Boyd Cycling draws the analogy between itself and craft brewers in a world where large companies seemingly make "better" products when one just compares market reach. But look beyond labels, pricing and ad budgets and Boyd Cycling, like many smaller breweries out there, makes a fine product and can offer it at a reasonable price because it is, in fact, a smaller outfit.
Rare for the cycling industry, the eponymous company is named after someone's first name, Boyd Johnson. Johnson is a former professional racer who spent many years riding various wheels. By 2009, as he was leaving the pro ranks, the confessed "wheel junky" decided he could make a better wheel and offer riders a better value.
Originally Boyd Bikes, the company first offered frames, wheels and more, but decided that a focused approach on one product, wheels, where it could concentrate resources, was going to be better in the long run. Thus far, it has been proven correct as the wheels have gained a loyal following. No longer just internet-sales based, Boyd Cycling wheels can now be found in some local bike shops as well.
It makes sense that Johnson describes himself as a wheel junky when you look at the Boyd Cycling offerings as we did at this year's NAHBS. We've seen Boyd wheels before on the Grava bike we featured back in February. And we were happy to have the chance to take an even closer look at the wheels themselves in Sacramento.
Each of the products shows an attention to detail and evidence that they were designed and built by riders with riders in mind. Boyd's rim construction features an extrusion line, which makes for a stronger and straighter rim. Real Wheel Bicycle Studio's Chris McGovern says Boyd's rims are some of the straightest and easiest-to-build and the rims' construction aids with this.
While Boyd Cycling is committed to tubeless, the company showed off its tubular rims at NAHBS. The tubular Black and Tan rim bed is shallower than many out there, and would likely serve as a good option for those running wider tubular tires for 'cross or gravel riding.
The wheels we were most excited to see was the Altamont Lite disc alloy clincher. The rim is 19.86mm wide internally, 25mm deep and weighs in at 440 grams. It's also now offered with Centerlock disc hubs as the model name suggests. The disc version is not on the Boyd website yet, but will be soon.
Wheels aside, Boyd Cycling is also working on wheel-related products too. It 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 it has a new tubeless valve wingnut to make road or trailside repairs easier if you've ever experienced an overtightened tubeless valve nut.
Riders looking for new wheels placing a premium on value and quality with smart design would do well to consider the Boyd Cycling wheel line-up.
More Info: boydcycling.com