Halo Vapour 6-Drive Disc 27.5" Wheelset - Review

Sep 16, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Halo Vapour review

Halo Vapour 6-Drive Disc Wheelset

Based in the UK, Halo makes wheels for nearly every category of cycling, with offerings for everything from BMX to DH bikes. Their Vapour 6-Drive Disc wheels are aimed at trail / all-mountain riders, with a very reasonable price to weight ratio of $495.90 USD for a 1690 gram wheelset. The aluminum, eyeleted 32 hole rims have an external width of 26mm, and the internal measurement is 21mm. Both the front and rear hub use sealed cartridge bearings, with two in the front and four in the rear. Regarding the rear hub, there are a number of designs where a pawled freehub body rotates on teeth that are found inside the hub shell, but Halo's 6-Drive hub takes a different approach, placing the 30 tooth drive ring on the freehub body itself, and six double point pawls inside the hub shell, which works out to 12 degrees of motion between engagement points. Halo's reasoning behind the design is that it creates more room to house the pawls, and it also allows a cartridge bearing to fit inside the drive ring, placing it closer to the bearing that's housed in the hub shell. Adaptors are included to convert the wheels to nearly every axle standard, and an XD freehub body is available separately for $69.95. MSRP: $199.95 / front, $295.95 rear. Weight as tested: 1690g. Also available in 26” and 29”. www.halowheels.com

Halo Vapour review

Halo Vapour review
The 6-Drive hub has its pawls located internally, rather than on the freehub body. The hubs are laced to an eyeleted, 32 hole rim.

Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThe Vapour wheels don't include anything to help set them up tubeless, but armed with a roll of Gorilla Tape and a couple of valve stems it didn't take long to seat a pair of tires with only a floor pump, and there were no issues with burping or rolling the tire off the rim while out on the trail. When it comes to rim width, internal dimensions are on the rise, and where the Vapour's 21mm measurement would have once been considered fairly wide, that's no longer the case. The wheelset that the Vapours took the place of had an inner width of 25mm, and there was a visible difference in the tire profile that resulted between the 25 and the 21mm rims. Even though it's only a few millimeters difference, wider (23mm or greater) rims allow tires to spread out further, typically translating to a better feel that's most noticeable when cornering and descending. It would be nice to see the Vapour rim's width increased slightly, even if it meant incurring a small weight penalty; this would make them more appealing for riders looking to upgrade their current wheelset.

A few rough rides on the wheels led to a couple of spokes in the rear wheel working themselves loose, but after snugging them down and adding tension to both the front and rear they stayed tensioned and true for the remainder of the test period, which included multiple runs on a rock strewn, technical trails with several large drops. Although they did make it down those rowdy trails, this isn't the stiffest wheelset out there, and I'd say it would be better suited for a XC / trail usage, where there's less air time or extremely rough terrain involved. The biggest issue I encountered with the Vapour wheels was the rear freehub's tendency to 'pop' under pressure - more often than not, standing out of the saddle to power up a hill resulted in a disconcerting noise coming from the freehub, which made it tough to commit fully to tricky uphill sections for fear of a skipping pawl causing a hard knee vs. stem impact. The hub never failed completely, but it certainly didn't inspire confidence. After sending the wheelset back for Halo to examine, they determined that the popping sound was caused by a slight deformation in one of the drive ring teeth, which caused the pawls to occasionally engage unevenly. According to the company, they've since tightened their tolerances, and any rider who experiences this issue will be able to get a replacement freehub at no charge. At the end of the day, the Vapor wheelset is light, especially for the price, and withstood a good bit of abuse, but troubles with the freehub body prevented it from living up to its full potential.
- Mike Kazimer


  • 58 9
 Not stiff enough? Make em smaller!
  • 11 48
flag jmbrit (Sep 17, 2014 at 1:16) (Below Threshold)
 Dumbass comment
  • 9 3
  • 3 1
 @shredjekyll They are made in the 26" size. On a side note I'd love to see a survey of wheel manufacturers to see how many 26" wheels are sold relative to 27.5 and 29.
  • 6 2
 What the hell does it matter get on your bike and have fun riding no matter the wheel size
  • 8 0
 Glad to see 2 things: 1) an affordable wheelset 2) a straightforward, critical review from PB. This is why I read every review on here.
  • 5 1
 Would love to see a review of sram's roam 30 - as they are built in an increasing number of stock bikes. For instance the new Canyon Spectral. With their quite low price and sram as a brand, these might become a new standard wheelset - but are they worth it?
  • 4 19
flag mp11 (Sep 17, 2014 at 1:24) (Below Threshold)
 ive just found sram stuff to be a bit cheesy in the past (mechs etc) so probably not a good thing Wink
  • 5 2
 Cheesy? How is SRAM cheesy?
  • 3 0
 they do look the same as the superstar tesla and tesla evo hubs both of which i've had. the first lasted 8 months and those teeth on the freehub rounded off. the second the teeth broke off and that lasted 4 months.
  • 1 0
 Exactly my experience.
  • 2 0
 Shame the hub failed, what Pb failed to highlight is that the wheelset is also offered with 120 point supadrive hubs and more commonly stocked with them by shops, reviewing that hub would have made more sense. It also has an excellent reliability record.
  • 2 0
 I'm not surprised at all that the freehub ratchet has problems. I ran the previous version of their rear hub (Spin Doctor Pro) on my cargo bike for a few years and the thing that died was the ratchet. They made available replacement pawls and drive ring but the drive ring proved impossible to remove from the hub body, even with their proprietary tool!. At least the new design with the pawls in the body and the teeth on the freehub means that when you strip it you can replace the freehub body instead of not being able to remove the drive ring. I'm not willing to give them many points for repairability when they could have avoided the issue by improving reliability.
  • 8 3
 Almost as lightweight as a carbon setup. Just a few thousand cheaper
  • 2 0
 $295 cheaper *coughlightbicyclecough*
  • 5 0
 Not a single "its too expensive" comment Smile
  • 1 0
 I must have had a very different experience than most of you guys... I've had a pair of Halo SAS wheelset with the first gen of Halo Spin Doctor and they are by far the stiffest (I must reffer that I've the 36/48 combination so stiffness was expected here), most reliable and best rolling wheels I've ever had. And I've had a few different hub brands including Hope Pros. I only have the best things to say about Halo.
  • 4 2
 so typical with mtb "innovations" 5% of the time they are total game changers, but most of the time they are just answers to questions nobody asked.
  • 4 0
 Bikes are after all, very simple machines where most of the real innovation is from materials development/application and manufacture technology/processes. It'll be interesting to see what eventually (if anything) replaces carbon.
  • 4 1
 Hope pro 2's on flows for me, chainreactioncycles will win that battle everytime.
  • 3 2
 Hub shell mounted pawls arent the best idea.... Centrifugal force and all that, ends up reducing the positivityof the pawl engagement.
  • 1 0
 I'm old school, just tell me is the rim is welded and you have a sale, but probably not.
  • 1 1
 6 paws is great and you will notice a massive dif with climbing but the trade of is rolling drag and can lead to chain suck in lower gears . Had that issue with the 6 paw industry nine .
  • 14 1
 Where did you get those paws from and does the RSPCA need to know about it?
  • 10 1
 PAWLS ) happy now ? No dogs got hurt in the making of these comments )
  • 2 1
 think i will stick to mavic. Even my low end set on my beater [cross ride] kill these flimsy hoops seeing your issues right out of the box.
  • 1 0
 I had crossrides, and they were excellent except for the width. I think they were 19mm wide and the tire rolled around on them very easily. Also, the free hub body is very soft so the cassette will get jammed on. Other than that though they're cheap, light, stiff and the rims held up pretty well.
  • 2 0
 I hate it when the sport is getting more and more expensive.... Oh wait. There was only three figures.
  • 2 0
 Free hub design is from bmx so not a "different approach."
  • 3 2
 I'm staying out of this one
  • 2 1
 Same hub as a Superstar Tesla that.
  • 1 1
 And I thought manufacturer would use straight pull hub for bigger wheels...
  • 1 0
 26' R.I.P
  • 3 3
 stylish rims

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