NOBL TR33 Wheels - Review

Nov 18, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review

Nobl came on the scene at a time when carbon wheels were still thin on the ground and universally bore price tags that put them out of the reach of just about anyone who didn’t happen to be a plastic surgeon or third-world dictator. A lot has changed since then, with plenty of carbon hoops selling for about half of the damage of those first few carbon wheelsets. Nobl now offers several different carbon wheelsets, in both 27.5 and 29-inch trims, and in a range of different rim widths. Nobl’s TR33 wheels can be had with a variety of hubs, including the Hope Pro 4, Industry 9 Torch or Nobl’s own sprag-clutch model, built for them by Onyx Racing Products in Blomkest, Minnesota.

Nobl TR33 Details

• Size: 27.5" (29" option available)
• Intended use: trail, all-mountain, enduro
• Internal width: 27mm
• Rim material: Toray T700 carbon fiber
• 32 spokes, 3-cross pattern
• Available with either 142x12 and 148x12 rear hubs
• Weight:1810 grams; Front: 750 grams, Rear: 1,060 grams
• MSRP: $1,550 USD
www.noblwheels.com / @NOBLwheels
Available in 27.5” and 29” sizes, the TR33 wheelset retails for between $1,295 USD (with Hope Pro 4 hubs) and $1,550 (as tested here, with Nobl's Onyx-built hubs). Both Boost and non-Boost options are available. Our 27.5-inch wheelset weighed in at 1,810 grams, including rim strips and valves.


Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review
Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review


Nobl (Onyx) Hubs
Nobl makes some big claims about these hubs. Namely, that they offer “the best overall performance of any bicycle hub.” Bold claim. Let’s unpack that. The heart of the Onyx-built hub is its sprag clutch—a design that is said to offer infinite engagement yet zero drag and absolutely no noise.

How could that possibly work?

Most hubs that offer quick engagement do so by ratcheting a set of pawls over a whole lot of fine teeth or points in the drive ring. As you can imagine, this generally creates more friction (and a mini-chainsaw howl, which some people dig). The upside, however, is less lag between the moment when you put power into the cranks and the moment the rear hub engages. You can argue that quick-engaging hubs represent more of a benefit for trials riders and BMX racers than trail riders, but all things considered, a quick-engaging hub does feel awesome and it’s one of those traits in a rear wheel that some people live and die for. To each their own.

Onyx hub
This clear plastic model shows the two sprag clutches that are found inside of the Onyx hub shell. All those separate metal pieces are referred to as sprags, and they allow the freehub to rotate in one direction but wedge tightly against its barrel when torque is applied in the opposite direction.
Onyx hub
The barrel that extends out from the freehub body is what the sprags grab ahold of.



A sprag clutch has the same aim, but goes about achieving it differently. In the center of the Nobl hub shell are two rows of spring-loaded, metal wedges—29 in each row. These are the “sprags”. The shape and orientation of the sprags allow the drive barrel, which runs from the freehub into the center of the hub shell, to roll smoothly—with almost no drag at all—in one direction. The moment the barrel moves in the opposite direction (when you begin a pedal stroke) all those sprags bind against the drive barrel. Instant engagement. Mike Levy described a sprag clutch aptly as a device that acts like a “one-way bearing” and that’s an excellent description.

If all that seems like so much gibberish, check out the short YouTube clip (at right). The first 10 seconds are sort of goofy, but it quickly gets to the point. The red circle in the video would be the drive barrel and the blue ring is the inside of the hub shell.





Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review
Nobl designs their own rims--everything from the exact shape and dimensions to the layup schedule.
Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review
The hookless rims come with tape and valve stems pre-installed. Tubeless tire installation and removal are absolutely painless.

Rims

The TR33 features an inner rim width of 27 millimeters. Nobl offers wider rims (their TR38, for instance, has an internal width of 31 millimeters), but since most 2.35 and 2.4-inch tires on the market were designed back when 21 millimeters was considered genuinely cavernous, I opted for a width that gives good sidewall support, yet doe so without transforming the tire’s tread profile into something that looks like a rubber mohawk.

Though Nobl relies on a Far East manufacturer to get the deed done, they are adamant that these are not “off the shelf” models. Nobl designs their own rims—dictating every aspect of the shape and carbon layup and they own their own molds. The rims are tubeless-ready—the wheel comes with rim tape and tubeless valves pre-installed. Each 385-gram rim features a three-millimeter hookless bead, an asymmetrical profile and a tire-bead seat bump (a slight ridge that runs between the sidewall and the rim's center channel) that is supposed to reduce the risk of you burping a tire or, worst case scenario, peeling it completely off the rim.


Nobl TR33 Wheelset Review

Performance

I wound up running the TR33’s for the better part of a season and they are still rolling completely free of wobbles and hops. The wheels hold a true. Should you need to get out the spoke wrench (an inevitability, of course) there’s nothing exotic (and, consequently, exasperating) to contend with here. Thirty-two, three-crossed, J-bend spokes on each wheel are easily trued and available at just about any bike shop on the planet.

The hubs, which feature angular-contact, hybrid-ceramic bearings are still rolling buttery smooth despite loads of mud and rain. And, yes, they are quiet. Dead quiet. With a clutch-equipped rear derailleur on your bike, the only noise you hear is the sound of your tires gripping soil. It’s pretty awesome, actually.

As for the engagement—yes, it’s instant. There is no hesitation at all. But—and this is worth noting—the sprag clutch has a very different feel from, well, just about every hub you’ve probably ridden. I never thought of any hub as feeling particularly “crisp” before, but the sprag clutch mechanism here has a softer, muted feel to it when you stomp the pedals. So, yes, the hub engages blindingly fast, but the feel at your pedals may not be what you’re expecting. I grew used to it over time, but every time I jumped on another wheelset, the difference was immediately noticeable.

Why the difference in feel? Looking for an explanation, I turned to an engineer who, frankly, knows more about clutches than I’ll ever know (and who builds airplanes in his living room). In other words, here’s what RC had to say.

“The issue is ‘hoop tension.’ A ratchet system engages teeth at an obtuse angle, which puts very little vertical force on the outer diameter of the hub shell. The sprag clutch, however, is made up of a number of vertical levers that capture the rolling surface below with a rocking motion that puts a huge amount of force into the hub shell, and that causes it to expand. That slight expansion allows the sprags to rock farther than they normally should, which can be seen and felt as the cassette acts as if it is attached to a spring and not a solid connection with the hub. Both sprag and roller clutches (which have similar engagement properties) must be encased by a rigid steel structure to prevent that from occurring - which is simply not possible if you want to build a lightweight hub shell.”

So, there’s that. The soft feel at the pedals may be off putting to some riders--particularly heavier or more powerful peddlers. If that describes you, I'd recommend going with the Industry 9 hub option, which will give you that nice crisp feel and very quick engagement (albeit, with a fair bit of ratchet noise when coasting). Moving on. now...

Getting tubeless-ready tires to properly seat on the rims proved remarkably easy—a floor pump got the job done every time. You do have to do a bit of squeezing to dislodge the tire beads from their perch in that specially-molded bead bump, but I was still able to take a variety of tires off the wheels without ever resorting to using a tire lever. In short, running tubeless is completely painless with the TR33.

A lot of people assume that a carbon wheel is going to be incredibly light. You can get the TR33’s down to a very svelte 1,471 grams if you opt to run the Industry9 Torch hubs and Nobl’s Ultralight spoke build up (retail price on that particular wheelset is $1,495). Likewise, a similar build up with Hope hubs will tip the scales at 1,525 grams. Our test hoops, however, weigh in at more than 1,800 grams, despite the respectably light, 385-gram rims.

Much of the weight gain comes courtesy of the Nobl hub. The sprag clutch mechanism is undeniably burly (there’s a reason, after all, that you find the design employed in car and tractor transmissions), but it also adds weight to the wheel package. The 142x12 rear hub with a steel Shimano freehub weighs 491 grams; for reference sake, that’s 260 grams (.57 pounds) more than a six-bolt, DT Swiss 240 S rear hub. Nobl also offers their sprag-clutch hub with an alloy (rather than steel) driver, which cuts weight by as much as 71 grams, but but you get the idea: the Nobl rear hub is hefty.

If you want to go light, go with the I9 or Hope hubs. In truth, the weight didn’t bother me out on the trail, mainly, I suppose, because the extra weight is at the center of the wheel, rather than at the perimeter of the wheel. Moreover, I’m more interested in ride quality and durability and this version of the TR33 fit the bill with an absolutely bombproof feel that didn’t prove overly harsh. Just how confident is Nobl in the strength of these wheels? They have a rider weight limit of 130 kilograms (286 pounds), which is kind of like having no rider weight limit at all.





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe TR33s have a lot going for them, including bombproof construction, no proprietary bits that will prove a nightmare to service, completely silent operation and very, very fast engagement. Nobl has built a hassle-free set of hoops that will take a beating. However, if you are primarily considering a carbon wheelset because you want to shed serious weight from your rig, you'll want to go with either the I9 or Hope hub options. The Nobl sprag clutch has its benefits, but they come with an undeniable weight penalty. - Vernon Felton



Visit the high-res gallery for more images.




127 Comments

  • + 98
 Sprag clutch means little noise and ever worse - no POE to brag about. It will never make you important on a group ride. Poor product.
  • + 1
 Haha classic!
  • + 10
 Anyone who doesn't love WAKI's flavor of trolling should just get off the interwebz! Love ya, man!
  • - 1
 Felton Hyperbole on fleek.
  • + 6
 Onyx hubs are reliable (service free almost), made in US, competitive weight and infinity engagement - I'll buy them again for sure!
  • + 9
 @nicolai12: competitive weight? Pretty sure the rear hub is the heaviest mtb hub on the market.
  • - 30
flag sicmoto (Nov 19, 2016 at 1:48) (Below Threshold)
 I'm just replying here so I'm near the top. Ive got Pro 2s on stans flow rims. Can any of you recommend a lighter rim with similar strength? It seems anything light is coming in at astronomical prices!
  • - 6
flag twebeast (Nov 19, 2016 at 3:15) (Below Threshold)
 @sicmoto: Stans Arch Mk3 is similar dimensions to the Flow EX and 425g

Velocity Blunt SS is yet lighter at 395g

There will be strength compromises vs the Flow EX but they are considerably cheaper than going carbon.
  • + 1
 DT EX511 will be the next gold standard in Aluminum rims
  • + 2
 @mojoriders: yes, new alloy freehub body with MY16 hubs makes the weight pretty dang close. themtblab.com/2016/05/sea-otter-2016-onyx-hubs.html
  • + 8
 I was going to buy these for my girlfriend, but she didn't meet the weight limit.
  • + 2
 @nicolai12: still over 100 grams heavier then slot of hubs out there. Even there front hub is heavy? Not sure why. Dt 240, Dt 350, hope, king, Hadley, i9, spank, stans, sram, Shimano, Easton and lots more. All lighter. Also if ur frame suspension design has any chain kick back it can be bad to have instant ingagement. But in most cases the better the ingagement the better.
  • + 0
 Ryan Leech rides a bike with 28Poe (Xtr) Danny Macaskill/ Fabio Wibmer ride 40POE (Hope) Jeff Lenosky 36 or 54 (DT) nobody needs fast and reliable engagement more than these guys. Can we stop this first world problem with instant engagement? Yes if you like MORE or MOST it is perfectly fine, I respect you but there's obviously little to gain from 50+. When I am about to do a wheelie drop from 2ft+ drop to flat asphalt ir into a steep chute then I want a reliable freehub that won't desintegrate in the middle of the move, sending my face straight to the ground. I could not give a tiniest damn how fast it engages as soon as I have 30 POE. It is easy to get used to once you practice and ride the bike a lot.
  • + 1
 @twebeast: RaceFace Arc 30's come in even lighter at 385
  • + 1
 @dchill: They are 490g in 650b, 535g in 29" (claimed weight)
  • + 34
 Poor 287 pound guy that reads this article.
  • - 1
 Ahhhh hahahahah i get it now...
  • - 1
 I re-read the article
  • - 1
 "which is kind of like having no rider weight limit at all." They are pretty much non existence in MTB world too.
  • + 22
 Call me old school but the cost/performance ratio is still too crazy for me to buy one of these carbon wheelsets versus an aluminum wheelset that performs damn well at 1/3 - 1/2 the cost.
  • + 52
 Carbon rims are about having Carbon rims. Carbon rims make you important. Nobody spends 400$+ on a rim and says it sucks. That would make you appear as loser.
  • + 63
 @WAKIdesigns: damn straight it makes you important. When I used to ride my alloy rimmed cruiser by the beach nobody paid any attention. After I switched to carbon wheels all the beach babes take off their bikini tops, throw them at me, and chase me down the bike path screaming.

I am never going back to alloy!
  • + 54
 @onemind123: no babe would ever fall for a guy on a 12k bike. How would she tell you spent so much cash on a bike? To make it worse, as a mountain biker you'd probably come to the beach dressed up looking like a mountain biker. And that would only diminish your chances of getting a girl. Even if you spent 1k on bike clothing. But if you bought a used Mazda Mx5 and a nice suit for the same money, you could catch some... carbon rims make you important around the only people who could give a fk what kind of bike do you ride - other bikers. Guys don't buy too expensive bikes to impress chicks. They buy them to impress dudes. And that's kind of gay.
  • - 34
flag triptex (Nov 18, 2016 at 15:11) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Carbon rims are about strength, stiffness, and saving relatively huge amounts of weight from a rim. Your trolling is lame.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: do you ever think you might come down off the carbon rim hate high?
  • + 3
 @onemind123: the same thing happened to ME!!! Wow
  • + 4
 if you have the hubs, or search for very good prices (german sites, etc), you can build these for value. These TR33 are amazing, just get the heavier version for your rear wheel. I have them, never tried another carbon rim, and the stiffness compared to Flow exs is brutal, sturdy and if you break them is because you cased a freaking concrete staricase with low pressure ; )... The guys at @NOBL are fantastic to deal with.
  • + 9
 @WAKIdesigns: You can buy carbon rims for $200 each. I have typically spent ~$100 for my AL rims so cost differential on a wheel set for me is ~$200. Unless you look close you probably can't tell I have carbon rims as there are no decals and the company I bought them from [Light Bicycle] is either unknown to most people or considered an economy brand.

You can spend a ton on carbon rims, but that's a choice. You can also buy reasonably priced carbon rims and enjoy the same benefits.
  • + 5
 Carbon wheels in my pretty vast experience with them simply last longer and stay straighter .
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns:

Reminds me of this comparison of RatRod with Lambo.

youtu.be/rArpyMXT2ew

Wanna attract guys? Get a lambo. Want the chix? Get a nasty ratrod.
  • + 3
 @RynoRodrigosouraus: In my experience they last for nowhere near the time. I'm back on alloy and it'll take a lot to get me back on carbon. I used them for aggressive riding including dh and I weigh 90kgs, not sure if that's part of the issue. For those purposes I never felt like they were faster. Stiffer yes but I found I preferred the compliance of alloy. I race a lot and hardly anyone is on carbon for dh or enduro.

Ps @wakidesigns is on good form today
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: How would she tell you spent so much cash on a bike? Easy...leave the price tag on it.
  • + 3
 @vikb: I pay 80$-100$ for highest end alu rim that is easy to build, seals perfectly, seats tyre easily, weighs 450-500g and takes loads of beating - speaking of EX471, XM841, EX511 Flow EX, Flow MK3. Now LB rim costs me 240$ incl. customs and shipping. ThEir rims are stupid stiff, I hated riding them after the first month, hard to put tyre on, super hard to seat it, pain in the arse to build and tension the wheel. To top that, most of my friends who bought LB rims cracked at least one. One dude cracked front on the second ride and rear on fourth ride. That was last year.

If you want a sub 350 rim for XC racing then carbon is the best way, especially on a 29er, since rims like Crest are soft as cheese. But anything in 450g territory is way better in alu
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I've been on the same LB rims for 3yrs. Easiest rim to get a tire on ~400g and been smashed into a ton of rocks with zero issues. I'll happily buy another set when I need new rims. I have 5 buddies with LB rims for between 2 - 4yrs everyone loves them.

For my main trail/AM bike I don't see running AL ever again.
  • + 1
 Have been on my LB wheels for 3 years. Broke the rear...they replaced it in 3weeks for $40. Two seasons of racing too. I'm on the 29er...love the extra stiffness I gain.
  • + 1
 Another happy LB rider here. 3 years and I've never even trued them. They've suffered through countless rock gardens, flat landings and silly crashes. I will never buy alloy rims again.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: if a babe knew my bike was worth 12k. That would mean she rides which would mean I'd be all over her like dirt from a loamy trail on the back end of my shorts!
  • + 1
 @vikb: And if I had to guess I'd say you either don't with much or are not a particularly aggressive rider. I'm not having a dig at you, just that's been my observation. As waki says for outright xc it's a little different. It's good for you if they work, I tried three Brenda and none worked for me. And in the pool of people I ride with I wasn't alone, for most carbon become an experiment only
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
So it's not just the Merkins that don't understand irony - Swedes, too...
  • + 2
 @KeithReeder: I'm Polish actually... now where was the irony? You stress me out!

@mbl77 - nobody trues carbon rims what the hell man. They are stiff as hell, they either stay true or crack.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Haha I think the Mazda mx5 makes a guy more gay! I buy expensive bikes to impress me and myself only.. Like I give a Phuck what others think..
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Tons of guys I know shredding light bicycle carbons in the wider formats.. Zero issues... We're talking gap transfers, table tops and drops to flat...
  • + 2
 @bohns1: in Europe we have sht loads of corners on narrow roads. Mazda Mx5 is the sht. It can put many wanker cars to shame. Every idiot can press hard on accelerator on a straight. And speed limits are here anyways and then you have to be a total dick to take corners blind at high speed since all it takes is another speed enthusiast going from the other side (been there done that). It's not how big is your toy, it's how you use it. My good friend owns Fiat 500 Abarth. Knows some big shots in Italy including an ex F1 driver (he's a property manager). Goes to Monza every once in a while, drives Ferraris and sht. Everyone laughs at his car until they are behind him and he is gone out of sight after a couple of turns. I am no one behind the wheel, I've never been to the race track, I am a Joe Shmo on local gokart tracks yet I occasionally drive away from idiots in old BMWs or Audis while driving a silly Volvo. All it takes is a few corners... I once drove behind an idiot in Audi S3, he was going full out on straights, moron wasn't even using the full width of the road road, taking each turn waaay too early. I was just waiting for him to press the pedal a bit too hard and too early, turbo kicking in and dude ending up in a ditch. Especially since many idiots turn off traction control. Mazda Mx5 with a set of quality tyres is totaly on my bucket list, maybe an old 911. Lotus Elise or Caterham would be a dream come true.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: I didn't break my LB rims. But I hated the rough feel, after 6 months I was totally annoyed. I know people who broke theirs so I sold them just in case. Same people ride EX471 and haven't broke one... (includes Trans Provance, they are always top 3 on Strava on local trails, many KOMs, beating me by 40sec on 5min tracks, top5 in Sweden in whatever they touch)
  • + 1
 @bohns1: mx5 is a nice little motor,based on elan and barchetta. Superb two seater. In U.K. There's no room for 8lt. Pedo trucks.
  • + 2
 @Earthmotherfu: country roads in UK are freaking amazing! Bejezus how I'd love to drive mx5 or Elise there. Madeira is the sht though. Miles of twisty mountain roads covered with fantastic asphalt and ratively little traffic. I'd love to go there again, to ride bikes and drive car. Amazing, amazing roads. For long trips, Volvo V70 D5 or Audi A6 are hard to beat. Fricking floatation.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: my mam goes to Funchal once sometimes twice a year,absolutely in love with the place.theres a thriving pensioner community that prefer the greenery to the scrubland feel of inland algarve (she says it's the new Malta too :lolSmile . Only complaint of hers?...you guessed it...bloody yobbos on scrambler cycles lol

Wife's had mitsi phev for three years now and lease is up,when I asked what she's having next January she replied "well,considering your never here on wkends, never want to go to friends houses,spend all your spare time in the garage,don't drink anymore,lie in bed on your iPad and FECKIN PINKBIKE...im having the same boring car in....greySmile
  • + 1
 @Earthmotherfu: wow it seems we have a lot in common... I don't own a car any longer. I rent cars from Volvo car pool. They provide nice and clean top Volvo models and I just ended up my year of renting at 2100£ everything included, where my own V50 from 2005 costed me 33£ a year everything included (insurance allows me to pretty much drive the car straight into the wall when leaving it on parking lot after use). I've spent the difference on bikes Razz Cars are pretty much always available, so far only once I wasn't able to find any car within 5min bike ride distance. If I go to town or drive kids to swimming I take little V40, If we go to IKEA, we take V70, and XC90 to the beach. It's a shame they don't have a cabrio or some coupe, even if it costed double to rent than XC90. If I want to go for a drive to chill out, I take V60 SD4 with Manual gearbox. I thought of buying a mini van, but fk, when I look at all the costs, it's a no brainer for me to use the car pool. And if I go to Madeira (or anywhere in the world) I get 30% off Hertz.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: wow how different worlds we live it's all about Tacoma and Rubicon where I live.. But I'm deep in the Canadian Rockies... Pricing out a new Rubicon this year actually.
  • + 2
 @bohns1: it's highly unlikely for anyone in Europe to find use for such vehicle. Maybe 1% of population may actually utilize such offroad capability combined with loading capacity. My dad drives around mountains a lot (he installs and service tele and radio equipment on masts in mountains. They use Lada Niva because it's small and fits on narrow access roads. He hates the car (unreliable and underpowered) but it is the only one allowing him to reach all destinations. For some time they used a Land Rover and Honker, but it was too hard to drive and too tall. They were pissed off seeing Polish Army buying Hummers because they knew someone got corrupted by US company for them to get tge contract since you can't drive that in the woods. Sure people drive things like Land Rovers and Hilux to reach houses and shelters but this is really hard to motivate and they stand for very small part of population. In Gothenburg there's fashion for Ford Raptors. They are used by companies as driving billboards. If you have a store with gym equipment and "nutrition" or outdoor sht then you buy a big pickup to show off. There's plenty of SUVs but it's just a fashion , considering how much more convenient, comfortAble and economic (sometimes even safer) are combis like A6, V70, Mondeo, BMW 5 or big " family" cars like Galaxy, Sharan, Picasso. If you want to transport lot of sht you buy a minivan. We have very little offroad driving here.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it's just a no brainier.in uk leasings not attainable for all due to circumstances but it totally made sense for us. After losing so much money on a new 330i in 2005-2009 we've leased from there on. Ok,you never own the car after shelling out each month but no service costs etc. no giving a shite if some tosser dents the door in the car park, no booking mot. My missus even done 37k miles on original tyres! Best of all on the outlander due to electric motor and 2lt petrol engine is zero road tax. Real bonus of the electric is stealth mode, the silence scares the shit out of people " feckin bastard...I never heard you coming...you wanna get a siren on that pal,f*ck off with yer electric save the world shite" haha I friggin love it Wink
  • + 2
 @Earthmotherfu: I thought of leasing the latest Tesla... it's huge and ugly but damn... the only problem would be that Hafjell bikepark is out of range Big Grin
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you'll run out of talent,before you run outta range lol
  • + 15
 @rckon03 I have run a few sets of ENVE wheels (and not had any real problems with them other than the PITA spoke change when one breaks) for five years and now have the TR38 on NOBL hubs as my trail wheels I can honestly say that there is no way I would go back to ENVE unless I was given them (new and for free). The rear hub really is instant and silent. It is a real joy to be able to listen to one's tyres gripping or slipping on the trail.
  • + 0
 I got to demo some santa cruz bikes recently and they were equipped with enve wheels. They have a pretty sweet feel to them. It was my first ride on carbon hoops.
  • + 39
 @rckon03: Cool story Bro.
  • + 2
 Anyone else recall when ENVE rims were ~$500/rim? And the Loonie was close to par? Seems like the cheap carbon hoops drove up the price of the "Made in USA" products so they could appear superior.
  • + 2
 @gonecoastal: holy f*ck man. When was the loonie on par....
  • - 10
flag rckon03 (Nov 18, 2016 at 18:55) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry i didnt realize i was in the presence of the radist dude on pinkbike. What i meant to say was "yeah shred some gnar bro" get loose bruh! Is that better? Not your bro guy
  • + 2
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: close to par a few years back, on par back in the 80s lol
  • + 0
 @onemind123: @onemind123: Feb 2013 was about the last time of parity or better.
www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CAD&view=10Y

Historic plot stats your talking out of your ass. '78 saw a spike that didn't drop back down until '07
fxtop.com/en/historical-exchange-rates-graph-zoom.php?C1=USD&C2=CAD&A=1&DD1=01&MM1=01&YYYY1=1953&DD2=18&MM2=11&YYYY2=2016&LARGE=1&LANG=en&CJ=0&MM1Y=0
  • + 8
 You can question who a man votes for, but never question his wheels.

I have a set of the TR33s with DT hubs. They were around $1400 CAD but I love the proven durability and the way they ride. Simply put.

I have two sets of carbon wheels - these NOBLs and some Woven 29ers and haven't trued either of them in nearly 3000km of riding. I don't have anything against aluminum wheels - my Stans were good to me - but I liked the Nobl wheels, like the company, like their involvement in the riding scene in BC and the carbon thing is the cherry on the top.
  • + 6
 There wasn't much in here in relation to how the rim rides, which would have been nice for all those considering buying just the rims. Does it ride any different from its competitors, or what differentiates them from them? I appreciate lots of variables such as spokes and tension is involved, but I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate any information you could give...
  • + 5
 We made the 33's to have less stiffness than our 38 and 36 rims. If you are concerned about getting a carbon rim that is overly harsh than the 33's are the ticket. These follow the terrain a more naturally but will still offer the benefits of carbon - increased stiffness, lower rotational weight, less maintenance etc.

We have a huge drive to create the best rims and wheelsets that we can, we are based in an area that has some of the most challenging terrain anywhere, and we are a smaller company that invests primally in our product development. What does this mean for you? It means that if there is an issue with a rim or wheelset that can be improved upon, it's going to drive us crazy until it's solved. We want to ride the best products too! We spend hundreds of hours on the factory floor experimenting with different layups, material, molds, and processes to continually improve on our rims.

Our rims have excellent impact resistance, and a very reliable tubeless design that's gone through many revisions so that it's as reliable as possible. The width of bead shelf, the height of our bead seat bump, where the bump peaks and the angles out of the center channel, the radius of the hookless lips and their width/depth, and the diameter of all of these measurements have all been tweaked and adjusted to fractions of millimeters over the years.

The subtle design details that go into our rims make for a better user experience, these are no off the shelf generic carbon rim. We've got a range of different rims and offer customized wheelset builds. Most of our customers email or call us to talk about the trails and gear they ride, how they ride, and what annoys them about their current wheelset. This allows us to tailor a package that is right for them.
  • + 8
 TR38 Rims, 28h hope pro 4's, comp spokes, minion wt tires. I am not graceful, these things are rugged. Awesome group to deal with!
  • + 5
 I rode the TR33's for the first time today. Fabulous rims. Definitely noticed a difference over my older rims. Stiffer ride (which I prefer) and cornering was improved with the wider rims. Also dropped 1/2 lb in weight off the bike (some of that was down to running tubeless as well for the first time tho). I bought mine in the November sale and reused my existing hubs. Great guys to deal with. Very quick turnaround time.
  • + 5
 "They have a rider weight limit of 130 kilograms (286 pounds),"
WHAT? darn, I have to loose 4 more pounds before I can go ride my bike again! Smile
  • + 4
 Third (and 1st) world dictators are much more deserving of our ire than dentists. Thank you dentists for helping me keep my teeth in my face. Now get yourself a proper all mountain bike!
  • + 0
 "Third (and 1st) world dictators are much more deserving of our ire than dentists"

'Cept for the arsehole dentist who shot that tame Lion...
  • + 4
 For more detail on the various hub weights, please check out our updated blog post with scale shots!
noblwheels.com/blogs/news/94443463-actual-hub-weights
  • + 2
 It seems that measuring the durability of a carbon rim is weather it is broken or not. The terms 'wobbles' or 'hops' are just not relevant to carbon. Or we might need to elaborate on the wheels ability to retain spoke tension, which is more a property of the build, so who knows. I personally find carbon overly harsh, so have moved away from it.
  • + 7
 We've changed the layups on the 36 and 38 rims at the nipple beds to offer more vertical flexibility (about 25% more than the previous generation). This has increased their impact resistance a bit as well. We made our 27.5" and 29" TR33 rims to have less vertical and lateral stiffness than our wider rims so they do ride differently. We wanted to create more separation between the different rims so we've tailored layups of the 33's to have more stiffness than an alloy rim of similar width, but not a shocking amount more. Our wider rims are a level up in stiffness than the 33's still.

As for durability, we look at how a rim reacts to impacts and do our best to dissipate the load, the width/depth/shape of the hookless bead, how the layup interlocks to the center channel and sidewalls to spread out impact forces. We also look at the layup design in terms of material used, number of plies, width of each layer, where every seam overlaps and the angles as this all plays into durability and strength. Every time we release a new profile, most of these factors change and need to be adjusted so they all work together. We're lucky to live in a place where people destroy lesser wheels regularly so it has really helped fast-track the development of our layups and processes.

Carbon rims are going to stay straighter longer which is mostly a result in their general increase in stiffness. Asymmetrical profiles will also help retain spoke tension because the spokes on the low tension side of the wheel are significantly higher than normal. To build on these strengths, we've gone to using spokes which have a subtle squared off portion underneath the threaded end so that we can eliminate spoke wind up when building wheels. We also use a secure lock nipple which helps keep them from backing off. All of these factors combined with proper stress relieving throughout the build process is what keeps the wheels running as hassle free as possible.
  • + 2
 @NOBLwheels: Thanks for the detailed reply! Definitely sounds like you guys are focusing in the right areas. Would consider these for a future purchase.
  • + 2
 I have a set of the TR33 in 29". Compared to my previous aluminum wheels, I feel these made my bike snap around the corners better: much less flex. Mine are on Hope hubs.

The only issue I had was the tubeless rim tape. Because the tape was so narrow, air started leaking. I had to replace the rim tape with Stans tape that's much wider and better.
  • + 2
 Great to see a review like this. You can't go wrong with carbon rims and Onyx hubs! I have three sets and have been beating them up for the past two seasons without any issues. They require no maintenance and they're a great investment. You'll be very pleased you got them!!! Big Grin
  • + 2
 "that puts a huge amount of force into the hub shell, and that causes it to expand" Hard for me to imagine the hub shell stretching. From that video, the sprags put increasing pressure agains the inner race as they rock towards full engagement. So they engage immediately, but the inner race doesn't completely stop moving until the sprags have finished rocking. That might take just a fraction of a degree, but maybe it's enough to create the "softness" Vernon mentions. Just trying to find an explanation besides stretchy hub shells.
  • + 1
 You are correct sir. Full engagement of the sprag does take about 1-2 deg. of rotation at higher load levels. At lower load levels (like when you show your buds in the parking lot) the sprags will grab enough to rotate the hub shell with no perceived extra rotation leading many to believe they are the equivalent of "instant engagement". Some people have issued their concern over this "wind-up" but I can assure you it is AWESOME. The preload that occurs when you stomp on it almost shoots you forward as you get going. Ratcheting over obstacles become intuitive since the engagement point is always exactly where you think it is. For me it makes pedalling more organic as opposed to the horrid mechanical feel of a ratchet system. Sprag should have been done long ago for rear hubs. Onyx has been a good company to deal with. If you get the opportunity to ride an Onyx I highly recommend it.
  • + 1
 It's a fact that the sprag both pushes out against the hubshell and in against the freehub body. And yes, it's a small amount, but still something that needs to be taken into account in the design so you don't break the hubs over time (hence the steel parts they use, and likely a thick 7000al shell) The springs also are always pushing the sprags against these same steel parts, so there is drag. How much less drag than a 6 pawl idk, I'd have to measure it... But these are nice hubs, and worth the weight penalty I think. I have one. Good stuff.
  • + 2
 I have the TR28's on NOBL hubs. Wish the 33's were available when I bought mine. Mine have not stayed true as these have, but haven't been too much trouble. The hubs however, are fantastic. I love the more or less instant engagement when ratcheting out partial oedals strokes on techy climbs, and the sound of silence from the hubs!
  • + 5
 Whoever it was that suggested including gifs/videos of moving parts sure was onto something... this one is perfect!
  • + 1
 I believe I might get proper downvoted, if anyone cares at all, but this is actually a genuine question: I definitely do appreciate @NOBLwheels' involvement in the local scene, but I somehow cannot justify purchase of the rim, since I bought a 38mm carbon rim from china, held it next to the 38mm NOBL rim and figured it is, actually, the exact same rim without the sticker for half the price. Is the added value in the customer support there? As I have an excellent experience dealing with the manufacturer directly, except it takes a while to get a replacement rim over the sea.

I haven't compared the price of a build on NOBL hub to building one sourcing the onyx hub and carbon rims myself, if it was anywhere close, I'd be keen to consider NOBL for when I finally can afford carbon wheels on my #2 bike. But last time I checked, it just wasn't even close (I built my carbon hoops last spring, and last time I was looking for a replacement rim, it was about half the price overseas).

I'm sorry, this is no diss to NOBL, I'm just curious, if there's more into it than the convenience for the customer having some support local here?
  • + 1
 I bought a pair of these wheels in September after seeing them at Crankworx. Dustin was ridiculously quick to answer my 500 redundant questions even when (presumably) drowning in beer at Eurobike. I wondered why responses were coming in at 4am... Anyway, other than an annoying shipping situation (some new decals would make this better), this was the best upgrade I've ever made to a bike. And without question the best part is the hubs. If I was going to pay $1600 for a wheel set I didn't want the same i9-anodized-fat-spoke-chainsaw-killerbee nonsense that everyone has. These hubs are game changing. The hoops are bomb proof too. Thankfully I didn't go with the 1500g aluminum AM Classics that were in my shopping cart. They would be dented to death right now. Contrary to the top post here these silent hubs actually have made me famous on group rides. Throw in the instant engagement parlor trick and I can have a crowd around ohhing and ahhing. Trail Magic! My '16 Trek Slash 9.9 weighs in at 26.7lbs with these "heavy" hubs. What weight penalty? Thanks NOBL.
  • + 1
 Love my TR38hds... maybe a little overkill for me (for sure actually... Razz ) but endless grip, incredible confidence to charge the roughest lines,.... and that massive profile (vain, I know) is 100% worth it. Wouldn't say no to a set of 33s on pro 4s though....
  • + 1
 490 grams for the stock with steel rear hub. 420 grams for there (new) alloy free hub version. Dt 240 rear hubs are 260 grams. I9 are 276 grams. Hope. Dt 350 and king are all under 320 grams.

U can run a front and rear i9 or Dt set that's is less then just a rear onix
  • + 1
 Great set of wheels, a year into my 38's with over 1200 miles on my GT Force, many at dh parks. Unbelievable stiffness, and I can run them at 16psi with no problems. Months after reading all these crap user posts, gurantee most are now riding, or drooling over carbon rims. The Nobel rims, should definitely be considered. Buying a set this year for a new dh bike.
  • + 2
 Those look really good, if I stop drinking alcohol long enough to buy a car 3-5 years down the road, then after that maybe I'll look into buying them.
  • + 1
 No 26", nevermind. Also they are very expensive.
  • + 4
 $1,550 for a wheelset is, in my opinion, still Dictator Territory...
  • + 3
 We will rise up against the Dictator and his aristocrats and seize the means of production for these carbon fiber wheel sets!
  • + 1
 Onyx makes a great hub, not sure how Nobl hubs improve the desogn as they use the same guts, but it's good to see the sprag clutch technology growing. I imagine the Onyx sprag clutch hub as a Wankel that works.
  • + 2
 I've been putting my Nobl hoops through hell for three seasons and they are amazing, i true them once a season. Good customer service too ????
  • + 1
 Meant a thumbs up not ????
  • + 4
 That video takes me back to vhs days
  • + 1
 What do you think guys for a 29er with 160mm of travel, which wheelset would be better between the NOBL, NOX, and the Roval Traverse SL?
  • + 1
 So now with the alloy free hub they weigh 420 grams instead of 490 grams. Glad to see that they are at least under a pound now. Still dt240 or i9 are less then 300 grams.
  • + 2
 Great review. I've been waiting to read such clear feedback on Nobl for a while.
  • + 1
 (29" option available) thats a trump no 26 option, a little racist.

who cares about weight really, if you do the clear plastic model then.
  • - 1
 I like this company. But still the majority of dh and enduro racers trust alloy when it comes to race day. I'd love to lighten my rims by 100 grams and have that "carbon" feel but the cost benefit is still not there for a largely disposable product.
  • + 6
 We think our product has a competitive advantage for enduro racers, it's not just the lighter weight. They corner better, are more stable through rough terrain, in many cases are stronger and more reliable than alloy rims which can have a cost savings for some riders in the long run. The tubeless design of our rims yields far less pinch flats and tire burping than most rims. We've had numerous reports of racers choosing to continue their race runs with completely flat tires and they are able to finish long stages without the tire blowing off or cracking the rim. Obviously not recommended but it's cool to see our product being pushed to the limit like that.

In the BC/AB Enduro series last year our team riders competed in 10 races, totalling 46 different stages. They had 56 stage wins across their respective categories (mostly pro and open men). We ended up with 8 overall race victories and a number of other podiums.

We won the title of :
-East Series Champion in Pro Elite Mens
-2nd overall in the West Pro Elite Men.
-West Series Champion in Open Men
-Canadian National Enduro Champion in Pro Elite
-Canadian National Enduro Champion in Open Men

1680+ minutes of racing and not 1 broken rim or 1 hub failure the whole series at the events. This time is race time only and is not calculating the practice time as well. Not 1 DNF.
  • + 0
 @NOBLwheelsUSA: thanks for supporting your comment with actual data. However, the fact remains that when race day bike checks are done on the top athletes the majority still run alloy. I'm sure sponsorships play a role in this but if the performance gains are that significant we'd see those riders running carbon. Until then these products are a "nice to have" and my money is better spent elsewhere.
  • + 3
 Just do us a LB review!!! That's what we want, affordable plastic!!
  • - 2
 No need for the negativity? Was only joking. I couldnt afford an enve wheel or these noble wonder hoops. With that being said i guess its a pretty good deal considering the alternatives. There are also derby, nox and light bycycle.
  • - 6
flag rnayel (Nov 18, 2016 at 15:22) (Below Threshold)
 Yet your banshee has i9 carbon hoops.
  • + 4
 @rnayel: wow man they are actually alloy and i got a good deal on them being used and all.
  • + 1
 @rckon03: that's cool. I9 hubs are the business. I've had Nobl wheels with king hubs for a year now. Great product.
  • + 1
 buy the steel ones, last forever. the feel and silence of these hubs has to be ridden to be appreciated. it's awesome.
  • + 1
 IS there really much value in lightweight hubs for the sake of weight savings... when they are at the center of the wheel?
  • + 1
 Look a lot like stealth hubs.
  • + 1
 Except stealth hubs have noticeable drag, while thses have none what so ever.
  • + 0
 @vernonfelton how would you say the rear hub feels in comparison to a Chris King hub? Sorry if I missed that.
  • + 1
 Just a onix rear hub is heavier then a hub set from i9 or dt240s.
  • + 2
 Keep in mind it's not really rotational weight which makes a much larger difference on the bike. We have made some strides in weight savings. Our first set of Onyx hubs we got for testing in the beginning weighed 675 grams for a set (142x12, 100x15, 32h, XD steel freehub). We worked with them to shave weight on our shells and went with a dedicated 15mm front hub. So couple that with the new alloy freehub parts and the NOBL hub set weighs 591grams in the exact same format as the 675g version we started playing with on day 1. They will never be 240 territory, but the gap is closing a bit.

These hubs wind up to speed easier and have the best rate of decay (rolling efficiency) than any hub. Significantly faster than the next best hubs in a test of all of the industries top manufacturers. (Lab results conducted by a 3rd party, not just marketing speak). They aren't for everyone, but they are quite unique, ridiculously efficient and are worth a ride despite their added weight.
  • + 1
 @NOBLwheelsUSA: Are those 3rd party lab results available? I'd enjoy reading them. And thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions and concerns.
  • + 1
 @kwapik: We'll work on a blog post for this and include the report. In the meantime, if you'd like to read the report please email us and we'll send you a copy.
  • + 2
 No 26, no care.
  • + 1
 Canadian website, Canadian company, US prices...
  • + 3
 US website for US customers. Canadian website for Canadian customers! They just happened to list our US retail on the review.
  • + 1
 Buy Spank Ozzy's
  • - 1
 free hub body is it stainless or steel ??
  • + 1
 The freehub in the review is steel. We now offer an alloy freehub body (XD and HG) which drops about 70g off the hub weight.
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