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With the Cape Epic as their proving grounds, they went all in on XCO/XCM, creating one handbuilt mountain bike wheelset that has since evolved into a full range of carbon road, gravel, XC & enduro rims and wheels with generous lifetime guarantees & crash replacement policies. And there are more wheelsets in the works…
South Industries handmade carbon rims & wheels, made in South Africa
photos c. South Industries
South Industries didn’t want to just design carbon wheels, they wanted to develop and manufacture them entirely in-house. “No compromise, no shortcuts.” And the year that two cyclists with aerospace & electrical engineering backgrounds launched in 2016, they already had their first 370g, 28mm internal XC rim ridden to a victory in the Cape Epic prologue under South African MTB racer Robyn de Groot.
c. Robyn de Groot
A solid start.
You may not have seen the name South Industries on Bikerumor before, but we’ve probably seen some of their carbon handiwork. They’ve been a contract carbon rim manufacturer for German lightweight specialists Tune for several years, and they also sell subtly South-branded rims on some of their own complete wheelsets like the 22mm internal Tune Crosser Carbon GX endurance road wheels.
Tech details & Hookless Carbon Rim Models
Now, with 8 people helping lay up carbon rims and build wheels by hand in-house, South Industries has four main hookless tubeless carbon wheel offerings:
- RX Road, a mid-depth aero road rim set – 32mm deep, 22mm internal front (370g) & 41mm deep, 20mm internal rear (380g)
- GX Gravel, a mid-depth adventure all-rounder – 32mm deep, 22mm internal (380g)
- 29 XC, their benchmark cross-county & marathon racing rim – 22mm deep, 28mm internal (370g)
- Enduro, a tough trail & gravity rim in 27.5″ – 23mm deep, 28mm internal (430g); or in 29″ 25.5mm deep, 31mm internal (495g)
All rims use a combination of various carbon fibers – T300, T700 & T800 – to produce the best possible performing rim structure. South Industries rims are subjected Impact Testing, Schwalbe’s Tyre Blow of Testing, Spoke Hole Fatigue Testing, the University of Stellenbosch’s Spoke Pull-out Strength Testing, ISO 4210-7 Greenhouse Testing, UCI Impact Testing for GX & RX rims, and Dynamic Drumroll Testing for GX. Plus, they all comply with ETRTO standard dimensions.
Lifetime Warranty & Crash Replacement Program
Handmade carbon wheels aren’t cheap, but South Industries is confident in what they make, and want to make deciding to ride their wheels an easy decision. They say they sweat the details, and every little process. Combing the “toughest independent testing” with real-world testing, South Industries is confident they offer the “ultimate combination of lightness, durability, and comfort”.
So, all of their complete carbon wheels come with a Lifetime Warranty against defects for the original owner, and a generous Lifetime Incident Program crash replacement policy that means it won’t cost you an arm and a leg if you eventually do you manage to break them.
If you crash one of their wheelsets and damage the carbon rim within 2 years of when you bought it, South Industries will replace the rim for free. After two years of riding them, they’ll still replace a damaged carbon rim for 1/2 of its retail price. And if totally space it, and drive your car into the garage with your bike on the roof, or back over one of your carbon wheels, they’ll still replace the carbon rim for 50% of its retail price.
They even extend the same warranty on their carbon rims, built up into a complete wheelset by other wheel builders or even you the end consumer.
Parts, labor, and shipping are NOT covered, nor are products that have been misused or obviously abused out of their original design intent. “In short, if you are in our corner, we are in yours.“
South Industries carbon wheels – Pricing & availability
XC rim, XC wheel with Tune hub, Enduro wheels with Hope hub, Enduro rim (l-r)
South Industries manufactures all their carbon rims in-house in South Africa, with rim prices having recently dropped to around $550 / 550€ per rim, depending on the market. They say they always have rims on hand, and also keep a range of Hope, Tune & Industry 9 hubs in stock to build up for customers in around two days.
They also have a pretty wide range of international distributors in South Africa (Bike A Lot), Europe (several new distributors in the works), the UK (Shore Lines), Canada (Privateer), Australia (Dawson Sports) & Singapore (Trail Plus). Most stock a limited selection of rims and build their own preferred complete wheels, but all can get you whatever rim you need within about a week. And South Industries is working on making their in-house built complete wheels more available globally in the near future.