One of the most common questions we receive is “Should I go for the TR33(27.5″/29″) or the TR36(29″)/TR38(27.5″)?” The big difference between these two categories of rims are in the widths and stiffness. The strength of the rims is actually quite similar.
The TR33 is our ‘Jack of all Trades’ rim. Depending on how you build up your wheel set and which tires you run, it can just as easily sit on a super light XC hardtail, or an aggressive enduro bike. The TR33 has a 27mm internal diameter which means it comfortably accepts tires in the 2.1″ to 2.6″ range, which is where 95% of today’s mountain bike tires fall. The TR33 also features a balanced profile with a 23mm depth. This comparatively shallow depth in conjunction with layup tweaks means that it builds a rim that has some added compliance and will provide added control and ‘damping’ on rough trails. The sidewalls are lower profile which help reduce rock strikes in rocky terrain. While significantly stiffer than an alloy rim with equivalent measurements, it still manages to curb the harshness that has historically been associated with carbon wheels. The ideal rider for this rim, is one that values a light and snappy wheelset. If you’re the type of person who lives to pedal all day, up and down the mountain, then you’ll appreciate the TR33. Right at home on bikes with 100-150mm of travel, there is very little the TR33 can’t do. Lighter riders (under 180lbs) may find this to be a more comfortable option for their bigger (150-170mm) bike.
The TR36/TR38 is our hard charging, burly and stiff rim. Both have a modern, wide internal width of 30mm (TR36) and 31mm (TR38). This rim accommodates 2.3″ tires up to 2.8″ tires comfortably. The TR36/TR38 are meant for bigger trail bikes that generally have over 140mm of travel. If you’re riding rocky, rooty technical trail with lots of steeps and unforgiving sections, you’ll love these rims. The taller profile of these rims make it stiff and precise. Riders who have historically pushed past the limits of most wheels or heavier riders (over 190lbs) will appreciate the stiffness of this rim. Building these rims up with Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples, creates a force to be reckoned with. That being said, if you are under 150lbs, these may be a little too stiff and result in a harsh ride, in which case we recommend going for the TR33 with its added compliance.
Some riders will prefer run narrower rear rims as it creates a more rounded profile for 2.3″ tires, and a wider front to better suit their 2.5″ for example. If this suits your fancy, we can mix and match rims to suit your needs. Just give us a call or e-mail and we’ll dial in your perfect wheelset.
Hopefully we’ve made the decision a little easier for you!