Kirk Pacenti has spent the last two decades immersed in several areas of the bicycle industry. He's a keen rider and this experience informs his design work. His passion for all things cycling has caused him to focus on many diverse aspects of bicycle design. As a wheel builder I am always interested to see what trends are surfacing in the area of hub and rim design. As we know trends come and go. For instance many may have concluded that the straight pull spoke design is new, when in fact the idea was first seen over a 100 years ago! It obviously went out of vogue and has found its way back into the minds of hub designers. The same could be said for some aspects of rim design. A recent design direction is for a wider rim. The additional width enables the tire to form a different more pleasing shape with the added benefit of a smoother ride. Kirk Pacenti saw the benefits of wider rims and this has manifested itself in some of his rim models. One Pacenti rim that has been quite popular is the SL 25. This 450 gram 700c rim is made from heat treated 6061-T6 alloy. Its tubeless compatible with a welded joint and has no rider weight limit. A rim that could work well for road racers, cyclocross devotee's and off road enthusiasts.
If we look at the other rims from Pacenti the other models continue to get wider. If you have sufficient frame clearance you could opt for the widest rim at 31mm, the DL31. A rim with a shallow depth but a width that will enable some interesting off road tire choices. The DL31 was originally designed as an Enduro rim but has proven itself in Europe with several Pro teams including Joe Connell's win at the 2013 Scottish National DH title.
A recent development in the Pacenti line is their "Forza". The Forza rear rim uses an asymmetric design that shifts the spoke holes over a few millimetres to help equalise spoke tension between the drive side and the non drive side. The diagram below helps to illustrate how this is done and how it effects the shape of the rim. A very helpful innovation that has been used by several conscientious rim manufacturers over the years. The front Forza rim has a typical symmetrical design. The Forza has also increased the thickness of the spoke bed which makes for a more robust rim. The actual width of the rim is narrower by only 0.5mm but retains the 20mm internal width. All this makes for a rim which is about 20-30 grams heavier but with a much improved design in my opinion. This rim replaces the SL23 and is a welcome addition to the line. I recently built up a pair of wheels with the Pacenti Forza's and I was very impressed with their quality. As with any rim that is designed without eyelets, I always use Sapim HM stainless steel spoke nipple washers to spread the tension load to avoid any potential cracking around the spoke hole. It works wonders. I think most road and cyclocross riders will really appreciate this new rim.
Cognoscenti Cycles is happy to be building with Pacenti rims. If wide is your thing, and getting off the pavement is your new aspiration, then maybe we could build up something to suit your new terrain!