TimColeman_OperatorWhistler_KazYamamura-16.jpg
Long Term Review

e*thirteen LG1r Carbon Wheelset

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Feb 16, 2018

After some complications getting a bike that would fit these wheels, I eventually bolted the e13 LG1r wheelset to a Kona Operator and got out to do them some justice. I wrote a first look article on these, which can be seen here. For those TLDR types, these are e13’s carbon DH wheels, complete with a slick 7-speed cassette. This makes the wheelset very much DH race focused, with a limited range of gearing available. e*thirteen took advantage of the narrower cassette and moved the hub flanges as far apart as possible to increase wheel strength and stiffness. I tested the 27.5" diameter wheelset which has a weight of 1,960 grams. A DH race duty wheelset at trail bike weight certainly peaked my interest. 

TimColeman_OperatorWhistler_KazYamamura-11.jpg

Most of my testing was in the Whistler Bike Park, a worthy test bed I'm sure you'll agree.

The LG1r wheelset proved extremely easy to mount and inflate tubeless tires. The combination of the rim profile and supplied rim tape meant that tires from WTB, Maxxis, and Schwalbe all mounted easily with no fuss. The branded rim tape doesn’t seem to be affected by the sealant as much as many other rim tapes. The valve stems are nice pieces of kit too and worked flawlessly. All in all the fit and finish of the e13 wheelset is top shelf.

TimColeman_OperatorWhistler_KazYamamura-1.jpg

I certainly didn't princess test these wheels.

Out on the trail, I didn’t notice a huge performance benefit of the wheelset beyond the lighter rotational weight of the wheels. Don't get me wrong the lighter rim weight was instantly noticeable and made the bike feel much snappier and energetic, but these aren't going to turn you into Sam Hill overnight either. While I didn’t have any major issues with the hubs, both the front and rear hub started to develop the tiniest amount of play over the review period. I had no issues with the freehub, which still feels tight and snappy. 

The only issues I had with the e*thirteen LG1r wheelset was with regards to the small cassette. I was using this wheelset with a GX 10-speed drivetrain, which technically isn't compatible. The LG1r wheels are designed to integrate with 7-speed DH drivetrains. With the GX 10-speed derailleur the high limit screw wasn't long enough, which meant the derailleur could be over-shifted past the easiest gear. This resulted in my having to be careful that I didn't shift the chain into the spokes. That said this could be rectified with a longer limit screw. 

The second issue was more significant. While I was able to put plenty of power down in the smaller cogs in the parking lot when out on the rougher trails of the Whistler Bike Park, I found the drivetrain skipped more than I was used to in the smaller cogs. This made me uneasy to lay into the pedals when in the hardest gears. The clutch on the derailleur I was using was not adjustable and I tried various b-tension settings to no avail. Shifting performance otherwise on the smaller cassette was excellent. 

I didn’t touch the spoke tension throughout the duration of the test period, both rims still run perfectly true. It wasn't like I was easy on these either, I gashed open a couple tires on Whistler's notoriously rugged terrain, and the rims came away near flawless.

TimColeman_OperatorWhistler_KazYamamura-13.jpg

The LG1r wheels are stiff and felt precise through corners.

On the topic of tire gashes, the e13 wheels seemed harder on tires than I’m used to with aluminum rims. Even with relatively high tire pressures I pinch flatted a Super Gravity Schwalbe through the tire casing. With narrower beads, and the stiffness of the rim profile the rim doesn’t deflect in the event of a severe direct impact with a rock, instead that piercing energy pushes through the tire carcass. It’s not unique to e*thirteen's carbon wheels and seems to be an issue with a number of carbon wheels on the market. 

The solutions are to run higher tire pressures, use thicker tires, invest in one of the rim protection devices, or go back to running alloy rims. Thicker tires and rim protection devices are heavier and undermine one of the primary reasons for going to carbon rims; reducing rotational weight. So while there is a tangible performance advantage to carbon rims, with the e*thirteen LG1r wheels it comes at the expense of running higher tire pressures to ensure no rim strikes. 

TimColeman_OperatorWhistler_KazYamamura-2.jpg

While some tires got perforated during testing, Whistler's terra firma was unable to ruin the LG1r wheelset.

The LG1r wheelset proved more durable than the alloy wheels I've tried and performed well for me over the test period. I thought the wheels look fantastic and certainly improved the bike dynamics with lower rotational weight. Tire fit was great, and various manufacturer tires were easy to install and inflate tubeless. I didn't like that I had to run higher tire pressures than I like to prevent cutting tires on these wheels. The higher pressures meant a harsher ride and less traction. Issues with the drivetrain skipping were present for me, but these might be rectified with a different / better derailleur setup. For my riding I think I'd prefer a standard driveshell so I could run any cassette. I’m not sure the increase in wheel stiffness of the wider hub shell, and weight savings are worth the compromises of the integrated cassette.All that said, if you’re looking for a downhill dedicated, stiff, and durable wheelset, these are good value for money and worth a look.

Comments

DaveSmith
+1 AJ Barlas
Dave Smith  - Feb. 15, 2018, 11:26 p.m.

knees.

Reply

cooperquinn
+2 Lowcard AJ Barlas
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 16, 2018, 10:13 a.m.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 16, 2018, 2:31 p.m.

Knees are tighter than Scrooge's pockets on Christmas.

Reply

Jenkins5
+1 Andrew Major
Jenkins5  - Feb. 16, 2018, 8:23 a.m.

Wow. This is a loooong term review. Have you been riding them for 2 years? E13 updated the rims to 31mm over 6 months ago I believe. I have a few friends on these wheels and they love them. None of them have had the cassette complaints you had, but as you said your issues might have been derailleur setup...They didn't complain about slicing tires either but guess everyone has different riding styles! Good review nonetheless. I've only heard positive things about these wheelsets and Remy and Gwin seem to rip pretty hard on them! I love their tires and I've been thinking about a set of TRSr carbon wheels now that their warranty on carbon wheels is lifetime...

Reply

DubC
0
DubC  - Feb. 16, 2018, 11:08 a.m.

@Jenkins5 - Same here. Seen lots of these thru the shop on Commencal, YT and others and the issues described have never popped up for us. There is clearly an issue with the reviewers derailleur (likely bent hanger) based on the comments about the limit screw. The e13 cassette is located in the exact same position as the SRAM 7s cassettes and therefore the limit screw function is the same - I have swapped wheels over with sram 7s systems and didn't even have to change the der adjustments. The fact that they get dinged for skipping and the limit screw issue and then the reviewer says "might be rectified with a different derailleur."? Huh...you had the wheels that long with those issues and didn't once make an effort to get to the bottom of why? Gwin, Hannah and others certainly would not be using this setup if it skipped under load....

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 16, 2018, 2:47 p.m.

The wheelset was used with a GX 10 speed drivetrain. Both the hangar and the derailleur were dead straight. So while the cassette is located in the same spot, the GX derailleur wasn't designed to limit out the top three gears. As for the chain skipping, I never got to the bottom of that issue. I suspected it could be a weak clutch, but there was more skipping in the smallest gears on the e13 cassette than the standard 10 speed cassette.

Reply

DubC
0
DubC  - Feb. 16, 2018, 3:24 p.m.

Comment Retracted.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 17, 2018, 3:01 p.m.

DubC do you work for e13? Undermining my credibility as a reviewer because my comments weren't entirely glowing is rather nefarious. I think we can resolve your concerns before calling me out for being amateur-hour.

Alas I digress. I did make a mistake in my first writing of the article. It was in fact a GX derailleur that was on the bike. Yes the limit screw wasn't long enough, and could have been resolved with a longer one. I make this clear in the review. My point, and I'll update my review to include this, is that I would have preferred a standard drive-shell on this wheelset. I feel the marginal upside of the integrated cassette is out weighted by the lack of flexibility. For someone who only uses their bike for DH racing maybe the integrated cassette is a benefit, just for me I see more downsides than upsides.

As for shifting performance, I thought the shifting was excellent, and clearly stated that in the review.

Reply

Jenkins5
0
Jenkins5  - Feb. 19, 2018, 11:06 a.m.

Ah. That makes sense why my friends weren't having issues . They were all using the X01 7 speed DH rear derailleurs. Would be good to update your review to reflect this. As it reads now it sounds like the cassette doesn't work with the derailleur it is intended to be used with....Thanks for clarifying!

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.

Trending on NSMB