The rolling is not the problem. Anyone can roll a rim, you can even do it by hand quite easily using a set of rollers. The big costs and difficulties come in mass or even batch production. You need:
- Cutting jig for cutting the coil into individual rims. This consists of a machined 20mm thick ring 40cm high at the external dimension of the rim + blade thickness. This is then mounted to a box section structure that is then mounted on to a standard pneumatically controlled base and slitting saw.
- Pinning jig. The difficult bit is a steel strap connected to connected to a hydraulic ram that pulls the pins in to place. This has to be supported for the whole circumference of the rim. With the bigger rims, this becomes a bit of a problem.
- Drilling jig. This is a massive machine with multiple pneumatic drills on it that the drills the all the holes. The problem with the standard machines is that the standard machine does not go big enough to fit a 36" rim on it.
Another little problem is the post process hardening.
The Alex rims produced for the show last year were hand produced. We have also been helping them and they have tested the rims with the Nightrider tyres and they appear to work ok. I can not vouch for the rim in use on a unicycle but my guess is that the rim will be great for racing but will show some reduction in handling over the stealth 2 rim. When we changed the width on the Stealth to Stealth 2 rim it showed a marked improvement in tyre performance.
All credit to Alex for producing this rim, this is great news.
ps, if you want any of the raw material it comes in 7m lengths.
How was the Airfoil rim (weigh, width, riding ?)
I had an Airfoil rim. It was great. Very stiff, very stable, and light, at least when compared to the steel rims that were available at the time. I didn’t write down its width but it think it was in the 38mm range (outer dimension)
Roger: I was wondering if you had a hand in producing these Alex rims. I have to agree that they would probably make great race rims, but might not be the best option for everyday use, at least with current tires.
I had canceled my order of the walmart bike for the 32" wheels. I originally got excited at the prospect of using the upcoming 32" nightrider tire with a Kent rim. I later started to wonder if the Nightrider would really be an improvement when on the skinny rim. I decided that if I were re-building to run the Nightrider, I might as well have a properly wide rim to let it work as intended.
I’m of the opinion that the Nightrider will be an improvement over the Kent tire, even on the narrower Kent rim. Having ridden the Nightrider on a 36" and the Kent on the 32", I’m planning on buying one of the 32" Nightriders when they are available. The Kent isn’t bad, I’ve put a lot of miles on it (it’s almost worn out now), but the Nightrider is pretty nice riding (even if a little on the heavy side). On a wider rim it will be even better, but I’m not planning on switching rims right away.
Roger - will you be stocking them? Would like to try one.
The airfoil was a big improvement over the steel rim at the time, and still a great rim. The only problem I have is that it’s incredibly difficult to get tyres off.
I preferred it to the Stealth I rim, but the Stealth II is great. So easy to get tyres off.
I’ve been riding an Airfoil for the past 8 years. It’s an excellent rim, strong and stable. It rarely needs truing. Mine was drilled out extensively in order to lighten it. But, yeah, as Ken says, it’s difficult to get tires on and off of it. On the plus side, you’ll never have a blow out.
We don’t know yet. I am not even sure if it is in production yet, we have only seen samples. We will meet up with them in a few weeks time in Taiwan.
put me on the waiting list
i want two:D
So… This along with the new 2016 Schlumpf… Are there any tyres I need to know about to add to my ‘When it FINALLY arrives’ list…?