I’m pretty excited to now be offering Spank rims for custom builds, and in this post we’re going to an in depth look at the Oozy Trail 345 29er rim.  Spank was founded when the owner couldn’t get anyone else to make his rim design – so he opened his own factory (Fratelli Industries) and started his own brand.

 

This set of wheels was built with 29″ Oozy Trail 345 rims, Hope Pro 4 hubs, Sapim Laser spokes, and alloy nipples, and weighed in at 1855g – not light, but certainly not heavy, especially considering the big 30mm inner width of the rims.

 

First, lets get the two numbers everyone worries about out of the way – the 29″ rims weigh in at 517g, and have a 30mm inner width.  The ‘345’ in the name is part of Spank’s naming system, and it’s the outter width of the rim (34.5mm – personally I wished they used inner width instead of outer width, but that’s just me).  They are also available in a 27.5″ version of course, but no 26″.  Now lets talk about the various features on this rim that are unique to Spank.

 

The laser etched graphics ain’t coming off.

OohBaa

One of the most unique, and interesting, features of Spank rims is their ‘OohBaa’ rim shape.  Instead of having a traditional u-shaped center channel in the tire bed, they have a w-shaped channel instead.  They claim the w-shape increases the rim’s stiffness and strength, and makes tubeless tire set up easier.  Most rims have a pretty easy tubeless set up these days – including these.  The pair of tubeless ready Maxxis tires we installed inflated easily.  So what about stiffness?

 

The OobHaa bead profile has a raised section in the middle of the center channel. It increases stiffness and aids in tire inflation.  Those ridges on the bead shelf and sidewall are part of the Bead Bite system.

 

Well, apparently it does help, more than I suspected.  In my rim lateral stiffness jig the Oozy Trail 345 measured about 8% stiffer than a 29mm inner width 29er rim from another brand that was 60g heavier, and in fact it was stiffer than a different style 27.5″ rim with a 29mm inner width!  That means the Oozy Trail 345 is really punching above it’s weight class in stiffness, and because it’s so stiff, for lighter weight/less aggressive riders it can be built up with lighter spokes to help keep weight down while still building into a stiff set of wheels with that big 30mm inner width.

Bead Bite

Another interesting feature is what Spank calls Bead Bite – it’s part of their tubeless design and is supposed to give the rim a better grip on the tire and help prevent burps.  Bead Bite is made up of several ridges that run along the bead seat – both on the shelf and on the sidewall.  Those ridges will bite into the bead and require more force to break them free.  The Bead Bite does mean you have to make a decision on tape with – I typically use a tape that’s 3-5mm wider than the inner width of the rim, which allows it to fit down into the center channel of the rim and extent from sidewall to sidewall.  This means the edge of the tape isn’t inside the pressurized air, which means you’re much less likely to get a leak.  And since the edge of the tape is at (or even up on) the sidewall you’re less likely to lift it up or damage it when installing a tire.  The issue with the Bead Bite design is if the tape covers the bead shelf, it covers the Bead Bite ridges and lessens their effectiveness.  So if you want to make the most use of the Bead Bite, you need to use a slightly narrower tape that doesn’t cover the bead shelf, and be a bit more carefull when installing tires.  For this set of wheels, Fred doesn’t have issues with burping tires, so I used the wider tape.

 

This is the only sticker on the rim – all other graphics are laser etched.  Fratelli Industries is the factory that produces the Spank rims. Spank and Fatelli are owned by the same gentleman, with Fratelli manufacturing for other companies and Spank being his own brand.

 

That pretty much sums this rim up.  It’s wide, reasonably light, stiffer than expected, and tires set up easily.  Fit and finish was good, and the rims were nice and flat and round out the box, making building them easy.  Also, it comes in a few different anodized colors, like red, blue, and a black with green graphics.  The other color options are even the same price!  In addition to the Oozy Trail 345 Spank has several other rim options, including narrower and lighter options, as well as a wider plus size offerings, and they all feature the OobHaa shape and Beat Bite ridges.

 

Fred with his new wheels – Oozy Trail 345 rims, Hope Pro 4 hubs, Sapim Laser spokes, and alloy nipples. We installed new tires and rotors on the wheels, and compared to his previous set up (Stan’s Arch EX wheels) he didn’t lose any weight, but he didn’t gain any either (seriously – bike weighed 27.22lbs before and after!). Considering he made a big jump in rim width (21mm to 30mm inner) not picking up any additional weight is pretty sweet!