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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Over in the 29er components form there is a Cheep Chinese carbon rim thread - you know the one.

Well, I was loitering around and noticed this new company BTLOS (Beyond the Limits of Self), drop in and announce themselves with a shameless self plug. And I took the click bait.

Backstory: Not a week before I ordered some Nextie premium rims for my new build. I'm always skeptical, and really prefer to go with something that has some history...which sometimes means I overpay, lol. Got the 29er, 36mm external wide rims. Awesome. Expensive.

Well, low and behold BTLOS has the same rim profile, which I like very much. 29mm being a good width in my opinion, and with slightly thicker 3.5mm sidewalls. They also offer it in a more premium package, with combination T700/T800 with slightly more T800 (which cost twice what the T700 does) than Nextie, while using a slightly more simplistic layup with a single overlap angle of 45 degrees, and guarantee the same roundness and flatness. So, nearly identical product, with the benefit of a little bit of a pricier make-up material wise, and perhaps a little less pricey due to simplified layup. I imagine the difference in cost overall, should be nil. But...

Nextie, $240 per rim.
BTLOS, $170 per rim.

Nextie was kind enough to offer me their xmas discount of $35 per rim, early. And I got a second set lower tier rims from the to lace and sell.

BTLOS has an xmas sale too, with 15% off.

Now $205 vs $144.50.

BTLOS was slightly cheaper for shipping...and offered to invoice me in Canadian, at the days exchange rate - this to me is great because it could save me 2.5% fx fee.

I sort of cried a little, seeing my money go down the toilet...overall the same rims at Nextie were $200 Canadian more! Many will tell you the two rims are likely identical. Perhaps even from the same factory, who knows. I CAN tell you Nextie is only a 25 min drive from BTLOS, who seem to me to actually be a factory and not just a reseller/middle man. Not sure about Nextie, but I get the sense they are a reseller.

I have chatted back and fourth with both Nextie, and BTLOS. I can tell you that the guys at Nextie are nice guys, but to me BTLOS is out to prove something - they have a sales person available in the morning and all evening, and they are responsive, sending pics and having their engineers literally draw a cad picture and send to answer a tech question - it was quite impressive.

Long story short, I have a small wheel building business side gig, and I thought...why not. I need to know...so I am going to be the guinea pig. If they are indeed the same quality, then I know what rims that I will use for my local carbon wheel builds, and I'll just sell the extra set off.

They don't seem to have a lot of profiles posted yet, but given the fact they are a new B2C company that I believe has longer standing B2B track record, I think they have more profiles, just not yet posted to their web site. I am hoping they get their product range a little more sorted, but I'm happy to have found them. upon searching; it seems they have only been online for little over a month. They did offer the same 36mm rim in 650B, even though it isn't posted - so I know they have more. Not much yet in the 27-35mm internal width that I think is optimal, but I hope more will come.

So far, I can say service is really second to none, and I don't just mean for an Asian rim company - I deal with Hope, DT Swiss, and WTB on a semi frequent, and I'm just as happy with the service provided on my first rim purchase, and their eagerness to help/troubleshoot.

I do hope they get some more interesting and trendy rim profiles up in the coming weeks/months. If they can, they may be a winner.

When I have both comparable BTLOS and Nextie rims in hand, I'll will take some detail pics and give you an initial impression.

NEXTIE | New Official Site | Carbon Bicycle Store
www.btlos.com
 

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Thanks for sharing this find with us, really looking forward to your review. Always nice to see more options (and having it in CAD is nice too since I'm in Toronto). If they are as good as you think I'll have them on my short list for the ID29mm option.
 

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Clicking on that link I have to think that Nextie and Btlos are the same companies. Websites are identical.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@bikerfisher11 - I am also located in Toronto (near Keel and Dundas) - you are welcome to come by and check the rims out if you like, when they arrive. Might as well wait so you can compare Nextie to Btlos. It's always nice to handle something before you buy and I'm happy to help if I can. I know it's tough to put your trust in a company that's on the other side of the globe, and it's hard to sort through what is good and what is junk, who's telling the whole truth, etc.

@Rngspnr - Most of the Asian sites that allow customization of rims have nearly identical user interface. You'll find light bicycle very similar. they are all physically different entities, however. I get the sense there might be a couple dozen manufacturers and resellers in this area. Some make rims for larger companies and have customer direct spin-offs. To get a sense of the geography, check out the map I made of the more well known brands - most are within a few minutes driving distance of one another. Hard to know however, who is making their own stuff, and who is just re-branding and adding cost. I can with some certainty, that BTLOS is actually making rims themselves, and this direct to customer thing is new for them. This scenario is best (in my humble opinion
), because I think this is where you'll get the best quality at the lowest cost. I can confirm the cost part at least - I will soon be able to tell you about the quality, and overall value. Stay Tuned!

carb.jpg
 

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Saw your post and emailed btlos to see about some cx wheels. Hopefully similar to rg922 gravel light bikes with lighter t800.will follow up when they respond. Thanks for the heads up.
 

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@mjw - Thanks! I will very likely take you up on the offer to come see them in person when you're done. I'm in Scarborough but would happily make the trip to the west side.
Much appreciated.
 

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Clicking on that link I have to think that Nextie and Btlos are the same companies. Websites are identical.
I'm thinking most of these guys are selling the same stuff or, rather, are re-selling the same stuff. Their rim profiles and product lineups all look almost identical.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@alexdi - eie looks to have a very clear product range, which I like. Makes picking your rim easy. And price looks okay, for sure. I don't like the shape of their symmetric rims, but their asym rims look nice. I would however, prefer some options with thicker rim bead walls. They are calling some rims with 3mm sidewalls (the burliest they seem to have), downhill and freeride rims, which is a bit of a joke when other sellers offer DH/FR rims with 4.5mm sidewalls, and trail/enduro rims with 3.5mm sidewalls.

BTLOS doesn't seem to have their product range quite in order yet, and they definitely could use more asym and symmetrical rims in a medium/wide internal width (27mm-35mm). I do think that you'll see those being posted in the near term...of so i get the sense. Seems they do have some nice slightly narrower stuff.

However, if you want a more upscale rim, with combination t700+t800 composition (which is more costly to make), they are fantastic in regards to price. I hope they continue with this sort of offering. This is the rim I mean in specific, and while they have it only posted in 29, they do stock it/produce it in 27.5 also (I checked):

https://btlos.com/mountain-bike/bm29s-36?filter=2,14

Alexdi, are you on boost hubs? Or regular spacing?

I'm on regular spacing (15x100, 12x142), but still chose to go Symmetrical. I definitely believe that asym rims will make a stronger wheel overall and their are benefits, but this particular rim caught me. It's burly, the right width for me, and I can build a pretty strong wheel - well built symmetric rim wheels have never been an issue for me. Also the tall profile means shorter spokes, making my 29 wheel stiffer. Overall they should be lighter, wider, stiffer, and tougher, than the DT ex471 they replace. Or so I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@mjw - Thanks! I will very likely take you up on the offer to come see them in person when you're done. I'm in Scarborough but would happily make the trip to the west side.
Much appreciated.
I'll keep you posted.
 

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I'm thinking most of these guys are selling the same stuff or, rather, are re-selling the same stuff. Their rim profiles and product lineups all look almost identical.
Definitely the truth in a lot of cases, yes. Some profiles seem to get sold by numerous re-sellers. But I'm fairly certain even if the mold and profile are the same, pending the factory, the composition and quality of materials can actually vary.

The mold used for the Nextie and for BTLOS rims I bought are definitely identical, but Nextie cost 40% more. The layup is different however, as is the split of t800/t700 which changes cost. This might all be for naught, or maybe there is some performance advantage one way or the other, but I can't say.

What I can say is, the customer service rep ran around the factory taking pictures of anything I requested. I have pics of open boxes of t700 and t800 Toray CF. I know the spec of the resin they use, and I have pictures with factory in the background, with workers manning the machines in production rooms. They weren't staged, just background noise in pictures of rim samples and so on. So, I can tell you with confidence this is actually a manufacturer - not just a reseller who's adding margin. And I assume this is why they can offer the same rim, or nearly the same rim, for 40% less. Hopefully I am correct!

Interestingly, they also offer you the opportunity to design and create your own mold, and thus your own branded rim - something you'll likely not find anywhere but a factory:

"With the principle of reasonable prices, efficient production time, service after the sale, we also offer OEM manufacturing for that special customer who wants to invest in their own product line. We help with product engineering and mold design, and the customer pays for the mold. If you are interested in any of our products or would like to discuss a custom order, please do not hesitate to contact us by email [email protected]. We are looking forward to forming successful business relationships with new clients around the world in the near future."
 

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Looks like they are out of Xiamen. The vast majority of carbon rims that come out of China comes from Xiamen. It seems pretty easy to set up an office there and have your pick of manufacturers for your new wheel company.
 

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I would however, prefer some options with thicker rim bead walls. They are calling some rims with 3mm sidewalls (the burliest they seem to have), downhill and freeride rims, which is a bit of a joke when other sellers offer DH/FR rims with 4.5mm sidewalls, and trail/enduro rims with 3.5mm sidewalls.
I wouldn't put too much stock in the label, though that's a pretty typical wall width. Knight's rims are all 2.5mm, Nox is 3mm, and Ibis is 3mm. Atomik goes up to 3.5mm on their "AM" rims. DH use, to me, demands a rim liner regardless of the width. I'd sooner choose 2.5mm with Huck Norris (or whatever) than 4mm without.

https://btlos.com/mountain-bike/bm29s-36?filter=2,14

That's a nice rim. It's about 50g heavier than I'd expect for a partial T800 layup at that spec. Whether that matters in the context of 1000g tires is debatable. My own wheels are 29i and 39i on 142 and Lefty spacing respectively.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wouldn't put too much stock in the label, though that's a pretty typical wall width. Knight's rims are all 2.5mm, Nox is 3mm, and Ibis is 3mm. Atomik goes up to 3.5mm on their "AM" rims. DH use, to me, demands a rim liner regardless of the width. I'd sooner choose 2.5mm with Huck Norris (or whatever) than 4mm without.

https://btlos.com/mountain-bike/bm29s-36?filter=2,14

That's a nice rim. It's about 50g heavier than I'd expect for a partial T800 layup at that spec. Whether that matters in the context of 1000g tires is debatable. My own wheels are 29i and 39i on 142 and Lefty spacing respectively.
Yeah, I'd agree with you that just about any carbon rim could use a liner, or the wall protection as Enve now does for more extreme use.

Nobl is usually my point of reference, being Canadian.

Nobl also uses 3.5mm walls on their harder riding rims, 3.0mm on their mid-weight mid-wides, and 2.5mm on their lighter riding skinny i23 rims.

Weight is not too bad, imho. Nolb's tr36 has a slimmer build and less depth, and sits ar 440g. BTLOS is 470g, with a build more akin to the Nobl TR38 (650b rim that weights 490g). A tad heavy - maybe. I'd argue not too bad. But, compare the cost. For the sake of 30-50g per rim, are you willing to pony up the extra $230 USD per rim?

BTLOS: $170 (144.50 now with xmas sale)
Nextie: $240 (205.00 now with xmas sale)
Nobl: $400

Heck. That's $255.50 savings per rim during xmas. If the only difference is weight between BTLOS, or even Nextie, and domestic rims, I'll keep my $511 USD, and buy some primo tires with part of it!

Please know, I am not saying they are the BEST rims in the world. they have the potential to be pretty great I think. But the price might just be damn near the best for the spec. This means they might well be one of the best values out there right now...that is of course my opinion, it is untested. My fingered are crossed.

For me...riding DT EX471, I'm shaving weight and adding width, so it's all good =)
 

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My EIE 29i rim came in at 395g. It's paired with a 2.4ish tire at just over 20 PSI. I'm usually around 180 kitted up, riding occasionally rocky XC terrain as fast as possible. I do occasionally bottom it, though to no apparent consequence. Haven't found a reason to opt for a heavier rim yet. I'm sure I'd feel differently in parts of the country with more gnar, but then, I'd also probably just equip the same rim with a liner.

So far, the widest ultralight options are 24i. Wouldn't surprise me to see a 360g 29i rim sometime next year though. If I had infinite money, I'd throw it at these:

FSE 35AM MTB 29er Tubeless Hookless DT Swiss 240 Boost Carbon Fiber Wheelset - FSE.bike

Not sure to make of the quoted widths, but I'll bet they've got the highest strength to weight of anything out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My EIE 29i rim came in at 395g. It's paired with a 2.4ish tire at just over 20 PSI. I'm usually around 180 kitted up, riding occasionally rocky XC terrain as fast as possible. I do occasionally bottom it, though to no apparent consequence. Haven't found a reason to opt for a heavier rim yet. I'm sure I'd feel differently in parts of the country with more gnar, but then, I'd also probably just equip the same rim with a liner.

So far, the widest ultralight options are 24i. Wouldn't surprise me to see a 360g 29i rim sometime next year though. If I had infinite money, I'd throw it at these:

FSE 35AM MTB 29er Tubeless Hookless DT Swiss 240 Boost Carbon Fiber Wheelset - FSE.bike

Not sure to make of the quoted widths, but I'll bet they've got the highest strength to weight of anything out there.
I tend to take my bikes to lift access DH parks, and do a lot of travel around the east coast where there is more root and rock than soil. Throw in some good sized drops and jumps, perfect. So, I take come comfort in a burly rim :)

Those rims you posted - those are really nice. Sounds like high tech carbon!

As for the width, I don't mind them. 25mm works well - still plenty Enduro and DH racers on 25mm rims - the ex471 being extremely popular with 25mm inner. I have 2 sets in use :). 5mm rim walls...burly!

Super light would be nice, but super light isn't my main concern. But certainly a strong and wide i30mm-ish rim, sub 400g, would be attractive. Especially if it were a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My BTLOS rims have officially gone to production, and my Nexties have shipped.

Lily from BTLOS send me the mock-up for my decals. I went with a colored B, and stealth for TLOS. I'm not usually all that keen on these manufacturer names and logos - I can never relate to them really...perhaps I'm a snob. But, I actually think this looks simple and kind of cool!

These will end up on my Black Canfield Riot, with Green DVO fork, and a few other green accents. They will be laced to DT Swiss 240' (green decals), via sapim d-light spokes. They should look pretty slick I think.

btlos.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got my Nextie rims.

Initial impressions:

On the Premium 29 rims - finish work isn't bad. However, Nextie says on their site that they will be within 0.15mm flatness/roundness. The card attached clearly shows that the rims are outside the guaranteed QC variance. I think that's pretty poor form!

The Asym 27.5 rims are horribly build finished. Very very VERY poorly done. The sidewalls were not build with enough resin and have already started to delaminate - you can stick your finger nail in-between the layers. Design is also pretty terrible - spoke holes on the tire side are centered while the spoke hols on the hub side are asymmetric, so they barely line up. It would be impossible to use a proper nipple driver/nipple wrench to build these - so much for the expensive squorx nips I bought. But, I won't use them anyways because the sidewalls look terrible.

So far, not impressed with Nextie. Definitely not worth the price premium. Not likely I'd evey buy a set to lace and resell to one of my own customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
That's unfortunate. Post photos and Nextie's response?
I will for sure, as soon as I hear back from them.

Meanwhile, the joke of the day. Check out the sidewall seperation, and they actually put a QC Pass sticker right next to it!!!! The whole rim lip looks like this. 1-2mm deep seperation in sections.

Nextie QC Pass:

PSX_20171229_172243.jpg
DSC04304sm.jpg
 
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