side, so we're largely talking about the same thing, but it's better to understand why equal spoke tension tends to work.

Another great solution is to max out the flange spacing and use 2:1 spoking: both sides would have the best possible bracing angle and both sides could carry maximum tension.
  • + 18
 Isn't this what Hope has done with their HB.211 bike? It has a symmetric rear wheel with relatively narrow spacing (130mm?). So a stronger wheel than boost.
  • + 24
 It's exactly what they did, hope knows their shit, and for that reason, I seem to be one of the few people on this thread who believes this guy. Boost is just marketing hype. Just like plus size and numerous other things.
  • + 3
 Haven't the Last FF's been employing the same thinking, but with a 135mm hub?
  • + 9
 @piersgritten: Plus size can be a fun ride. Wait, are we talking bikes or... I'll see myself out.
  • + 4
 Not a new concept, my 2004 Big Hit had an asymmetric rear triangle & used undished wheels. Making the rear end of the bike asymetric has it's own challenges, but IMO, is better than boost or offsetting the hub in this case.
  • + 4
 @groghunter: maybe we should just move to 8 speed drivetrains so we can have more width for the driveside flanges Smile

The whole axel thing has not made one ride of mine better.
  • + 1
 I think the point is, old style 135 or 142 dished wheels are strong enough as is. Know what I mean? There was nothing wrong with them. It is change for the sake of selling more units.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: And Pace did it in 1989.
  • + 2
 @jaame: I always found 29ers with the old wheel spacing were inherently flexy and rode like shit. I was under the impression the new standards where really designed for this issue, and as we now see, the whole industry is keen to push 29ers as the one bike does it all...so this issue needed addressing. Some of the recent 29ers I've ridden are super stiff with zero wheel flex when diggin it hard into corners.

Just my 2c
  • + 1
 @piersgritten: did you ride an early 29er without Boost? Have you ridden a newer 29er with Boost. The difference is notable. It's not hype. Old 29er wheels where super flexy, new Boost ones aren't.
  • + 3
 Do you believe Hope have set up a carbon frame manufacturing plant, or is it more likely that this bike is built by someone else and rebadged? If Hope are just bringing a 27.5 bike to market when the rest are about to go 29 that may be part of the answer about their mentality. From all the actual riding I have done, I can't be persuaded that Boost hasn't stiffened up 29er wheels, and with the big brands going this way I think it's here to stay.

If you want to get really annoyed, probably worth looking at why 157 super Boost isn't being adopted by all for the rear end - the answer is they don't have the manufacturing knowledge and capabilities without serious investment. The longer this goes on, the more it looks like 27.5 was the new standard that f*cked everyone. Not boosting wheels.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: I have had a factory tour and seen the manufacturing plant. Such a great brand and an awesome factory
  • + 10
 He may actually be right.

Some typical bracing angles for the Non-Drive-Side / Drive-Side for a 29er wheel:

142 hub w/ symmetrical rim, standard position: 7.4/4.4
142 hub w/ asymmetrical rim, standard position: 6.8/4.9
142 hub w/ symmetrical rim, symmetrical position: 5.9/5.9
148 hub w/ symmetrical rim, standard position: 7.9/5.2

Comparing the NDS / DS lateral stiffness of the latter three to the first:

142/asym/standard: -16%, +24%
142/sym/sym: -36%, +80%
148/sym/standard: +14%, +40%

Sum each set and you get:

+8% total stiffness from the same hub with an asymmetric rim
+43% total stiffness from a hub that allows symmetric rim positioning
+54% total stiffness from Boost with no other changes

It's probably better to have a bit less stiffness distributed equally than a more lopsided distribution of greater total stiffness. Bracing angle symmetry would also make for a stronger wheel because you could use more aggregate spoke tension in assembly, and durability (a lower likelihood of spokes, nipples, rims, and flanges failing from fatigue) would be higher.

This isn't relevant for most people. Wheel failures and complaints about stiffness are few and far between. If you're one of the outliers (some combination of 29er wheels, thin/light/alloy rims, speed, weight, rough terrain, and jumps), though, Bill's proposal might be worth a harder look.

Ref: www.noxcomposites.com/sites/default/files/offset-comparison.png
Ref: www.kstoerz.com/freespoke/fullcalc
Ref: ISO Hub Specifications and Wheel Building Information - Chris King
  • + 7
 A correction: I misread his approach. He's using Boost spacing, but adding the extra 6mm to one side of the axle instead of pushing the flanges apart, then re-dishing the wheel to keep it in the same place. The result isn't quite symmetric, but it's close.

NDS/DS: 6.1/5.7
Compared: -32%, +68%
Aggregate: +36%

Not quite as rosy as before, but still preferable from a wheelbuilding perspective.
  • + 1
 @alexdi: Sweet. Thanks for the numbers. I am too lazy to work that out myself.

How does the asymmetric super boost plus pencil out?
  • + 3
 @captaingrumpy:

DH 150/157, symmetric rim: 6.7/6.3
-18%, +105% = +87%

SB+ 157, symmetric rim: 9.0/6.3
+48%, +105% = +153%

SB+ 157, asymmetric rim: 8.5/6.8
+33%, +139% = +171%

I'm assuming a 2.4mm offset for the asymmetric rim, though I've seen a few north of 2.8mm.

Incidentally, AC's approach is very similar to Cannondale Ai:

cannondale.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219101107-Ai-Asymmetric-Integration

... except that rather than repositioning 142 flanges on a 148 axle, they shifted the entire 142 hub 6mm to the right. The wheel's lateral stiffness is the same either way, though the thinner Ai triangle probably weighs a little less and twists a little more.
  • + 3
 I really wish this site would let me edit posts. There's a nuance to the Nox methodology I missed on the first go that exaggerated some of the numbers.

i.imgur.com/rXEZrSF.png

Here's a second try. This time I'm comparing everything to a hypothetical 142 wheel with an asymmetrical rim offset large enough to allow for equal bracing angles. This model wheel is equally stiff from both sides. The percentages in the "relative" columns represent how much more or less stiff each wheel is from the model wheel. The sum column aggregates both sides to convey relative total stiffness.
  • - 3
 WHO FUKCING CARES?
  • + 1
 @alexdi: so am I right in deducing that the Pivot Switchblade (super Boost Plus originators?) with Reynolds asymmetric hoops is offering the unrivalled stiffness they desire, while also using standard Boost cranks...and with super short rear stays. Winning package.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: For a given spoke configuration and rim material/profile, an SB+ rear wheel with an asym. rim will be the stiffest available in aggregate. I can't speak for the rest of that particular bike.
  • + 1
 @jaame: care because...

Spoke geometry is the basis for evaluating an aspect of wheel design. We can distinguish marketing bs from superior design. Clever design means better product, you pick: lighter, stronger or cheaper. Like free money. Or you put your head in a hole and ride what you are given.

@alexdi: thank you so much for the effort, and for revisiting the numbers. Your latest numbers look right to me, the ac symmetric flanges built on boost width are (of course) better than any 142 approach.

But its a waste to not also extend the flanges whenever possible. They are not as stiff as normal dished boost, and much less stiff than super boost plus.

Stiffness ain't the whole story though. Real issue is how much does spoke tension rise with a side load. The bigger bracing angle reduces the increase in tension. Spokes break from overload.

Thought experiment for those that think this ac approach makes sense: suppose you 'undished' a current 142 hub by moving the rotor side flange in? Anyone think that's a good idea?

(note I'm just talking strength here because that's why mtb wheels break, not fatigue even though I suspect the stronger wheel will also fatigue less)
  • + 3
 @alexdi: @alexdi: and that is exactly why I took my 142 rear wheel, dropped a 6mm axle spacer on the NDS + under the rotor flange and dished the wheel by 3mm so that it would fit my new frame with 148mm spacing... could keep my "old" rear wheel and got almost identical spoke tension in the process.

www.wolftoothcomponents.com/collections/wheels-and-hubs/products/boostinator
  • + 1
 @raschaa: nice idea!
  • + 10
 Symmetrical lacing is so much stronger! as a wheelbuilder (with a bmx background) i applaud this. not if only they'd make rims that dont implode.
  • + 7
 My wheels have lasted a whole lot longer, and stayed true, ever since I started inflating my tires to a pressure that prevents rim impacts. I'd go through a wheelset per year with a few impacts, but with higher pressures, after 6mo my wheels are totally true. I'm bigger than normal (190lb riding weight), on Flow Mk3's, and charge harder than the average rider in my area on very rocky terrain with lots of jumping.
  • + 11
 In other words I just don't think this matters to most riders. 2% increases in stiffness don't mean much when there's an 80% chance of your wheel falling apart after 4 months if you whack it on a rock real hard. So yeah...quit with the new standards.
  • + 1
 A 2% increase in stiffness when you're running 58mm wide tyres at 23psi.

Hahaha.

And 160mm of suspension!

Hahaha!
  • + 6
 When I initially heard of Boost I assumed the goal was to reduce the dish in the rear wheel, as dish and the resulting asymmetry in spoke tension are a major factor affecting wheel integrity. When I learned that this wasn't the case I couldn't wrap my head around it. Sure, it's hard to quantify the benefit of wider triangulation vs. more even distribution of spoke tension, but every wheel I have owned and built that had an asymmetrical rim has stayed true almost indefinitely, while the same can't be said for standard rims in my experience. This is purely anecdotal and there are a ton of variables, but it is pretty well known that more even spoke tension tends to build a wheel that will stay true for longer. Either way, an interesting topic for wheel nerds
  • + 6
 The only reason I would care about stronger wheel builds than 142 can achieve is if the weight of the rims came down significantly, cause right now a well built wheel using 142 hubs has never given me any problems in all my years riding poorly at 200lb. For instance, if you could get alu rim weights down under 450 for i30 rims, while having reinforced sidewalls on the rim to keep the dents out that'd be a reason to buy into boost earlier than I have to.
  • + 6
 " Bill says that Boost is a good thing, thanks to the extra space allowing the spacing to be shifted and worked within, while still granting enough triangulation in the wheel. "

so the article is simply about:
zero-dish hubs are best.
  • + 10
 MTBing was so much better when we had no internet! #crybabieseverywhere
  • + 1
 It's actually the best right now, cause the bikes are so damn good. But it was better not ever thinking about standards, just how rad your new parts were gonna be and what bike you'd put the old ones on. No more beaters shall be built.
  • + 5
 @JesseE: LOL speak for yourself. Smile All your 26" parts are belonging to ME!
  • + 1
 You can have'em, if I have any left haha
  • + 5
 Tom Ritchey did this years ago with his 'zero dish' wheelset, for the same reasons, so it's not new. If the industry manages to figure out the gearbox thing then you can have 1 cog in the back with a wide, zero dish wheel. Until then we get asymmetry vs zero dish but narrower as our choices
  • + 6
 Well wonder what supid standards will happen next?
How about putting disks on the right and drive on the left, do hope no one in the bike industry is reading this?
  • + 8
 1,000 Scrabble points for working "triangulation" in there a few times.
  • + 4
 Yep - Pivot invented super boost 2.0 and Syntace makes the only reasonable conclusion out of "boost" with their EVO6. Good job. Amercan classic wheels are great, but their rims are bit on the light side, prone for dents. I'd love to see a strong rim and their symetrical built go for race.
  • + 3
 I literally scrolled down through this article expecting to see numbers, tests or calculations of any sort to answer this question. All I saw were words, so I know, beyond a doubt, that nothing actually gets answered here- which frankly, is disappointing.
  • + 5
 Syntace (germany)is the company where the smart people work. They did there own design on stupid sram 12mm axle and called there design X-12, you all heared of it. Those guys saw boost coming but make it far better with what they called EVO-6.

prime-mountainbiking.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/boost-evo6-naben-standard-6.jpg
  • + 1
 @Bahlman: Guerrilla Gravity does that also (and actually released it before Syntace)
  • + 1
 @Bahlman: Good stuff, thanks!
  • + 2
 One the YT Jeffsy, Boost Spacing was not used for strength. The Head designer stated the strength of 142mm spacing, especially for a trail bike, is sufficient. Rather, Boost Spacing was used to widen the BB area of the bike to move the chainring outside of the edge of the tire. With more chainring clearance, they were able to shorten up the rear end. Personally, I have noticed no difference in stiffness. My Capra with 142mm spacing is far stiffer than my Jeffsy. Some DH riders want the rear spacing more narrow than 150mm, to fit through tighter lines. Stiffness from a frame and carbon wheels is more important than spacing.
  • + 2
 I opneed this expecting to see a FEA report. Pre and post stress test results table. Spoke tension analysis. Times to show me they were faster. Analysis on stiffness v speed. Complete statistical analysis, declaration of materials and thicknesses etc. Come on bike industry. Put some engineering and some science in behind this. Smile
  • + 1
 I work closely with a global wheel brand. What you want is the Crown Jewels, which if made public would probably result in everyone, even dicks like Garmin building wheels. The top companies do their R&D...the cheap companies just copy once the new standard has established. And the ones who can't compete with the new tech come up with their own ideas....a bit like this solution above. I think buying wheels from a company that only makes wheels is a safe place to start. Screw the "Me Too" brands hanging on their coat tails. Asymmetric rims from all the leading players will be the way that wheels go for the foreseeable future.
  • + 2
 Bill Shook's argument makes a lot of sense to me. He's just saying that equal spoke tension is a big factor that is lost to the argument of bracing angle.... His boost hubs moved the flanges apart the same amount as the other boost hubs, but not equally, his hubs move only one flange side. So the American Classic boost hubs get you the better triangulation by spreading the flanges apart (6mm in the rear and 10mm in the front) AND also equal spoke tension between drive side and non-drive side because there is essentially no dishing to the wheel....However, my question would be that if the rear drive side flange stays in the same position, then the chain line is going to be 3mm inboard of a standard boost hub, right?
  • + 2
 Interesting read. From my understanding, the easiest way to get your head round it is this.......think of the wheel as a triangle. The hub is the base of the triangle, and the wider the hub, the stronger the triangle. Early 29ers had narrow based triangles, and were really really (dangerously!?) flexy.

Now think what's happening in the majority of the industry. Why are we being pushed towards a 29er future....because a bike which can accommodate 29 can easily take 27.5 also. A Boost bike can run a 1x chainline with Boost cranks, no need for the wider DH cranks. A Boost frame (and chainline) can also accommodate Plus size tyres. So if we assume you can swap wheels and tyres to make a 29er a 27.5, or standard tyres can be swapped out for Plus size, we see the manufacturers actually need less models (so less stock needs to be held). While I appreciate swapping wheels, tyres etc will affect geometry/head angles (although the Pivot Switchblade comes with a headset cup to keep geo similar when switching from 29 to 27.5+) it's an easier solution for money driven manufacturers than having two frames, two different wheels standards, two different crank standards etc etc.

I keep hearing within the trade that the Plus size wheel debate is going to die out once most frames become capable of incorporating a 2.6 standard tyre. Plus size frames will not be available, you buy a frame capable of taking up to 2.6 (the biggest plus size standard seems to be not much bigger at 3.0) and if you want fatter you buy a full fat bike. Again, the need for a Plus size and standard frame to be stacked is removed.

So, in short, the trade is going this way. The need to stiffen 29er wheels was real. The need for these companies to increase their turnover every year is real. The market can be led through clever marketing and product reviews to wherever they want to take it. And this seems the logical conclusion. It satisfies their desire to streamline their operations and reduce stock keeping units. This reduces warehousing, which reduces their costs. I would also say we won't see any benefit from their savings, that goes to the share holders. So a future of 29/27.5 compatible,plus or standard tyre compatible frames is coming next. Plus size will die out and be absorbed by 2.6" tyres. Boost will become the industry standard (which is a shame, as Super Boost Plus 157 makes more sense in the long run, but requires carbon forming most companies can't achieve with out significant investment.) Every company that can't afford the new machining costs etc will struggle - which is an additional benefit for the big companies as they win market share.
  • + 1
 A 3mm wider triangle isn't stiffer if the spoke tension is lower. If it has the same spoke tension it is, however then the wheel is out of dish.
  • + 0
 @snowcrash19: No. So long as the spokes remain in elastic tension an increase to bracing angle means more lateral stiffness with less tension increase. The wheel is stiffer even though the tension is lower. When we're talking small bracing angles even a small increase is a huge benefit.

Here is the simple math for tension triangle:

photoshipone.com/calculating-cable-tension-for-cable-cam-rigging
  • + 2
 Wait. So instead of adjusting spoke lacings, using an asymmetric rim, or adjusting flange height, American Classic is trying to convince me that narrowing flange spacing will produce a stiffer wheel? Pure hokum.

Of course--having similar spoke tensions is great! I aim for it on any wheel builds I do. But this whole hand-wavey "rim doesn't get pulled" argument I don't buy. Show calculations (complicated if you're making a kinematic argument), simulation data, or real world data.

Actual testing has shown that bracing angle is a signifiant factor in wheel stiffness.
  • + 2
 "Asymmetric wheels need to be very off center in order to achieve the same amount of symmetry and this creates a twisting motion in the rim itself. That twisting will cause fatigue to the rim quicker than a rim without it."

I've never heard this anywhere else. On top of that, a rim doesn't have to achieve perfect symmetry- any bit of asymmetry makes the wheel stronger by allowing higher tensions on the lower tension side
  • + 2
 Agreed. Sounds like they're the only ones pushing this philosophy.
  • + 1
 To everything talked about in this article: duh.

That was always the real kick in the balls about Boost. The idea is solid and they've widened the rear hub as much as they could without going to a wider crank (for 2x). But, the widening of the front was arbitrary. Figure out the optimal spoke bracing angle, then figure out the width of the hub needed to make that symmetrical. It's not that hard. Now we've all got forks with a new arbitrarily wider hub. Couldn't we have just done this once and for all?
  • + 1
 Pivot have a 157 rear end in the Switchblade with standard Boost cranks. They called it Super Boost Plus as a joke, basically poking fun at the companies so quick to call it th solution. 150/157 was already there, but it required genuine knowledge to get it on the bike (and quality carbon forming for the rear stays, which costs money the big boys don't like spending).
  • + 1
 Why don't more bike companies make asymmetric frames? My old Specialized Demo 7 had an asymmetrical 135mm back end and the rim was just about perfectly centered on the hub. The wheel was strong as f@#k! The new demo's went back to the same thing. Just sayin...
  • + 1
 There's more than you think on the market. Most of th boutique brands have got asymmetric rear ends.
  • + 1
 "It's a bit of a wonder why our industry seemed to put all of the cards on pushing the hub flanges out and improving the bracing angle when they could have done as Bill seems to have here and created a wheel with less dish and more evenly tensioned spokes"


Simples, thats next years new standard!!
  • + 1
 WOW WOW WOW

get strong, rigid, wide, light alloy rim from proper material and with proper H treatment. BANG!
get good spoke key and long brass nipples BUM!
get basic proper mid-level spokes, build wheel, ride hard, let them sit well, ride hard, get them loose, re-tension few times. CLICK CLAK! DONE.... just a proper rim and a little care.

then kill kill kill... forget you have wheels for next few months/weeks/days depending on riding level and hits/crashes
With proper strong rims even if ALL SPOKES get completly loose and out of the shape, the rim should still be almost straight. Re-tension spokes. KILL AGAIN. And avoid soft rims.

THAT HARD? I think it's cold today, mabe it will rain...so I will sit here and discuss +0.0005% which change nothing in real life. OK, It's another +0.0005% plus better spokes +000.5% + wider flanges +0.000001^-15% on the top of the rims (because everybody can get good stiff rims). WOW. Total of 1.115% with lots of math and discussion. What a WIN.
  • + 1
 I've built up a couple of pretty high-end Carbon bikes for friends lately. I noticed that some companies don't even use a different hub body for Boost. They just use the old 142mm hub body and add wider spacers. That's complete BS when you're buying a brand new $6000 bike with Boost.
  • + 1
 NO F* WAY. how about the disck brake mount/rotor position? Unless you use also SPACERS under the rotor (3mm) it;s not gonna work..
  • + 1
 The spacing is added to the cassette side of the hub.
  • + 1
 Why they dont make some comparisons video with boost how much force they need to break or bent the rims/spokes/hubs with 12x150/12x142 or standard 135 free hubs and standard hubs
If the boost more stronger than old one, show us the video
  • + 1
 Dear bike industry, you are killing yourself by trying to get us to buy a new frame, fork and wheel set every couple of years through pushing a new size either diameter or spacing that is no longer compatible. I didn't rush out to buy a 29er, or a 27.5, or a boost bike. I still run three 26" bikes. I'm not opposed to any of the new standards, but I haven't bought a new bike because I'm waiting for you to all settle on something that isn't rapidly going to become obsolete, because I'm not made of money. You haven't yet settled on one. I haven't bought a new bike in each new standard, no. I simply haven't bought a new bike, where I otherwise would have. I will continue to run a couple of ageing bikes until they literally can run no longer, unless this all settles down. If it all settles down and it happens to be 29ers with boost then fine, I will run it. I have tried them, they're fun. I will then enjoy my new bike. But I can't commit the finances to it until you figure out how to make the core 4 most expensive parts of the bike NOT become obsolete. I am not alone.

TL;DR bike industry is going to hurt itself severely cause people cannot afford to continually upgrade.
  • + 1
 Who gives a fuck... These people will buy it anyhoo, just because it shiney and new. Something about decend like an overly sexed Tyrannosaur riding Fred Flintstone's new wagon wheels and climbs like er well, er, er Nico, Nico something maybe...
  • + 1
 Why all this about hubs?
Every wheel i destroyed over the years is from denting the rim/cracking the rim. Wheels dont last that long.. From the close to 20 years of riding i done, the only difference i can tell in wheels are that a bigger axel and wider hubs help in stiffness/ride feel. But my wheels still blow up when hitting things to hard.

The happy medium for me is 142x12 in the rear. Don´t feel a big difference in in 20 or 15 in the front coz the fork is doing most of the flexing..

To me it seems one can just go with 150x12 as 148x12.. I call it bullshit.
  • + 1
 I think there is some valid thought in this. Consider the following:

- The back wheel of my DJ now stays true since I swapped out the rear hub for a Hope trials hub with a short cassette (6 of 9). This is what I would do if I had a DH bike and needed gears, otherwise for the park why not go singlespeed?

- Some of the downhill crowd is into soft spoking and lateral flex in wheels. Making the wheel symmetric keeps the flexibility with a stronger wheel, for some a win/win as opposed to weaker/stiffer?

- Rear end spacing/BB width/crank dimensions are still around from the days when you had to have space for 3 chainrings up front. Since my FS frame has replaceable dropouts, I might try some discount priced boost crank and simply move the rear wheel over to match and re-dish, just because I could. Then again, that bike works fine like it is . . .

- I think there is a reason only DH/FR bikes have 150mm rear ends and 83mm BBs. Q factor is an issue if you have to pedal and don't like paddling like a duck or banging your heels on the chainstays.
  • + 1
 And Somehow Canfield was able to have the shortest CS there is with a 142 ...So there goes that reason for 148 also..
I believe the MTB industry is following Apples business plan. Capitalizing on the latest fad of people craving for, and constantly buying things they don't need these days. Just to say they have the "latest greatest thing ever!"
  • + 1
 Pretty sure Boost was started mainly to support 1x11 and 1x12 drivetrains, not to increase wheel strength. The only thing I have done to a wheel is smashed the rim, I've never really had an issue regarding the overall strength of a wheel. If you blow the entire wheel up, you probably had something wrong with the spoke tension or rim or just plain did something crazy like jump off the roof of a house. In which case, that is really not the wheel's fault. I think the main thing that makes a difference is the lateral stiffness, and Boost is better there. Not sure why anyone cares about a minimal strength difference that probably doesn't matter.
  • + 1
 Weird. I am pretty sure Boost was a band aid for all those shit 29ers with so much flex they rode like a bowl of noodles.
  • + 3
 Sadly American Classic doesn't have enough of a reputation of durability and quality to be claiming such things. Bill's past his prime.
  • + 4
 But is it "laterally stiff yet vertically compliant" enough for enduro?
  • + 1
 Hope certainly thinks so
  • + 2
 He concludes that the siffest and stongest wheels come from even spoke tension.
The higher the tension the better(to a point).
Boost is a joke.
A very expensive joke.
  • + 0
 Why not asymmetrical frames and forks?

I have a custom hardtail frame (a ByStickel) that has an offset rear end. Basically, the center line of the rear hub is shifted 10mm towards the drive side. Because of the hub offset, the rear wheel has to be dished differently. The result is an almost perfectly symmetrical spoke bracing angle. This is with a standard 135QR hub.

In other words, instead of making the spoke bracing angle asymmetrical and keeping the frame symmetrical, the spoke bracing angle is symmetrical and the frame is asymmetrical to allow the rear hub to be shifted over. It is a highly elegant solution that the engineer behind ByStickel came up with to help make the chain stays on his frames as short as possible (one of the reasons behind Boost). The same concept could be applied to the front of the bike by simply making the disc-side of the fork farther away from the centerline of the bike by the amount of space a disc brake takes up.

Why didn't the bike industry choose the deceptively simple solution of asymmetrical frames and forks? To me, it seems like a conspiracy to get us all to buy new wheels... If they had adopted the asymmetrical frames and forks, we'd still have to buy new frames and forks (and cranks I guess, to make up for the chainline difference), but we could have kept our old wheels.
  • + 0
 Oh, look, that's what Syntace Evo6 is. Neat.
  • + 2
 I got a great idea 148mm is great why dont we go to 150mm thats got to be better....oh hang on didn't we have that 10 years ago..... TOO MANY STANDARDS!!
  • + 0
 "We’ve heard enough about wheels and standards relating to them in recent times that it could send us to the looney bin".


Sooooo.... here's another article about wheel sizes? Oh wait, let me also bring boost into it. Haha, #triggered?
Hey, I know. How about another opinion piece telling users not to be dicks in the comment section Vernon? Dont blame people for their reaction to the conversation you constantly frame and carefully manage. This is getting massively lame.
  • + 1
 This is also nothing new.. Infact it's old, hope bigun's back in the day did the same thing surly.. And the first gen E13 wheel sets.. I had the e13,.. conclusion they still buckled! Waste your money lemmings
  • + 3
 why in the living F couldnt they just embrace 150mm symmetrical DH spec????? they're dancing around it 2mm away Facepalm
  • + 0
 Please stop talking about Boost, wheel size etc. as long as the manufacturers could not deliver this shi*.
I wanted a fork with boost.....not available...
I wanted a wheel set with boost....not available...
5 weeks later im still waiting for it....
Most important is that we all pay a lot of cash for all this.
  • + 1
 Isn't the real purpose of wider hubs to space the bearings out and make room for more gears? If you look an extreme like a 10" wide hub with normal rim, you'd have a horrible wheel!
  • + 3
 Skyway wheels is where it's at
  • + 2
 How many of us non pro riders really need stiffer wheels than what we already have? (not talking about cheap stuff that is)
  • + 0
 maybe 10%, if that.
  • + 1
 Me, I'm fat
  • + 1
 My rims are dinged but my wheels are still running straight and holding air perfectly. Stans Flow 26" on Giant Tracker hubs 135mm. Boost what?
  • + 2
 Yup cause the only reason Boost came around was for better Bracing Angles.... fucking hell...
  • - 1
 And here I was thinking I'd see some data. I know that doing any kind of rigorous testing is costly and head to head is a gamble, so it's not really fair to expect companies to do it. Online communities with large user bases, many of whom pay, though...
  • + 1
 Wasted space is wasted space. The next big thing is bracing, and that is for the simple reason that bracing from one side is better than no sides.
  • + 3
 Why not just throw a grenade in the room here?
  • + 1
 Need to see data but this makes sense. Trials riders often ride symmetrical/nearly symmetrical wheels and it is fairly common knowledge that they stay in true better.
  • + 1
 Hope, Tune (Sun Ringle? other companies) had hubs with symmetrical flanges few years ago....
what happened ?
  • + 0
 Specialized does the 142+ hub, which is like "mini-boost" all along. Adds 2mm on the drive side of the hub. Did I notice that - probably not....
  • + 1
 My book also says that the 26 "wheels are stronger than any 29" or even 27.5 "...
  • + 1
 And what you say for the not symetrical fat bikes wheels with standart 135 hubs ? Exampe surly moonlander.
  • + 2
 Did Pivot not come up with something to solve this? Super Boost?
  • + 2
 Yes they did, but not being one of the companies that has a running advertorial campaign with PB they don't get the credit they deserve. 157 rear, but still using Boost cranks rather than the wider DH ones. The bike is super stiff. Still incorporates DW Link suspension. "Super Boost Plus"

They said that the name was a bit of a mickey take on the industry, because it was obvious 148 Boost was a real stop gap band aid fix, and that with 150/157 already being a standard with meaning the industry should probably have skipped 148 and gone straight for the good stuff. But it required top end carbon forming to produce short enough (and curved enough) rear stays to make the width at the crank workable with existing standards cranks. So it wasn't a five minute job....this is why the majority of the big global brands didn't bother doing their homework and getting it right.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: agree'd - I think MOST independent wheel manufacturers like American Classic would have preferred the wider spacing. But while Trek / Niner / Santa Cruz / Etc make Boost frames it forces companies make Boost. Since they had to make a new "Boost" wheel why not think of the best way to work within the spacing. If logic was applied as you stated - Boost 148 should have been skipped which I bet most independent wheel manufacturers would agree!
  • + 0
 When the existing market of high end wheel manufacturers all seem to be pursuing an asymmetric rim, and these guys aren't, I think I know who's "research" I am buying into
  • + 2
 "Gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a sh!t?"

-Happy Gilmore
  • + 1
 Didn't Cannondale shift the rear hub 6mm to the right on a 142 rear end and achieve the same effects as Boost?
  • + 3
 God I miss Mythbuster.
  • + 2
 => SYNTACE EVO-6
  • + 1
 That was what I was going to say too. But they're not alone. Tune also does it. Heck, even my 2006 Specialized P1 (dirt jump bike) has 6mm asymmetrical rear end to get you a dishless rear wheel (it could work with a derailleur). I think pretty much all Specialized bikes back then had asymmetric rear ends and even though I haven't been paying attention to what they do now, I doubt they dropped the concept. So that's three pretty common companies already, there sure must be more. How is this news then?
  • + 0
 Definitely not strong enough! We do need super ultra high next level boost 4.0 - available in 2030...
  • + 1
 It makes your wallet empty lol
  • + 1
 Just another thing for the sheep to follow then!!
  • + 0
 don't care. what I do care about now is that all the 142 hubs/wheels are cheap! a win for me!
  • + 1
 SYMETRY IS STRONG. ISO TRIANGLES ARE STRONGEST.
  • + 0
 Data from a static wheel test is not accurate, but no testing at all... well that could be anything, maybe even good!
  • + 1
 To sum it up in a word.......No
  • - 3
 I've been on AC Wide Lightnings for 5 months and I've never ridden a softer set of wheels. Yes they are super light and boost but that don't mean crap if they ding and get wonky on ya. Set up with 2.6 Specialized GRID tires, with no less than 28 PSI in them. Boost is only part of the formula. Light, cheap or durable...you can only pick two as WTB says.
  • + 0
 Is this theory used on all their mountain bike wheelset hubs? Wide Lighting Boost for example?
  • + 0
 Equal length spokes and equal tensions - sounds more like a manufacturing cost saving to me
  • + 1
 This article had absolutely no mention of llamas. What's going on!?!?
  • + 0
 This is the future for gearbox equipped bikes, I can definitely see this happening once they gain popularity.
  • + 1
 why 148? why not 150? then I can swap my DH wheels with my trail bikes
  • + 0
 I'd actually like to thank the boost trend for making all the parts that fit my bike a lot more affordable!
  • + 1
 wake me up when you guys figure this out.
  • + 0
 I don't know if it's benificial or not, but all I know is that it makes swapping wheels a real pain in the butt.
  • + 0
 No it doesn't. A boost wheel user.
  • + 0
 Dishing IS a pain in the ass though. Especially on a 29er rear wheel.
  • + 1
 EPIC WIN.
  • + 0
 We're all on hyper boost in a few month's...
  • + 1
 how disappointing...
  • + 0
 Don't care if it's stronger will the price make me hurt

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