The crew at Specialized dropped these wheels off to me and they have been the work horse of the mtbr stable for the last four months. I have used them on the Epic, Camber, Tallboy LTc, and rigid carbon Niner. Friends have taken it out on test rides, from endurance guys, fast guys, powerful and heavy riders. The reaction is always the same as they call them ‘cheater wheels.’ That’s just an endearing term we use for components that give you one unfair advantage over normal 29er wheels. Continue reading →
Strengths: Laterally rigid wheel, vertical compliance at speed, stiffness and/or low weight that made the bike feel fast
Weaknesses: I worry about the impact resistance of the rims
RIDER: XC Rider for 25 years. Ride MTB and Road 4ish days per week. 6'0", 165lbs. Ride agressively on XC trails, don't seek out drops, not afraid to hit medium trail features.
TEST TERRAIN: 70 Miles in the Sierras, 30 miles on the SF Peninsula
BIKE SETUP: Niner JET9RDO, Racing Ralphs with Stans 26/28PSI
These wheels felt AWESOME! First time ever riding carbon wheels, but WOW. very quick spin up, confidence-inspiring lateral rigidity, the smoothness seemed to increase with high frequency wheel chatter that comes as speed climbs. RAD.
The extra width vs. the Stans 355 rims I ride now made the 29x2.25 Racing Ralphs feel better than the 2.35 Knobby Nicks I ride on my own Stans rims. Flat, wide, seemed like the ideal wheelset, tires included, for the sierras...shocking considering the Racing Ralphs are considerered more for smoother XC tracks than the rocky, ledgy Sierra trails.
Loved the wheels, but I worry a bit about longevity, as the rims were borrowed with a tiny crack in the vertical part of the front rim, the crack did not progress at all during my 100 miles of hammering.
Strengths: LIGHT, Stiff, strong so far, cool noise, fast engagement. Easy tubeless mount.
Weaknesses: Cost - especially in Canada
I've had these out for about 5 rides so far. Acceleration is very good and the freewheel very nicely (on the brakes if I'm behind someone). I choose the Trail for a bit more durability but mostly for the 21 mm internal width which spreads out my tires and reduced squirm compared to my old 19mm rims. More than the light weight I've really noticed the lateral stiffness. I don't usually notice that sort of thing but you can point these wheels exactly where you want them and be confident that you need virtually no room for error. I wasn't aware of my old wheels deflecting but now its obvious that they were. I'm running a Racing Ralph 2.25 Tubeless Ready on the front and a S-works Renegade 1.95 TBliss on the back. Both mounted up easily on these rims, needed a compressor to seat both. I realy like that Spec. sends adaptors for qr, 15mm, 20mm and 142X12 so I can carry these wheels with me to future bikes. This is a big reason for chossing these wheels over other options that either don't convert or require expensive axel swaps to convert. I'll repost once I have a season on these. One bummer is that CDN retail is $2600 while US is $1700 with the dollar at parity?
I have a 13 Carve Pro and I'm considering upgrading the stock wheels
to the [I]Roval Control Trail SL 29[/I] Carbon Wheel-set, because I was
under the impression from other posters here that a good set of
wheels are the most noticeable and best investment you can do
to a bike. I'm a 210# rider.
No ... Read More »