ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST MTB WHEELSMTB WHEELS REVIEWSRACE FACE TURBINE 30EASTON HAVENMAVIC XA PROMAVIC CROSSMAX PROCRANK BROTHERS COBALT 2SHIMANO XTRSPANK SPIKE RACE 28SUN RINGLE A.D.DMAVIC CROSSRIDE FTS-XSHIMANO DEORE/SUN RHYNO LITECOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST MTB WHEELSHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MTB WHEELSRIDING STYLEWHEEL SIZERIM CONSIDERATIONSWIDTHMATERIALTUBELESSHUB CONSIDERATIONSMANUFACTUREBEARINGSPOINTS OF ENGAGEMENTCASSETTE TYPEAXLESBRAKE TYPE If you want to reduce some weight and get better acceleration, a new set of wheels is a great upgrade to make. Maybe you have a bent wheel and are looking for a new one to replace it? Knowing what to look for and finding the best mtb wheels can be tricky with all the different types available. This article is designed to let you know what you need to consider when buying new mtb wheels. We have also chosen the 10 best mtb wheels available to help you make a decision and get back on your bike, riding faster than before. For more of out top mountain bike gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Men’s Bikes | Women’s Bikes Pedals | Wheels | Tires | Brakes | Saddles Chains | Cranksets | Derailleurs | Gear Shifters Helmets | Lights | Computers | GPS | Pumps Shorts | Jackets | Shoes | Gloves CLICK HERE to Download our FREE Quick Starter Guide to Mountain Biking Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/kesu01Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/brianajackson QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST MTB WHEELS 1. Race Face Turbine 30 2. Easton Haven 3. Mavic Xa Pro 4. Mavic Crossmax Pro 5. Crank Brothers Cobalt 2 6. Shimano Xtr 7. Spank Spike Race 28 8. Sun Ringle A.D.D 9. Mavic Crossride Fts-X 10. Shimano Deore/Sun Rhyno Lite MTB WHEELS REVIEWS RACE FACE TURBINE 30 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: A great value wheel for all-round mountain biking RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 30mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Wide, strong, stiff, fast engagement CONS: None EASTON HAVEN Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: 29″ riders who want a great carbon wheel RIM MATERIAL: Carbon INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 21mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Stiff, fast engagement CONS: None MAVIC XA PRO Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: A light and strong carbon wheel RIM MATERIAL: Carbon INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 26mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Light, strong CONS: Price, narrower rim than comparable wheels MAVIC CROSSMAX PRO Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Hard trail riding RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 22.6mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Strong, light CONS: None CRANK BROTHERS COBALT 2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: A strong and stiff wheel with unique looks. RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 19mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Stiff, look good, no holes drilled into the rim increases strength CONS: Heavy SHIMANO XTR Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: A good looking wheelset with the advantages of both carbon and alloy RIM MATERIAL: Carbon/alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 24mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Durable aluminum rim wrapped in carbon for rigidity CONS: Get out of true faster than expected SPANK SPIKE RACE 28 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Affordable downhill wheels RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 23mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Strong, affordable CONS: None SUN RINGLE A.D.D Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: A fast and stiff downhill wheel RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 24mm TUBELESS: Yes PROS: Fast rolling, stiff CONS: Slow engagement MAVIC CROSSRIDE FTS-X Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Riders who need a strong yet affordable wheel RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 21mm TUBELESS: No PROS: Affordable, strong CONS: Heavy SHIMANO DEORE/SUN RHYNO LITE Check out the latest price on: REI BEST FOR: Riders who are willing to sacrifice weight for reliability RIM MATERIAL: Alloy INTERNAL RIM WIDTH: 27.7mm TUBELESS: No PROS: Strong, reliable CONS: Heavy COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST MTB WHEELS PICTUREMTB WHEELBEST USESIZETUBELESSPRICERATING PICTUREMTB WHEELBEST USESIZETUBELESSPRICERATING Race Face Turbine 30Overall27.5”Yes$$$5.0 Easton HavenOverall29.0”Yes$$$5.0 Mavic XA ProTrail27.5”Yes$$$4.0 Mavic Crossmax Pro Trail27.5”Yes$$$5.0 Crank Brothers Cobalt 2Trail26.0”Yes$$3.5 Shimano XTRTrail27.5”Yes$$4.0 Spank SPIKE Race 28Downhill27.5”Yes$$5.0 Sun Ringle A.D.DDownhill27.5”Yes$$4.5 Mavic Crossride FTS-XBudget29.0”No$4.0 Shimano Deore/Sun Rhyno LiteBudget29.0”No$4.0 Gear up for mountain biking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on MTB GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR MTB HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MTB WHEELS RIDING STYLE Different styles of mountain biking require wheels with different attributes. XC racers will want a lightweight wheelset, sacrificing strength in favor of speed. Meanwhile, trail riders will need something stronger to cope with the stresses of being hammered through technical terrain. Enduro riders and downhill racers will need something even stronger and more durable. WHEEL SIZE Your frame and fork are almost most likely compatible with only one wheel size. The three wheel sizes for mountain bikes are 26″, 27.5″ (also known as 650b) and 29.” Some trials, dirt jump and children’s bikes will have 24″ wheels. If you do not know what size wheel your bike takes, have a look at your tires. The wheel diameter followed by the tire width are printed on the side (e.g., 26×2.2). RIM CONSIDERATIONS WIDTH Wider rims allow wider tires to be used. Wider rim and tire combinations have become popular in recent years for a couple of reasons. First, the increased grip and bigger volume of wider tires allow riders to ride with more control through technical terrain and push harder in corners. On top of this, it has been proven that wider tires with lower pressure roll better over rough terrain, although they may be a bit slower to accelerate. The internal rim width determines the maximum tire size you can use. For instance, 19mm allows up to 2.2-inch tires, 21mm up to 2.4 inches, and 23 mm for anything wider than 2.3 inches. There are also wider rims available for plus size tires and fat bikes. Check what width tires your frame and fork is designed to take and purchase wheels designed for this size. You are unlikely to fit a wide downhill tire into a skinny XC frame and a plus size tire is not going in anything but a plus size bike. However, you can actually put slimmer tires in a plus size bike. MATERIAL You have a choice of either alloy or carbon when it comes to rims. Alloy rims can be just as light as carbon at a fraction of the cost, whereas carbon rims are stiffer. A stiffer rim will give you more power transfer and precision when cornering at the price of a harsher ride feel. TUBELESS Tubeless wheels have many advantages over traditional tire and tubes. Fewer punctures, lower rolling resistance, lighter weight and better grip are just a few of these benefits. Keep in mind that tubeless rims will only work with tubeless tires. Tubeless-ready rims can be sealed with special rim tape and mounted with tubeless tires or used with an inner tube. Non-tubeless rims can only be used with inner tubes. HUB CONSIDERATIONS MANUFACTURE Hubs are manufactured in two ways. Either they are forged and then machined or machined only. Forged hubs are generally stronger so a better decision. BEARINGS Whether you choose loose or cartridge bearings do not make too much difference to the performance of the wheel. The sealing of the bearings is what counts, as this keeps out dirt, water and grime that wear out the bearings. POINTS OF ENGAGEMENT This refers to the number of pawls in the rear hub that engages with the freewheel when you pedal. The pawls are responsible for the clicking or buzzing noise that a rear wheel makes when you are not pedaling. More pawls mean more points of engagement and faster pick up when you start pedaling. It would be wise to look for hubs with at least three or more. CASSETTE TYPE If you want a super wide ratio 11- or 12-speed drivetrain, you need to make sure that the hub is compatible. Eleven- and 12-speed SRAM cassettes need to be mounted on a SRAM XD driver, whereas some Shimano cassettes can be mounted on regular hubs. Check their compatibility before you buy. AXLES There are currently many axle widths in use. Rear hubs have gotten wider, going from 135mm to 142mm and even reaching the 148mm “Boost” size. Downhill hubs are either 150mm or 157mm wide. There is also the standard quick release, or the 12mm or 15mm through axle size to think about. Thankfully, many new wheels include interchangeable adapters. But, you will need to check what size your frame takes and what sizes your intended wheels are compatible with. Front hubs come in 100mm or the 110mm “Boost” size, with the same variety of quick release and through axles. Make sure your new wheel is compatible with your fork. BRAKE TYPE If you use rim brakes, then you need to get wheels with compatible rims. Nearly all modern mountain bikes use disk brakes. The rotors will also mount onto the hubs. Check whether you need hubs with 6 bolt ISO standard or centerlock to match your current brakes. MOUNTAIN BIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSMOUNTAIN BIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. MTB BASICS 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 2. MTB CLOTHING 5. MTB SKILLS 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 6. MTB TRAINING 1. MTB BASICS 2. MTB CLOTHING 3. MTB EQUIPMENT 4. MTB MAINTENANCE 5. MTB SKILLS 6. 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