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EUROBIKE 2015 | Looking good on paper: AX Lightness Enduro-Rim

When it comes to road riding and marathon racing, AX-Lightness already boast a solid reputation for creating lightweight and high-end parts and frames. But now the Upper Franconians are heading full gas in one direction: straight out of the starting blocks, they’re unveiled a super promising-looking enduro rim.

Satte 36 mm Innenbreite bei 430 g – die Endurofelge von AX-Lightness.
No smaller than a 36 mm diameter and just 430 g – the enduro rim from AX-Lightness.

Carbon rims boast rigidity – but that’s also their downfall. While it might deliver more speed and precision, it can often result in disaster. Where an aluminium rim could continue largely undisturbed (bar a few dents), the carbon rims either break on impact or transfer unfiltered power through to the spokes, resulting in a serious need for servicing.

Die dezente und etwas ungewöhnlich Optik überzeugt schon einmal. Der ganze Laufradsatz mit …
Looking good: subtle yet distinctive. The whole wheelset, including…
… DT Swiss 240s-Naben kommt auf knapp 1.600 g. Das ist ziemlich leicht für 27,5" und derart breite Felgen.
…the DT Swiss 240s hubs, weighs a mere 1,600 g. That’s pretty light for a 27.5″ wheel with such wide rims.

With their enduro rims, the crew from AX-Lightness intend to unite the advantages from both worlds. The rigidity is generated by a double chamber section in the middle, while the thicker, single-walled outer area is allowed a level of flex towards the hub due to the thinner mid-section. This should spread any energy from impacts, and prevents the rims and tyres from damage. On the cross-section model, this works impressively and we’re excited to see how this will work on a full wheel.

Die Hohlkammer in der Mitte generiert die Steifigkeit und die „Flügel“ können dank dem dünnen Mittelsteg leicht flexen und so Einschlagskräfte besser verteilen und Defekte verhindern.
The hollow chamber in the middle generates rigidity and the ‘wings’ can flex lightly thanks to the thinner mid-part. This spreads energy from impacts and prevents defects.

At 430 g, AX-Lightness’s enduro model weighs in incredibly light considering its width (35 mm inner, 47 mm outer). For comparison: while an ENVE M70 weighs a similar 450 g, it only offers an interior diameter of 25 mm and 32 mm outer. The AX-Lightness wheelset with DT Swiss 240s hubs weighs a total of 1,600 g. The company have priced it well for their target market, retailing around 2,500 € – which is 800 € less than the model from Utah that fared less well in our comparison.

Die AX-Lightness-Endurofelgen sind voll tubeless-tauglich.
The AX-Lightness enduro rims can be ridden tubeless.

In terms of visuals and technical details, these rims look faultless. The nipple holes have an exemplary finish, and certainly haven’t been drilled as an after-thought. The top layer is accurately finished and the subtle logo stickers only add to the high-end appearance. Given the solid construction and lack of paper-thin sidewalls, it would be easy to feel confident in these rims. We’re definitely going to do our utmost to get our mitts on a test wheelset.

Die Verarbeitung ist tadellos und zu 100 % Made in Germany.
The construction is flawless and 100 % Made in Germany.

More information can be found at ax-lightness.de

Words: Andreas Maschke Photos: Christoph Bayer