TESTED Sun Ringle 8 Track

WHAT: Sun Ringle Eight Track
WHERE: www.sun-ringle.com
HOW MUCH: $565 to $585

The Eight Track, like all Sun Ringle wheels, is littered with options. Consumers can choose from 32 or 36 spokes, 24- or 26-inch rims, quick release or thru-axles and three rear hub spacings–standard 135 millimeter, 150 millimeter or a 165 millimeter.

The extra-large, 34-millimeter MTX rims and re-buildable ABBAH hubs guarantee the Eight Tracks are built to last. Sun uses conventional 14-gauge J-bend spokes laced in a three-cross pattern. And the rear hub's driving mechanism consists of three independently sprung pawls that push a 36-tooth ring for almost instant engagement. Sealed cartridge bearings keep 'em spinning smooth.

When the trail turned nasty, the Eight Tracks really shined. We slammed these wheels into dishwasher-sized boulders and cased them on big jumps without a shred of finesse, ride after ride. They tackled staircase hucks, step-ups, step-downs and tabletops without incident.

The hoops stayed straight and the freehub's pawls stayed louder than an angry rattlesnake. But it's the hubs efficiency that is most important. And whether setting up for rock drops or sprinting out of corners, the near instant engagement never let us down.