RF_NextSL_Deniz-49.jpg
REVIEW

Race Face Next SL Wheelset

Words Cooper Quinn
Photos Deniz Merdano unless noted
Date Nov 3, 2021
Reading time

Reviewing product doesn’t seem all that complicated from the outside, “You get loaner stuff to thrash, and just slap some words on a page about it.” While that’s certainly not incorrect, it glosses over a bit of the subtlety and challenge; even if I really love a product, I have to figure out what I like about it, why I like it, figure out who else might feel the same, and translate all that into words that are succinct, hopefully enlightening, and possibly entertaining. Sometimes the cursor blinks for a long time.

RF_NextSL_Deniz-19.jpg

Next SL wheels, meet Spur. The duration of the test was in this configuration.

Race Face describes their Next SL wheelset as, “Taking trail riding to the next level, the NEXT SL wheelset is lightweight for XC hammering, yet wide and burly enough for full confidence on that spicy line choice.” Someone at NSMB HQ noticed this description seems to fit my current parts test mule, the Transition Spur, to a T.

The Next SL wheels have been exclusively on the Spur, and its been mostly a positive experience (more on the “mostly” in a bit…). They arrived just in time as the stock DT Swiss wheelset was starting to get tired: dented, hard to keep straight, and sometimes you just want something to keep a bike fresh and exciting.

They’re exactly what a lot of folks might be looking for as an upgrade for Spur-like bikes; relatively light, relatively high engagement hub, not-too-wide-but-not-XC-narrow, and a price tag a bit over $2,200 CAD.

The Next SL wheels are built around Race Face’s Vault hubs – reviewed in J-bend form by Andrew Major – in a 28 spoke, straight pull, three cross configuration. Spoke holes are offset in an asymmetric rim profile. This enables even tension, and all spokes are the same length. Five spares are included (similar to the alloy Turbine R wheelset review). I’ve broken zero spokes over about 14 months of riding. Everything ships ready for tubeless with valve stems installed, and high quality rim tape I’m impressed with.

NextSL_RimTape

What kind of person is impressed by rim tape? I'm not sure, but here we are. Photo: Race Face

Installation included swapping the freehub and endcap, a simple pull off, push on operation. Through the course of the review period, I’ve had a fair number of tires on and off and results have been mixed. Roughly 50% of installations have been successful with my old Pedro’s floor pump, while the rest have required assistance from a compressor to get seated. Its been mostly Maxxis tires – Cam recently handed off a fresh set of Vittoria “DOWN-COUNTRY” tires for review which mounted up with no compressor.

Given the slightly narrower nature of the Next SL wheels, it’s no surprise that tires sized 2.5” or above come out with a very round profile; 2.3” and 2.4” tires are a better match.

RF_NextSL_CQ-101.jpg

The wheels did a fair bit of travelling, including a 3 day trip into the Chilcotins. Thanks for the loaner bags, Uncle Dave! Photo: Cooper Quinn

Riding the NextSL wheelset hasn't been groundbreaking. Everything has been as you'd expect from a premium XC/Trail wheelset coming in at under 1600 grams- they feel spritely with good acceleration, hold lines well, and don't transmit unwanted trail noise or chatter through.

The most noticeable differences over the stock DT Swiss alloy wheelset were under hard cornering, where there's some lateral stiffness gains to be felt, and the increased rear hub engagement. I did experience some of the freehub noises described by Trevor, but there have been no issues beyond the occasional noise. Some folks are ambivalent, but for me the higher engagement of the Vault greehub over the 36 tooth star ratchet in the stock wheelset is a big improvement.

RF_NextSL_Deniz-22.jpg

Trying to power my way up some steep slick roots, but I lack power. Ratcheting a high engagement hub in situations like this can be helpful.

RF_NextSL_Deniz-44.jpg

XC? Trail? What kind of bicycling is this?

RF_NextSL_CQ-33.original2.jpeg

oh no.

This is when product review gets hard; I broke a rim. And not, "oh I think that's a crack, maybe I should replace it", but "walk out carrying your bike because it won't roll through the frame anymore". As a reviewer, I have to critically think about where the fault lies; is this a product failure, or rider failure. What happened?

The Transition Spur is a sprightly bike that carries speed very well on undulating terrain - I covered this in my reviews. And whether the terrain is steep or undulating, the Shore tends to be covered in rocks and roots. Speed, lack of bike weight, and poppy progressive suspension leads to lots of trail pulls and in one case for me, I pulled off a rootball on a moderate descent and landed squarely on top of the bread-loaf sized rock I'd been aiming for the back of. I was about six inches short of the two bike lengths I needed. Bang. At the time, I had an EXO Rekon mounted, no inserts, and somewhere around 25 PSI. The rim failed on the short side of the asymmetric profile, where stress would be concentrated.



So JRA, right? Product failure. Not so fast, I think I'm going to have to take some blame here; I don't think I fully used these wheels as intended. I've hammered on them in very unforgiving terrain, on light tires with no inserts, and more or less ridden like a hoon, not an XC racer looking to get more aggressive.

Overall, I think I apportion blame here 60% rider, maybe more. Throughout the test, I looked to push these wheels. It's not that I was intentionally coming up short, but I had built confidence in the package to a level where I wasn't worried about coming up short. I'd wager an alloy rim also would have been dented beyond repair in the same situation.

The good news is this whole wheel was replaced under warranty, and I've been happily rolling on the new rear for an additional 6 months with no changes to riding style, tires, or tire pressures and it's been trouble free.

RF_NextSL_CQ-100.jpg

Deep in the mountains, trying to make camp far away before dark and weather rolls in, the Spur really comes into its own. Photo: Jer Schaab

So I hear you asking: why would I buy these? What's the value proposition here? If the ride quality isn't significantly different, what's the point of carbon?

Carbon wheels may seem like the expensive option, but if you're hard on wheels I'd argue they're the value conscious choice. If you're replacing hoops (often rears) with any regularity, it doesn't take too long for the ongoing cost of rims+rebuilds to mean you're out of pocket for more than the cost of carbon. On my personal bikes, I've been running carbon wheels exclusively for several years. If it weren't for review bikes with alloy wheels, I'd sell my truing stand; not only have I not rebuilt a wheel in eons, but there's almost no need to true carbon - they just stay straight and round. Should you break a rim (as I did), most carbon wheels are covered under solid warranty or crash replacement these days; the same cannot be said for mangled alloy.

RF_NextSL_Deniz-4.jpg

A ringing endorsement from NSMB alumni, Seb Kemp... "That's not bad for a guy whose personal brand yells wheels on the ground."

I think the Next SL wheelset customer is weight conscious but not overly so and has a bike on the XC end of Trail that they want to upgrade a tired wheelset on; I'd be cross shopping with the Santa Cruz Reserve 28 or 30SL, and We Are One Revive or Faction. Despite breaking a rim during the test, I have no qualms about continuing to run this wheelset; if something else happens I'll update the piece here.

Race Face Next SL Wheels

RF_NextSL_Deniz-46.jpg

Talking important things trailside, like which of these two would you rather pedal, and what color do you like your 7mesh in?

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn

Size medium millennial.

Reformed downhiller, now rides all the bikes.

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Comments

BenHD
BenHD
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+10 Deniz Merdano Timer Vik Banerjee Gordonmcn kcy4130 Cr4w 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman Dan Kerry Williams

Nice article, good write up. I have to applaud you for the phenomenal photos.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 kcy4130 Cr4w Pete Roggeman

Thank you Ben!

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Deniz Merdano Gordonmcn Pete Roggeman

Yes. Excellent photos.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Agree.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

You're really missing a chance to plug your services here. 

You too can have Deniz yell "one more time" at you! 

https://www.blackbirdworks.ca/hire

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I need a manager.. pays nothing but you get to ride your bike alot during business hours

Reply

dan
Dan
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Third that! Also, that backcountry trip looks incredible.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Kerry Williams

Yeah, it was a great trip! 

I managed to get a total of one IG post up with some photos from it... 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUWIBncpBCL/

The Spur definitely saw a few other big alpine rides - a few photos made the long term review. Its an awesome bike for that.

Reply

hongeorge
hongeorge
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+9 mrbrett Jan Timer Sean Chee Lu Kz gregster77 BenHD Dude@ Ddean

I hate to be negative about a brand, but these break all my Raceface rules . Rule number one - don't buy a Raceface product with bearings, and Rule two - don't buy a Raceface product with carbon in it. Not tried their wheels, but after my own experience of their bottom brackets, multiple sets of their carbon cranks, and similar experiences friends have had with their cranks and bars, all combined with the less-than-stellar warranty experience from their UK distributor, and there's just no way I'd ever touch one of their wheelsets. The fact that these wheels broke only adds to that - I guess you had a positive warranty experience, but for me, I don't like the thoughts of going back to those folks and trying to get a rim/wheel replaced

I did quite happily run their aluminium cranks, though.

On a totally separate note - can I ask what you thought of the Blackburn saddle bag? Have the frame bag from the same range, been very happy with it, was looking to add some more luggage bits.

Reply

neologisticzand
Chad K
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Vik Banerjee Cooper Quinn Kerry Williams

Though it is a different wheelset, I will volunteer the fact that I've had a pretty phenomenal experience with the regular Next wheelset (the 31mm IW ones) that I've been riding for maybe 3+ years now. I ordered them back when they first came out and they've made their way through multiple bikes. Unfortunate that a rim broke in this review though.

(I've also had RF carbon cranks and currently use a RF carbon bar, thankfully with good luck on those products as well, but I am certainly aware others have had issues, especially with the cranks)

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Chad K 4Runner1 Kerry Williams AndrewR

I've had a number of RF carbon products and only ever had one issue on a bike that had seen a few crashes over the part's years of service and RF helped me with despite being well out of warranty. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more in the future. 

In terms of carbon rims [not RF] I have had quite a few sets and never killed one. I have killed several metal rims. 

I'm pretty much agnostic when it comes to bike frame/parts material. Specific applications make me lean one way or another. 

I was looking at some RF wheels with metal rims recently. They looked decent and had one feature that was highly valuable...they were in stock!

Reply

neologisticzand
Chad K
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I've also had a good experience with RF warranty (and this was after they were put under the Fox umbrella). I'm overall very happy with my experience with RF products. 

Some of the alloy RF wheels look really solid! Before I decided to bite the bullet and get the Next wheels, I did take a good look at their alloy offerings.

Reply

oldmanbike
OldManBike
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 mrbrett Dude@

No experience with their carbon. But I had a brutal warranty experience with a raceface dropper back in 2017, and based on that I won't buy anything from them that'd I'd care about the warranty for.

Reply

gregster77
gregster77
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Have metal RF rims arc30 on ebike + regular bike. No issues, been very happy, they hold up well. One dent due to me running too low pressure that i was able to fix up, but otherwise quite solid, stay pretty true.

Cushcore is probably the single best rim upgrade if you're smashing/denting rims. Should really come stock on enduro ebikes :)

Did break a carbon RF crank, there seem to be a lot of complaints out there on this. Based on internet feedback, wouldn't buy a RF carbon crank. My X01's have been solid and seen lots of use & crashes.

Reply

Kenny
Kenny
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Chad K Tremeer023

Not carbon, and knocking on wood, but I've been on a set of Turbine R wheels for about a season and they've been killer. 

I got them mainly because I think the vault hub design (inverted driver, specifically) is really good and I also think the asym rims with equal length spokes is a really practical approach as well. They just make sense (to me, anyways).  

30mm inside width and about 250g heavier than the wheels in this article, but at right around half the price. 

My theory has been that if I kill the rear rim I'd get a Next rim and associated spokes and just swap it out, but almost no signs of abuse on the current rim yet.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The equal length/tension spoke thing is definitely something I can get behind! 

250g of rim weight is certainly a lot, but horses for courses.

Reply

Kenny
Kenny
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

It's an i30 rim though, not apples to apples there. 

At 1850g the difference to a comparable width set of carbon wheels is more like 100g unless you get very exotic on the build.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Pete Roggeman hongeorge

The saddle bag was great! I ran a Wolftooth collar on my Reverb to limit travel. Overall it was pretty stable, very waterproof, and easy to use (albeit install was slightly fussy). 

Uncle Dave has a two part series featuring these bags if you missed it:
https://nsmb.com/articles/noobs-guide-bikepacking-part-1/
https://nsmb.com/articles/noobs-guide-bikepacking-part-2/

Reply

hongeorge
hongeorge
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Nice one. Blackburn stuff seems well priced compared t some of the insanely expensive options that have appeared since gravel/bikepacking got fashionable

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

You can certainly spend as much money as you have. I didn't love the bar bag here with its clamp setup, but everything is such a tradeoff here. A couple small tweaks and it would have been great.

Reply

shoreboy
Shoreboy
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 4Runner1 Sean Chee DadStillRides

I dont think I can imagine the situation where I would buy these over something like WAO? You can get a set of Factions with I9 Hydra (only choice right now) for $1875CAD. They list their weight as 1720g for 32h or 1665g with CX-ray spokes (which will still be cheaper than the RF). I havent used WAO warranty services, but from my understanding it is likely better than RF as well. Better rim, hub and warranty. Am I missing something?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Shoreboy Sean Chee

These go head to head with a We Are One Revive more than the Faction (I have a set of Revives on my gravel bike). The RF warranty process was smooth - I've owned a lot of WAO product but never warrantied anything, so I can't really say who's process is better.

Reply

mrbrett
mrbrett
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Sean Chee DadStillRides

"I've owned a lot of WAO product but never warrantied anything, so I can't really say who's process is better"

There's your answer. What's even better than a good warranty is not needing to use that good warranty.

Reply

shoreboy
Shoreboy
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Even more of an argument for WAO then. Pricing is the same on the Revives as the Faction. They are 1540g with race spokes and 1425 with CX-rays. Lighter, better rim and hub. Warranty is harder to evaluate. WAO is a lifetime warranty for 'bike related' failures (vehicular stupidity gets you 50% cost replacement), Im not sure what RF offers.

Reply

jan
Jan
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn 4Runner1

I haven't broken a WAO rim, but I have destroyed a hub that came from a WAO factory build. 11 months after receiving the wheels the vesper hub spoke flange sheared on a lap down Ned's. I contacted WAO for onyx warranty support and they built a new hub onto my rim. 

2 weeks door to door with a brand new hub laced up over the holidays and all I had to do was cover shipping. WAO ftw

Reply

agleck7
Agleck7
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I get that the WAO story is cool, but I find it odd that all you Canadians (and other bike media/comments) never talk about NOBLs.  A guy in our riding group got them on a used bike and everyone who's gone carbon rims has converted to them. They're super affordable, have been awesome for us (admittedly we don't have other carbon rim experience to compare them too), and have a lifetime warranty and great customer support.

Reply

shoreboy
Shoreboy
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 Cooper Quinn mrbrett Mammal DancingWithMyself Greg Bly

NOBL is also a Canadian company yes, but their rims are made in China. They aren't much different than buying from Light Bicycle in my mind. There is nothing wrong with that business model, it just differs from what WAO is doing.  WAO gets the credit it deserves for being a Canadian company, with manufacturing and engineering all in house.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Chad K mrbrett Mammal DancingWithMyself

My understanding is NOBL isn't "much" different, its actually no different than buying Light Bicycle... they're made in the same factory, and brought into Canada to the same warehouse, and sold by the same distributor.

If you're going NOBL, you may as well just go LB.

Reply

rwalters
Ryan Walters
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Timer

FWIW, as far as I understand, NOBL rims are different from the LB offerings (that might be outdated info though). You also get better support and warranty through NOBL. And if it matters to you, NOBL wheelsets are built in BC.

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DancingWithMyself

@timer just to clear it up, tiagra is made in Malaysia or Cambodia while XT is made.in Japan.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Ryan Walters

AFAIK, all those points are true Ryan.

agleck7
Agleck7
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks! I figured there must be something like that turning folks off, which is why I asked.  Looking at the LB website their rims look different and they don't have a full warranty, but fair enough.

Timer
Timer
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Is it actually the same product or are these different product lines?

Just thinking that Tiagra and XT are also made in the same factory, brought to the same warehouse and sold by the same distributor.

[Edit:] I didn't realize that XT was still made in Japan. I thought nowadays only XTR was made there.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I don't think it's identical product, no. But Tiagra and XT are both sold under the same brand, as different level products, which is a bit different. 

Also Shimano has a few different factories, I'm not full of enough knowledge to know which product lines are made in which factories - someone can chime in. 

Cam toured the fancy one here: https://nsmb.com/articles/touring-shimanos-intelligent-factory-japan/

EDIT: Deniz has already chimed in.

agleck7
Agleck7
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Timer Cooper Quinn

I get that, and that's what I meant by cool story. But at the same time the same doesn't apply to Rocky and Norco vs. Devinci.  Not dissing WAO, I just thought it was odd that I seem to never see NOBL listed in these discussions.  Fine by me, we're stoked on em!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Agleck7 Mammal

The reality is there's VERY few brands (and none of the ones listed there) making carbon bikes here in North America. Of those three... its possible that Devinci is the only brand still doing any NA manufacturing?

4Runner1
4Runner1
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Mammal

Agreed. I think Nobl make an awesome product.

BUT, WAO earned my $ as they’re hand made 400 kms from my home. 

Also, the hype over ride quality is real when carbon is done right. At least IMHO.

Reply

rwalters
Ryan Walters
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Agleck7

I will second this. NOBL seem to be the sleeper carbon rim company. They don't get tons of media coverage, but they make super solid rims. I've been running NOBL's for 2 years and have zero complaints.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Agleck7

I've had NOBLs! A while ago now, mind you. I had some on my Mach 6, and later on a Ragley hardtail. https://www.instagram.com/p/BM60-l5jMh-/

I'm sure the product is fine, but I think the reason everyone chatters about WAO so much is they're made in Canada, really high quality, and very competitively priced. NOBL are made in the same factory as Light Bicycle and imported by the same folks - if nothing else, its a less exciting story.

Reply

DaveSmith
Dave Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

Phone...

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Dave Smith

I fixed it partway!

Reply

LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Dave Smith

at least it wasn't "knees"

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Dave Smith Pete Roggeman Mammal Jerry Willows

Phone is a metaphor for knees..

Reply

DaveSmith
Dave Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Mammal

Don't make me find the photo where he had 2 phones.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Dave Smith Andrew Major

I don't have the heart to downvote, but take a virtual one, because no one needs that mental image.

RAHrider
Reed Holden
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Timer DadStillRides

I think there are those who break rims and those that don't, and it's not necessarily about how big they are or how fast they can ride. If you break rims often the suggestion of a heavier carbon rim seems sound but I' definitely wouldn't buy carbon for cost savings as I don't ruin wheels very often. I have both carbon and alloy wheels and don't really care which I'm riding on any given day. I'm more of a hub guy than a rim guy I guess. 

On the topic of hubs, my rule is to never buy wheels with a hub from a company without reputation for making great hubs. I know the vault hubs have been around a couple of years but I couldn't tell you if the bits and bobs are the same. It's nice to be able to get replacement parts for your hub years down the road. I have had a couple of hubs that I had to ditch because I could not find a replacement part as the company stopped supporting the product. I'd be interested to know if the vaults have the exact same bearings, freehub etc as they did when they were released or is it a pain to get replacement parts for older vaults.

At this price you could get Chris king hubs with some sort of carbon hoop and be assured that the product would be supported until the end of time. I sometimes feel that companies like race face, Crank brothers, specialized, bontrager put out carbon wheels because they can, but don't really care that much about the product. In contrast, wao is a carbon rim company, it is a big part of what they do and I am pretty sure they care about the end product. I have no proof of this, but it is how I have always felt about wheels made by non-wheel specialized companies.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Its the first carbon rim I've broken, but I'd agree; if you're not ruining alloy wheels much, the performance benefits are smaller. 

Fancy hubs are great - lots of reasons to go with different brands depending on your preferences and needs including that if chosen correctly, hopefully they're somewhat of a lifetime product (shakes fists at various standards and whatnot). But not all customers/consumers want to deal with actually building custom wheels (or having them built), they'd rather just buy a wheelset, eventually sell or retire it, and buy another. 

I think saying that companies don't care about their products isn't necessarily fair, but perhaps they don't have the time/attention/budget to put as much care in as more focused brands.

Reply

RAHrider
Reed Holden
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

You may be right but I have seen too many companies have a Chinese factory make them a wheel that looks super slick and fancy only to break like a cheap Chinese product but the following year they made an entirely different fancy wheel in a different Chinese factory with completely uncompatible parts. In those cases there was no commitment to a design or product line. Often the wheels are designed to be put oem on their higher end bikes. The fancy wheels look like an upgrade and may work better, but only until they break and cannot be serviced. I cannot say for sure if the vault hubs fall into this category. Does anyone know the longer term track record for these hubs and their serviceability and availability of parts. I think for a wheel like this where almost everything is proprietary, it would be good to mention

Reply

Bad-Sean
Sean Chee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Ok on roughly the same topic, I’ve never ridden carbon rims as I just haven’t been able to justify the outlay on them. I am a big guy (6’5”, 240lb), I like to barrel through rough sections and hit jumps. Which carbon wheels/rims should I be looking at if I was going to dip my toes in the water? 

I’m currently running FR560 and EX471 on my downduro and trail bike respectively. Both built up with alpine 3 spokes on DT oem hubs. I don’t really go through rims too often with this setup.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Sean Chee kcy4130

If you're not breaking rims with your current setup, call it good. If that changes, then maybe think about the extra cash outlay.

Unless you want to be talked into buying carbon, in which case, as you were...

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 hotlapz Sean Chee

I've only ridden Light Bicycle carbon rims. The cost is about double the cost of a quality metal rim and then I get them built up locally as I would any other wheel set. So the extra cost for carbon is not particularly high. Since my carbon rims have out lasted my metal rims they are actually cheap once you factor in a new metal rim and a wheel re-build.

Reply

Bad-Sean
Sean Chee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I had never heard of them before. Shipping from China works perfectly for me in Australia. I think I might have to order some as the price is so good. Do you run the pro version or the standard?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Sean Chee

With your size, I'd get something pretty burly; the overall impact on your system weight is low, and durability is paramount. You're putting out plenty of watts. 

You could get something like a We Are One Strife or equivalent. You'll likely notice some lateral stiffness gains; that said, if you're not toasting very many aluminum rims, you may be happy just keeping the setup you've got? 

Other users (where's cr4w when you need them...) may have other suggestions as well.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Sean Chee

Oh pick me!

I have WR1 Converts with zero complaints so far after 2+ seasons. Compliant but stiff.

I also have a 6 year old set of Derby DH 29 wheels on Hope hubs that looks like they've been through a war and are still going strong. But they ride very harshly.

Reply

Bad-Sean
Sean Chee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks guys. I am happy on alloy rims atm, I just wanted to know who to keep an eye out for when it comes to deals as I wander through the various LBS in Perth and Singapore. You wouldn’t believe some of the bargains I pick up in Singapore. 

FWIW I think my rims have long lives mainly to the higher than average pressure I run in my tyres and also the DT Alpine3 spokes with 14mm brass nipples I build with. 

I mainly deal with hard pack or loose over hard in my corner of Australia. Previously I would need new rims every 12-18 months when I ran competition or revolution spokes. I switched to the alpine3 spokes four wheel sets ago and all four are still working beautifully with probably 15,000km on them total. They’re well worth the negligible extra weight and cost over regular spokes IMO. 

My two most ridden wheel sets are due to be retired soon as a precautionary measure, as I believe the rims are close to the end of their fatigue life. With that many km on them, I don’t feel bad about putting them in the rack to use as spares.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DadStillRides

Tell me more about these Singapore bargains?!

Reply

Bad-Sean
Sean Chee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Well firstly Shimano costs nothing there. Literally 60-80% less than the cheapest North American online pricing. There are tiny stores hidden in industrial parks filled to the brim with everything shimano has ever made for no cost. A couple of months ago I picked up two sets of xt linkglide cassettes, mechs, shifters, and twelve chains (LG and 12x) for a grand total of about $200usd. Im thinking about selling the 12s chains to make my money back haha. 

A couple of years ago I got Front and rear dominions with 200mm rotors for a total of about $180usd. The day after I got the drivetrain stuff, I picked up front and rear Hope V4’s with matching rotors for $160usd total. I haven’t even gotten around to installing them yet haha.

The real bargains are a result of MTB’s being all about posing there. I get “2nd hand” but never ridden off anything higher than a kerb, parts all the time. My best are the dorado’s a couple of years ago. $500usd. The guy had a V10 fully kitted out. He “used” the forks for a couple of weeks then decided he wanted Boxxers to match his shock and traded them in. I swooped and have been in heaven ever since.

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Bad-Sean
Sean Chee
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DadStillRides

I will probably get Hope pro 4 hubs for my next wheel builds. Front and rear for just over $200usd total. My cousins will post them to me. I’m waiting to hear back from a shop for pricing on hydra’s, but I don’t think they will be anywhere near as cheap as the Hope.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

syncro
Mark
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Timer

Just a thought that having rider stats (weight) in these sorts of reviews would be good in helping people decide if a product might work for them. A significant difference in body weight can account for a noticeable difference in durability/reliability of some components.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Mark

Good point!

I've covered it in other reviews, but I wouldn't expect anyone to remember, or search that info out. 

I'm a "men's medium*": 5'11", 165-170lbs w/ no gear, 32"x30" pants, 40" chest, US/UK 9/42. 

*for clothes, anyway. I usually ride size large bikes.

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syncro
Mark
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Ahh, I know Cam usually has it listed - wasn't sure if you had before or not. You forgot to add beard dimensions tho, that could be a critical factor for some people.

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D_C_
DMVancouver
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

EFF. I meant to start Uncle Cooper's Music Club at the end here. I'm still upset after what a hard time Uncle Dave gave me for my last contribution. 

Anyway, this one seems appropriate for the review. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLFdIzMhn8

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earleb
earle.b
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Just horrible.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The day I post a Grateful Dead song is the day you know I've been kidnapped. Call 911.

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D_C_
DMVancouver
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0 Agleck7 DancingWithMyself

I would caution people who are hard on rims in thinking that going with a carbon wheelset with lifetime warranty is going to save you money. The initial investment is usually a good amount higher, and while you get a free carbon rim under a no-questions-asked warranty, there are usually costs borne by the user such as shipping, wheel build labour, nipples, potentially spokes, and down time while it all gets resolved. A broken carbon rim should also usually be replaced immediately, whereas an alloy rim can often limp along until a more strategic time for replacement, or there is enough built-up damage to warrant a new rim.

I have broken a couple rims from a certain Canadian manufacturer, and while they have been awesome to deal with and have helped me out each time, it has been a couple hundred dollars per warranty to get rolling again, and I have relied on a backup wheel poached from another bike in the meantime.

You don't want your carbon wheel to break. Buying an appropriately heavy rim for your use is the right call. Otherwise, you are not necessarily better off than running alloy rims, from a lifecycle cost standpoint.

To me, the main benefit of carbon rims is that they stay true and un-dented until the moment they crack.

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 4Runner1 Ryan Walters Mammal DancingWithMyself

you should probably be using an insert like Tannus and/or higher pressure if you continually break a rim...  Steve V has yet to go through a WAO rim.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 Timer Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Mammal khai

He uses a custom blend of moustache trimmings and Pilsner to make his own custom inserts.

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Greg Bly

@cooperquinn...  calling Lucky a Pilsner or even a beer is a stretch

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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D_C_
DMVancouver
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

@Jerry Willows - you might be right, but I have been doing pretty well lately with DH-rated rims and higher pressure, and no insert. 

I thought CushCore was worth it if I could run 22 psi in the back, but I was still denting the crap out of alloy rims like the Flow MK3 with the insert at that pressure. If I'm going to have to run more air, I'd rather just go with a rim that's 50 g heavier and skip the insert.

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LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DMVancouver

MK3 aren't very good..  EX3's are way better for strength.

I run WAO Unions with Tannus inserts at 18-20 psi in the rear with no issue as yet (close to a year). I weigh 170'ish.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 DMVancouver DancingWithMyself Mark

This seems to be highly variable (rider, tire pressure, riding style, wheel, setup, etc). Tim Coleman is very fast, very skilled, and very hard on bikes. He's done the math, and carbon rims come out well cheaper for him. That doesn't mean it's true for everyone, but he'll likely chime in here with his formula - but I think he used to break 3-4 alloy rear rims per season, and has used a personal carbon wheelset for 3 seasons without a single broken rim IIRC.

Everyone's different, do what works for you, but I've heard of other people with the same experience as Tim.

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D_C_
DMVancouver
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

My point was that the value comes from a durable product and not from using the lifetime warranty, which can have costs that are sometimes not considered when people are doing the math.

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D_C_
DMVancouver
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DMVancouver

Yeah I mean... I hear you. The warranty isn't something you should look to use, its a potential saver. I switched to carbon wheels on my personal bikes around 2015 or 2016 and haven't looked back, and I've been lucky (?) enough that until this review, I haven't broken one. So the cost for me is only the initial capital, nothing ongoing. That's not everyone's experience; I don't want any wheels to break, its f-ing scary! 

Very much agree that a huge benefit is no dents, no truing.

Warranty costs for carbon wheels varies by manufacturer, its definitely something to be mindful of. 

I'm also fortunate enough that I've usually got spare wheels sitting around, or a set on another bike I can pull.

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I'm not to perturbed these broke.  They are lightweight rims primarily intended for more XC oriented riding. I'm more curious about how the warranty process works when you are reviewing their product? I've read a few reviews where they broke the product and stated that the upside was that the warranty process was fast and easy.  I'm presuming RF provided you the rims to review, and that you did not purchase them here.  If that's the case then from a more cynical viewpoint it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't warranty this,  and that the warranty process may not necessarily be reflective of other users experience. Of course it also may be perfectly representative of what would happen if I had bought the wheels and broke them.  It's just hard to know.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Short of starting CSCR (Consumer Shore Country Reports) and buying product under a pseudonym, this is always going to be a question that's impossible for media outlets to answer. 

Honestly, I hope they dealt with paying customers before me. Is that the reality? I dunno. Hopefully my RA just got chucked in the stack with any others at the time, but that's probably like thinking the food critic's plate didn't get an extra check before it went to FOH staff. 

From comments above, it seems some customers have had good warranty experiences, some have been less good. 

That said, I'd largely agree with your first two sentences.

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morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I think alloy rims + cushcore is the true value proposition.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Morgan Heater

Its definitely got its place on the ternary diagram. 

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morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

It's funny, but depending on the rims, carbon isn't really lighter, and carbon without cushcore breaks in my experience, so... one could argue that it actually is the unicorn...

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HollyBoni
HollyBoni
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

What kind of handlebar bag is that? Blackburn?

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

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Ddean
Ddean
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

To me, if they warrantied the rim you need to give them a pass on that it broke in the first place, especially if there was a component of rider abuse in that.

But yeah, RF and carbon scare me. Ive been through two sets of the NEXT SL carbon cranks and the pedal threads delaminated in both. I love my Turbine cranks tho - maybe best cranks ever? My sons' RF alloy rims lasted him 7 days, but.....Shore kid.

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mayberex
Mario S
9 months, 2 weeks ago
-1 DancingWithMyself

my man I'm gonna say this was 70% your fault, ive broken rims the exact same way, either be smooth or run inserts

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
9 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I'm not trying to absolve myself of blame here, but take a look at RF's description and copy, too. 

https://www.raceface.com/products/next-sl-wheelset

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mayberex
Mario S
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman

no I hear you, I actually said the same thing to myself about the description of my Revel RW30s (I've actually broken them twice, love the warranty) but bunny hopping into rock gardens is one of the easiest ways to break wheels.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
9 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DadStillRides

So...10% blame to the copywriter and another 10 to whomever approved it?

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