Moun­tain Wheels

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Shi­mano De­ore XT WH-8020 Tube­less Trail $650

Shi­mano XT has long been a trusted line when it comes to solid, re­li­able moun­tain bike prod­ucts. The WH-8020 wheelset con­tin­ues that trend of­fer­ing a lot of per­for­mance fea­tures, some trick­ling down from the xtr line in­clud­ing tube­less-ready rims, in 27.5" and 29", and Cen­ter Lock hubs. One fan­tas­tic fea­ture of the wheels is that both the front and rear use the same spokes, which means you don’t need to keep three spare sizes around. The free­hub sup­ports 8-, 9-, 10- and 11-speed cas­settes, al­though you ob­vi­ously won’t be able to put your sram XD cas­sette on these hoops. These are a snappy and durable set of wheels at a good price point. ( bike.shi­mano.com)

DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline One 27.5" $2,100

World cham­pion down­hill rider Aaron Gwin would agree when we say that the DT Swiss EX line of wheels are meant to take a beat­ing. Gwin won the 2014 Leogang World Cup on a flat tire rid­ing noth­ing but his bare EX 471 rim to the fin­ish. The newer EX 1501 is surely as durable, but with some tweaks to mod­ern­ize the wheelset. Geared to­ward the en­duro rid­ers, the EX 1501 Spline One comes in both 25-mm and 30-mm widths. The wheels come tube­less-ready and in Boost 148 and 15-mm op­tions. These hoops’ pal­mares in­clude Richie Rude’s two con­sec­u­tive En­duro World Se­ries over­all wins. ( dtswiss.com)

Praxxis C32 $2,350

Praxxis, a com­pany well-known for its qual­ity cranksets and bot­tom bracket adap­tors, got into wheels in early 2016. The C32 car­bon wheelset is the top-of-the­line car­bon moun­tain bike of­fer­ing. The rims are laced into DT Swiss hubs de­signed specif­i­cally by Praxxis. The com­pany of­fers the wheel in both 27.5" and 29" sizes. With an in­ter­nal rim width of 32 mm and Boost hub spac­ing, you could cer­tainly use these wheels with plus-size tires. Praxxis doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate, mak­ing the free­hub avail­able in both Shi­mano and sram XD. ( gw­bi­cy­cle.com)

FSA After­burner Wider $723

The After­burner Wider are hand-built tube­less-ready al­loy wheels that are sure to help you shed some weight from your bike. Com­ing in at 1,660 g for the pair, the After­burn­ers will spin up to speed quickly and help keep you there. You have the op­tion of a 9-mm quick-re­lease or 15-mm thru axle at the front and 135-mm quick­re­lease or 142-mm thru axle on the rear. These not only suit your moun­tain bike but your disc-brake cy­clocross or gravel road bike, too, for some ag­gres­sive ad­ven­tur­ing. fsa lets you choose be­tween Shi­mano or sram free­hubs. ( full­speeda­head.com)

Race Face Aef­fect SL $665

Fast en­gage­ment is what the Race Face Aef­fect wheels are all about. Us­ing their new Trace hub de­sign that boasts 9.2 de­grees of hub en­gage­ment via a three-pawl sys­tem built with car­tridge bear­ings, the Aef­fect wheels are re­spon­sive when you put the ham­mer down. Aimed at the cross coun­try and trail mar­kets, the wheels come in sev­eral dif­fer­ent hub-spac­ing op­tions in­clud­ing Boost. A 24-mm width al­lows for many tire op­tions. The wheelset uses one spoke size through­out, which is some­thing ev­ery wheel sys­tem should do. Cus­tom colour graph­ics are also avail­able for those who want to add a lit­tle bling to their ride. ( race­face.com)

Mavic XA Pro Car­bon $2,500

At 1,590 g for the 29" set, you would ex­pect this to be a cross coun­try race wheelset, but you would be wrong. The XA Pro Car­bon is Mavic’s new trail wheel. A hook­less­rim profile helps to re­duce tire burps and to keep the weight of the wheels down. With each wheel’s 26-mm in­ter­nal rim width, it pairs per­fectly with a 2.4" tire. This setup makes it ideal for en­duro rid­ers try­ing to shave weight for climb­ing but who don’t want to sac­ri­fice dura­bil­ity. You can con­vert the rear axle from a 12-mm thru axle to a QR. With the front axle, you can switch from a 15-mm thru axle to a QR as well. Both Shi­mano and sram driv­ers are sup­ported. ( mavic.com)—mattstet­son

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