I recently received a pair of preproduction enduro rims from the legends at Black Crow Carbon, here’s my first impressions of them.
The rims feature a 30mm interval width, which is bang on the average width of an enduro rim these days. External width comes in at decent 36mm.
These rims are of the 29er variety and weigh in at 490g (27.5 comes in at 470g). They are a decent weight with some competitors being lighter and some heavier. Being the lightest rim on the market hasn’t been the objective with these but ride quality and reliability the main objective.
A big win with these rims is the UST tubeless design. No rim tape just a simple valve installation and fit the tyre, sealant and you’re ready to hit the trails.
With the 3 year replacement policy across the Black Crow range there’s no reason to stress. With that kind of faith in their products and a customer satisfaction guarantee you can rest easy knowing if you do happen to get a bit too rowdy, replacement stock is on hand within Australia and you'll be rolling again within a few days. No waiting for a long turn around like other international brands.
The finish is high quality and almost too good to get dirty, no carbon strands in the drilled holes to give splinters which is even nicer.
Having the brass nipples pre installed makes the lace up procedure that little bit easier and faster. I did manage to drop a couple of nipples inside the rim while lacing mine up, though a quick shake and it was out the valve hole, install the supplied magnetic installation tool and refit into its hole and continue as you were with very minimal delays.
Once laced I got Ben at Mallard Cycles in Sale to true and tension them for me. The time now came to fit my tyres. I’ve been running the Maxxis Assegai tyres for some time now with them being somewhat difficult to fit to my standard alloy rims. With a nice surprise these rims allowed a nice fitment with out any excessive force or tyre levers required, this is a huge benefit in my books. Sealant in and pumped up and seated with a standard floor pump with no issues at all.
Ready to ride, first ride was a combination of fire road climbs and sandy descents. Getting bouncy and cutting some turns on the fire roads these wheels promote a playful and snappy ride. The sandy descents were a breeze but hardly a good place to experience the feel for these rims. A quick check of spoke tensions after my ride and it’s time to strip the bike and pack for a trip to Canada.
With my trip being in winter the riding wasn’t exactly “ideal”. Snow, ice and muddy trails aren’t exactly prime conditions. Add in some rocks and roots holding a line could be an issue. Even though carbon wheels are generally quite stiff and harsh I didn’t find this to be the case with the Black Crow Enduro Rims. With no struggles to pick and hold desired lines in the wet and mud, they gave me great confidence that otherwise may overcame the grip levels of the trails.
As mentioned before, snappiness and playfulness became fully appreciated on the BC Single Trail. Into a corner and out with a confident feel under tyre and continue on your way while not wallowing around on a flexing wheel.
Overall, value for money and the warranty of the Black Crow Carbon Enduro Rim makes them a great purchase for not only someone looking to get into the carbon wheel market but also someone looking at upgrading their existing carbon rims.
Available at a competitive price of $490AUD, Black Crow aim to shake up the market.
Shop the range at www.blackcrowcarbon.com
Written by Simon Noble