WTB brought these rims out a while ago now so they aren't exactly new, but this pair that just showed up for review is the first we've seen of them. It's no secret that WTB have been working closely with Stan's over the past few years and like Stan's they have opted not to go along completely with the tubeless standard but make a product they think locks in better. Stan's are also supplying WTB with tyre sealant which WTB have re-branded to fit with the whole TCS (Tubeless Compatible System) package.
The rims themselves feature a lot of exclusive WTB technology, like their I-Beam and Unbendium bulge for increased stiffness. WTB riders and their marketing dudes (which are one in the same) have been fans of ghetto tubeless setups since Stan's first arrived on the scene. Given that WTB make tyres as well as rims, they've been in a pretty good position to refine the whole setup and TCS is basically that. WTB TCS rims and tyres feature a secure bead lock (I never blew a tubeless tyre off my Strykers) and their On-Ramp feature makes for easy inflation with a standard floor pump.
But the biggest feature in these wheels is the 4D spoke hole drilling. The 4D drilling process creates the optimal interface between spoke and rim without eyelets. This exact angle reduces binding and the need for eyelets. By drilling spoke holes at an angle that follows the path of the spokes, the nipples rest in a neutral position, when a spoke under tension is unimpeded from the rim to the hub flange there is no stored load that leads to a spring affect in the built wheel. WTB claim that wheels built with 4d drilling offer more precise tracking, greater stability, increased durability and a reduced chance of failure.
The Frequency comes in two rim widths 19 and 23mm, and currently is available in New Zealand in 26 and 29" sizes. Because here at Spoke we are extra radical riders, we went for the wider rim width and in the 29" wheel size.
WTB love acronyms. The Frequencys have five, all with their own little logos...
WTB's re-branded sealant and their nice, wide rim tape.
We will be building up these wheels from scratch this week and lacing them to Hope Pro II Evos for a review in our December issue. We'll also be throwing up a video covering the tubeless setup next week.
The 29" Frequency TCS i23 rims weighs in at 530 grams each and retail in New Zealand for $159.