SRAM Rail 50 26in Aluminum UST Wheel $586.00
SRAM built the RAIL 50 26in Aluminum UST Wheel light enough for long climbs, but they really shine on the descents. That's where their stiffness keeps you on track, even on the roughest of trails.
In designing its new range of wheelsets, SRAM's engineers focused on building wheels that provide durability, a responsive ride quality, and an overall low weight. The Taper Core construction of the aluminum RAIL rim is an illustration of this mission. Taper Core is the product of an extrusion process that allows them to place more material where it's needed for durability.
This results in a thinning of the remaining rim profile in order to optimize the balance of weight and strength. In fact, a cross-section of the rim reveals that its main cavity is thinner on the sides than either the bead hook or the spoke bed This way, the rim is more resistant to denting under hard impacts. The cross-section of the Rail 50's rim also reveals an asymmetrical shape that offsets the spoke bed.
SRAM builds the Rail wheels with zero dish to maintain an even spoke tension, and an asymmetrical rim shape is essential to this so that the spoke bed aligns with the hub shell. This keeps both spoke tension and spoke length equal on both sides, while the shape of the rim centers the tire relative to the dropouts. This way, the Rail wheels maintains correct spacing and reaps the benefit of even spoke tension.
It also permits identical spoke lengths on both sides of the hub, and at both the front and rear. This not only adds strength, but it also means that one replacement spoke is able to be used on the on any side of either the front or rear wheel. SRAM uses a wide rim that provides a 23mm internal width, and it uses UST standard bead hooks for an easy tubeless setup.
At the center of the Rail 50 wheels, you'll find user-friendly hubs. A straight-pull spoke design is employed, as opposed to a traditional J-bend spoke. As a result, stiffness is improved, while also adding the benefit of making on-the-fly spoke replacements a bit easier. The axles use push-on end caps at front and rear, meaning that fitting these wheels to nearly any mountain bike axle standard will be a breeze.
The SRAM Rail 50 26in Aluminum UST Wheel freehub is available in both a standard 9/10-speed configuration, as well as SRAM's XD freehub body. And regardless of the version, both freehub designs run on DT Swiss's Star Ratchet system.