Alloy Rimz

Feb 21, 2020
SoCo Western Slope
New wheel build time, looking for some 30mm IW alloy rims that are not mega tanks (29" EndurBro backup/race wheels if the carbonz go boom)

So far I'm looking at DT Swiss XM 481 or Stan's Flow MK4.

Thought on these or other suggestions?


used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
I bought a 481, built it and said I'd never use another rim that uses nipple washers, six months later I forgot and built another one and said the same thing again.
The squorx nipples that came with the second rim had massive differences in amount of thread locker in them, the box also looked to say that the rim was made in China but DT said that shouldn't be the case.
Seems lots of rim production is moving to China, all Sun rims come from there now.
Feb 21, 2020
SoCo Western Slope
DT FR541 looks solid, only 50g more than 481. I have no problem with nipple washers, been using them for a while and am good at not dropping the little bastards in the rim.

I didn't even look at FR541 on the DT site because "free ride" :monkey:


Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
I was thinking I'd get some 511s when I build up an ebike next year. Not a lot of rocks here, but I don't have the best line choice even before adding 15 lbs of bike weight. I figure they're good enough for the endurobros who ride hard, so should be good for a middle aged hack on a moped.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2015
will likely go with one of these if i ever kill my 471s as I'd like to bump up to 30mm...
From my experience with three wheelsets with them this is very unlikely to ever happen until you do some really stoooobid things.


Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
I am hearing good things about the Newmen Evolution and Evolution SL A 30 rims. Sadly no 559s available, so I am out.


Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
Xm481 at the front is good but I would prefer something sturdier at the other end of the bike. Ex471 for example


Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
I pretty much only ride on Stan's rims. I've had several in the past 12-15 years: Arch EX, Flow, Flow EX, Flow EX3, Flow MK3, Flow MK4.

I have the new Flow MK4 (29") and I like them a lot. I run them with CushCore on my hardtail, so I can't really comment on durability.

I also have a set of Flow MK3 (27.5") that I run without CushCore. The rear has multiple flat spots on them. I'd say they are a bit too beat up for the low mileage I have on them. I may have been a bit unlucky, but the trails I ride with them is pretty rough (not super fast, but lots of big rocks). I don't know if we should expect the MK4 to be more resistant to flat spots.

I also have a Flow EX3 (27.5") rear wheel. This one is still perfect and took quite a beating over the past 4 years. I now run a CushCore on it, but I did a couple of seasons without one.

If you're hard on wheels and can accept the weight penality, my experience is that the Flow EX3 are significantly more durable. Probably overkill for a front wheel, based on your requirements above.

Basically I'd say the MK4 could be an excellent choice for you, but consider an EX3 rear or running with a rear insert if you're hard on wheels.


Dec 15, 2013
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
The last 5 years or so I've been moving to DT rims for most wheels i build too, because they just seem most durable. I kind of like the nipple washer system, and those squorx nipples are kind of okay, even though I prefer Sapims double square version.
In the time before DT, it was mostly ZTR Crest and Flow rims, but whenever I see those MK3's nowadays, they are cracked at the nipple holes. Kinda disappointing...

Also laced some Spank rims that impressed me. Very good build quality, and hard aluminium.
Same for Duke rims, but I'm fairly sure they are from the same producer. (Fratelli's industries or something)


Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
Here is a great comparison of DT 30mm rims
Thanks for that. The 541 does sound like it might be a bit better in the rear for my case, if it's available by the time I need to build. Worst case I just build up 511s and if I kill the rear, replace it with a 541.
Feb 21, 2020
SoCo Western Slope
I was hoping for a DT 481/541 combo, but I had no luck finding the rims in stock. There happens to be a Stan's team rider/rep that lives in town so Flow MK4s are what I used. Sapim Race spokes with alloy nipples and the wheels built up very nicely, nipple washers and all. 1040g for the rear, and 905g for the front. The hubs are King ISO, unfortunately in 28 hole, but happy to find non CL King hubs anyway.


While I was searching for rims, I went super nerd on lacing patterns/rims offsets/bracing angles, etc. So here ya go...

This spoke calculator is awesome as it shows brace angles and all kinds of other info for each lacing pattern. Nice visual of the pattern for building purposes as well.
This research paper has all kinds of wheel stiffness info for different lacing patterns and spoke gauges.
And lastly here is some info on symmetric vs offset rimz.

To summarize what I found;
-3x is roughly 70% stiffer tangentially than 2x. So it resists wind up from pedaling and braking much better.
-2x is only about 7% stiffer laterally than 3x. Pretty minimal.
-A 3mm offset rim is about 8% stiffer laterally in the front, and a whopping 38% stiffer laterally in the rear for the same lacing pattern due to changes in the spoke bracing angles.

I went 3x/3x for the rear, and 3x (disk side)/2x(drive side) for the front.
For the rear, trailing spoke elbows out on the drive side and in on the disk side. For the front both side leading spoke elbows out. The rims are 3mm offset.


Tensions feels really even front and rear, and the dish is minimal. Probably won't make much difference when getting smashed in the Rox, but they came out really nice. I have built many wheels, and these are among the best in terms of going together and getting tension/trued.