Race Face have had carbon bars and cranks in their lineup for years, but the Next R wheeleset is the Canadian company's first foray into the world of carbon rims. Of course, they weren't exactly starting from scratch – with access to sister-company Easton's technical know-how they had a strong base to work from. The result is a set of wheels that are built to rally (that's what the 'R' stands for), whether that's at an enduro race halfway around the world, or ripping around on your backyard trails.
Next R Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Carbon rims / Race Face Vault hubs
• 29" and 27.5" options
• Boost and non-Boost spacing available
• Weight (29" Boost): 1750 grams; front: 820g, rear: 930g.
• MSRP: $1500 USD
The carbon rims measure 31mm wide internally, and have a depth of 24mm, with 28 spokes per wheel laced in a 3-cross pattern to Race Face's own Vault hubs. The rear hub uses 6 offset pawls in conjunction with a 60-tooth drive ring, creating a quick 3-degrees between engagement points. Our 29” wheelset weighed in at 1750 grams, and there's also a 27.5” option that's claimed to weigh 1680 grams. The price? $1,500 USD.
Race Face realizes that carbon wheels are an investment, which is why they're backing the Next R wheelset (including the bearings) with a two year, no-questions-asked guarantee. That means you're covered whether you were just riding along, cased a massive gap, or forgot that you left your front wheel sitting behind your car when you drove away from the trailhead.
The rims come pre-taped and with valve stems installed for no-fuss tubeless tire setup.Rims
The shape of a carbon rim can have a dramatic impact on how if feels out on the trail, which is why Race Face experimented with several different rim profiles before settling on the Next R's final dimensions. They wanted to avoid having them feel wooden or overly harsh, while also maintaining enough impact resistance to keep them rolling strong through rough terrain.
The resulting rim measures 24mm deep, with an internal width of 31mm and an external width of 37mm. The spoke holes are offset by 4.5mm, which helps even out the tension between the drive- and non-driveside spokes.
The Vault hubs' oversized aluminum shell give them a distinctive look, and also allows for the use of shorter spokes.Hubs
The Next R wheelset uses the same Vault hubs found on the aluminum Turbine wheelset we reviewed last year
, with an oversized aluminum body that makes them stand out from the crowd. That large shell isn't just for show – it allows the wheel to be built with shorter spokes, which should help create a stiffer wheel. The increased driveside flange diameter is also said to increase torsional stiffness, a factor that's become even more important now that cassettes are approaching the size of dinner plates.
The hub's design also makes it possible to use the same size spoke on both sides, front and rear, increasing the chances that a shop will have a spare in stock. Five extra spokes are also included with the wheelset, just in case.
Inside the rear hub are six pawls, each resting on their own little leaf spring and housed in the hub body. Those pawls are offset into two groups of three, which means that engage with the 60-tooth driver body every 3-degrees. The rear wheel rolls on four sealed 6902 cartridge bearings, and the front wheel uses two 6805 bearins, which are both common sizes that shouldn't be hard to locate should they need to be replaced.
Six spring-loaded pawls sit in the hub shell, where they engage with the 60-tooth drive ring. Set Up
At this point, I've installed multiple sets of tires on the Next R wheels, and all of them have mounted up without any issues. I even installed a CushCore tire insert for a portion of the test period, a task that's much more time consuming than a regular tire install, but even that process went smoothly. The rim's center channel doesn't sink down that far, which helps encourage tire beads to move out to the sidewall and pop into place, rather than stubbornly sitting in the middle of the rim. The pressures I ran varied depending on the tire, but they were typically in the neighborhood of 20-23 psi up front, and 23-25 psi in the rear. Performance
When carbon wheels first came out, the hype was all about stiffness. At the time, that made sense – for a variety of reasons, bike frames weren't nearly as stiff as they are today, and a set of carbon wheels could help change a noodly ride into something that felt more precise. But those flexible flyers aren't as common anymore, which means that crazy stiff wheels aren't a requirement to get the most out of a bike. It's also why we're seeing more and more companies working to make their carbon wheels stiff, but not too stiff, as they search for that Goldilocks level of compliance.
Where do the Next R's fit in? They're certainly on the stiffer side of the spectrum, but I never found them to be too
stiff. More than anything, they feel reassuringly solid, and no matter what I hucked into they held strong, without any unwanted flexing (or cracking for that matter). Granted, I'm no Clydesdale, but these wheels have seen some serious use, including multiple days of lift served riding, where they took hits that I'm sure would have put a sizable dent in a set of aluminum wheels. Even after pummeling them through the roots and rocks at the Whistler stop of the Enduro World Series they were still properly tensioned and true; in fact, I haven't had to pick up a spoke wrench yet, which is surprising, and impressive. Of course, these wheels are designed to go uphill too, and I don't have any complaints about their climbing performance. The weight is very reasonable given their intended usage, and that quick engaging hub helped get them up to speed quickly and efficiently.
All of the hub bearings are still spinning smoothly, and there hasn't been any skipping or unwanted noises from the freehub body, no matter how much I mashed on the pedals. Speaking of noise, the Vault hub strikes a nice middle ground as far as the sound it emits during coasting – it's audible but not earsplitting, just enough to let hikers and other riders know you're there, but not enough to drive you nuts on a long ride. Pinkbike's Take
| These days there's no shortage of options when it comes to carbon wheels, but Race Face have hit the mark with the Next R wheelset. They're extremely well thought out, and would be an excellent choice for anyone looking for a stiff, strong, and reliable set of wheels. Granted, they're not what I'd call inexpensive, but the cost isn't as exorbitant as some of the other high-end options currently on the market, and their impressive performance helps back up that price tag. — Mike Kazimer|
Every single person that I have rode with that has purchased aluminum wheels has broken one. Enough said.
I've now got some EX 511's, and I'm pretty confident I will never be left walking my bike again (at least not due to a broken rim)
The missing info is that people have been riding alloy rims for 20 plus years and broken some. Carbon ones break as much already within 5 years? Add to that a rim costs more to replace than a decent wheel / wheelset in alloy I just can't see the value in them, unless you're a top flight racer.
I love my carbon Nexitie rims ($140 each). They are stiff, but at my weight (200 pounds) not harsh. I climb a little better, and they are incredibly confidence inspiring compared to the generic roval al rims they replaced. They don't go out of true, but I did crack one, but from riding with improper spoke tension ( i build the wheel myself- bad idea) and it was warrantied.
These wheels have a 2 year warranty for everything. That is huge. Not only is it good insurance for the rider, no company seeking to be profitable would put out such a warranty unless they have good data that it won't be used very much. The rims most likely perform better than any aluminum, and from what I hear about overly-harsh ENVEs, they probably perform better than them as well. They come pre-taped and valved. You're looking at $15-$20 for a set of good valves and $20 per wheel to be taped up otherwise. Thats $100 off right there if you don't want the hassle of DIY gorilla tape. Additionally, over time gorilla tape often migrates and bunches up, causing air loss mid-ride (happened to me multiple times). $70 DT swiss rims don't come pretaped, with tape, or with values. To me this is not a small thing, since I have a job and family and little time to wrench.
I realize these are small things, and that the overall price is still high, but I would rather put an extra $800 into my wheels than going from a GX to XO1 drivetrain for the same price. I'd also rather have carbon rims than a carbon frame, where the upsell is ballpark the same price. (but of course though I have all three! Don't tell my wife how much it costs)
Pro-perpetrator -> I’m so impressed at how hardcore you and your FL entourage are. Some of us mortals might be ok on a decent carbon wheelset tho.
I moved to carbon on the rear because I was beating up alu too much plus with a 29 flex and weight can be an issue. I’ll admit I need more time on mine tho. My last rear lasted a full season no issues then sold it with that bike. My new rear wheel still needs some miles before I weigh in.
To be fair I’d prob stick to alu if I were on smaller wheels.
G-money -> if you’re paying over $200-ish for a carbon rim you’re just paying for a brand name.
Factory direct FTW.
Lotsa layup options these days too so you can go with a burlier carbon rim if you’re that gnarly.
What we need is a shootout over one full season of riding. Alu at 2 price points, carbon at 2 price points.
Industry Nine Enduro $1200
Light Bicycle + Hope $1000
Name Brand (Santa Cruz, etc) ~$1500
Carbon wheels IME have been much more hassle free, almost never have to be trued. I have had a rear carbon wheel develop a crack on me but I really dont care because ENVE will send me a brand new one. I will most likely blow up a rear wheel within a 5 year period, which is fine with me, cause like I said ENVE got me covered.
And with companies like Santa Cruz offering a lifetime warranty on their $1600 carbon wheel sets I dont think its a big deal.
Plus I just like how Carbon wheels ride and track better.
Personally I would like to see RaceFace offer a better warranty on their wheelset... more like a 5 year.
People from my town, that I know for having breaking all sorts of carbon rims are easily in worlds 10% fastest riders out there, not far from qualifying to DH World cups, they are racing EWS, frequently podium in Swedish DH or Enduro races. Despite the volume of riding and severity of conditions they put their wheels through, they do not break more than 1 alu rim per year. Coincidentally they all use DT Swiss rims, XM843 EX741 and EX511.
Post purchase rationalization, just like any sort of purchase justification is a normal human condition. I don’t judge anyone for their purchases, but carbon fibre anywhere outside top shelf road and xc racing is jewelry, not even close to necessity.
The validation behind spending the money on Carbon rims is performance, less maintenance, and warranty/customer service. Its not jewelry, I'm not trying to show off...I believe in the product, company, and customer service.
You can look at this way...I dropped a decent amount of coin on a carbon wheel set 4 years ago...and I haven't had to buy a new wheel set since. I go through an aluminum wheel easily once a year that wouldnt fall under warranty.
Carbon rims should be around 200€. Laced to dt350 hubs that would make a 650-700€ wheelset. That's 200€ more per wheelset than with an aluminum rim, no need to do no-questions-asked warranties.
Bottom line: all sorts of rims break, under various conditions, carbon rims never need truing, they are slightly lighter and much more expensive, and then there's the issue of feel, they are much stiffer - some like it (particularly heavy riders, especially those on 29ers) some don't. XC racing is a different case since there you want around 300g rims and alu rims under 400g are worthless for anything else than fireroad.
Stronger than comparable aluminium is 100% true. Never need truing - 99% true. More durable - definintely not.
No, no they're not. If I spend $1500 today, I'll be lucky if I get $500 out of them in two years when there are twenty other lighter, cheaper options on the market.
"...the fact that a good set of carbon wheels has the potential to outlast several cheap alloy wheelsets..."
That there would make it a "value"; particularly since, in the very best case scenario, it has "potential" to outlast. As these other folks mention, it's much more a "gamble" or a "liability" spending that kind of money than it is an "investment (expecting a return)". A set of relatively budget carbon wheels will not likely be worth much after two years, even unused, let alone putting them through the abuse that would destroy several sets of alloys.
The problem is that it sounds like you're not even trying when you shill for the brands you write about...
There's a definite bias that tells me everything written about is good and well worth my hard-earned cash.
Investing (n-vsting) The act of committing money or capital to an endeavor with the expectation of obtaining an additional income or profit.
Assume it guys, more or less, but we're all just spending!
We spend months testing wheels, and while it not may be in a clinical lab setting with scientists in white coats, the wheels typically end up with the same tires at the same psi on the same trails. And if something breaks or fails we'll mention it, especially if it was a set of expensive carbon wheels.
guess what, pinkbike dude rode the wheels, he liked them and think they stack up nicely to the competitors based his experience. by the way, i enjoyed the review
Maybe someday when I'm no longer at university I'll be able to spend that kinda money on wheels, for now I'll use it to pay rent for 3 months !
THIS is why I ride carbon wheels. The only reason. I am a Clydesdale and can put the hurt on aluminum wheels with no troubles. My carbon hoops get trued about once a season tops. Can't say the same for aluminum in the past.
The guarantee says, "At the discretion of Race Face we will repair or replace your carbon wheel regardless of how the damage occurred or what the damage is."
Why? The options presented are Repair or Replace, not Repair or Replace or GFY
Santa Cruz has a pretty good reputation, builds a carbon wheel where the sides of the rims are 3.7mm (almost 25% over 3mm) thick and decided to give a life time warranty.
The weight penalty looks to be around 50 (SC i9) to 80 (SC DT hubs) grams per wheelset.
Since I'm 220 pounds I think I'll go for the slightly heavier rims with the better warranty, especially SC took excellent care of me when I broke my Blur frame.
86 ct per gram however is pretty spectacular (for the seller).
Wait, what? They will cover that scenario too? Or is that a check to see if people are reading the article?
RaceFace: Sure. What's your address?
Consumer: A-HA!! Busted!! The warranty says "No questions asked"!
Once this question answered, why the rear hub is oversized on the cassette side?
Once answered, repeat question 1.
These west coast guys seem to be biting the same style also www.tairinwheels.ca
Vault/Shogun/Torch ... all the same???
As well the pawl interface in the hub shell is replaceable if the teeth wear out you can replace that instead of the whole hub shell.
Do you know if the replaceable ratchet ring needs a special tool to be removed?
Agreed though @privatejoker, these wide aluminum rims are all incredibly thin walled and dent very easily (not specific to Arc rims). We ask for wide and light rims but manufacturers can only do so much with aluminum. This is one of the biggest advantages to carbon imo.
There's no reason that all MTB wheels shouldn't run 32 spokes (meow meow meow weight....only 30-40 grams). Extra spokes mean that ride can be tweaked more effectively with spoke tension-28h wheels need to be keyed up tighter. Breaking one or more spokes on a 28h wheel usually means pushing a bike out because the rim is so far out of true. On a 32h wheel-not a big deal.
As for the rear hub-you may have been lucky, but they aren't reliable. A hub driver failure is another mechanical problem likely to result in a long hike-a-bike out.
At 1750-1800g target weight, you can have your local wrench build you a set of pretty burly wheels with DT (or Hope) hubs for between 1/2 and 1/3 the price of these. So....these wheels cost a lot, have some design flaws, and aren't meaningfully lighter than a nice set of handbuilt wheels with aluminum rims.
I don't object to these wheels because of their price. I object because at this price, they should be commensurately better than a nice set of alloy wheels.
I've been on the Turbine R wheels for 1.5 years with zero issues with the driver. I did break 1 spoke, but wheel barely was out of true.
Hubs have wider set bearings that Hope/DT (stiffer & more durable), substantially more points of engagement (double) and the rims themselves would offer the unique ride characteristics of a carbon rim you can't get out of alloy.
Your comment reeks of #fakenews.
Also, DT's 54t ratchet is plenty quick. The only way to get meaningfully faster hookup would be an Onyx hub and I haven't ridden on or built wheels with them, so while they have a great rep, I have no personal experience to base any claims around.
Even if the wheels I saw were outliers (maybe a QC consistency issue?) these things aren't worth the cash. At $1500, these wheels aren't light enough, or better riding enough, or whatever enough to justify the cost. The carbon wheels I've ridden have been nice, but didn't have any "unique ride characteristics" that couldn't be replicated with a well thought-out alloy build for less money.
And being as you insinuates that your We Are Ones are the top of the pile when it comes to carbon wheels and that everything else is just looking to dethrone them.... Yeah it sounds like another inderect weird advertisement slash sales booster comment.
That's my guess.
It might be that the carbon rims you are using are too lightweight and too race oriented.
Your hardcore riding skills will eclipse mine, but I'd wager that I put much more force on my wheelset than you given my mass. Don't discount carbon wheels too quickly as you might not have found the right combo that works for you!
Some riders can get away with riding carbon wheels because of the terrain they ride in, the fact that they are smooth, light, lucky or because they are plain quite slow and dont experience the same impacts more agressive riders do, quality and design does seem to play a part too.
The vast proportion of fast guys I know run alloy rims, they just wont go near carbon rims. I could probably get away with them, especially for local riding but see no reason to as there are some really nice alloy rims available right now, they also ding up but cost less than a tyre to replace.
Most modern tyres are best below 25psi, some around 20psi - I wouldnt want to ride anything but an XC bike at 30psi.
Next time you go out, drop 5psi from that front tyre and a 2-3psi from the rear and see how things feel - it will give you a much bigger benefit than the carbon rim will thats for sure.
Tyre pressure can make such a huge difference to the way a bike rides, running bad tyres at high pressures completely outweighs any benefit from carbon rims - Use the rim as a weight saver, get some thicker sidewall tyres on there and lower the pressures, unless you are riding XC I can almost guarrantee it will transform the bike.
34 psi 35mph impact on small rock.
Think of putting a weak sidewall tyre on a big ass truck (your ass) - it would easily fold when cornering, put a suitable tyre on it though and it will be fine.
Thank you for your shitty fat ass opinion.
Tyre pressure isn't all about grip as you say its about damping, I was not referring to grip levels at different pressures - It also depends hugely on tyres, the XR3 and XR4 are probably not suitable for rocky terrain and a larger rider while a double down or similar casing would allow lower pressures while keeping punctures at bay.
I am friends with a race mechanic who spannered for a well known WC team, the team went through 10 rear rims in one test day between them, that's right 10 rims completely wrecked (they also cracked one frame)