It took about one year of lurking at American websites already building the new disc specific Velocity Aileron rim. Even the tacky promotional video featuring a Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra soundtrack didn’t do anything to put me off them… I stressed with periodic reminders our UK distributor and that sorted the desired effect at the end of last summer. The Aileron has landed in England…God bless the Queen!
Predictably, it comes at a significantly higher price than the competition, as in essence it offers a superior package: 25 mm wide (20 internal), 28 mm tall, 460 grams only and no brake track. Unlike the competitors, which hide a brake track under an anodised coat or have a non machined track, the Aileron only exists as disc rim, so no brake track. The result is a significantly lighter structure per equal volume and it’s among the lightest rims even compared to those with a smaller volume! The only competitor which offers a somewhat similar package is the HED Belgium plus, which has less volume and costs even more money… pretty much a no brainer!
The finish is miles ahead of Velocity standards: unlike an A 23 there are no metal shavings left over from the machining and unlike the Dually the holes are directional and can take a spoke at an angle. In direct sunlight, the surface looks like a very dark brushed metal more than the classic matt black. The stickers are less ugly than the rest of the Velocity range, as a sign that they are doing something to address aesthetics as well.
I have built six of them so far and they all build very easily, in line with most of the latest crop of wide rims. Once in tension, the structure feels solid and minor tweaking only is required to build a perfectly true wheel. The rim is sleeve joined, rather than welded, which means at the joint there is always a tiny step, but that’s not an issue, given no brake pad will ever come near these. Rim joined with a sleeve are more robust than welded rims and that can only be a good thing if you plan to see how deep a drop you can jump with your wheels.
In conclusion, these are luxurious rims, which not only look amazing, but should provide a wonderful ride. They are designed to take any tyre you can think of, from 23 mm onwards, tubeless or tubed. In my opinion you will give them justice and make sense of the extra cost by using them tubeless, as there are plenty of non tubeless 23 mm rims which can give a similar ride for far less money. Time will tell if these bad boys are as good and indestructible as the H plus Son Archetype and the Velocity A23 that preceded them.
As for now, watch and drool!