Specialized Control 29 148 Wheelset
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When you think of lightweight XC wheels, aluminum probably doesn't come to mind. In reality, though, high-grade alloy wheels have all of the tremendous performance properties found in carbon, like light overall weight, durability, and resilience to impact. And when made with the right hands, they're perfect for competitive racers and everyday trail riders alike. The problem is that, while many carbon wheels can check these boxes with ease, most alloy wheels don't live up to these expectations. In the case of the Control 29 wheels, however, there’s finally an aluminum wheelset that's truly ready to race.
What sets the Control 29 wheels apart is that they share many of the same advanced technologies as our carbon version, the Control SL. They adopt the same rim shape with a 25-millimeter inner width, extensive on-trail testing, and our Zero Bead Hook technology.
Our Zero Bead Hook rim takes away the dated mountain wheel design known as a bead hook. This hook is the part of the rim that crests at the top, sitting several millimeters inward from the rim’s sidewall, and it catches the tire’s bead under its hook. We know this may not sound too bad, but the hook establishes a weak spot in the rim that's easily crushed or bent. Without a hook, a rim can be manufactured to much tighter tolerances and can be made lighter due to the hook not needing to be reinforced. For these wheels, this means that we're able to nearly equal the strength of carbon, while also making them lighter than many carbon wheels. More importantly, a Zero Bead Hook all but gets rid of the aforementioned weak spot in the rim that's plagued riders with flat spots and dents for decades. If you happen to be one of those riders that enjoys riding your four-inch travel XC bike like it’s a six-inch trail bike, you’re in luck.
Our objective of low weight and reliability, at an accessible price, also carries into the Control 29 build. We hand-build each rim to our alloy hubs, which feature DT Swiss internals at the rear and a design that allows for the same spoke lengths at both front and rear, via perfectly tensioned DT Swiss Revolution J-Bend spokes and Pro Lock nipples. We fully support the art of hand-building and do so with our wheels, knowing that real people can catch things that a machine simply cannot.
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