By Kevin Rouse
A-Class VXD3 Wheelset – $749
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 gold these days) price to a minimum. We're happy with this decision as the wheelset comes in at a svelte 1,570 grams (manufacturer claimed; our set came in at 1,599 grams).
Sporting a one-cross lacing pattern and 24 spokes front and rear, the wheels also feature Center Lock hubs (the front offering convertibility for either a 9mm QR or 15-milimeter through-axle) with sealed cartridge bearings that rolled quite smoothly for us.
As for overall ride impressions, we have to be honest. We initially chose to rock these wheels on looks alone. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the ride quality they offered. Decently stiff, they track well under load and have held up to abuse, putting up with poor line choices through rock gardens on more than one (or two, or three…) occasions. Aside from the bearings developing some slight play (solved by a new set of bearings from the friendly folks at A-class) we found little reason to find fault with the wheels. The rims, at 17.5-milimeters-wide (internally) aren't massively broad by any means, but supported 2.35-inch treads without much issue. Anything larger however, and a noticeable amount of tire squirm could be felt.
Overall, the wheels proved themselves to be a solid option for those seeking a lightweight trail wheelset that can stand up to a bit of abuse—and, if gold is any measure, these wheels should continue to prove their worth over time.