Race Face Next R Carbon Wheels - Review

Oct 24, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Race Face Next R wheel review

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
www.raceface.com

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.


Race Face Next R wheel review
Race Face Next R wheel review
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.


Race Face Next R wheel review
Race Face Next R wheel review
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.


Race Face Next R wheel review
Race Face Next R wheel review
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

bigquotes 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

246 Comments

  • + 90
 Expensive carbon wheels? Next!
  • + 63
 Hope hubs / ex 471...... next
  • - 8
flag lee-vps-savage (Oct 24, 2017 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • - 24
flag properp (Oct 24, 2017 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 Every single person that I have rode with that has purchased carbon fiber Wheels has broken one. Enough said
  • + 170
 @properp:

Every single person that I have rode with that has purchased aluminum wheels has broken one. Enough said.
  • + 3
 @whatyousaid: I have ding and dented up lots of aluminum wheels but never broken one to the point I could not finish a ride or race. I have never came across anyone on the trail with the destroyed aluminum wheel they could not ride on either. Oh there was one exception at this place called Rampage.
  • + 5
 @properp: I did just that this season on some Arc27's. Granted those rims are swiss cheese, but I bent the sidewall so badly that it couldn't hold a tube to get me down the rest of the trail. And I most definitely wasn't riding Rampage when it happened.

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) Smile
  • + 32
 $1500 is not expensive for a carbon wheelset, FYI.
  • + 13
 @properp: I've seen multiple aluminum wheels taco'd to the point that the bike had to be walked out and the wheel was unrepairable. Usually involves a side load at the weld.
  • + 23
 @whatyousaid: What you said, whatyousaid.
  • + 6
 @properp: I have literally snapped an aluminum wheel completely in half at the weld. In fact, I've destroyed like 5-6 aluminum wheels beyond repair. That said, I'm hesitant to buy carbon wheels haha.
  • + 2
 @properp: Then you're not riding hard enough!
  • - 20
flag krazieghost (Oct 24, 2017 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 @properp: every single person i have rode with that has purchased alu wheels has broken one. enough said. and then i see someone beat me to it. neg prop this comment out of existence please
  • + 10
 @krazieghost: haha!

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.
  • + 11
 @whatyousaid: except the aluminum rim costs $100 not $600. Enough said.
  • + 11
 I can buy two Stan's Flow MK3 wheelsets and go to Finale Ligure for one week for that kind of money. Or buy one wheelset and go to Finale for two weeks. Well, I think you catch my drift. 1500$ carbon wheels... Hahahaha... No thanks.
  • + 3
 @shawnca7: I've been running spank Rim since 2011 and never had a single issue with any of their hoops. Their rims are great I I do not like their hubs. Too sloppy and not enough precise engagement.
  • + 31
 I realize that a $1500 wheelset is for a narrow audience, but hear me out:

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)
  • - 1
 @amanite55: But you can show up at the trail head with these wheels and impress all the other dentists there!
  • + 13
 @Poulsbojohnny: Nah, man, it takes a set of Enve to impress the other dentists...
  • + 15
 For comparison sake I built my own using LB Carbon Rims, MTB/MTR hubs, DT Revolution spokes. 30mm internal width, $608 all in, 1564g for the set. Have put over 1200 miles on them so far (mostly AM riding), through some rocky shit, I took them in to true them after 200 miles, they were out of alignment by 1-2mm in 3 spots, amazing. They blow away all previous aluminum wheels I've used, in performance, weight, and maintenance.
  • + 19
 @seraph: I remember when I could buy a bike for 1500
  • + 2
 @Lagr1980: Yep - that's my go to as well.
  • + 1
 delete double post
  • + 2
 @properp - I so much agree with you and support you, for the first time. Give me a hug!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: my life is complete I can die a happy man now
  • + 3
 @properp:

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.
  • - 2
 @mtbakerpow: You can still buy a bike for $1500, but it won't have carbon wheels. It would probably have NX or Deore. I'd rather pay $1500 for carbon wheels for my already nice MTB.
  • + 2
 @Golden-G:

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.
  • + 1
 @properp: they must be on light bicycle versions then.. My nox AM's going in 4 seasons without issue.. All I due is spoke tension every season..
  • + 12
 @amanite55:

What we need is a shootout over one full season of riding. Alu at 2 price points, carbon at 2 price points.

The contenders:

MK3 $600
Industry Nine Enduro $1200
Light Bicycle + Hope $1000
Name Brand (Santa Cruz, etc) ~$1500
  • + 6
 Ive bent tons of aluminum rims within a year and they become useless, won't seal tubeless anymore, and constantly have to be trued. Not worth my time.

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.
  • + 8
 @whatyousaid: every person you rode with who bought aluminium rim broke one. Hum. I must say I have exactly same experience through pitiful 17 years of ridimg. I have personally broken at least 10 aluminium rims. I have had carbon rims for over a year and haven’t broken them. Well it still doesn’t make carbon rim purchase any more valid than buying a rolex watch.

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.
  • + 3
 @bohns1: my light bicycle rear rim cracked after 2.5 years of mostly xc riding on blue/red trails
www.pinkbike.com/photo/15305021
  • + 1
 Another set of $1000+ wheels. Oh joy.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns:

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.
  • + 5
 @Lagr1980: hope hubs and DT rims, that's the one to beat in my opinion.
  • + 0
 I was just a seconding your statement
  • + 3
 @whatyousaid: Define "broken".
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: only one of those carbon Hoops can take Florida for credit. Thank that to Santos. The other one goes to Windrock bike park in Tennessee. Winrock also beat up an aluminum I-9 pretty good and broke 4 aluminum I9 spokes. The aluminum rim still held air in got me through the Enduro missing 4 spokes. Thanks to some added zip ties from a Jeep guy.
  • + 5
 @properp: if you do come across someone on the trail. Just wipe it off and apologize.
  • + 1
 @shawnca7: hear ya dude! 823' s ... stans flow' s .. they can all fail catastrophically!
  • + 2
 While for the most part carbon is more durable than aluminum for wheels, carbon (and especially factory direct like light bicycle and Nextie) has worse quality control and a higher percentage of lemons since the carbon is laid up by hand, and has more variables like resin QC, etc. Aluminum is much simpler to manufacture, and has much more consistency from rim to rim. The good news is that I think carbon QC is getting better, and its only a matter of time before more of the layup can be automated.
  • + 1
 @properp: every single person you have ridden with that has broken a carbon rim also would have had to replace their aluminum rim, at this point it’s cheaper to replace the carbon option due to warranty. I have personally broken an enve and a Santa Cruz rim and they were both completely rideable and replaced for free in a timely manner
  • + 3
 @properp: i work in the wheel department at Santa Cruz bicycles and thought it would be cool to demo our new carbon wheels at rampage. If only we made DH version that would be RAD! but the 30 should do fine.
  • + 3
 @Golden-G: Nukeproof Generator DH cost me $33.
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: carbon frame, carbon bar, carbon rims...too stiff of a ride. Aluminum rims soften up the ride a bit.
  • + 2
 @ETN: tough to beat the DT Swiss stuff.
  • + 1
 @teagues: Cos they rattle so many fillings loose
  • + 1
 @sammyboy2038: that would be RAD indeed.
  • + 5
 @Rasterman: same with the LB rims for me! I have had mine for 3 years now and never had a problem with them other than 2 broken spokes which was rider error anyway! I paid £630 for mine and they weigh 1550g and have been on my geometron bike doing everything from dh runs to trail riding with light xc tyres and dh tyres fitted! I would not even hesitate to order another set if these were to break in the future
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: fuzzy math
  • + 6
 Just The fact that they offer a no-questions-asked warranty should tell you how overpriced carbon wheelsets are. They're basically saying "it's ok to smash it to pieces with a sledgehammer, you already paid for 5".

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.
  • + 1
 @niplo: boom, smashed it!
  • + 2
 @whatyousaid: yes, you haven't broke them, but that's your anecdotal experience, just like experience of many others. Just like my experience, where I've personally seen broken carbon rims of almost any make in workshops in my town (two shops, 2 Enve's, mainly LBs, one Ibis, to be precise) and World Cup shredders are thin on the ground around here. Many journalists broke carbon rims under testing period. Then I know from horses mouth, from people sponsored by certain brands that they broke more than a few, some fought to chose aluminium instead.

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.
  • + 2
 @adamsemmens: similar story here....3 1/2 years on a LB / Hope 29er wheelset and they've survived a lot longer than I expected considering the battering they take.
  • + 1
 I don't get it why should someone buy this expensive carbon scrap. There are wheel sets like the Newmen SL A.30 with less then 1700g for a 29" enduro wheelset with 30mm internal width and that for less then 600$ . Tests so far shown that they can take a lot of stress and won't die that buckle fast as other aluminium rims.
  • + 1
 @shmeef45: absolutely, I have tried carbon though. I have NOBL/Hope wheelset that is fantastic... I broke a rear rim once after square kanding at a stair... warrantied.. no prob.. for racing or proper DH I got rear alloy or full alloy...
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: 6th element on ck hubs is 1k. Outlasted any rear I have owned to date. Years riding 36. Typically I replace 2 rear rims per year per bike and every other bike one front. Time equals money. But each to their own. I also appreciate less flex on wheels. Most carbon jobs are I credibly stiff compared to their alloy counterpart.
  • + 0
 @Lagr1980: ex511 please
  • + 1
 Spank 395+-hope nuff said
  • + 4
 @Keit: Two rear rims per bike per year? I'd be asking myself a number of questions if that were me.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: me too, either too heavy, sketchy or is the gnarliest rider in the world that rides literally everyday, or a mix of all three?
  • + 1
 @grim007: Exactly.. I've seen a few.. My local shops won't even touch them if they are on your bike...
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist, @BenPea - FWIW, I use EX471, 28h. I've never been taking chances in rock gardens, in such stupid way as this year. On some occasions I was just plowing through stuff, jumping into baby head sized rocks. I even managed to puncture a Spec Grid (1.5ply) tyre through Huck Norris, splitting it in half in the process. I rarely kill a rim, in fact I haven't done it since 3 years, so I consider myself as a smooth rider. Anyways, my rear rim is out of true in two places by approximately 3mm and I have a minor dent after splitting huck norris affair. I broke a spoke in front wheel in Hafjell and the rim has a slight dent too. That's it. By average I ride twice a week, and I had only 7 lift days this year, so I don't ride at all. If I was to go on a stereotypical 2 weeks in Alps with mx dudes trip, I'd definitely gear up to EX511. However my friends haven't managed to ruin XM841s after a few trips to Alps and Madeira, Finale, so EX471s may survive it.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: easy. Tubeless twang the flange and done. Won't hold air. Plus I Huck a lot
  • + 0
 Azonic outlaws, near indestructible and cheap last forever.
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: I purchase my NOX skyline wheels with DT swiss 240 hubs 36pt engage, custom colored decals, cx-ray spokes for $2100 (taped, valved ready to ride). XD hub's. 1400g even for the set. Have rode over 1450 miles and not a single mm out of true. I ride mostly trail with some XC/AM and weigh 175lbs fully geared. Live in PNW so plenty of roots, rock etc. Have several medium to minor crashs and still perfect. Rode on stans crest and crank bros wheels before and these are by far the best I have ever been on.
  • - 1
 @gks333: MTB Carbon rims do not go out of true, they are stiff as fk, so stop repeating that. It's like they are hand made, yes they are, all of them. They just crack when their time comes. All this arguing mess is caused by people like ENVE or Santa Cruz who propelled this ridiculous image of carbon parts outlasting aluminium parts by 10-fold which is utter bullcrap. Sht happens to everyone, everywhere. First, by 2010 online trolls were claiming that carbon parts explode, then it changed into this blind acceptance. I owned carbon rims, rode a few different ones on other people's bikes, I can say with clear conscience that I didn't like them. I didn't even like putting the tyre on because the clear coat was chipping away when I was using tyre levers. Building the wheelset itself was a pain in the arse because the rim wouldn't give at all. Same with bloody carbon cranks, how cool is that to watch it chip away chip by chip? oh, you can use crank boots and then apply the protective tape... is that right? Carbon bars - really? You crash, there's a ttiny crack - is it a paint chip, or is it structural damage? Hey I'm only going to keep sending those 30ft gaps... Aluminium - if it's fkd it is apparent that it is fkd. At least with carbon rims, when they fail, there is very little risk involved. Each to their own. But I re
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I so much agree with you and support you for the first time. Finally carbon has brought us together now give me a hug
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Looks like TMac is running EX471s at Rampage. What does that say?
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: then run an aluminum frame! Better feel, and increases differential between sprung and unspring mass, making ride more stable.
  • + 1
 @erikkellison: thinking about it but the frame flex power diffusion, weight thing is holding me back.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: I really don’t notice a significant difference (shock matters more than anything in power transfer), and the damp feeling is worth it. To be fair, haven’t ridden new Nomad, but love my Balance, and think the Geometron and Evolink both look intriguing.
  • + 1
 @properp: Since Rampage was stolen by Flows MK3 and Spanks... can we say that if you consider a 2k upgrade on your bike, put a motor on it?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: No No No. Buy a used dirt bike for 2k. Bicycles with electric motors are just too pathetic of an excuse for a real motorbike. Once you've road real motorbikes and spent time on them e-bikes are just a pathetic joke.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: also I can build a whole bike for two grand. I would never spend two grand on a single upgrade that's ludicrous
  • + 0
 @properp: I love you man, bromance!
  • + 1
 @mtbakerpow: and a really good one at that.
  • + 44
 "...realizes that carbon wheels are an investment..."

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.
  • + 12
 So they are an investment that's lousy at holding its value?
  • + 28
 @teagues, I was referring more to the fact that a good set of carbon wheels has the potential to outlast several cheap alloy wheelsets, but your point is valid, and we are seeing more and more 'reasonably' priced carbon wheels being released every year.
  • + 11
 @g-42: No I think he means that its not so much as an investment, as an investment is putting money towards something for return of equal or higher value. These wheels (which teagues brings up a good point) are a gamble. I had Enves with 240s and they were great. But they are scary to take to rock gardens in fear of blowing one rim up and I have to spend more money on them. So I sold them and got DT EX471s with Industry Nine hubs. Im in love. I eat rocks for breakfast with these wheels. And Im using all of its value. Smashing the shit out of these near bullet proof wheels haha.
  • + 9
 @g-42: a investment usually is meant to have a payout, it doesnt always work that way (thus the term bad investment) but buying something you know upfront will not hold its value is a liability not an investment.
  • + 23
 @g-42: if you are buying any bike part with hopes of it holding value, I have a bridge to sell you...
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer:

"...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.
  • + 1
 I think I misunderstood this comment some. Whoops
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: well, first of all you could buy about 3 decent alu wheelsets for $1500. And even if somehow they would last like 6 years I am sure that during this period at least 2 new hub width "standards" will emerge rendering them useless for your new bling bling frame, not to mention > 0 probability of a new wheel size or the fact that they use 28 spokes which limits aftermarket hub replacement options Wink The same goes with carbon frames. So let's be honest, pricey bikes is like using dollars as a toilet paper, if you can afford it then why not, but lets not call this an investment.
  • + 4
 Clearly by "investment," he just means they're expensive.
  • - 12
flag Benito-Camelas (Oct 24, 2017 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 clearly mike kazimer has no idea what a good investment is, or maybe he has, but sold his soul to the devil long ago
  • + 32
 You guys realize that there's more than one sentence in this review, right? The line that's being parsed reads, "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." I'm all for lively discussions, but going back and forth over the meaning of one word seems a little silly in this instance.
  • - 4
flag teagues (Oct 24, 2017 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike: It's Mountain Bike Action With A Comments Section

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.
  • + 1
 Indeed. especially when the alloy ones are $500 cheaper and only 50 grams heavier according to the link to the test of the alloy ones in the article.
  • + 2
 @lumpy873: I'll swap you that bridge for an air guitar?
  • + 5
 in this instance, two year no-questions-asked guarantee for 1500 dollars still feels like a little silly investment to me
  • + 5
 @CM999: I'd rather spend $500 more on rims than get a $500 more expensive drivetrain
  • + 10
 People just massively overuse the word investment. Shouldn't be used as describing ANY biking related item.

Investing (n-vsting) The act of committing money or capital to an endeavor with the expectation of obtaining an additional income or profit.
  • + 6
 The value you gain from them is in the riding of them, not from resale. If you're buying any bike parts with the intention of holding onto them and then reselling them later at a profit, you're doing it wrong.
  • + 6
 @mikekazimer: a good set of alloy wheels can outlast several sets of cheap alloy wheels... Moot point.
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: hahaa so true, I hear all the time also in snowboard/ski, photography...
Assume it guys, more or less, but we're all just spending!
  • - 1
 @TucsonDon: it's not about value you gain, the word investing is about making MONEY, nothing else, it's not the correct use of the word is all.
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist of that is a gen-u-wine air guitar, I may have some swamp land to put that bridge on...
  • + 1
 @ismasan: high end lenses can appreciate in value, or at least hold their value after years of use.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: agreed
  • + 4
 I thought the same about my 26”, 20mm axle, boutique wheels...
  • + 1
 IMHO nothing in mtb is a financial investment. Especially these days. Try and sell a 26er now.
  • + 1
 @Keit: top end brakes last really long.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: Indeed I till have the very first Hope Brakes as shelf queens. But a far cry from an investment point of view.
  • + 13
 Not bad. And that warranty policy is refreshing. Yeah you can still lace up a pair of lb carbon wheels for 900 or so but they wont be as nice as these. Finally the 'astronomically-priced and only marginally-better' carbon wheels are disappearing.
  • + 5
 I do like that warranty
  • + 5
 Have you ever tried to warranty anything with RF? Garbage.
  • + 2
 @spinko: yeah I warrantied a next sl crankarm - had a new one in hand in about a week.
  • + 7
 I feel like these reviews should incorporate some kind of set variable durability test at the end like running into a curb at a certain psi, or riding down a set of stairs to see how tough they are compared to each other. Every review says the same, 'they are stiff light and expensive' that's about it. Do they make you faster vs other carbon options? Other aluminum options? Its hard to justify 1500 by just seeing in the review, 'these are good wheels'.
  • + 28
 The Macaskill standard?
  • + 1
 vital does the curb test with bikes and rims
  • + 2
 SWOT Test
  • + 15
 @ibishreddin the issue with that test is that durability is only one part of the equation. Sure, one rim may last through 40 curb smashes, and the other only 39, but if the first rim feels wooden and dead out on the trail, is it better?

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.
  • + 3
 @makripper: i go to vital for the reviews, pinkbike for the discussion
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: You mean, it's not fun to do lab tests.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: maybe just start riding in White coats and hydrate with beakers of electrolytes. That would be science. Seriously though, I appreciate your real world testing, as I know you can ride a bike and ride real trails. Thanks, you lucky dog!
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: It would be nice to see a back to back with the alloy ones to see what $500 and a weight saving of 50grams a pair gets you in the real world
  • + 1
 @CM999: its less the weight and more compliance/ stiffness that separates carbon from aluminum wheels now
  • + 3
 i think this is a very bad idea. you are wanting pinkbike to do controlled experiments on the products they review? they’d need a large collection of the product to make any meaningful conclusions. statistics require a sample and i don’t think manufacturers are keen on sending like 100 of everything to the reviewers and i don’t think the reviewers are keen on the idea of doing controlled experiments on the gear they are supposed to be riding. maybe you should contact the manufacturers directly about their validation procedures.

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
  • + 6
 I'm interested to know how a lot of these companies are dealing with the fact that SC rolled out their carpet-fiber wheelset with a lifetime warranty. It's gotta be hard getting ready to roll out new wheels knowing that there is another option out there where the end user is protected for life. I feel the only time I am going to see these wheels is when Norco decides to do a new Optic model with the RF build again.
  • + 6
 The SC wheels seem awesome, but if you don't have "Boost" you can't use them. My SC bike is only 2 years old and already I can't get their wheels...forced to look elsewhere.
  • + 1
 I think currently you can only purchase the SC rims with a new SC bike.
  • + 2
 @charmingbob: They're selling the wheels separately now. But Boost only.
  • + 1
 @charmingbob: it's now available aftermarket from Santa Cruz Retailers
www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/reserve-wheels
  • + 1
 Look at the price on the SC wheels too. In Australia at least they are over $1000.00 dearer than some other options..
  • + 5
 "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. "

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.
  • + 5
 Look I get that carbon fire is expensive and difficult to work with with ... but 1500 for a set of wheels ? I bought a full fledged dh bike (used) for that money.
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 !
  • + 3
 Not sure why you got a down vote. Have an up from me. It really is completely, absolutely and unarguably ridiculous to spend that much money on wheels unless you are racing. Or a complete trail too. Or a dentist.
  • + 3
 The Turbine R is 50 grams heavier per set, is bulletproof and cost less than half. The rims are so tough that cutting tires is the problem not bending the hook. I have used/deformed tons of different alloy rims and my Rally R's have by far taken the most beating without damage. Some sort of tire insert is a must thought because the rim alloy is so hard snake biting the tire is a problem.
  • + 6
 Thats not a bad Price, lets see Wade do some demo videos for RF like Danny did for SC.
  • + 2
 Interesting. Race face has a pretty good reputation, builds a carbon wheel where the sides of the rims are 3 mm thick. They decided on the warranty (presumably) based on compromise of attractiveness to customers vs cost of returned wheels. The result is a 2 year warranty.

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.
  • + 2
 How does the warranty work? If you break a rim do you send the entire wheel back and you get a new one? Or do you just get a new rim and it's up to you to get it laced up to the hub of your broken wheel? Also, if anyone knows, is it the same for Santa Cruz? How does their 24 hour replacement work? Do you just get a new rim or do they send you a brand new wheel?
  • + 9
 If you break a rim you send the wheel back, and if the hub is still in good shape they'll lace up a new rim to it. But if your bearings were toast too they'd replace those.

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."
  • - 18
flag properp (Oct 24, 2017 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: let me know your opinion of the warranty on a carbon wheel when you break it in the middle of a race. Carbon and warranties LOL
  • + 15
 @properp: How would that be different from breaking an aluminum rim in the middle of a race?
  • - 8
flag properp (Oct 24, 2017 at 10:11) (Below Threshold)
 @seraph: that's never happened to me so I cannot answer
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer: "At the discretion of Race Face," seems like that phrase could be a concern.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: How long is that going to take, especially if you dont live in canada.
  • - 1
 @seraph: the difference would be in my pocket book I can buy a stack of aluminum hoops for what the cost of one carbon fiber environmental polluting crap
  • + 2
 @CM999: Going on how long it took to get my Next SL cranks repaired in Spain - about a month.
  • + 2
 @skelldify:
Why? The options presented are Repair or Replace, not Repair or Replace or GFY
  • + 3
 I wish this "no-questions-asked guarantee" also applied to all the SixC handlebars that snapped (mine included). The experience of claiming the warranty was so excruciating that I will probably never buy RaceFace again.
  • + 2
 At least if I build up some light bicycle rims on dt swiss or hope hubs I have good hubs left after I destroy the carbon rim. And the non raceface setup costs way less. When I destroy these rims I am left with shit raceface hubs.
  • + 1
 Im not sure I see the point. If spend half the price on the alloy ones that only weight 50 grams more. If you then need to put a cushcore ore similar system into the carbon ones to protect them you have negated the weight advantage so what are you paying for?
  • + 4
 2 year warranty? It'll still be under warranty when a new "standard" comes out.
  • + 1
 So the real question is, are these available yet? As soon as the Next R collection came out, I wanted to spec it all on my Wreckoning, and none of it was available until '18, even though Next R ads were run on every website and in every magazine. I had emailed RF to ask what's the point of advertising something I can not get for months? I told them to save their ad dollars until they were available. I'm still waiting on Next R handlebars.
  • + 4
 1750 grams, pretty unspectacular in my opinion.

86 ct per gram however is pretty spectacular (for the seller).
  • + 1
 Once again guys, No Canadian MSRP listed... Canadian website, always listing only used msrp's. Come on.... Especially reviewing stuff for a Canadian company And before anyone days look it up, I did, RF doesn't have pricing on their website.
  • + 1
 USD*
  • + 2
 These look a good option. They're a slight upgrade from some of the cheap chinese carbon, and these will eventually be on clearance end-of-season for a lot less than MSRP...which is what makes them a winner in my book.
  • + 1
 Let's see... buy raceface carbons for $1500USD or buy Woven Carbon's for $1500 CAD.... decisions decisions.... both are using asian sourced hubs and rims laced up with spokes from somewhere else and assembled into complete wheels in Canada. So.... why exactly do I go with the ones that are 20% (just by mere exchange rate) more expensive exactly ?
  • + 8
 Or buy a set of We Are One Composites on Hope hubs for $1500 cad. Rims made in Canada and hubs made in the UK.
  • + 2
 @shirk-007: They should call that option the "commonwealth wheelset"
  • + 1
 i got second hand turbine r and there just awesome !! it is easy maintenance just set the spoke tension one time this year and i ride every week! carbone will prevent flat spot and dent until they brake! if i had moneys i take those rim but i am perfectly fine with aluminium
  • + 2
 Or you can buy three pairs of aluminum wheels, which would actually perform better as you would not need those silly inserts which eat up any weight advantages.
  • + 2
 How do you review a wheelset and not provide rim weights? Way more concerned with the rim weight way out on the end of that moment arm.
  • + 3
 This. Knowing the total and not the rim weight is very close to useless.
  • + 1
 Wouldn't touch these with a 30 foot pole. The use of 28 spokes and being straight pull is asking for reliability hell (read: they'll snap and you'll be shit out of luck trying to find replacements).
  • + 5
 Straight pull spokes are fairly easy to come by actually. They're readily available for order from various distributors. So figure out what length spokes your wheels take and order a few extras. Problem solved.
  • + 6
 @seraph: and if these are the same as Turbine R wheels, the rear wheel comes with 5 spare spokes (same spoke length front/rear & DS/non-DS.
  • + 3
 @clapforcanadaa: says in the article that they are all the same size and does come with 5 spares
  • + 3
 My deemax wheel ran 28 spoke front and I got 10 years out of them.
  • + 3
 All the guys complaining about the price, only dentists can afford them, blah blah blah... jealousy is a bad quality.
  • + 2
 yeah, I don't get it. Income earning isn't always a indicator of purchasing power. It is all about what you prioritize in your life. I do make a lot of money, but I am also in 6figure student loan debt and drive a 1999 Subaru Outback. I will splurge on some bike things like xx1 but that is my prerogative.
  • + 0
 Really don't see how anyone who isn't uber rich, pro/sponsored, or racing at a highly competitive level justifies buying carbon wheels. Most of the people I see running them are "throw money at my lack of fitness or skills" type folks.
  • + 0
 I don't get all the difficulty with mounting and unmounting CushCore. I have seen reference to it multiple times, but I can change a tire with my CushCore setup in less than 10 minutes. It takes maybe an extra minute or two vs a non CushCore setup. Maybe nobody has watch the instructional video?
  • + 2
 Good review! I'm a big raceface fan tup these would be perfect for my Evil Wreckoning project this winter !!!! @theminsta @BakerDusty @turco999
  • + 2
 it's gotta be tough selling the 1500$ wheelset with a 2yr guarantee when SC is selling their wheelset for 1599$ (w/ dt350) and a lifetime guarantee.
  • + 3
 Except you can only get SC Reserve wheels in boost spacing, and you can get these in regular 15x100 and 12x142.
  • + 1
 @seraph: swap the hub yourself make up the price dif with selling the boost hub..
  • + 1
 "or forgot that you left your front wheel sitting behind your car when you drove away from the trailhead."

Wait, what? They will cover that scenario too? Or is that a check to see if people are reading the article?
  • + 2
 They say they will - it's "no questions asked."
  • + 11
 Consumer: Hello RacFace? I left my front wheel in a parking lot. Could you please send me a new one?
RaceFace: Sure. What's your address?
Consumer: A-HA!! Busted!! The warranty says "No questions asked"!
  • + 1
 I had plenty of experience with Raceface/Easton's warranty service, and it was mediocre-to-crap. No way I'd buy carbon wheels from them.
  • + 1
 so does that mean that if I put let say some King Hubs on the wheels and thus reducing the shell body size of the hub would that make them less stiff? Would it void warranty?
  • + 2
 When these break good luck. Raceface has the WORST customer service in the industry.
  • - 1
 I'd like to see a side by side review of the appropriately priced carbon wheels out there. We Are One Composites, Santa Cruz, Bontrager, and these? I'm currently on the fence between the We Are One and Santa Cruz, but would love to hear a performance comparison between them all.
  • - 1
 We are one.
  • + 1
 Why the front hub is oversized on the disc side?
Once this question answered, why the rear hub is oversized on the cassette side?
Once answered, repeat question 1.
  • + 1
 @fracasnoxteam: one reason is to enable the spokes to be equal length. Other reasons are mentioned in the article.
  • + 2
 RF warranty department - suks; the only reason not to buy products from them;
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer how much do you weigh?
  • + 2
 I’m a whopping 160 pounds.
  • + 0
 One look at that hub has me seeing I9 tech.
These west coast guys seem to be biting the same style also www.tairinwheels.ca
Vault/Shogun/Torch ... all the same???
  • + 3
 Tairin just uses a standard hub design and pawl design they are j hook spoke hub not straight pull. i9 uses multi-toothed pawls which are part of the Freehub body and they run straight pull. The vaults is reversed it's got the pawls in the hub body. So I'm gonna say all of these are pretty different. I think that's what you were trying to get at... Or I just missed completely what you were saying haha
  • + 3
 @2bigwheels: great explanation, thanks! Don't read a book by its cover I suppose. Cheers
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels: actually the Tairin hubs use toothed pawls.

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.

www.tairinwheels.ca/our-hubs
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: True I just meant more the design in a whole. and as I said I wasn't sure if he was getting at more just the whole unit and the look or a specific part kind of thing.

Do you know if the replaceable ratchet ring needs a special tool to be removed?
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels: I believe I9 also offers J-bend for builds without I9 spokes/rims
  • + 1
 I hope they hold up better than the damn Next SL cranks, I have broken 2 sets on my single speed...
  • + 1
 ...and a gurantee that is on the box...if its not on the box, its not a garantee.
  • + 1
 J bend spokes, 'proper' hubs, rims of your choice built by a person; sorted!
  • + 1
 I just sat on my bike and both wheels tacoed...I'm 600lbs. tho...!
  • + 1
 $1500 is not bad but Santa Cruz - lifetime replacement.
  • + 1
 What are the best tires for these wheels. Minions? Razz
  • + 0
 Lets hope these rims are stronger than their Arc30 rims.. I think Arc30s are made from tinfoil and not aluminium
  • + 6
 Your tinfoil IS made from aluminum!
  • + 0
 @bogey: my tinfoil hat is aircraft grade government protection
  • + 3
 @browner: mine is carbon reinforced aluminum.

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.
  • + 0
 finally,...some more expensive wheelset choices for people riding more expensive bikes
  • + 1
 Will time be available to buy separately?
  • + 1
 *rims
  • + 1
 Soon as the 20% off sale starts I’m game
  • + 1
 damn i already ordered wheels, hope hubs ex511 rims......hehe
  • + 1
 impressive, impressive, impressive.
  • + 1
 The only things that should be carbon on a mtb...are the tires.
  • + 0
 Am I the only one that hates the branding "NEXT"
  • + 2
 Yes - it was initially invented for their cranks, as when they break you just order the "NEXT" one...
  • - 1
 make them USD 800 and I'll give it a try.
  • - 3
 Why arent they free?!!
  • + 6
 这个问题很严重
  • + 4
 @MTB86: good point can you elaborate?
  • + 2
 Freewheels are better than fixies but it's an ongoing debate among some.
  • - 3
 Vault - The bloated dog tick of hubs.
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