You don't need to spend a fortune to get high-quality wheels.

Ibis Blackbird Send wheels are a solid choice.


Q: I was skeptical about wider rims until I bought an Ibis DV9 almost two years ago. The bike came with in-house S35 alloy rims on it. They appear to have temporarily retired this wheelset. I’m a heavier guy at just about 220 pounds, so the wider contact patch that those rims created offered some extra security for me when things got loose or rocky. I also like to keep the total weight of my bikes at 30 pounds or less (not counting the water bottle, bike light, GPS or any other add-ons). I was hoping that you could steer me in the direction of a pre-made aluminum wheelset that has a similar, 35mm inner rim width—something that is fairly lightweight but also strong. I don’t really want to spend the money on carbon rims, as cost is a bit of a concern for me. Thanks in advance (and congrats on outlasting both Dirt Rag and Bike Mag. Long live MBA!).


San Diego, CA

A: By now you have likely seen our review of Ibis’ new Blackbird Send wheels and figured out that they are exactly what you are looking for. We are happy to report that after months of continued abuse under an eMTB, they are continuing to impress us with their performance and durability. We have not tested them, but Stan’s Baron S1 wheelset costs only $499 and features the 35mm inner rim width you seek. WTB’s KOM Tough i35 is another great choice, but they are only offered as rims, so you’d have to get them built up. Reserve has also just released a value-priced aluminum wheelset that costs $699, and Race Face has too, but theirs cost a bit more at $799. Both wheels come with a lifetime warranty, but they have 30mm wide rims that might not give you the tire profile you like so much with the 35mm size.

A cutaway of Race Face’s new aluminum rim design.

“Ask MBA” peeve of the month:

When your SRAM AXS derailleur or dropper post battery dies mid ride.

You might also like