Whisky Parts No.9 76 W Rim Review by Adam Blake

The Art of Staying Light and Fat – Whisky No.9 76W rims

Written by Adam Blake, Photos by Gomez

If you’ve read some of my recent gear reviews, you know that I am very much into carbon rims on basically every bike I ride.  I like that they add liveliness and responsiveness to my steeds that I just can’t get from alloy rims…at least not at a similar weight.  

I’m currently on the 27.5×3.8/4” platform and there just weren’t a ton of major producers who had gotten into the 27.5” fat carbon rim game.  Enter Whisky Components and their redesigned No.9 76W rim.  Immediately I saw that the graphic layout had become larger, but I liked that the graphics stayed fairly stealthy and that the overall rim shape changed tremendously from the first generation Whisky rims I was used to seeing.  Contrary to the triangular rims coming from Cantu, Nextie, and Enve, Whisky opts for a more “bubbly” shape to their rim, and while admittedly I thought it looked a little clunky when bare, once I got a tire on I thought that the overall shape was really nice to look at. I think that they made my Beargrease look as tough as my lime and purple bike can look. I think that they’d make any bike look a little extra bad-ass!

Speaking of getting a tire on… holy cow!  Ok, so… forget what you know about tubeless tire installation if you pick up these rims.  HEAR ME NOW: I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING A COMPRESSOR TO INFLATE.  Yeah, I know, that sounds dumb, but listen:  I used a floor pump (a Bontrager on HV setting), seated the first bead at about 5psi, and the second bead popped in so loudly and aggressively at about 7 that I worry that if I had used a compressor I wouldn’t have the touch to gradually add air.  Now, I’m not complaining at all.  In fact, I really love this, because it seated so easily that I would be willing to change tires DURING A TRIP if I felt like the snow conditions had changed dramatically.  Truly, after installing a couple of sets of tires on these rims, I would be confident if you put me in the middle of a field with a floor pump.  A small caveat to this is that my rims came taped edge to edge, but I was informed that in addition to included nipple washers and valves, Whisky supplies a 45mm tape (vs the 80 in mine).  That should give just a bit of wiggle for tire removal, because of course that better it pops on usually means the harder it is to get off.  I think a lot about the ability to remove a fat tire in the cold as a safety consideration.  So pack a couple nice plastic tire levers just in case!

The ride of these rims is really nice.  I got to spend basically all my time on the rims in 2-8” snow, so while I didn’t rip these wheels on dirt, I was able to push other aspects of the rims like tire/air retention.  In snow, the platform functioned exactly as I expected.  I will say that my Van Helga profile does seem a bit flatter mounted on these than my other rims, and I attribute that to the additional few millimeters they added internally, getting up to 76 wide vs others at 70-74.  I do believe this will reduce some wear on the sidewalls of my tires by letting them flatten vs fold or crimp.  It should also allow the tire to protect the rims a little more during a full compression setting aka the dreaded bottom out.  I think in snow specifically I like that slightly flatter tire, and a better base for the tire, as I ran pressures as low as 2psi on rides…and I weigh 225lbs.  

My rims were built onto DT Swiss 350 hubs- one of the absolute best all-around hubs, with DT Swiss spokes, which falls right in line with products I would personally build these rims with.  These are a double wall rim, so while the claimed weight of 660 grams isn’t the lightest, I find confidence and solace in the extra material protection my carbon rim investment.  With a set of Berd Spokes, and some lighter weight hubs I am sure you could get sub 2000 grams for the overall wheelset which is still super competitive, and would be an all-season wheelset.  Also, while I just used 4” tires, if you were on a bike with enough clearance, this rim would support the 4.5” tires very well too.

The No. 9 76W rims should be coming into stock just after this article is published and I would personally snag a set asap.  I would be happy, confident, comfortable, and rowdy riding these rims on every single ride.  Whisky is only offering the rims ala cart, and they retail for $550 each, which is in line with most other rims.  Support your local bike shop and have them build a set of wheels that’ll be sure to be a kick in the pants and put a smile on your face every time that you ride! They are offered in 32h, 27.5”, have a “300 lb” rider limit, plus a 5-year warranty! 

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