Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset

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Ibis 738 wheelset
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Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset

Stiff, Light, Inexpensive

Rating: Featured Member Review
Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset
The Good:

House 2.35" to 2.8" tires (2.6" and 2.8" excellently), rims are light weight for their width, hubs come with a 2 year warranty, offer great responsiveness with minimal flex, budget friendly.

The Bad:

Hub only has 36 points of engagement, walls of the rim are thinner than others.

Overall Review:

There is seemingly an endless sea of wheels now days. Every major manufacture offer their own sets as well as multiple aftermarket brands to choose from. With the growth of the industry, there have emerged components to fit every niche, and this couldn’t be more true about wheels either. With the introduction of 27.5”+ tires and sub + options (2.6” wide), Ibis came out with their very own alloy wheelset: 738 Aluminum Wheelset. I got my hands on a set and with a few rides on them, here are my impressions:

Key Specs:

Asymmetric profile 6066 aluminum rims with a proprietary tubeless profile

Accommodates 2.35” to 2.8” tires

38mm outer and 34mm inner width rims

Hole count: 32H

Boost spacing front and rear hubs

36t 4 pawl ratcheting system (10 degree engagement)

High quality Enduro bearings

Shimano or Sram XD driver options

Disk mount: IS (6 bolt)

2 year (hub) warranty

Rim weight: 526 grams

Wheelset weight: 1880 grams (Claimed)

Includes tubeless tape and tubeless Presta valves

MSRP: $500 USD

Out of The Box:

Pulling these wheels out of the wheelbox, the first thing I noticed was how truly wide the hoops are. At 34mm internal wide, these aren’t your standard width rims. With that width, they are perfect for 2.6” and plus size 2.8” tires (both options that are available on Ibis’ complete builds). Although the tech specs state that they will accommodate 2.35” to 2.8” tires, I could see them housing a 3.0” tire no problem.

 

Theoretically, when you increase the width of rims, the weight also increases. This surprisingly isn’t completely the case with the 738 rims. Focusing on the claimed weighing of 526 grams each, you would think that these rims would have to be at or under 33mm wide but at 38mm external width the weight of these rims are quite impressive. 

The most evident reason for how Ibis was able to make these rims so light is the thickness of the rims. The side walls of the rims are not only thinner in comparison to other rims I’ve owned in the past, the walls are also some of the shortest in length. Both of these add up to one thing: 526 gram 38mm wide rims.

The hubs of the 738 aluminum wheelset appear to be made of good quality as well. Offering a 2 year warranty on them, Ibis chose to pack them with Enduro grade bearings which run much better and longer than others. The points of engagement of the rear hub isn’t outstanding but offers quicker engagement than others. With 36 clicks in a full rotation, the 10 degree engagement they offer is enough for most riders. 

A nice thing I noticed about these hubs are they are truly a boost spaced hub. When I say that I’m not talking about the actual 110mm or 148mm width of the hubs but moreso the width of the flanges. Some “boost hubs” have very similar flange specs as non-boost hubs and that doesn’t make for a stiffer wheel. It’s only when the flanges are spread apart that you truly get a stiffer and more responsive wheel and the 738 offer this.

On The Trail:

Getting these wheels out on the dirt, I was very surprised how stiff and response they really are. My tires followed wherever my bars lead in a seamless manner. They responded just as wheels that weight 200 grams more. I feel this is thanks to the wide flanges of the hubs in addition to the extra ride rim profile. 

Although the 738 aluminum wheels are very responsive, especially for being only 1880 grams (claimed weight), the rim durability and impact resistance are somewhat of a concern especially if mounted up on an aggressive enduro bike. Although I haven’t had any impacts yet (most likely thanks to running 2.6” tires), I wouldn’t imagine it taking too much of a forceful, direct impact to ding and possibly hold over a sidewall. In short, if you’re constantly making sure PSI levers are correct I wouldn’t assume this to be an issue but if you lax on PSI pressures or are proned to denting rims in the past, this is a viable concern. 

Bottom Line:

The Ibis 738 aluminum wheels are designed for wider and plus size tires. They are incredibly stiff and responsive for their weight. Although I haven’t had any issues with durability thus far, the thinness of the sidewalls of the rim make me slightly nervous for rock impacts. This certainly isn’t a deal breaker by any means but something to keep in mind if you have a history of destroying rims. 36 points on engagement isn’t the best but isn’t the worst either. With a 2 year warranty on the hubs and with a price tag of only $500 MSRP, the Ibis 738 aluminum wheels are an excellent investment.

Specifications

Product Ibis 738 Aluminum Wheelset
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Rim Material Aluminum
Rim Asymmetric Profile 6066 Aluminum
Inner Rim Width 34mm
Hole Count 32
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub Ibis, 36 tooth, 4 pawl ratchet, Enduro bearings, 10° engagement, Shimano or SRAM XD driver
Rear Axle 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub Ibis, 36 tooth, 4 pawl ratchet, Enduro bearings, 10° engagement
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Spokes Pilar 14/15, 5mm spoke offset for a symmetrical build
Nipples
Colors Black
Weight 4 lb 2.3 oz (1,880 g)
Miscellaneous 38mm outer rim width
526g rim weight
Compatible with tires up to 2.8" width
Price $499
More Info

www.ibiscycles.com

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