As radical as that elevated chain stay might look, I am excited the new Allied Cycle Work’s ABLE still has that 420mm chain stay for most frame sizes with enough room to accommodate 700x47c/650×55 and 700x43c/650×47 rear tires.
But before you call it just an updated Allroad with a new chain stay, its geometry has been reworked with a slightly taller stack, a 71° head tube with a 66mm trail for the increasingly more technical gravel, or just your hard all-day gnar grind. Still handmade in Little Rock, Arkansas and I love the music video!
Since the launch of the Vector Pro in 1997, Rolf Prima has always been known for their paired spoke hoops that quickly went to the Tour De France two years later. So popular even Trek licensed the technology for some time into the early Y2Ks.
It’s been 20 years since and a lot has happened since. Fast forward to 2013, Rolf began the project of bringing aluminum rim manufacturing in-house to their Eugene, Oregon headquarters. Their first house-made aluminum went into production in 2014. In 2016, they doubled down on in-house manufacturing and announced they would be making their own carbon rims. Pretty ambitious for a company that employed just a little over a dozen people, but they successfully pulled it off.
With their new expertise in rim manufacturing, Rolf is planning to bring their aluminum and carbon rims under new brand Astral Cycling. They’re still 100% made in Eugene, but they forgo the synonymous paired spokes layout in favor of traditional lacing patterns. So you can now pair these bad boys with your beloved purple Chris King R45s, or whatever you’d like to lace them to really.
Pricing is pretty competitive starting at $135 for the aluminum Wanderlust all the way to $900 for the carbon Prevail road rims. There are models for road, dirt and gravel, as well as touring/tandem in various spoke holes and 12 color decals to choose from. All Astral rims are tubeless compatible and there’s even a page on the website to help with wheel building, should you decide to build your own.
Astral rims are available now through dealers, builders and directly from the company’s website.