Revolution Wheelworks Rev-20

Affordable wide wheels

Over the last six years I’ve become a convert/proselytizer first for tubeless, and then tubeless on wide rims. The ride is smooth, cornering is excellent, and I haven’t flatted once in those six years. Every time I see someone changing a flat by the roadside it’s all I can do to hold my tongue. The only drawback was the lack of an affordable wheelset for this setup.

A-a-a-and this is where Revolution Wheelworks’ Rev-20s comes in. Built with Velocity’s A23 rim and Sapim CX-Rays, the Rev-20s come in at 1438g (1430 claimed) and $690, which makes it lighter and cheaper than most of the big name offerings. At 160 pounds I’m right at the recommended weight limit for the 20/24 spoke build. I chose them instead of the 24/28 to see if I could wreck them.

RWW make no secret of the fact that they source existing parts for their wheels. What they offer are well spec’d wheels, sane pricing, and most of all, excellent build quality. My test wheels were indeed perfectly true and evenly tensioned. I taped them up with Stan’s tape and brought them to Mark Purdy at iFixByx to mount the tires.

Mark and I have noticed that tubeless setups can really cause spoke tension to plummet, so we took measurements before and after airing up the tires. The rear non drive side went from 100Kgf down to 70, and the front went from 83 to 55. I brought the tension back up with the tires mounted and the wheels have stayed true since. If you’re planning on going tubeless RWW will build the wheel with extra tension to save you this step (but I’d still check them after inflating). They’ll also sell you a $15 tubeless kit which includes the rim strip and valves.

So…they’re reasonably priced and well built. Tires transition smoothly into the 23mm rims for a smooth ride that rails corners. They’ve proven durable even though I’m right at the edge of their weight limit – they’re good as new after 1,600 filthy winter miles but for a little roughness on the rear bearings. All I have to add is that these are the lowest profile rims I’ve ridden in a while, and I’d forgotten what it’s like to be invisible to crosswinds. It’s very nice to descend at speed and not be freaked out by a gust of wind or a passing semi.



Martin Tarmac

Is the tape to show the tire bulge? I recently went tubeless and have been liking it, even thought I thought I wouldn’t. I am using the AC Tubeless wheels which are probably too light weight.

Andy Shen

The tape just shows rim and tire profile.

If you have an A23 wheelset you should be able to tape it up and run tubeless.

Victor Clearcoat

Why did you have to go to Mark Purdy to have the wheels mounted?

Couldn’t you do that yourself?

Andy Shen

Got the tires from Mark he has all four IRC’s. I went to Mark’s for the compressor. So much easier than frantic pumping. Wanted his advice on spoke tension too.


I recently re-built my main wheelset using the .HED Belgium C2 clincher rims (28/32 setup).

Would these work for a tubeless conversion – they’re 23mm wide. I’m a little hazy on the process but I think you guys had an article on it in the past(?) I’d be grateful if you could link to it.

Benjamin Ceramic

“bullet-proof” has to be among the dumbest marketing terms for cycling gear in recent memory.

go fire a 30-06 at the rim and get back to us on how it holds up. thanks.

Wylie Brazeon

Andy – are there any deep section carbon rims out there that are tubeless compatible? also, are tubeless conversions on standard rims any less reliable than purpose-built tubeless rims?

Monorchid Conconi

the founding fathers fully envisioned bullet proof wheels when they wrote the second commandment, and thus provided for a well-regulated militia’s right to bear arms in order to shoot your bike. true story.

Alexandre Torque

Why does running tubeless reduce spoke tension any more than the inner tube pressing against the rim?

Andy Shen

I have never gotten a satisfactory explanation of that but it’s definitely real. I’ve read that tension drops for tubed setups but not nearly as much. Maybe beads on tubeless tires are tighter? Sometimes it’s enough to make NDS rear spokes to go slack.

Taddeo Axle

Talk to a MT Biker and there is no other way to go. It changed everything. Some CXers like tubeless as well with reservations about the dreaded burp at low pressure. Are burps nonexistent with higher road tire pressure?

Andy Shen

No chance of burps at 90 psi. CX’ers are going below 30 psi, which, for that tire volume, is super low, hence the burps. 30 psi at MTB tire volumes is a lot firmer.


Has anybody had success in going tubeless with regular road (700×23) tires? I’ve noticed that dedicated tubeless tires seem to weigh about 50% more than the Conti GP 4000S’s I use now – not sure why this is the case. So when factoring in tube vs. no tube, there doesn’t seem to be any advantage at all in rotational weight.

Andy Shen

Do NOT try that. Tubeless beads don’t stretch so the tires won’t blow off. The point isn’t to save weight, it’s to avoid pinch flats and punctures, run lower psi’s (’cause you can’t pinch flat), and to not lose energy in the friction between tire and tube.

Martin Tarmac

According to Road Tubeless, the IRC tires are very nice. Light and supple. I am using Hutchinson Intense now, which is fine, but I am curious to try other tires.

Andy Shen

I don’t have the super racy IRC’s. The ones I have don’t feel terribly different than the Hutchinsons. Looking forward to trying the lighter IRC’s later in the year.

Guillaume Headset

Andy, do the new A23 rims that Revolution sources have the “shelf” for the tire beads that are usually associated with (what I would call) “true” tubeless rims (i.e., with the enhanced blow-out prevention that tubeless-specific bead+shelf rims provide)?

Andy Shen

No shelf, they’re not tubeless dedicated I just made them tubeless. You could always build it up with tape if you want that extra level of security.

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