29er rim options?

I’m looking for a light rim for a road 29er. Originally I was just going to go with the KH XC rim that I had before, but then I started thinking that one of the single walled Nimbus rims might do the trick. After more consideration I started thinking that a Rhyno Lite may even work. From the threads going back to 2003 it seems like the Rhyno Lite was a popular choice back then.

Any thoughts on a light rim for a 29er? Right now it’s between the KH XC, and the Rhyno Lite since the Nimbus rims don’t appear to be sold in the US anymore.

There are several 29er rims wider than 30mm available if you can use a 32 hole rim: Salsa Gordo, Velocity P35, and Pacenti DL31 come to mind.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling. I’m looking for something that is rim brake compatible. I don’t know for sure if I will be using a brake, but I’d like to keep the options open. If I decide to ditch the brake idea the P35 would be cool to get in one of the anodized colors, or the Gordo looks like a nice option (available in 36h).

So I’ll refine my needs a bit more:

Light, not the most important, but I’d like to see what’s out there.
wide (enough)
36 hole, have a hub already.
Rim Brake compatible

I was fixing a flat on my cargo bike this afternoon and I had a good look at the Rhyno lite it sports in the back. It looks like it would be wide enough to give a good ride with something like the Big Apple 28x2.0. Any thoughts?

I have a Rhyno Lite 29er with a Schwalbe Marathon 28x2.0 (was a Big Apple at some point in the past) with 110 mm cranks. He’s named Zippy. He’s probably my single most satisfying uni; limited in some ways, but great for short commute trips around town.

Thanks for chiming in. Your experience confirms what I was thinking. It definitely pushes me more towards the RL. The one I have on my cargo bike is proving to be super strong. I haven’t had to true it since I built it up, and it sees regular duty with two kids + a few bags of groceries.

It’s a uni with a 29" wheel. It’s a name for any 700c tire bigger than 50c.

I built up a super light 29er using the Velocity Blunt SL rim (and big apple 2.0). It was the most fun unicycle to ride around town and play around on. I used it for the China uni tour with 100mm cranks and it is certainly zippy like Tom said. Same as with the other Velo rim, you can’t use a break with this one, but you definitely don’t need it either; the uni is so responsive that braking with your legs is a breeze.

I think I’ll go for it. My frame will be here today, so I only have to build the wheel to get this thing going. I currently have 125’s, but I like the idea of going smaller with the light wheel.

If you’re not totally set on a brake track, there’s always the NoTubes ZTR Flow for ultimate lightweight. Only 28mm wide, but given the way the sidewalls work, you tend to get as much volume in the tyre as with a wider conventional rim. If they made a 36h 26" one (or Nimbus made a 32h Oracle hub) I’d be very tempted by one for an ultralight disc muni - the 29er does come in a 36h version to suit your needs though.

I’m curious about this. The Flow is a touch wider than a Rhyno Lite, but the inside width is 2mm’s narrower. It would seem like the RL would have a bit more volume than the Flow. What is the reasoning behind how it holds the tire and giving it more volume?

I haven’t given the brake a lot of thought. I guess I assumed I would put one on since I had one on my old 29er, and it made sense at the time. Since then I have a lot more uni miles under my belt, and I’m a much more confident rider. It could very well be a moot point, but if I can I would at least like to keep the option there.

Here’s the marketing BS Welcome to Stan's NoTubes, the First Name in Tubeless for Bicycles | Stan's NoTubes I always take such stuff with a pinch of salt, but I think there is a lot of valid science in this - certainly I’ve never seen any valid criticism of the claims made. I note they’re claiming a 24mm Notubes rim performs like a 30mm conventional one, which would suggest a 28mm Flow should in theory be equivalent to a 34-35mm conventional rim.

Are you sure the inner width difference isn’t a measurement anomoly? The only measurement I could find for the Rhyno Lite was for the inner well - are you comparing that with the quoted measurement between the hooks for the Flow?

After a bit more searching I found a few sites that have the inside width of the Rhyno Lite at 22.5mm, and so it’s about the same as the Flow. I must say that the reasoning on the Stans site seems compelling. It would be interesting to see how that rim works on a uni, but the price is a bit steep for me right now. The KH XC is just about at the limit of what I’d spend at the moment, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say the price of the Rhyno Lite gives it a leg up.

Do you already have the tire? I recently stumbled on the Resist Nomad that comes in a 700x45. They can be found for $25 shipped and it’s very lightweight at 519g but not sure about durability. If I was building a similar uni I’d probably give one a try.

The only problem with a narrow rim is that it may not work with Magura mounts unless you have adaptors and it may not work with a wider tire; in case you want a rim that can be used for more than one application.

The Nimbus Dominator 42mm rim is 800gm, not that heavy compared to a narrower dual wall MTB rim at ~500gm, esp if you’re running a lightweight tire and tube. It’s hard to find narrow 36h rims, seems to me there was a 38mm KH rim at some point.

If you need a brake, and you’re building a new wheel, you might as well make it a disc hub…

I plan on using a caliper brake if I end up with a brake at all on this uni. The wider rim I’m considering is the 38mm '07 KH XC rim. Darren Bedford still has them in his catalog.

The Velocity Dyad has a brake track and though it’s not as wide at 24mm, it’s a decent weight (480g) and not terribly expensive.


If you decide to go with the 38mm KH rim and would be interested in a used one in good condition (I think it’s from 2009), I’ve been considering swapping mine for the newer wider rim.

PM’d I’m always game for a used part.

I have a SunRingle CR18 rim and a WTB Nanoraptor 2.1" tire on my 29" Pashley. The CR18 is somewhat lighter and narrower than the Rhyno Lite. It’s held up great for the last 10 years. I generally ride light Muni and gravel paths with moderate pressures (30-40psi) and it works well for that purpose. It’s definitely not a shock-absorbing tractor like my 24x3 Muni though.

Hmm. That is a good point. I forgot that there were at least a few riders on the forum with cr18’s. With that in mind I think the Rhyno Lite may be just the ticket. I’m considering Unisark’s used KH XC rim as well.

I’m still interested in finding out if there’s anything else out there that’s not coming up in my standard Google searches. Right now budget isn’t really the concern since I don’t have any time frame to build this wheel. I have the hub, frame, seatpost, pedals, cranks. So I still need a saddle, rim, and spokes (although depending on the rim I may have those).