As the name implies, e*thirteen's TRS Race Carbon wheelset was designed with enduro racing in mind, specifically, the punishing conditions found on the Enduro World Series circuit, where competitors are required to use the same wheels for the entire race weekend. A damaged rim can dash any hopes of a spot on the podium, which is why e*thirteen spent two years experimenting with different designs before settling on a hookless rim with a 27mm internal width, which should provide plenty of support for tires 2.3” and wider.
TRS Race Carbon Details
• Size: 27.5" (29" option available)
• Intended use: all-mountain, enduro race
• Internal width: 27mm
• Rim material: carbon fiber
• 28 triple butted spokes
• Weight:1773 grams; Front: 822 grams, Rear: 951 grams (with tape and valve stems)
• MSRP: $1698 USD
With rim tape and tubeless valve stems installed, the TRS Race Carbon wheels weigh in at 1773 grams, and retail for $1698 USD. There's also a 29” version of the TRS Race Carbon wheels, and both sizes are available for either 12x142mm or Boost 12x148 hubs. There's a two-year warranty against manufacturer's defects, and $299 will get you a complete new front or rear wheel in the event it's damaged in a crash.Construction
It's no secret that wide rims are back, a resurgence spurred on by the realization that the extra width makes it possible to run lower air pressures without worrying about burping or ripping a tubeless tire off the rim. The TRS Race's internal rim width of 27mm isn't the widest on the market, but it also allows riders to run a wider range of tire widths; once internal rim dimensions reach 35mm or so certain tread profiles can becoming overly square and create odd handling on the trail.
The carbon fiber rims use a hookless sidewall profile, a design that's become an increasingly common feature. In addition to being easier to manufacture, a hookless rim provides greater impact resistance, since the carbon's thickness remains consistent from the rim bed to the outer edge of the rim. 28 triple-butted spokes are laced to e*thirteen's distinctive hubs, which use a carbon shell that's bonded to tall aluminum flanges. Those tall flanges allow for the use of shorter spokes, and improve the angle between the spokes and rim, which in theory should create a stiffer wheel. Three double-toothed pawls ratchet against the rear hub shell's 60 teeth, creating a quick 6 degrees between engagement points.Performance
Tire installation with the TRS Race wheels was completely hassle-free – the tires fit snugly on the rims, but not tight enough to require any straining or cursing to get them in place, and a few pumps with a floor pump was all it took to get everything seated and sealed.
A large part of the test period was spent aboard e*thirteen's new tires that were specifically created with wide rims in mind. A full review is in the works, but so far results have been extremely promising, especially in wet conditions. There's also the fact that the tires' sidewall graphics line up with the stickers on the wheels, a small detail, but one that makes for an eye-catching setup.
Given my continued mixed results with carbon rim durability, I was curious to see if the TRS Race wheelset could they hold up to a winter's worth of thrashing on steep, technical trails. The answer? A resounding 'yes'. The on-trail feel is excellent – there's plenty of lateral stiffness, but without any of the wooden-feeling harshness that plagues some of the other high-end offerings out there. Mounted up with 2.3" tires they provided an incredibly smooth ride, taking the edge of the high-frequency trail chatter that can lead to tired hands and forearms. I didn't hold back during my time on these wheels either, pushing them through piles of roots, slapping them into corners, plummeting off drops, and I still haven't had to touch them with a truing wrench.
When the time does come to true them, there's no need to remove the tire to get to the spokes, something that anyone who has had to dismantle a tubeless setup just to get to one nipple will appreciate. The hub engagement was quick and positive, and other than one odd 'pop' that occurred on a steep uphill, they haven't emitted any more strange noises, just the moderately loud 'click-click-click' of the pawls ratcheting body while coasting. The bearings are still spinning smoothly, and are free of any side-to-side play. I did notice a little extra drag from the seal that sits behind the freehub body after my first handful of rides, but applying a light oil around the seal's perimeter fixed this and I didn't have any further issues. Pinkbike's Take
|There are more options than ever when it comes to carbon wheels, but they're not all created equal. The TRS Race Carbon wheels are deserving of a spot near the head of the pack, striking an ideal balance between stiffness, weight, and on-trail feel. They're light enough to race on the weekend, and durable enough to use the other five days of the week. - Mike Kazimer|
Visit the high-res gallery for more images.