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Long Term Review Video

Newmen Evolution SL A.30 Wheel Review

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Video AJ Barlas
Date Jun 19, 2020
Reading time

Newmen Components is starting to attract some fans. That attention is the result of the small German brand's quality components and their unique solutions to common mountain bike problems. Newman's A.30 wheels feature a patented concave nipple washer that's said to better distribute force throughout the wheel. All 28 spokes front and rear are the same length, so you'll only need a few spares on hand to get out of a jam. The wheels also feature a slight flare to the rim sidewall, in an effort to increase durability and help prevent pinch flats.

And durable they are. These wheels have spent almost five months on my bike and for whatever reason they've hit the ground through my Maxxis Double Down tires more than usual, without sustaining any visual damage. For their 1,789-gram weight (w/ the Shimano Microspline driver) they've remained less blemished and bruised than previous alloy wheels I've owned or tested. The only other alloy wheels that have survived my testing without folded sidewalls were the Spank 359/350 Tuned Vibrocore but they're a full DH wheelset that weighs 2,212 grams with an XD driver.

Highlights

  • 28 Sapim D-Lite straight-pull spokes front and rear
  • 6-hole disc brake mount
  • Star Ratchet freewheel (Now available with their new FADE Freewheel)
    • Similar to DT Star Ratchet but with a spring on the hub-side only rather than both the hub and driver-side
  • 7075 aluminum
  • 30mm inner width
  • Flared hookless bead profile
  • Weight: 1,782g w/ rim tape and tubeless valves installed / 844g (f), 938g (r w/ XD Driver)
  • MSRP: 698 EUR
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This wasn't the only time the flared bead of the Newmen wheels hit the ground.

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A close look at the rim bed with the recess to help hold the tire bead secure. Also note the concave nipple washer inside the rim.

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The flared bead is hard to see (and even harder to photograph) but it is visible here. While testing this feature proved itself repeatedly.

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A closer look at the FADE freewheel, which is similar to the DT Star Ratchet but only uses a spring on the hub-side

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The 36t FADE freewheel in the hub side.

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Removing the hub side of the ratchet shows the spring.

Verdict

I've been left really impressed by the durability of the Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheels. They've been subjected to more impacts than other alloy wheels I've tested in this weight range but they've been up for the task. When they did give a little, the hookless flared bead didn't fold and remained unscathed. The rim wall on the other hand now has a slight deformation but it's not enough to cause spoke tension problems. These rims are tough.

Trail feel has been great and the wheels are comfortable to ride. There's no fighting with the bike and they track well. They're not the stiffest wheels, especially with only 28 spokes in the rear, but they are stiffer and have held their shape better than the Roval Traverse aluminum wheels I tested some time ago. Testing back and forth with the Spank wheels, I found the Newmens offered a more predictable, smoother ride while the Spank's stiffer wheel – a World Cup DH wheel, remember – tended to get jostled about in comparison.

The Newmen A.30 wheels offer a comfortable ride without a flimsy rim. They'll take a punishing when the terrain gets nasty and offer some great features like the single length spoke for the entire wheelset. If alloy wheels are of interest, these come highly recommended.

More on the Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheelset is available on their website.

AJ_Barlas
AJ Barlas

Age: 39
Height: 191cm/6’3"
Weight: 73kg/160lbs
Ape Index: 1.037
Inseam: 32”
Trail on Repeat: Changes as often as my mood.
Current Regular: Every test product spends time on Entrail

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Comments

mawa12
+1 AJ Barlas
Matthias Wasmer  - June 19, 2020, 1:24 a.m.

It would be really nice to see a comparison between these wheels and the new Bontrager wheels. 

I really would like to know wether the carbon Bontrager wheels are more durable. Right now, these Newmen wheels are lighter, cheaper and they seem to be really tough.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 19, 2020, 7:19 a.m.

I reckon both would provide a different ride feel. Durability is obviously a focus of the new Bonti’s and the price is great (for carbon), but I fear that durability will have an adverse affect on ride comfort. Just speculating and I do look forward to Andrew’s review because we share similar concerns on carbon vs alu.

Reply

BertLTP
0
Albert Steward  - June 19, 2020, 2:45 a.m.

These look to be using a very, very similar internal layout to the new Alex Rims/Bear Pawls Impel ratchet drive system...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y21D66agplg

Reply

agleck7
0
Agleck7  - June 19, 2020, 7:01 a.m.

You mention experimenting w different tire pressure. What pressures were you using? Did you like the higher pressures or just doing it to see how it affects how many rimmerz you get?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Agleck7
AJ Barlas  - June 19, 2020, 7:13 a.m.

Hey Agleck. I went up to 26psi rear and 23 front. When the trails are wet I typically run about 24 and 21 (r/f) and my summer pressures usually max out at 25/22. When I had them at their highest, conditions were dry but not blown summer-like which is when I usually up pressures to their highest. I was still hitting rims and the ride felt rougher in general, which I didn’t like. If this increase in rimmerz remains I’ll slot an XC Cushcore in the DD rear tire to help me out.

Reply

craw
+1 James Vasilyev
Cr4w  - June 19, 2020, 10:38 a.m.

Could someone explain to me the point of 28 spoke wheels?

Reply

flattire2
0
Brian Tuulos  - June 19, 2020, 1:39 p.m.

lower spoke count = less stiff/strong wheel.   But since carbon hoops are plenty stiff, 28 spoke carbon wheels make sense.  Lighter and takes some of the harshness out.

I didnt see if this review was for 27.5 or 29?  And whats the inner rim width?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 19, 2020, 6:13 p.m.

These were 29 and the inner width is 30mm. It’s all in the video and the highlights at the top of the article. TBH I don’t mind the 28 spoke front wheel but would prefer 32 in the rear, especially with 29-inch wheels.

Reply

blangshaw
0
Burgess Langshaw Power  - June 19, 2020, 8:31 p.m.

Where in North America can you buy them?  Been looking for someone to sell me some!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 20, 2020, 9:41 a.m.

Hi Burgess. Unfortunately, Newmen have had some issues with North American distribution but they informed me that they're "planning to improve availability and partnerships with distributors in the very near future, worldwide". For now, they can be found on a selection of German sites and the conversion from Euro's to USD makes them well priced. Not sure about shipping costs or any duties/taxes landed though. 

www.bike-components.de / www.r2-bike.de / www.bike-discount.de (It doesn't look like these guys ship to North America anymore :( ) / www.bike24.de

Reply

Tiauguinho
0
Tiauguinho  - June 20, 2020, 11:53 a.m.

Thank you for this review. Placed my order for this wheelset, with the new FADE hubs, back in mid May, waiting for delivery hopefully in the coming weeks (it is out of stock everywhere).

Difficult to find videos with the new FADE hub sound, which should be quieter than the version you tested.

Reply

tdmsurfguy
0
tdmsurfguy  - June 21, 2020, 7:17 a.m.

AJ, great review. What Spank model were you comparing them to and did were they their vibrocore ones? Thanks

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - June 22, 2020, 10:25 a.m.

Thanks tdmsurfguy. The Spank's were the 359/350 Tuned Vibrocore. From the intro to the article: "Spank 359/350 Tuned Vibrocore but they're a full DH wheelset that weighs 2,212 grams with an XD driver."

Reply

hongeorge
0
hongeorge  - June 22, 2020, 1:37 a.m.

One thing to note - the FADE freewheel is their new model, which is using traditional pawls - the DT ratchet-style freewheel is the older model, which is being replaced by the FADE.

Have two sets of these, bought a second set for my other bike so I could swap wheels tyres around, really happy with them.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 hongeorge
AJ Barlas  - June 22, 2020, 10:24 a.m.

Thanks for the correction hongeorge. I just discovered that out thanks to Tiauguinho's comment above. I'll update the highlights appropriately.

Reply

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