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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

We Are One - Agent Wheelset

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Dave Smith
Date Jul 28, 2017
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Hand made in Canada; the We Are One Agent 27.5 carbon wheelset

Who exactly is We Are One? If you were racing mountain bikes in the lates 90s and early 2000's you'd know Dustin Adams, Wayne Parsons, and Shane Jenson. These guys are fast riders, have been around the bike industry since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and weren't happy with the wheels currently available on the market. With prior experience in the wheel industry, they thought they could go out on their own, and make a better carbon wheel, right here in Canada. To complement the team they hired an experienced machinist, and an ex-Rolls Royce engineer who wanted to apply his skill set towards the design and optimization of wheels. An all star crowd for producing a top tier product here in BC.

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The front wheel of the Agent 27.5 wheelset

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We Are One has chosen to partner with Project 321 for the hubs on their first wheelset. From the outside they look like nicely made hubs, but its what is on the inside that counts

We Are One could have simply ordered up some offshore carbon rims, slapped on some cheap stickers and voilà: carbon wheel company. They didn't take that route. They've taken literally the most difficult path to market, by purchasing all the machinery required to build the rims right here in British Columbia. Why? Because they believe they can offer a better product by controlling all aspects of wheel design and manufacturing. This way We Are One believes they can offer a better product, with better quality control, and be able to react to market changes quicker than their competitors. A ballsy move I'm sure you'll agree. 

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The rear wheel of the Agent 27.5 wheelset

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The Project 321 hubs have 216 points of engagement and use a magnetic pawl arrangement, so you don't have to worry about spring fatigue. The hubs run on high quality Japanese EZO bearings 

After months of development, testing prototypes on rugged BC trails, We Are One settled on their first product to launch the brand. The Agent 27.5 rims are hand laid in Kamloops, BC, and then moulded in house. Once out of the oven the rims are laced with Sapim double butted spokes to Project 321 hubs, and sent direct to customers. Nerdy spec alert, the Agent 27.5 is:

  • 27.5" rim is 30 mm internal width, rim weight is 480 grams. Full wheelset weight is 1810 grams
  • 29" rim is 30 mm internal width, rim weight is 490 grams. Full wheelset weight is 1840 grams
  • Wheelset cost is $2,175 CAD or $1,650 USD with no import duty because the wheels are made in North America

I was surprised We Are One could make carbon rims in Canada (that are labour intensive) at anything close to similar cost to offshore rims. When I asked We Are One how their pricing is so reasonable they were forthright with their reasoning. While labour is obviously more expensive in Canada, by not having to pay third pay profits, intercontinental transportation costs, and the expense of traveling to / managing an offshore supplier, they can get close on pricing. 


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A joint so tight even Mark Emery is envious. This is straight out of the mould, the quality of the Agent rims is impressive.

I've heard a lot of folks wondering if We Are One can offer a decent product so quickly. With many of the fastest riders in Canada already on We Are One wheels helping with development (with minimal failures) it seems they've done their homework. If it softens any concerns We Are One seem to have confidence in their product by offering a 60 months no questions asked replacement on their rims. 5 years, that's unheard of! Obviously wear parts are not covered, but considering I go through at least 2 aluminum rims a year, a set of carbon hoops could start to make sense. 

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I'll be using this 2017 Norco Range to put the hurt on these wheels while riding and racing through BC.

At the moment We Are One only offers the Agent rims / wheels in 27.5 and 29 variants. This is aimed squarely at the trail bike and enduro market. In time We Are One plans to offer a variety of rim profiles tailored to specific uses. We Are One will also look to offer a lower cost option with a cheaper hubset and spokes in the future. Right now you can buy the We Are One wheelsets in any colour you'd like as long as it's black, with no colour options planned at the moment.

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I've had a number of rides on the We Are One Agent 27.5 wheelset. So far I'm thoroughly enjoying my time aboard these Canadian made hoops

If you're interested in purchasing We Are One wheels / rims they offer direct to consumer sales with free shipping to Canada and the USA. Available anywhere else on the globe, but you'll have to cover the shipping. We Are One is establishing a dealer network, with some dealers in Alberta, BC, and Utah. See We Are One's website for more info.

I've had limited time on the Agent wheelset to date. However I'm thoroughly impressed so far. The hubs are smooth and fast, with excellent hub engagement. I like the wide rims, and the resulting tire shape. The rims feel light and snappy and they accelerate with ease while being forgiving over harsh terrain. And yet they are laterally stiff offering added precision to tire placement. Over next few months I'll be bashing about on the Agent wheelset, riding and racing on the toughest trails around. I'll check back in with a longer term review later on in the year. 

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Comments

mitch-mason
+3 Cooper Quinn Tim Coleman Meister
Mitch Mason  - July 28, 2017, 8:06 a.m.

Sweet! I'm getting a pair installed on my bike this week as well! Super stoked to try them out.

Reply

whatyouthink
+3 Cooper Quinn Jan Tim Coleman
whatyouthink  - July 28, 2017, 8:09 a.m.

"A joint so tight even Mark Emery is envious."

your caption game is next level

Reply

Cabana76
+3 Tim Coleman WeAreOne-Composites Meister
Adrian White  - July 28, 2017, 7:58 p.m.

Great to see a Canadian company able to offer such a competitive price.  That warranty sounds awesome!

Reply

WeAreOne-Composites
0
WeAreOne-Composites  - July 30, 2017, 11:01 a.m.

Thanks, Adrian. We are based in BC for a reason. We understand the demands most riders want from their equipment here and want to support that with both a stand-up product and a warranty that gives riders the support to feel confident in what we have brought to the market.

Reply

craw
+1 Mitch Mason
Cr4w  - July 29, 2017, 8:46 a.m.

Could someone educate me as to why a carbon rim has a seam? I would have thought the layup would be a seamless full wrap.

I'm stoked for this new option. Looking forward to learning more about those silent magnetic hubs too.

Reply

Lowcard
+2 Andrew Major Tim Coleman
Lowcard  - July 29, 2017, 6:53 p.m.

Its not a "seam" but just a parting line between mold segments. Its a line created by a little bit of sneaking resin being forced by very high pressures. The carbon is full wrap.

Reply

WeAreOne-Composites
+1 Tim Coleman
WeAreOne-Composites  - July 30, 2017, 10:55 a.m.

It appears to the eye as a seam, but it is what molding practices call a parting line. It is where parts of our mold join together to create sealed cavity for our rims. When you join mold parts together resin will find it's way out through these parting lines causing  a resin ridge. These are knocked off and have no effect on the integrity of the finished part.

Hope this sheds some light on what you are asking.

Cheers

Reply

JBV
+3 Cooper Quinn Meister Tim Coleman
James Vasilyev  - July 29, 2017, 6:29 p.m.

imagine, doing this in Canada. seems insane. so bold. you guys go, knock it out of the park.

Reply

WeAreOne-Composites
0
WeAreOne-Composites  - July 30, 2017, 10:56 a.m.

Cheers man. Your support means a lot!

Reply

tungsten
0
Drinky Crow  - Aug. 4, 2017, 11:50 p.m.

> Over next few months I'll be bashing about on the Agent wheelset, riding and racing on the toughest trails around. I'll check back in with a longer term review later on in the year.

Is it your intention to test various tyre widths on them?

Reply

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