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Long Term Review

We Are One Agent Wheelset

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Dave Smith
Date Feb 28, 2018

Back in October, I gave everyone a mid-term review on the We Are One Agent wheelset. Back then I'd put about 1,000km on the wheels, with the majority of that mileage over a relatively dry summer. I wanted to give you all an update on how things were going, but without having abused the wheels in the wet I wasn't comfortable calling it a day for testing. Since then we've had a rather wet winter, and I've been doing my fair share of riding. 


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The test mule has been my Norco Range, built for all round mountain smashing


Since October I've logged about 300km of riding on these wheels. That might not sound like a ton of mileage, but that'd be just about the life of an 11-speed chain and chainring for me. That distance took about 42 hours of saddle time and logged 16,000m of vertical. Here's the kicker; since my last review we've had 79 days of rain, 773 mm of the stuff according to environment Canada. In short, lots of wet, steep, rugged, riding ... my favourite kind.


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The We Are One Agent wheelset has transported me through some wonderful places

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Gorgeous carbon rims


Agent Rims

Like I mentioned in my previous articles, I'm especially impressed with the quality of the rims from We Are One. The carbon is gorgeous, and in places you normally wouldn't expect. The rim is as well made inside the tire as on the exterior surface. The tire fit has been excellent, making tubeless inflation a breeze. In terms of durability, I haven't princess tested these, and I have yet to touch the spoke tension on these wheels (in general terms). The wider rim bead seemed to make these easier on tires than most other carbon wheels I've tested. I'm always careful with my tire pressures, but I don't think I had a single flat tire on these wheels... maybe one in the Whistler Bike Park. The rims are as straight and true as the day I installed them. 

The exterior has seen a ton of abuse, with some gouges in the surfaces from rocks, but the rims seem flawless structurally. Quality, function and performance wise it's hard to find fault with the Agent rims. Ride quality wise, I really liked these wheels. The wheels felt precise and accurate to me, but not harsh or jarring. I think this is likely due to the rims being fairly stiff in the direction of travel but fairly compliant in the vertical direction. My office worker hands survived the toughest enduro stage I've ever done – the Whistler EWS Top of the World to Ride Don't Slide stage – partly thanks to the compliant nature of the wheels. Great performance, quality, fit, durability, and ride quality make it hard to find any faults with the Agent rims.

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I've raced and ridden these wheels all year, over some of the harshest trails, and in the harshest conditions

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The Project 321 hubs were impressive, excellent performance, with no issues during the review


Project 321 Hubs

I was impressed with the Project 321 hubs by the mid-term review, but I'm now thoroughly impressed. I've yet to do anything to these, and they've seen plenty of harsh wet rides. The bearings are still tight with no play. The freehub is smooth and still has perfect engagement. The wheels spin with ease. My only criticism is that the black anodizing could be blacker, it's a bit on the purple side. 


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I'm dreaming of these dusty conditions


Issues

The only issues I've had with the wheelset so far is I've had three spokes fail in the rear wheel at the spoke nipple. I chatted with We Are One at length about this and they admitted that the first pre-production rims (which I'm on) had an incorrect spoke hole angle drilled into them. This put a bending load on the spoke at the nipple and could cause fatigue failures of the spoke. The production Agent rims have a revised drilling angle to prevent this bending stress. I'm normally hard on spokes and almost every rear wheel I ride has spoke failures. It's a relatively minor issue, one that I'm accustomed to seeing on most wheels I ride and it sounds like We Are One have sorted it out already.


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Knees out for the boys... knees out for the boys

Options

Originally the We Are One wheels were only available with Project 321 hubs. However, We Are One have recently launched the Agent wheelset with six new hub options ranging from DT Swiss 350 for 1,597 CAD to Chris King for 2,297 CAD. There are also two new rim profiles too, the Insider XC rim and the Outlier DH rim. I think the options are great, as it makes getting into the excellent We Are One rims even more affordable. And let's be honest the DT Swiss 350 hubs on the cheapest wheels are excellent.


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From day one the We Are One wheels have impressed


After almost a year of thoroughly testing these, putting them through 1,300 km of the harshest abuse I could dish out, I'm very impressed with the We Are One Agent wheels. At this point, I'd normally be through two to three aluminum rims. Add the purchase cost of the aluminum wheels, plus rims and rebuilds, and I'd be darn near the cost of the We Are One Agent wheels with the DT 350 hubs. Factor in the lifetime warranty from We Are One, and running these will be cheaper than aluminum rims for me. The only issue I had over the entire review was a few broken rear spokes, which is normal for me, and We Are One say they've resolved this issue with all production Agent rims. With such good performance and few issues, I'm left with no reasons to recommend away from these wheels. They're light, feel great on the trail, excellent performing, durable, and are a locally made awesome product. 

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. Hopefully the We Are One guys can't catch me to take them back. 

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Comments

fed
+2 Cr4w Tim Coleman
fed  - Feb. 28, 2018, 5:10 a.m.

Good Review!  The fact that we are one wheels now have a life time warranty makes this a toss up for me.  Just one thing any comparisons between the agent wheel set and the Santa Cruz reserved 30 wheel set or any other that may help potential wheel buyers?  Thanks

Reply

nouseforaname
+4 grambo Lowcard Cr4w Tim Coleman
Nouseforaname  - Feb. 28, 2018, 7:34 a.m.

Santa Cruz = China. We Are One = Kamloops. Makes a difference to me, all other things being relatively equal.

Plus DT 350 hubs on the cheap wheels are a bench mark for reliable hubs IME.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 8:24 a.m.

fed I haven't had a chance to ride or carefully look at the Santa Cruz Reserve wheels so I don't think I can comment on a comparison in terms of performance. That said I have heard of more rim failures with the Reserve wheels than with the We Are One Agents.

Reply

craw
+1 Cam McRae
Cr4w  - Feb. 28, 2018, 1:06 p.m.

There are probably significantly more Reserve wheels out there under a much wider range of riders.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 9:19 p.m.

That is probably a fair statement.

Reply

slyfink
0
slyfink  - Feb. 28, 2018, 7:11 a.m.

A question about the angled drilling of the spoke holes: is the angle specific to wheel spacing?  I have 142 hubs.  I would imagine these are probably drilled for 148 hubs.  Is that going to make a difference?

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 8:22 a.m.

Slyfink the We Are One guys should be able to help you with that question. Fire them a message from their website and I'm sure they'll get back to you. 

https://weareonecomposites.com/

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
+1 Tim Coleman
We_Are_One_Composites  - Feb. 28, 2018, 10:55 a.m.

@slyfink, The issue we found was the drilling holes were too tight a tolerance and the angle for boost was a tad off. We noticed this in pre-production and made adjustments to make the holes a hair larger and increased the angle of the hole to make the spoke to nipple engagement much nicer.

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
+1 Tim Coleman
Brigham_Rupp  - Feb. 28, 2018, 7:32 a.m.

I've been on some Agents with Hope hubs on my Sentinel for most of the winter here in Phoenix and have been putting them through the roughest paces we have to offer. Love them so far. Having been on (and enjoyed) Enve wheels in the past, the Agents have been easier to mount and seal, and I feel more confident in their durability (I've cracked two sets of M70s). I've had a few bottom outs in the rocks where I thought for sure I'd cracked them but nothing doing so far. Stoked.

Reply

fed
0
fed  - Feb. 28, 2018, 10:08 a.m.

How do the agent compare in feel to the enves?

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

fed that's hard to answer. I rode the ENVE's at the launch in Wales on a foreign bike. I liked the way the new ENVE's felt on the trail, which is similar to the Agents. I don't think I could say that in terms of feel one was better or worse. I think you'd need to have both sets of wheels with the same tires at the same pressures on the same day to really highlight the differences, they're that close. 

Pro for ENVE, I do like their rim strip idea. But at the same time I don't have an issue with flat tires on the Agents. 

Pro for We Are One; the quality of finish on the We Are One's tire bead surface and under the rim tape is significantly nicer. The We Are Ones are simply gorgeous inside and out. And the We Are One wheels are significantly easier on the wallet.

Reply

GladePlayboy
0
Rob Gretchen  - Feb. 28, 2018, 12:19 p.m.

I couldn't see it referenced in  the article, but did you ride the WAOs with a tire insert (eg. Cushcore)?   Our shop racer is running these on his and swears this has been the biggest difference in tire and rim survivability.   We have the Enve M70s with the rim strip in the shop and its an excellent idea in my opinion.   You can pretty much ditch the tire inserts for all intensive purposes, unless you are really pushing the envelope.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 9:21 p.m.

Rob I rode the new M730s with the rim strip. You can read all about it here: https://nsmb.com/articles/2018-enve-m-series-rims-ridden-wales/

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Brigham_Rupp  - Feb. 28, 2018, 2:30 p.m.

As good or better. Definitely better than the M70s which were too stiff. The M60s felt great. Let's put it this way, I really like enves but I don't feel like I'm making any negative trade going to the We Are Ones. Considering the price, North American small-batch manufacturing, lifetime warranty, external spoke nipples, finish, feel, durability and ethos... We Are One is hitting pretty close to the center of carbon wheel bullseye.

Reply

Jenkins5
0
Jenkins5  - Feb. 28, 2018, 9:10 a.m.

Heard these are pretty good as well. Had 2 Squamish buddies crack rear wheels about 6 months ago but We Are One took care of them quickly. Think they have been good since...The options for lifetime warranty wheels is growing. Carbon for everyone!

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
0
We_Are_One_Composites  - Feb. 28, 2018, 10:53 a.m.

That is odd. We have not had 1 customer from Squamish crack any rim at all. I have a team rider in Squamish who cracked 2 rims up riding the WBP while riding his Norco Sight, (our team riders all ride our visually defective rims that do not make the grade for sale) but other than that no cracked rims at all out of Squamish from any paying customers.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 11:04 a.m.

Do you guys know the cause of the rim failure? Was it a severe rim strike? I ask because I don't even know how he broke a rim. I'm always careful to run decent tire pressures, but did 20+ days in the Whistler Bike Park on my Range riding everything, had some horrendous bottom outs and didn't have an issue.

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Tim Coleman
We_Are_One_Composites  - Feb. 28, 2018, 11:24 a.m.

Tim, we do receive the rims back from our team guys, and both looked like massive rim impacts. They both cracked the rim lip. But he still rode the wheel for a week in the park after the break. So the tubeless held and he was able to continue to ride until we shipped him his new one. This was the case on both occasions.

Under investigation with our team rider, it was low tire pressure and riding a 130mm AM bike like it were a DH bike in the WBP that we chalked the cracks up to. We put him on a production rim, not a team VD, and he has been fine ever since.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 28, 2018, 9:24 p.m.

Thanks for the honest and candid reply!

Reply

Jenkins5
+1 Tim Coleman
Jenkins5  - Feb. 28, 2018, 11:27 a.m.

It appears the cracked rims in question were in fact pre-production (We are One clarified by PM). It was rim strike but sounds like We Are One has the situation under control now.

Reply

T-mack
+3 Tjaard Breeuwer Tim Coleman Mitch Mason
T-mack  - Feb. 28, 2018, 3:17 p.m.

So last October I was riding Drops a Lot in Penticton. For those that know it is a very rocky zone that almost always guarantees a flat. 

Anyway nuking along I get a loud 'THWANG!' as my Agent smacks a rock. I didn't hear a hiss or anything so I continued on. 10 seconds later and I'm mobbing through a rock garden with a rear flat. The sounds my poor rim made before I could stop was astounding, I thought for sure %110 My rim cracked. Nope! Still rolling on the same wheel and not even a loose spoke hahaha. I'm 230 pounds btw so I tend to blow through wheels.

Reply

robnow
+2 Tim Coleman Mitch Mason
robnow  - Feb. 28, 2018, 3:38 p.m.

Is there a reason We Are One isn't doing Project 321 hubs anymore?  With them being a first year product, were there issues with the magnetic pawl system and reliability?  Really like the idea of these hubs.

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
+2 Tim Coleman Cam McRae
We_Are_One_Composites  - Feb. 28, 2018, 4:12 p.m.

It is such a great hub. We were blown away by the performance of the product and the quality of the machining. Not holding back anything, we are still carrying P321 and support that hub full on. It is on our sales site, as it was a repeat. We are just cleaning up the images and will add it to the main site as well.

The magnetic pawls on the quiet version needed some addressing and they have resolved them by moving the magnets a hair closer to the drive-ring and bringing all the EDM work in-house. They had some issues with a vendor that supplied the machining and have now solved it. 

Great hub and still 100% backed and sold by us.

Reply

Monts
0
Monts 419  - March 7, 2018, 10:14 a.m.

Hey guys, I've been reading through this.  Dusty in Utah is building be a set of We Are One - Agent29s with Project 321 Boost hubs right now.  They should be done tomorrow or next day.  Do you think my hubs will be updated with the modification of the magnet your talking about above? Also, would Dusty have your most recent production of 2018 rims?  I assumed he would but thought it would be worth asking you.

Reply

JLW124
0
Jason Wolfe  - Feb. 28, 2018, 9:50 p.m.

@WAO:  I was just about to pull the tigger on some Agent rims, and then I noticed the new Outlier rim, which is said to have a “massive” increase in impact strength.  Just how much is “massive”?

Reply

JLW124
0
Jason Wolfe  - March 2, 2018, 10:28 a.m.

So.... no comment?

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Tim Coleman
We_Are_One_Composites  - March 2, 2018, 10:54 a.m.

Sorry Jason, I missed this one. 

The Outlier is built for DH and will outperform The Agent.  Massive in terms of kg/f to break the rim is 17% increase. The lateral stiffness increases 13% and the radial stiffness only 10%. 

If you are prone to rim breaks and run low pressures and do not want to succeed any of the added grip that comes with the lower pressures, You could be a good candidate for an insert.

Reply

JLW124
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Tim Coleman
Jason Wolfe  - March 2, 2018, 11:05 a.m.

Thank you.  Appreciate the precise and honest answer.  So refreshing.

Reply

fed
0
fed  - March 1, 2018, 5:26 a.m.

It will be great if NSMB does a battle royal between a few of carbon wheels, i dont think i seen one any where.  It will be very helpful to have them all compare under the same testing circumstances.

Reply

rugbyred
0
Eric Van Sickle  - March 1, 2018, 6:28 p.m.

WAO- on your site it says that the new DH rim is suitable for a tire insert but there is nothing about using one with the Agent. What are your thoughts for tire inserts with the Agent?

Thanks

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
0
We_Are_One_Composites  - March 1, 2018, 6:38 p.m.

For sure. Running an insert on any of our rims is possible. We are really partial to the Huck Norris as it is simple to install, light and does improve impact resistance just as much as the others. It is a simple system that when needed works to decrease rim strikes. If you want to run it on The Agent, we say giver!

Reply

vincentaedwards
+1 Lowcard
Vincent Edwards  - March 4, 2018, 8:05 a.m.

I just ordered a pair of the ‘insider’ rims, as they are a better match for my riding style. I’ll report back here after a month or so of use. So far, We Are One is one of the most helpful companies I’ve ever dealt with- they advised me on rim selection, as well as best practices for building a wheel with their rims (spoke tension, as well as spoke and nipple selection)

Reply

vincentaedwards
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Vincent Edwards  - March 28, 2018, 6:34 a.m.

My rims arrived in a timely manner and so far I’m very impressed. Finish quality is excellent, they built up easily, and the ride quality is great! Spoke tension is more even due to the offset drilling.

Compared to the flow Mk3 rims they replace, they feel lighter and more precise, and they definitely spin up faster. As expected, trail feedback is heightened somewhat, but they aren’t overly harsh. I’m going to need to experiment with tire pressure, as I feel like small changes are more noticible than they were with the alloy hoops. The best way I can describe the feeling is that with my alloy rims the tire and rim felt like more of a ‘unit’ whereas with the carbon rims, I can really focus on what the tire is doing because the rims are stiffer.

Update: After a season on the WAO rims... I have very little to add. They’re perfectly true and perform like new. I’m very happy with my purchase.

Reply

rugbyred
0
Eric Van Sickle  - March 4, 2018, 4:34 p.m.

What’s the advantage of using the Sapim CX-Ray spokes over the default option? I’m most likely mistaken but I was always under the impression that the CX spokes allowed for a stronger wheels build, lighter weight. If the rims are stronger than an aluminum, is there still a strength aspect or is it just weight? 

I do realize that it also allows the builder to see spike windup. 

Eric

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
We_Are_One_Composites  - March 4, 2018, 8:18 p.m.

You are spot on Eric. The weight drop is the significant gain, but the difference in strength form the CX-Ray to the Race is so close, when you talk about force to break when elongated. Building up wheels, you do also have the ability to eliminate spoke wind up as well. With that kind of precise adjustability, you can build a crazy tight tolerance wheel, both radially and laterally.

Reply

Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - March 5, 2018, 2:31 p.m.

Get some CL Onyx hubs in stock.

Also the BOOST 20mm option.

Reply

We_Are_One_Composites
0
We_Are_One_Composites  - March 5, 2018, 4:20 p.m.

If there is something we do not show in our stock product list, we would be more than happy to source it and supply you with what you are after. Any custom build can be quoted and shipped with any color or hub choice we can get our hands on. 

Best bet is to email sales@weareone.bike and have us look into it for you. We can supply a solid timeline and price that way.

Cheers

Reply

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