Handbuilt American style
Boyd Cycling is a family-run company that got its start selling frames and wheels before focusing on just wheels in 2011. With a background in racing, they’ve gained a great deal of knowledge about building wheels. While the rims are sourced in Asia, all of Boyd’s wheels are hand-assembled at their South Carolina facility. By keeping overhead small—and knowing what it’s like to be a racer on a budget—they have made value-oriented wheels the centerpiece of their business plan.
Boyd’s 28mm carbon clinchers are the lightest of their four-wheel (28mm 44mm, 60mm and 90mm deep) carbon clincher lineup. The 28mm is very versatile and can be used for everything from a day of hard climbing to your local cyclocross race. The rims have an 18mm internal width and a 25mm outer width. The tubeless-ready wheels are supplied with Boyd’s own tubeless tape and tubeless valves that come pre-installed.
Industry wide carbon-braking performance has always been tough, especially in wet conditions. New for Boyd is a brake track featuring a slightly textured surface for improved wet-braking performance. The new resin works with any carbon-specific brake pad, so there’s no need to worry about finding wheel-specific brake pads. That’s a really good feature.
Boyd uses a CNC factory to produce their hubs to specific specifications that ensure you have the stiffest, most stable and best-engaging hubs on the market. Their hubs have some of the widest flange spacing (front 38.9mm and rear 55mm) on the market. The wheels come in two different spoke counts, depending if you fall under or over the 180-pound marker. Going with the higher spoke count adds about 40 grams to the weight of the wheels.
Installing tires on tubeless wheels is always a bit on the tougher side, and these were no different. Luckily they weren’t too tough, and our tire levers held up to the task. For some reason removing the tubeless valve was more difficult than we were accustomed to, but after a little bit of elbow grease, we got them out.
Once out riding, we were happy with how the wheels felt. Taking them out into the hills we were impressed with the stopping power. As we didn’t have Boyd carbon-specific brake pads, this is where their new carbon resin comes in handy. Getting out of the saddle and accelerating, the wheels reacted quick and didn’t have much of a lull in the process. We spent the majority of the time out in the hills to get the full experience of the wheels. On fast descents the wheels were very responsive during tight turns and anything that needed to be quickly avoided in the road.
Although we weren’t able to try them out in the rain (we’re in California, remember), we were happy to learn of Boyd’s effort to specifically improve wet-weather braking with their new rim surface. Carbon rims aren’t renowned for their wet-weather performance, so having good brakes in bad weather is a major plus. Overall, we came away impressed with the wheels, especially considering their cost. The Boyd 28s definitely offer good bang for their buck, especially when you pit them against other climbing wheels that can cost two to three times more.
- Good price/performance ratio
- Tubeless ready
- Non-specific brake pads
Weight: 1,311 grams
Rim depth: 28mm (front and rear)
Rim width: 25mm (front and rear) inner width (18mm)
Front spoke count: 20 (riders under 180 pounds), 24 (riders over 180 pounds)
Rear spoke count: 24 (riders under 180 pounds), 28 (riders over 180 pounds)