How to drill a nightrider 36 rim?

This is really exciting stuff.

I can imagine how spectacular a crash it might be if a 36" inch wheel tacoed underneath you.

Cool stuff, you are going to have to let me try it when I get to St. John’s.

What did you use to drill the holes? Drill press? What did you use to de-bur the rim with after you were done?

Still looking forward to seeing someone drill all the way through, I might just buy that SE rim from Levi and drill it instead of building up an UW.

Anybody have a shop I could borrow anywhere east of Toronto?

Good stuff, Dave! I bet it won’t crumple. In fact, I reckon it can go further…

I’ve just calculated how much it saves to put two holes between each spoke. This is based on drilling 70 holes - missing the two at the valve; taking density of material as 2.71g/cm^3 (which came out just right for my own drilling pattern estimate, using 1mm as thickness for the inner wall) and taking a thickness of 2.6mm for the outside wall, based on calculating from Dave’s weight saved - that seems reasonable from looking at the valve hole.

So by drilling 70 holes of the following diameters into the visible wall of a Stealth rim I think we can save:
15mm: 87g
16mm: 99g
17mm: 112g

See attached sketch to estimate how prudent, or otherwise, this plan may look.


Couldn’t you cut bigger holes if you put one hole closer to one edge of the rim and the other hole closer to the other edge of the rim?

Yeah, possibly. Although I don’t think you can drill too close to the edge as there are internals of the rim cross-section that you wouldn’t want to hit. I think that it is the same as the cross-section on the KH29 rim. The attached sketch might be OK though.

Also, if you make the holes zig-zag then the main width of the bridge of material going from one side of the rim to the other would not be straight. Would that be a problem? I don’t know, as I don’t really understand how the material strength/structure works.


P.S. I don’t know why Illustrator has made this into a magical rainbow, but I’m not going to fight it.

nightrider drilling2.png

How about oval holes

You could drill the holes so they are touching then grind the inside to make flat sides to the ovals. something like the Monty 221 rims

That way you would leave more material near the spoke holes. I don’t think that a skinny bridge between two holes where there is no spoke adds a whole lot to the strength or integrity of the wheel.

Hey Dave, Its been a couple months, how is the wheel holding up?

And any pics yet?

Sorry I didn’t make it to St. Johns, missed the last ferry out of Labrador. are you reading this? What a ridiculous amount of effort riders are going to to save a few grams. We definitely need a lighter, possibly bigger road tire and rim combination. Cokers are tanks that are not entirely designed for speed. We want to go fast and hurt ourselves!!!

Isn’t anodizing lighter than powder coat, as its the metal that turns color…? If your willing to do all that drilling why would you not also strip the paint or at least op for anodized coloring?

The original nightriders were anodised black as far as I know. I dunno who it was who thought it would be a good idea to powdercoat them “Stealth white”.

If the holes are countersunk and/or deburred after they’re drilled, this won’t be necessary.

If they’re not, a dull drill could leave a lot of nasty burrs on the rim, and thick tape would be necessary to avoid flats.

Come on Dave, I want to see it!

When I bought my Stealth rim (Nightrider is just the name of the tyres I think) there was a choice of anodised black or powder-coat white - is that not still the case? I went for white because I think it’s a nice change from the ubiquitous black, but if I was worried about the weight of some paint ( :roll_eyes: ) I could have chosen the anodised version. I do agree with you though that a lighter 36" tyre would be good for the road riders - in fact, something nearer bike tyre weight rather than car tyre weight would be nicer for xc as well. At £60 a tyre, though, the longevity of the thicker tyre is a good thing!


I got confused I meant Stealth rim… You still get the choice but in New Zealand we must sometimes settle for what is in stock. The colour does not really matter but black would be best.

Some day’s I’d prefer the longevity of my legs, and the thicker tire/rim does not promote longevity uphill. I notice such a big difference every time I change between 28" and 36" of the weight and ability to accelerate and get to top speed and maintain it uphill.

One of the biggest advantages of such a heavy tire/rim is the puncture protection. They are not invincible but they last a lot longer than 700c skinnies vs glass.