WTB designed the Laser TCS Freeride 26in Wheelset to propel you down face-melting descents that would turn other wheels into complex geometric shapes. The huge, 27.4mm wide DH and freeride-specific rims can handle some of today's fattest gravity-fed rubber, and the Laser TCS Freeride is loaded with punishment-specific features that set them apart from the rest of the long-travel crowd.The most important of features, from a smashing-through-a-rock-garden standpoint, are WTB's proprietary I-Beam and Unbendium Bulge technologies. These innovations increase rim strength to directlycounter mountain bike wheels' tendency to fold under hard hammering. The first,I-Beam, is a centrally located vertical support that counters spoke loads andprovides torsional rigidity for increased strength and resistance to failure.The second, the Unbendium Bulge, is an aluminum rib added to the rim's sidewallthat increases the rim's torsional, radial, and lateral strength to keep itfrom flexing under heavy loading or severe impacts. The weight gain isnegligible. WTB has also put quite a bit of thought into its tubeless rim/tireinterface. GBS (Global Bead Seat) design utilizes deeper grooves for the beadseats. Two raised lips lock the tire's beads into the rims to reduce burpingunder heavy torsional loading. The result is faster, more confident corneringat the ragged edge.WTB's hubs answer to a higher standard as well. WTB builds its hubs aroundbeefy and lightweight aluminum axles. The freehub body is also aluminum and hasbeen machined to remove any excess material to keep the weight to the bareminimum. WTB also uses a clutch-pressure system to engage the pawls instead ofa traditional spring system that can be gummed up with dirt and trail debris.This means quick, simultaneous engagement of all six pawls, as opposed to othersystems that can rely on one pawl actually engaging at the moment ofacceleration. WTB also beefed up its spokes with proprietary double-buttedspokes. WTB adds a half-millimeter thickness at the j-bend, traditional spokes'weakest point, for a stronger, stiffer wheelset. WTB spokes are still lighterthan traditional spokes, so they achieve the ideal of lighter, stronger, andstiffer.
The first weekend I used them I broke 10 spokes on the rear wheel/rotor side. I noticed two broken after a run and paid to have them replaced and the wheel trued. I took one more run before the resort closed. The next day I took three runs and noticed five more spokes were broken. I paid to have them replaced and the wheel trued. I took two more runs and found that three more had broken. I'm debating whether to have them replaced and pay for another wheel truing, or cut the rest of them off and lace up a better rim with better spokes... All the spokes were breaking with 1-2 threads left on the end.