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REVIEW

Velocity USA Dually 29" Rims

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date May 24, 2019

Polished

I feel terrible for these gorgeous Velocity USA Dually rims. My friend Dumpster Bear laced them up for me at a weird time in my life and the polished i39 hoops have seen the brunt of some brutally bashtastic mountain biking. It's been hack-and-smash riding for a few months.

After years of mountain biking at about the same level, I've suddenly found myself progressing this year in terms of both the speed I'm going and the terrain I'm tackling. From the last time I really progressed - years ago - I vaguely remember a periodic inability to gauge speed and I've been punching my wheels into all the bad rocks.

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Velocity chemically welds the overlapping joint after the rim is perfectly aligned.

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Nipple holes are drilled with an alternative left & right flange bias and the spokes exit at a ~ 4° angle.

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Rims are tensioned to between 110kgf and 130kgf. Since I reviewed them 18 months ago, I've been using TLC brass nipples on all my wheels; they are strong and interesting.

The rims have taken almost all of it in stride. I have a small dent in the front rim that was the impetus for running an insert,* and I’m shocked the divot isn't larger. The rear is still in perfect shape despite more than a few ’light’ bottom outs.

Even un-laced the Dually rims are stiff for aluminum but more compliant than any carbon rim I’ve tried to compress pre-build. I think it’s a good balance of buzzwords and I have a hard time imagining anyone out for a ride thinking that their wheels are too stiff or too flexy. If anything, they're perfectly un-remarkable in that regard.

*I’m now running a Huck Norris up front and no insert in the rear.

Velocity USA

There are some really good aluminum rims on the market these days. I've been really happy with the latest Stan's and Race Face rims, both of which sneak in for 1/3 fewer dollars than the Dually's 150 USD for anodized black. It may be a surprise, given my love of min-maxing, but I can make a strong enough value case for the Dually that we just bought a set for my wife's bike. Beyond that I like supporting small businesses and I'm not overly carbon-interested.*

Velocity originated in Australia, moved production to the USA in 2012, and for the last three years they've been manufacturing out of their facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

*If the good folks at We Are One made an i40 29'er rim I'm not sure I could resist their small business story

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Out back is my single speed version of the 1.66° Project 321 hub.

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Up front I've been running a 3" SE4; in the rear it's a 2.6" SE2 or SE5.

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My old Chris King 20mm hub, reduced to 15mm, is bolted in my fork.

They're seeking to make durable performance rims with a high degree of customization. They make a plethora of models, including the more regular width Blunt series, in a range of drilling and they offer custom anodized and polished rims for an up-charge.

I also truly appreciate their little details. Rolled rims overlap with an extrusion that's chemically welded in place so the joint and surrounding area aren't a weak point in the rim. Spoke holes are drilled at a ~4° angle with a left and right flange bias so as to create less stress on the spoke-nipple interface. I love the solid bead hook.

I realize many riders love hookless rims but I think that, like pressfit, hookless rims are an example of something that came about because of carbon manufacturing and then was forced on aluminum products. Either way, I love the bead hook. I like the way the tire seats - pawp, pawp, pawp, pawp - and tubeless setup, which can be a chore with wide rims, was no issue.

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Another look that the right and left flange offset drilling. Velocity rims are available in black, polished, or custom anodized finishes.

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We just laced my wife's older Chris King hubs into a set of 27" Dually rims. They're available in 26", 27", and 29" diameters.

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Problem Solvers Boosters saving the day with mating these non-Boost King hubs to a fresh frame and fork.

"You Rang?"

Back to that progression I've been experiencing. My buddy Bri was chasing me down Executioner one fine day when I totally misjudged my speed, ended up in the air, and came crashing down into a rock garden hard enough that I barely managed to keep my hands on the bar.* The sound as I touched down was a clamorous rock-metal-meeting as the cheeky so-and-so behind me yells out: "YOU RANG?"

Well crap. There was a decent amount of Stan's sealant outside the tire and a pile of pressure was dropped but air was still holding and it was no issue to pump it back up to pressure, which is when I noticed the dent. It's not big enough to bother pulling out but it's still an irksome reminder to this day.

I followed the example of any rim company wanting to claim zero-failures in the EWS and stuck an insert in the front wheel and haven't looked back. I've smoked the rear rim countless times and it's still perfect. I just haven't found the right super-sharp-edged rock I guess.

*Yes, I've heard of suspension forks. Have you ridden a modern rigid bike

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It's taken plenty of hard smacks and everything's tight and true. Credit to the rim or builder - the rider's a hack.

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My Walt has been thumped down rock-infested Ned's, Pipeline, and Executioner plenty of times this winter. #trailsforall | #trailsforweather

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When I get the air pressure perfect I'll see some tiny weepage points after a hard lap. I have burped the tire a couple of times - 100% rider error.

For all the reasons I've noted, my next set of rims will be the Velocity Dually, or a Dually front with a Blunt 35 rear. They'll be for a different bike project, so I'm thinking anodized pink just to be different. Small company, nice folks, good products, bead hooks, solid durability, made in North America - I'm sold.

For the uber-rim-destroyer the price may be a bit steep, but then they're likely looking at a carbon rim with a lifetime warranty like the WR1. For the weight weenie, a carbon PLUS rims may also appeal - the 675 grams don't bother me.

The Velocity Dually rims come in 26", 27" and 29" diameters all with the same 45mm outer width, 39mm inner width, and 18mm height. Anodized black rims are 150 USD each and add +30 USD for polished or a custom anodized colour of your choice. Available drilled for 28h, 32h, and 36h for all sizes. For more information check them out at Velocity USA.

Comments

fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - May 23, 2019, 11:51 p.m.

I've got 5-6 reasonable sized dents in my nearly 5 year old rear Blunt and it's still going strong.

Reply

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - May 24, 2019, 5:40 a.m.

I've had 3 sets of Blunts from Velocity and they are really soft so they dent up easily, but they keep holding air and they can be bent back reasonably. When I first started using them plus tires were not a thing and a true width 2.4" tire was considered big so they were the logical choice. 

Blunt's tubeless setup is pretty mediocre. If you know what you are doing you can get a good result, but compared to the ease other rims setup they are not amazing.

Given the proliferation of wider tires and rims I won't buy more, but I am glad they were available at the time.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 24, 2019, 6:06 a.m.

Was having this same conversation with a friend about his Blunt 35 rim from five years ago. I’ve been running tubeless since Stan’s 347 and 355 rims and I think - even now - there’s a pretty strong argument to be made that ease/issue it’s more about the tires. I’ve had multiple good experiences lately with rims (same exact) that I’ve had nightmare setups with before (and one opposite experience with a Reynolds rim that’s always been good).

I don’t remember having any issues setting up 2.4 Schwalbe tires on Blunt 35 on my Honzo (wheels stolen and not recovered with bike - didn’t have them long) but my Bontrager setup on these Dually rims was standard fair for i39 and fat tires where my wife’s 2.8” Schwalbe NN tires basically aired themselves up.

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Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - May 24, 2019, 5:02 p.m.

I have run the same tires [most of the time] on all my rims for the last 6-7 years so I have a steady rubber baseline to compare rims against. P35/Blunt 35's are mediocre. In so far as it's possible to get solid/reliable tubeless setup with them, but nothing like the ease with which other rims setup. The key was lots of tape or a rubber rim strip to build up the bead seat until the tire

Same tires pop onto every "modern" rim I've had since the Blunts with zero effort. 

To be fair though the Blunt 35s were designed when tubeless was just becoming a thing and if you ran across someone random on a trail they were more likely to be running tubes than not. And at that time wide internal width rims at a reasonable weight were not easy to find so I'm not bashing Velocity. In fact I salute the fact they worked with Pacenti to get a product like that out at the time.

I just wouldn't buy another set now that there are better options.

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Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - May 24, 2019, 5:21 p.m.

To your point about rim + tire combos being variable. It comes down to manufacturing/design tolerances. If you have an undersized bead seat and and undersized tire you could get a nice setup, but really that's a fail on both products that just happens to work.

If you own both and like 'em sweet, but that's not something to shoot for.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 24, 2019, 8:01 p.m.

I'd assume that it is the tires in the vast majority of cases which are off-spec not the rims. That's just from my understanding of how both products are manufactured as well as my experience running multiple tires on the same rims.

As to your comment re. your experience with the same tires, I'm really curious what they are if you are willing to share. Most the carryover tires I've handled in the last couple years air up much easier than the same models in the past (updated bead technology?) even if the nomenclature is the same.

Anyways, I don't have enough Blunt experience to properly comment, but I can say these Dually rims have been a non-issue with a variety of tires in terms of airing up rubber from multiple brands.

Reply

fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - May 25, 2019, 12:07 a.m.

I'm just about to set up my old Blunts (30mm internal) tubeless (without split tube) with relatively new tyres (2.6 SE5s - kevlar beads) and will report back.

Edit - Front (non dented) rim set up fine with one wrap of 25mm wide Gorilla tape as a rim tape.  Rear (~6 dents) rim needed an Airshot to get the tyre seated - once seated it aired up fine.

tashi
+3 Timer Andrew Major Nouseforaname
tashi  - May 24, 2019, 7:34 a.m.

I got all excited about your polished rim/hub combo, then I noticed the black spokes - what the hell man, I thought you knew what you're doing!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 tashi
Andrew Major  - May 24, 2019, 8:58 a.m.

Hahahaha, you know what’s worse? The hub finishes don’t match at all King vs. P321.

I’ve always liked the look of black spokes with silver hub/rim OR silver spokes with black rim and silver hub. And heck, they are my wheels!

Really nice Sapim spokes.

Reply

tashi
+1 Andrew Major
tashi  - May 24, 2019, 9:39 a.m.

You actually LIKE contrasting spokes???  No accounting for taste I guess...

The oil slick finish nips are rad though.  I may break my gold nips orthodoxy for some next wheel build.

(all in good fun BTW, I really like your bikes aesthetically and otherwise.  I wish I could invest the time and effort into mine like you do)

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AndrewMajor
+1 tashi
Andrew Major  - May 24, 2019, 10:03 a.m.

Ooo... where did you find gold coloured brass nipples? Or... are they aluminum?

I’d love to see TLC do more colours in brass - I like the splash of colour but can’t be bothered with aluminum nips.

Wolf Tooth does anodized colours in their steel Camo T-25 bolts so you can get a splash on the rotor bolts without going Ti too now. 

I like the contrasting colour but I’m being reminded I had originally planned for these wheels to be all silver but then couldn’t get the spokes I wanted, and I’m also being reminded I recently spent the better part of a year with two different brakes (different fluid even) on one of my bikes, so don’t let the sweet Toxik Harald paint job be confused with a good sense I’d aesthetics... 

Friends like these...

Reply

tashi
0
tashi  - May 24, 2019, 1:10 p.m.

I think they exist (from Dans Comp perhaps), but I seem to do alright with aluminum nips. Only problems I’ve had were from exposing them to a 4000k drive in the middle of winter and then not rinsing the bike for a few months...pop pop pop every ride till I swapped them all out.

Reply

fatguyonalittle
+1 Andrew Major
fatguyonalittle  - May 25, 2019, 4:01 a.m.

I'm a big guy and ride like a drunk donkey... I've bent every rim I've ever owned save one... the P35.  Still true after 6 years. 

Bravo Velocity!

Reply

Lynx
+1 Andrew Major
MountainBikeBarbados .  - May 25, 2019, 6:05 a.m.

Hey Andrew, good piece, got a few comments and questions. I got my set of Dually45s more than 6 years ago, they have no bead shelf/lip, am I seeing right that the new ones do? Also my old Duallys don't think they have the offset drilling like yours either, so to give some extra security I ran narrower tape in the centre to buildup a slight bead lip. It's such a job, that I've actually transferred the rim to different hubs intact and reused the nipples to save re-taping, done it about 3 or 4 times without issue, alu nipples at that.

Can attest to them taking a beating, as you know, tyre pressure can be perfect or not by just a 1/2 PSI with plus, especially depending on the trail. Like you, my riding has progressed immensely recently since I got my new rigid Unit just over a year go and I've smacked tyre to rim a few times when I was first getting going from the FS not realising just how square/big some "small obstacles" I hit without thinking actually were coming off the FS.

I've since basically moved to WTB rims, the asym mostly, because like Vik said, just way too many good options out there now. Just built up a set of Scraper i40 650B wheels to try out, hoping they work as well as the Asym, wish they offered an i40 Asym. I'm actually  just going to try a similar setup to you this weekend of 2.6" R/3.0" front to see how it compares to 3.0" F&R, next after that is 2.6" F&R, all on a new set of i35 Asym/Pro4 wheels.

Also have to agree 100% with you on riding a modern rigid, so much fun, so capable, so rewarding. I am riding all of our trails, trails guys have determined require bikes like the FB29, Ripmo, Wreckoning, and while I'm slower on the fast, rough stuff compared, I'm pretty much right there on the steep or chunkier, slow tech. My only problem as I've said before is to find a way to help control the bounce of the front, that's the only thing that deters me from hitting one roll/drop with double hits in it because it's also off camber that goes into a small gully and fear being pinged off because of the bounce.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 25, 2019, 9:20 a.m.

Can’t speak to older generations, but these have an obvious bead hook. 

As to front tire control, Cush Core has a Plus tire version coming and, weight aside, I can’t see not investing in one to try it out. I think it works as advertised in regular tires on FS bikes and that means the potential on the Plus-Rigid is high! 

Cheers!

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