The Light Bicycle AM930S Carbon Gravity wheelset looks and feels unique, starting at $828 [Review]

The branding meeting had to be brief: “Hey, what does every cyclist want? A light bike. Alright, let’s name the company that. I remember the first time I heard the name Light Bicycle. A friend had built a set of their 30mm wide rims at the time on Phil Wood hubs for a relatively affordable feathery set. She said “their rims are cheap and super light so if they break I’ll put on another one.” That was maybe ten years ago, and the brand has developed several branches of rims and axles since.

Test driver profile the size: 175cm (5’9″) ballast: 65 kg (145 lbs) testing area: Bellingham, WA

AM930S configuration and options

The AM930S carbon wheelset we tested offers great features you won’t find everywhere, with reliable components such as hub choices from Bitex, Chris King, DT Swiss, Hope and Industry Nine, and proven spokes by Sappim. After selecting the rim you want, you will be able to choose the hub configuration and color, the number and style of the spokes, the material and color of the nipples, the finish and the customization of the decals, and you can have tires installed. valves and rim tape if desired. There is a 5 year warranty included which can be increased to a lifetime commitment for $50 per rim.

These particular wheels spin on I9 Hydra hubs with 32 Sapin D-Light spokes interwoven with black alloy nipples, all compressing into a set of the brand’s latest 29″ Recon Pro AM930S rims. We opted for J-bend spokes for easy replacement and 6-bolt rotor mounts. With no advertising decals for the brand, the gloss finish on these wheels looks fantastic compared to their one-way hookless rims. The whole thing weighs a hair under 1600g, as per the company name.

This version sells for $1,370 and the price drops to $1,100 with the I9 1/1 hubs or $828 with the Bitex center hubs. These rims alone cost $289, weighing around 400g each.

AM930S Setup and Durability

AM930S carbon wheel construction, hub detail
32 spokes crossed in half for victory by gravity!

With tape and valves at home, I opted to do this tubeless setup myself. Several axles I tested were pre-glued, immediately needing new tape as the glue had come off during flight from their factory. So I wrapped the 30mm-wide inner rims in Schwalbe’s blue tape, inserted Reserve Fillmore valves into the holes, poured a helping of sealant, and put the tires in place with a floor pump.

The inner profile of the rim, or tire gap, has an ideal shape to properly seat the beads against the rim without a hook. I have yet to burp a set of tires on these wheels, which is always a welcome bonus. The external rim width is 37mm, and those 3.5mm wide walls are thick enough that I didn’t notice any snakebite punctures after countless rim impacts at low tire pressure.

There are no cracks in the hookless hoops, which is surprising given their regular use on the same trails that have eaten up other rims this season. Like most amazing wheels we can buy today, these things run true and fine after heavy amounts of neglect and countless impacts. The spokes held the tension, showing that they were prepared and built correctly from the start.

Respect for lateral and radial paths

The spoke holes are drilled in a straight line, despite the curved profile of the rim.

The ride feel is where it is with carbon rims since the fiber and resin layers can be adjusted to the desired level of compliance. These rims have an asymmetrical 3.3mm nipple drilling that allows for more symmetrical tension between the driveside and non-driveside spokes, and Light Bicycle says of the wavy outer pattern in the rim “the overall depth alternates between 18.1mm and 21mm, creating a ribbed inner circumference.The unique combination of a stepped sidewall and a contoured rim bed gives the carbon rim extra vertical compliance.A finely tuned Toray T700 layer includes layers of carbon nanotubes in key areas to enhance vibration damping properties Carbon nanotubes increase impact resistance by 10% without adding weight.

It’s a load of stiffness and compliance, but how do these characteristics behave on the track? There is a lot in this question. For example, casings and tire pressure can greatly affect ride characteristics, as can spoke tension and carbon layup. People who say these things don’t matter, and it’s all about tire pressure probably didn’t ride a set of harsh or sloppy wheels. I have, and this AM930S set from Light Bicycle is far superior to those circular pairs. In fact, they’re on par with some of the best wheels I’ve tested.

Drill the valve hole.

When adjectives like “hard” and “fast” come to the fore, this wheelset shines bright. Like a gravity tire carcass, the Light Bicycle AM930S rims come to life when you push the pace on proper gravity trails. On flow trail or any machine-built dirt, riders may not notice a significant performance gain with these wheels. They are made for a different party. On bigger stones and protruding roots, the rims show their conforming prowess as the speed increases. When I’m looking at a bend full of loose rocks and a lengthwise root, I want the rim and casing to move a bit with all those impacts, helping the suspension efforts for maximum traction, and those rims offer. Their lateral flexibility is quite low, allowing for precise handling without being too stiff to create harsh feedback for the human perched above. Light Bicycle handled the delicate balance between noodle and scalpel pretty well.

Vibration damping is not easily tested in winter at Bellingham, as the silt and roots do not offer the type of high frequency impacts encapsulated by the word vibration. However, I have a test track that tells that story pretty well when the wheels are bolted to my hardtail. On this track, the AM930S wheels are a bit less slick than the Reserve 30 | 30 or Evil Loophole that I recently tested. Although they eat up some small chatter, they can be a bit more tiring than other wheels after a full day of riding. These wheels are also a bit lighter than the ones mentioned above, and the shape allows them to shed some weight and still be strong enough for gravity bikes.

Reserve Filmore valves are ideal for inflating with a floor pump.

In summary

Durable wheels and tires can really boost my confidence, and these rank under “don’t worry about them” on any trail I’m willing to ride. This set was designed to display the brand’s most robust gravity option, and they certainly perform accordingly. If I ordered them again, I would opt for a 28-spoke front for a touch more compliance and lower weight, and could upgrade to the Sapim CX-RAY spoke option to shed even more grams.

Light Bicycle manufactures these rims themselves, so their knowledge of production times and delays is largely immediate. Current lead times are between three and five weeks, excluding custom decals, which is pretty good for a fully custom wheelset. People in the market for a lightweight carbon set with all the bells and whistles of the competition and a lower price tag won’t be disappointed with these, and the wavy sauce won’t be confused with your friends wheels either. when unloading the van.

party towers

  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money
  • Inspiring confidence

Advantages and disadvantages of the Light Bicycle AM930S pair of gravity wheels.

dirty naps

  • 32-spoke construction may feel too stiff for some
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