SRAM jumped on the fast track to providing performance wheels when it acquired Zipp Speed Weaponry, a longtime (20 plus years) composite component and wheel specialty manufacturing company. This provided SRAM with the expertise to not just enter the wheelset market, but to allow it to offer advanced, highly developed products like the Rise 40 26in Wheelset.
The Rise 40 is aimed at the mainstream mountain bike market, leaving race duty to the money-is-no-object Rise 60 Carbon wheelset. SRAM balanced the Rise 40's elements to favor strength, performance, and reliability so it'd appeal to both cross-country and all-mountain applications. One key feature to the Rise 40's strength is its asymmetric double-wall alloy rim. This shape allows SRAM to use near equal length spokes, creating a stronger complete structure.
The Rise 40 uses stainless steel bladed spokes that are laced in a 24 count, two-cross pattern both front and rear. This pattern keeps weight down and ensures optimum stiffness to resist wheel deflection. They're also a straight-pull design, so there are no stress-prone bends. These aerodynamic spokes are side loaded into the hub flange, making replacement incredibly easy.
The hub shell and freehub body are made of lightweight 6000 series aluminum, and they house sealed cartridge bearings for maximum performance and minimum maintenance. The rear hub uses four bearings like the Rise 60, but it has a steel freehub body instead of an aluminum one for heavier duty use. A 54-tooth drive ring gives just under seven degrees of engagement, while three pawls with a saw-tooth profile offers nine points of purchase. This makes ratcheting through technical sections easier and gives the Rise 40 instant response when you turn on the power.
These wheels are available with standard quick releases. While they're not tubeless compatible, the Rise 40 rims work great with rubber rim strips conversions like Stan's No Tubes Tubeless System. The Rise 40 26in Wheelset is compatible with six-bolt rotors and Shimano or SRAM cassettes.