With its hundreds of booths spread around the Laguna Seca Raceway outside Monterey, California, the Sea Otter Classic is a constant blur of bike bling, and the unofficial start to the North American race season.
By Brice Minnigh Novatec has upped the ante with its wheel program this year, sponsoring a slew of talented gravity riders—several of whom have recently been slaying it at the Fontana Winter Series Downhill and Super D races. The crew includes gravity legends Eric Carter and Brian Lopes, along with up-and-coming standouts such as Kevin […]
My time on the Novatec Diablo wheels started innocently enough. While snooping around the Bike magazine shop I came across this wheelset that none of the staff were scheduled to test yet, from a company that I really didn’t know a whole lot about, Novatec.
Professional wheelbuilders can debate the pros and cons of different lacing patterns until the end of time, but every one of them will agree that there's nothing like a perfectly true and round wheel. Morningstar Tools' R2.O.C-TECH attaches directly to Park Tool's TS-2 stand, replacing the rigid calipers with needle gauges to simultaneously show exactly how out-of-true and round a wheel is.
SRAM recently launched a preview video for its Rise Wheels. To find out what we thought of the wheels, check out our full review of the Rise 60 wheels in the upcoming Bible of Bike Tests issue. The Bible of Bike Tests will go on sale everywhere January 17th.
Stan's NoTubes ZTR Race Gold $950 / notubes.com If you like looking for excuses, these 1,345-gram wagon wheels are probably not for you. The ZTR Race Gold wheels were designed around being the lightest, and consequently fastest, wheel system possible. Leave the heavier UST-specific tires behind, because these were made for lighter, standard-bead tires. Oh, and you might want to lose that spare tire too, as these have a rider weight limit of 170 pounds.
Mavic has done some major renovations on its venerable ‘trail’ wheelset. The most noticeable feature is, perhaps, the quicker hub engagement—improved from 17 degrees to 7.5 degrees. The wheels are also now convertible to fit any axle standard front or rear. On top of all that, the rims lose about 20-grams apiece and have been tweaked for easier tubeless setup.
After a long absence from the mountain bike world, Rolf Prima is back. The company, which is famous for its paired-spoke lacing patterns, rolled out its new Ralos XC/trail wheels at Interbike. These hoops will be available in both a 26-inch and 29-inch version (the Ralos6 and Ralos9 respectively). The Ralos9 wheelset, shown here, tips […]
The Havoc is Easton’s latest DH offering, and claims to be the lightest dedicated downhill wheelset currently on the market. At 1,870 grams, this is impressive, as the wheelset features an ultra-wide, 23-millimeter internal rim width and UST compatibility. The wheelset is designed around 150-millimeter dropout spacing, but adaptors are available for frames that utilize […]
By Kevin Rouse A-Class VXD3 Wheelset – $749 aclass-wheels.com Stock and bond markets be damned—gold is where it’s at. The designers over at A-Class obviously think so at least. Well, as far as aesthetics go anyway. For their VXD3 wheelset, they chose aluminum instead to help keep weight and (at roughly $1700 an ounce for […]
At a media event during Crankworx, Easton took a group of editors to ride its new DH wheelset on the burly trails of Squamish, BC. We were all excited about the rumor of getting to see and ride the carbon downhill wheels that Easton has been working on, however Easton said that these were not […]
By: Kevin Rouse Last week the folks at Shimano took the time to herd a group of journalists around Lake Tahoe and let us get our hands on the 2012 Deore XT M780 groupset for the first time. While first impressions aren’t everything, we can definitely say we were quite pleased. In fact, nearly all […]
Words: Kevin Rouse Captions: Ryan LaBar Photos: Kevin Rouse and Ryan LaBar Video: Kevin Rouse DT Swiss came to Sea Otter with some noteworthy new product offerings in the wheel department, with their all-new XRC 950 T, a 1200-gram tubular 29er wheelset definitely garnering some attention. The wheelset uses DT Swiss’ proprietary Tricon system to […]
All-mountain goes bulletproof The use of composites in bicycle manufacturing is hardly a new idea; frame builders have been utilizing bonded carbon fiber tubes since the mid-1970s, and as carbon-composite technology advanced, wheels and components were quickly embraced by the skinny-tire world. Composites also drew the attention of the weight-conscious XC crowd, but the high-impact […]
Words: Ryan LaBar The 650B wheel is finally getting some love. The unconventional wheel size—between a standard 26-inch wheel and the larger 29er—has been hanging around for a few years, but hasn’t received much attention. Until now. While at the US-Cup Pro XCT opener in Fontana, California, last weekend, Bikemag snatched some photos of Monavie-Cannondale […]
Many 29-inch devotees, citing the increased traction delivered by larger wheels, believe they can run skinnier, faster-rolling tires without sacrificing performance. In a way, this is like putting all-season tires on a monster truck—they might work fine on a dirt road, but would lose their grip while smashing over a row of cars. Likewise, even […]
XC-290 NINER 29er wheels FULLSPEEDAHEAD.COM $550 The XC-290 NINER wheels represent FSA’s first stab into the 29er market. The first thing most riders will notice about these wheels is that they use proprietary spoke nipples. Normally, non-standard components can be a pain–replacements parts and the proper tools are always hard to find when you need […]
Syncros’ DS28S are billed as all-mountain wheels—light enough to be ridden all day, yet stout enough to handle any terrain without turning into an aluminum taco. They are respectably light (2,000 grams), but about 100 grams on the hefty side of the all-mountain pre-built wheel market. Then again, these hoops are solid. The 28-millimeter wide, […]
FSA Gravity Wheels // $590 425-488-8653; ridegravity.com When your friendly neighborhood bike shop can lace any hub to any rim with as many of whatever spoke you choose, a pre-packaged wheelset needs to offer a little more than matching stickers. Enter FSA’s Gravity Wheels. Aside from looking downright moto, they sport straight-pull spokes, which offer […]
Bontrager Rhythm Elite 29 // $539 920-478-2191; bontrager.com Overgrown 29-inch wheels have a pesky way of upsetting the balancing act bike makers must tackle: creating bikes and parts that are lightweight and durable. Big wheels are heavier, no way around it. But there are advantages to be found. The engineers who created the 1,950-gram Rhythm […]