In SRAM's hierarchy of wheels, Rise rules the XC roost while the Rail wheels are for roosting berms on enduro descents. That leaves the versatile 29in Roam 50 Boost Wheelset as the connecting member of this tripartite Venn diagram, situating it squarely in the loosely defined role of trail or all-mountain cycling. With an internal rim width that's well-suited to mid-sized tires in the 2. 4in range, the Roam 50 is the perfect companion for today's generation of trail-minded, mid-travel 29ers with generous tire clearance. All of which we've come to expect from the Roam; however, new for this year, the rim replaces tired old aluminum with the light, stiff flashiness of carbon fiber, expanding the Roam's reach by improving pedal efficiency. Though it's now carbon fiber, the Roam's rim is still plenty wide. Since the wide rim lets the tires fill out with more air volume, you can run a lower PSI. That in turn adds traction by keeping the tires glued to lumpy climbs and lightly root-latticed singletrack, and it also increases the cushion, making the suspension feel deeper than it actually is. When paired with the added drive and braking responsiveness of Boost hubs, the benefits of mid-sized tires are only compounded. The Roam 50's asymmetrical spoke bed plays a role in maintaining drive stiffness and the wheelset's structural integrity by correcting the spoke-length discrepancies required by standard, symmetrically drilled rims. On a conventional wheel, spokes on the drive side are shorter, causing uneven wheel tension and thus a weaker wheel. Because of the Roam 50's asymmetrical spoke bed, the spokes are all the same length, which allows stress from pedal input (lateral), braking (torsional), and impacts (radial) to be spread more evenly throughout the wheel. In the event that a spoke does give up the ghost after an especially ambitious line or calamitous user error, the fact that they're straight-pull instead of J-bend means that the poor fellow will be easier to ...
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