When former pro cyclist Boyd Johnson retired from bike racing in 2009, he was looking to shape the next step in his life. A self-professed “wheel junkie” who had ridden on numerous wheels since he began racing at age 13, Johnson decided to start his own bike company called Boyd Bikes. Johnson’s company, located in Greenville, South Carolina, initially sold frames and other products, but in 2011 it changed names to Boyd Cycling and decided to focus solely on building wheels and hubs.
Last year, we took a look at the Altamont clincher and alloy Black and Tan tubular CX/gravel models. Boyd Cycling initially built a loyal following through word-of-mouth, but its wheels are becoming increasingly popular and they have even made it to the top step of the podium at U.S. Cyclocross Nationals. One thing that has impressed us about Boyd Cycling is the attention to detail the company puts into its work. Boyd developed a proprietary wingnut for its tubeless valves that allows for easy untightening when you need to add a tube out on the gravel or trail.
We've covered Boyd Cycling over the years, but haven't yet reviewed a wheelset. Often Boyd Johnson would hint that we'd want to ride his upcoming wheel instead of his current product, and that it'd be worth waiting for. It's the curse of a tinkerer. The next version will always be better.
Now it appears that Johnson believes the time is now, as he unveiled a number of new products at the 2017 Press Camp that are all ready for editorial and consumer consumption and gravel and cyclocross escapades.
Whether it's the new Jocassee carbon 650b/27.5″ gravel wheelset, the new Quest Centerlock hubs, alloy tubeless valves, clever valve wingnuts, or the new Ready2Ride program, Johnson has thought of every detail when it comes to tubeless wheels.
Much to our surprise, he was also quick to credit Cyclocross Magazine for his tubeless sealant. Back at the 2016 NAHBS in Sacramento, we saw his prototype tire sealant and wrote:
"[Boyd Cycling] has a pink, bubble-gum scented tubeless sealant, possibly with glitter, in the works. We're anxious to try it and get the insides of our tires tickled pink. And [Boyd] has a new tubeless valve wingnut to make road or trailside repairs easier if you've ever experienced an overtightened tubeless valve nut."
Lo and behold, the sealant is now available, and our early press inspired its name: Tickled Pink.
The sealant has a recognizable bubble gum scent that tickles your nose to alert you of a potential puncture or burp. It's latex based and retails or $9 or an 8oz bottle, good enough for two sets of road/cyclocross wheels, or one set of mountain bike wheels.
Boyd also showed off its $1650 carbon 650b gravel wheels, called the Jocassee, named after a heritage preserve in South Carolina that features miles of gravel roads. The new wheels are 24mm wide internal, 36mm deep, weigh 1570g, and come built around the company's new Centerlock Quest hubs or White Industries hubs.
We've got a pair rolling towards our offices. Stay tuned for a full test. The wheels could be the perfect complement to the new WTB 42mm Resolute All Weather gravel tire recently released. [Win one of 10 pairs here.]
See the photo gallery below for more photos and details on the Jocassee wheels, along with the company's new ceramic coating option for the Altamont wheels, the consumer-friendly Ready2Ride program, as well as Boyd's alloy tubeless valves, wingnuts and Quest disc hubs.