Velocity P35 – First Look

by Brian Mullin on May 24, 2010

Go to for the full review!

At the 2009 Interbike, I was highly intrigued by the Australian rim maker Velocity P35 or Pacenti 35 rims. The ultra wide 35mm rim, is 22mm deep with an inside width of 29.5mm, and seemed ideal for fat tires and brutal All Mountain riding. The rim was co-designed by Kirk Pacenti, who is also well known for his development of the 650b wheel size for mountain bike use. The P35 is available in 26”, 650b, and 29” sizes, drilled with either 32 or 36 holes, and comes in black, silver, white, electric red and antifreeze green.

Velocity was kind enough to send along a set of the P35’s, which were built with their own hubs, and their brand new tubeless kit installed.

Build Specs:
Rim: Velocity P35
Size: 26 inch
Color: Electric Red
Front – Velocity ATB 20mm 32 hole black
Rear – Velocity ATB 32 hole black
Spokes: DT Competition 2.0/1.8
Spoke pattern: 3 cross
Nipples: brass silver 2.0

I have been riding the Velocity P35 wheelset for about a month now, and I must say the rims are monstrously wide. It took me quite a few rides to get used to the stability and rigidity that they offer, and until you have ridden a rim this wide, it’s hard to understand the feeling they imbue. The rims let a tire flare out wide, giving a larger footprint, and allowing lower air pressure, all which give better traction, control and comfort. The rim profile along with the width, gives excellent lateral stiffness without much of a weight penalty.

I bashed these beasts through any terrain, I could toss them at, and they just stayed the line. I tossed them over sideways, torqued them hard, plowed them through rock gardens and smashed them into square ledges, and it did nothing impede them. You can pretty much bowl your way over anything, without any hesitance nor flex (2.0/1.8 spokes help). The stable and wide platform does mean it takes an extra touch of effort to roll them over, but it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. I did notice that they don’t accelerate very well, but when you can drive straight into anything it doesn’t seem to matter, and the monstrous tractor like traction certainly offers a more than a fair advantage. The Velocity hubs are a tab heavy, but have so far proven to be pretty stout.

Measured Specs:
Front – 1002.7 grams
Rear – 1053.8 grams
Total – 2056.5 grams
Note – weight includes tubeless tape and valves

They were easy to set up tubeless, with either UST or normal tires, and popped up without any issue. Their blue tape (not yellow!) tubeless system worked well, and I had no issues getting my usual assortment of tires to bead up on the rims. The rear wheel required sealant to hold air, but I use sealant with all my tubeless systems, so it was a moot point. I stuck on a set of Conti Rubber Queen 2.4 UST’s the other day, and they popped on like butter with nary an issue. Due to the wide rim, these babies were huge (2.54″), and they barely fit in the back of my Ibis Mojo.

I am looking forward to some more quality time with the wheels or in my case, more smashing and bashing time! The P35 offers a fat footprint, allowing you to float over the rough terrain, with more bite, traction, and steering control. They look pretty cool, especially the Electric Red color.

Update (7/18/10): The rims area painted, as opposed to the usual annodiztion, and I have found they’re getting chewed up and scratched quite easily. In daylight conditions you can also see the painting imperfections (not a big deal). A couple of weeks back I added a set of UST tires to the rims, and at first they held up fine. But they started to leak fairly quickly, until they eventually would no longer hold air at all, and the culprit area was around the valve stem. Since they were UST tires, I did not use any sealant, which might have sealed up the errant valve stems. I also noticed that the blue tape (aka Velotape) is starting to pull up in a couple of areas. I had to resort to using tubes for now, as a stop gap measure, until I can doing some further testing.

Per their website:
Velocity is proud to announce Velotape, the newest accessory in the Velocity line. Velotape is specifically designed to convert P35 rims and wheelsets tubeless. The kit includes 10 meters of transparent Velotape, enough to setup two 29” P35s, and 2 high quality tubeless valves with removable cores.  Installation is easy, requiring only a small punch and sharp scissors.  Velotape is available through your favorite local bike shop or online dealer for around $24.99.

Velocity P35 Company Specs:
Outside Width: 35mm
Inside Width: 29.5mm
Depth: 22mm
Weight: 29” 595 grams, 650b 570 grams, 26” 535 grams
BSD: 29″ 622, 650b 584, 26″ 559
ERD: 29″ 598, 650b 560.5, 26″ 536
Drillings: 32h, 36h (28h for 26″ only)

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