Race Face Turbine R Wheels - Review

Oct 3, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  
Race Face Turbine wheels

From a distance, Race Face's new Turbine R wheels don't do much to attract a second glance. Devoid of any flashy 'look how much money I spent' logos, the aluminum rims' stealthy flat black finish keeps them flying under the radar. Take a closer look, though, and more details emerge that make it clear these aren't a set of run-of-the-mill wheels. The hubs for instance – they're massive, with a flange diameter that's almost as wide as a beer can, and a quick, 3-degrees between engagement points. The rims aren't anything to scoff at either, with a 30mm internal width and a 4.5mm offset that allows for a zero dish front wheel and an almost-zero dish rear.

Race Face Turbine R Details

• Size: 27.5" (29" option available)
• Intended use: trail, all-mountain
• Internal width: 30mm
• Rim material: 6069 aluminum
• 28 spokes, 3x pattern
• Weight:1730 grams; Front: 810 grams, Rear: 920 grams
• MSRP: $1120 USD
www.raceface.com / @raceface
Available in 27.5” and 29” sizes, the Turbine R wheelset retails for $1120 USD (front: $480, rear: $640). Both Boost and non-Boost options are available, along with a variety of front hub end cap options to accommodate different axle dimensions. Our 27.5” wheelset weighed in at 1730 grams, including the pre-installed rim stripes and valves.


Race Face Turbine wheels
Race Face Turbine wheels


Vault Hubs

At the heart of the Turbine R wheelset are the new Vault hubs. Race Face chose to go with an oversized aluminum shell in order to increase the lateral stiffness of both wheels (in general, shorter spokes create a stiffer wheel). The increased driveside flange diameter is also said to increase torsional stiffness, a factor that's become even more important given the number of wide range cassettes on the market. This isn't the first time we've seen oversized hub shells used – Chubb / e*thirteen's design uses a carbon shell bonded to aluminum flanges – but the design does stand out among the other less girthy hubs on the market.

All of the bearings in the hub are the same size (6902), a little detail, but one that's always welcome to see when it does come time to install fresh bearings.

Removing the endcaps and pulling off the XD driver (a tool-free process) reveals guts of the Vault hubs: 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 when they engage with the 60-tooth driver body the hubs have a very quick 3-degrees between engagement points.


Race Face Turbine wheels
Six spring-loaded pawls reside inside the hub shell.
Race Face Turbine wheels
Thanks to the offset pawls and 60-tooth driver body the hub has only 3-degrees of motion between engagement points.

Rims

Rims widths have grown wider over the last few seasons, and these days an internal width of 27-31mm seems to be the sweet spot for running 2.3” - 2.5” tires without adversely affecting the tire profile. The Turbine R rims hit the mark, with a 30mm internal dimension and a 20mm overall height. The rims are constructed from 6069 aluminum, a material that was chosen due to its increased impact resistance over the more commonly used 6061 aluminum.

28 straight pull spokes are laced to the Vault hubs with a three-cross pattern, and due to the offset rim design all of the spokes measure 284mm. That offset rim design puts the spokes 4.5mm closer to the non-drive side, which helps even out the tension difference that typically occurs with a non-offset rim. Five spare spokes are included with the wheels, and if for some reason you managed to wreck a rim, maybe while channeling your inner Josh Bender, Race Face offers replacements for $150.



Race Face Turbine wheels
The aluminum rims are offset by 4.5mm to reduce the difference in spoke tension on each side of the wheel.
Race Face Turbine wheels
The rims come with tape and valve stems pre-installed in order to make tubeless setup even easier.


Performance

Getting the Turbine R wheels set up tubeless didn't pose any problems, and I was able to get a 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF WT and a 2.35” e*thirteen TRSr mounted up without breaking a sweat. A few scoops of sealant and some time with a floor pump was all it took before they were ready to roll.

The wheels that I had on before switching them out for the Turbine R were nearly the same weight, so the swap didn't make it feel as if I was being carried up the trail on the wings of angels or anything quite that drastic. At 1730 grams they're not radically light, but that's still a very reasonable weight for a set of aluminum-rimmed wheels, especially ones aimed at aggressive riders.

While the weight may not have been instantly noticeable, the Vault hubs' quick engagement was. There's virtually no lag when starting from a standstill, and in slow speed technical sections it only takes the slightest amount of backpedaling before the pawls lock into the drive ring. I never experienced any skipping or slipping, and after months of use the area around the pawls is still free of any grit or grime.

Wheel stiffness can be difficult to gauge, especially when you add wide tires into the mix, but the Turbine R wheels certainly aren't flexy noodles. They felt reassuringly solid, and during hard cornering or landing healthy size drops and jumps there wasn't any unwanted flex or unnerving noises, and all the spokes have stayed well tensioned.

The Vault hub's engagement mechanism does seem to cause slightly more drag than other designs. I never noticed it on the trail, but if I gave the wheel a spin it would stop rotating a few seconds sooner than a DT Swiss 240 or a Chris King. I performed this experiment with the brake caliper removed and the same tire on both wheels in order to control the variables as much as possible. I wouldn't say it's a huge deal, but it is a trait worth mentioning.


Views: 8,256    Faves: 5    Comments: 5

What about hub noise? Despite having six pawls, the sound of the Vault hubs when freewheeling wasn't as loud as I'd expected. It still has the distinctive buzzing sound of a high engagement hub, but it's slightly muffled, as if the hub were spinning inside of a cardboard box. I'm personally not a huge fan of obnoxiously loud hubs, and for me, the Vault strikes a good middle ground – it's loud enough so that hikers or other riders will hear you, but not so loud that wearing earplugs seems like a good idea.


Durability

The Turbine R wheels have seen plenty of hard use, including shuttle laps on trails better suited to a DH bike, and the rims are still true and dent-free. There were certainly a few landings that I was sure would have a least left a ding or a flat spot, but so far, so good. The rims' flat black finish seems to hide scratches well, and there aren't any glaring reminders of close encounters of the geologic kind to be seen.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIt's a combination of features that makes the Turbine R wheelset a solid option for riders in the market for a new set of wheels. Wide, strong rims, a quick engaging hub, easily replaceable spokes, and a competitive weight all add up to a wheelset that should be capable of surviving even the hardest chargers out there. - Mike Kazimer



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128 Comments

  • + 86
 I just don't think that RF has the name recognition in wheels to command over $1100 for an alloy wheelset. That's I9 territory.
  • + 28
 Or any other proven combo from Hope, King, DT, Hadley, mavic .......etc etc.
Im also a big fan of running J bend spokes that can be got at any bike shop??
  • + 30
 I was thinking the same thing. For a bit more you can have I9s which are lighter, prettier, and I'm sure stiffer.

This type of product is likely aimed at OEMs. Folks look at the retail price of the rims not realizing they'll be on an online retailer the end of the year for 45% off.
  • + 12
 You can buy two sets of Roval traverse aluminum wheels with DT Swiss internals for the same price.
  • + 16
 @enrico650: you realize those "DT Swiss internals" will be a generic three pawl design right? f*ck roval wheels. Stupid lacing patterns and spoke counts.
  • - 5
flag Marcusthefarkus (Oct 3, 2016 at 23:28) (Below Threshold)
 Plus you get the bright and screamy loud i9 hubs, much better than these dull raceface hubs.
  • + 6
 It's not so much "name recognition" as the fact that they have never succeeded in producing any product containig bearings that hasn't been junk. How long have their bottom brackets had a reputation for being rubbish? X-Type ones were rubbish, Cinch ones are still rubbish.

Raceface do some things very well, but as you say, there's no way in hell I'd be handing over that kind of cash for a wheelset form them, when there are so many better, proven options out there.
  • + 20
 @Nobble:
I have ran numerous sets of Traverse SL's with the star ratchet internals with no problems and built up a few of Rovals 28H rims to hopes with J-bend spokes for set and forget wheels. I think people hate Roval because Specialized bought them. Personally I see the wheels they make as good value and find they perform well.
  • + 11
 @Nobble: Its not a generic three paw on DT's high end hubs it's there ratchet system which is what they use on the rovals as well pal....
  • + 9
 Only one way to get there. While I tend to agree on going for some I9's, I don't fault them for trying. In fact I encourage it, competition is always a good thing.
  • + 2
 @honourablegeorge: Couldn't have put it better myself, I have just had to replace the bearings on a Turbine cinch crankset after 6 months of dry use. The Shimano one on my other bike is untouched after 7 years.
  • + 7
 Isn't raceface and easton the same company? Easton wheels (ok their rims) are not a bad product.
  • - 6
flag bxxer-rider (Oct 4, 2016 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @onemind123: yes both owned by fox racing shox.

Plus anyone else think that setup had an unacceptable amount of drag? Poor brake setup most likely.
  • + 2
 @bxxer-rider: There you go, buddy!:

"The Vault hub's engagement mechanism does seem to cause slightly more drag than other designs. I never noticed it on the trail, but if I gave the wheel a spin it would stop rotating a few seconds sooner than a DT Swiss 240 or a Chris King. I performed this experiment with the brake caliper removed and the same tire on both wheels in order to control the variables as much as possible. I wouldn't say it's a huge deal, but it is a trait worth mentioning."
  • + 0
 @passwordpinkbike: alright fair enough, didn't have enough time on lunch break to read fully just skim. As a bike mechanic that much drag wouldn't be acceptable.
  • + 5
 My concern is the hubs being the product of the former people of Easton.
  • + 8
 I've been running the cheaper Aeffect wheels from them all season, and have been riding hard on them... These wheels are still perfectly true, no dings in the rim, and the hub still functions perfectly. I have high hopes for these new Turbines, they should be a good wheelset, and probably worth the price
  • + 0
 @rmalexan: I would love to say the same - My Aeffects have multiple flat spots (the alloy is to soft), had to be trued several times and after being use to I9 engagement these are barely acceptable. While these new wheels seem to address those issues if I'm spending $1000+ it's another set of I9's
  • + 1
 @Grmasterd: I'm sorry to hear that about your Aeffects. I suppose we'll just have to test the new turbines out and see. I agree with the I9's though, I love those wheels as much as the next guy
  • + 2
 @richsmithytfc: The aluminum rim rovals use DT Swiss 360 hubs, which are a 3-pawl design.
  • + 2
 @passwordpinkbike: This part of the article was surprising to me, cause compared to a 240, Kings have lots of drag.
  • + 1
 On top of it their previous attempt was underwhelming with a wheel that couldn't handle anything.
  • + 7
 Had same set of RF Turbine Cinch cranks on 2 bikes now and still on original bearings. 1st on an enduro, now on a Stumpy. Still smooth as new.
  • + 2
 @richsmithytfc: only the carbon wheels get the star rachet. OP was referring to the much cheaper aluminium ones. Even the wheels on the new 2017 Enduro pro are 3 pawl.
  • + 5
 @slowrider73: I am pretty sure with the number of hubs using straight pull spokes any good bike shop will now be stocking straight pull spokes in almost as many lengths as j bend, its not just mountain bike wheels that are using them it's also a lot of road wheels. Now if you were to make that argument about some of the propitiatory synergy, mavic, eason carbon spokes you may have an argument.
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63: You've got a point. And I'm no expert at selling mountain bike wheels but I would've thought they'd try to undercut I9 and Mavic a little more to penetrate the market a bit, but everyone does need to start somewhere.
  • + 4
 @DrPete: I agree with that. At this price there is no incentive to take a chance on a unproven design.
  • - 5
flag shfranken (Oct 4, 2016 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Nobble: @Nobble: Actually the "DT Swiss internals" means the wheel set has "Star Ratchet" technology which can be arguably better than any pawl system.
  • + 4
 @shfranken: no, it doesn't. It can also mean it has DT swiss' three pawl system inside. If you really want, I can post a picture to prove it
  • + 1
 @jdendy: Shit, they're no longer people? WTH did they do to them?!?
  • + 0
 @enrico650: Had those on my stumpjumper 2016, I thought they were great too until 400km spun the rear hub through its threads rendering it useless... Specialized to their credit warrantied it, but 300km later the same thing happened, built a hope rear hub on an easton rim, been stoked the last 1000km... Just recently the front wheel has been shedding spokes like a porcipine 1 or 2 every ride, soon they will all be replaced by proper fat spokes... Anyway anyone who is more than 200lbs avoid these rims/hubs...
  • + 1
 @slickwilly1: Yep I weigh about 200lbs. and I demoed those wheels. moved to Stan's EX Flow on DT Swiss hubs and never looked back. bomb proof.
  • + 1
 @enrico650:

You realize those wheels are crap, right? In the year i owned mine i needed to true them about six times and the bearings needed to be replaced. You have to pull the ratchet ring to pull the driveside bearing, FYI.

They had numerous dings on the exterior of the rims and they were super soft and noodly when riding. Yeah, they were only $600. Knowing what i know now I'd ride a set of stans wheels, mavic wheels or a built set of hopes on anything before i got another pair of traverse fattie ALs.

My i9 enduro 30.5s that replaced them are leaps and bounds better
  • + 1
 @enrico650: traverse are garbage when compared to the competition
  • + 1
 @jdendy:

Exactly. Gave an Easton Wheelset a shot. Regret doing it.
  • + 2
 @Nobble: @Nobble: You do realise those "DT Swiss Internals" will be the upgraded 36t star ratchet standard not a generic three pawl design right?
  • + 1
 @Callum-H:

No, it doesn't.

The aluminum wheels have a DT swiss 360 based hub. They're 3 pawl.

The carbon ones use the 36t star ratchet
  • + 2
 @Nobble: older alloy Rovals have a Star Ratchet. Newer ones are all 3 pawl.
  • + 1
 @mtnbykr05: and how does that help someone in the market for a new pair of wheels?

The current gen of roval wheels are not star ratchet unless they're carbon. It's bullshit marketing when they're specifically claimed "DT Swiss internals"
  • + 0
 @Nobble: welcome to specialies
  • + 2
 my I9 hubs sucked! They need too use a different bearing, and the noise is irritating
  • + 24
 The face when your idea of the total cost of an entire pretty good bike is now the cost of rims. Best never breaking anything.
  • + 16
 as much as i want to support local products, this is way too overpriced for aluminum wheels. If i ever spend that much on a wheelset just go carbon or Stans
  • + 6
 *wheels
  • + 1
 @adpeters82: *rims with hubs, nipples and spokes laced togheter.
  • + 3
 @viatch: Exactly, I think I'd just get Flow MK3's for about half that price. I'm sure you'll see these marked down to about that much within a year, but geez. $1100 for alloy wheels? I like the asymmetric rims, but not that much.
  • + 2
 @TucsonDon: or just relace with easton ARC 30 rims. done !
  • + 1
 @viatch: don't feel bad, they are not a locally manufactured product at all.
  • + 1
 @onemind123: i should say local brand...you get the idea. and i just realized easton and raceface are now sister companies so yeah.
  • + 14
 I simply do not get the proprietary wheelset idea (maybe I should earn more). Almost any of them have those 28 or 24 spokes - go find replacement hub or rim. They come with fancy spokes also, try find replacement spoke in the field. Sure, they are pretty, but first of all you need simple and reliable parts on your bike. At least if you intend to ride more then showing it.
  • + 7
 proprietary wheelset are pure evil/cash grab
  • + 3
 @nfa2005: I couldn't agree more. Couple years ago I bought a second hand DH without realizing the easton havoc wheels were full of proprietary junk. My jaw nearly hit the floor when the shop wanted $1.50 a nipple when I went to rebuild my rear wheel.

I will never roll with anything other than standard nipples and j-bend spokes. Blows my mind that Race Face asks and outlandish $1100 for these when you can get a set of ztr flows on hopes - arguably the best trail bike wheelset for the money available - for $600. Or the new hope enduro wheelset for $550.
  • + 3
 @bjam: Not to mention proven full carbon wheelsets direct from China (Light Bicycle, Nextie or Tandell) for $600-$800, some of which you can spec with high end hubs..... for way less than this.

I like the burly ass hubs though, but for this coin I'd spend a little more and just go i9.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: Or for just a couple hundred more, Nox Farlow rims on Hope Hubs or DT350
  • + 2
 @bjam: You wont get 120 point hub, 30mm internal width rims or asymmetric (re: stiffer) from hope/stans combo @ $600.

I do agree that the proprietary crap has to go...you can get all the benefits without the blatant cash cow that proprietary parts provide RF.
  • + 1
 @bjam: dam! ya thats balls but I'm glad you had the nipple available.

I got really juice up over these dura ace wheels. i have them still and stuck with now. my rim crack and is now discontinued, its so proprietary that i can't even order from a diff company. it really blows because the hubs and flat spokes are beautiful, though I had my dream wheelset so beautiful so dead now.
  • + 14
 Thanks for a including the sound of the hubs!
  • + 8
 And letting us see that drag! I've never seen so much
  • + 2
 @Uuno: That can be attributed to running larger bearings throughout on a new fast engagement hub. Won't matter when loaded and FKN AWESOME if you case jumps and smash in to stuff occasionally.
  • + 10
 I'll stick with my Chris King hubs built to Easton ARC 30s for $875 any day.
  • + 39
 Hope protec 4 on Stans Flow MK3. $600.
  • + 10
 Im running Hadleys on dt ex471. Might not win the width award but they're a tuff fast pair of wheels. ......
  • + 6
 Mavic en421 on speedtuned hubs $300.
  • + 4
 @panaphonic: EX471 on DT240S with supercomps: $700
  • + 26
 sun ringle rhyno lite laced to deore's; like 75 bucks.
  • + 1
 Actionsports.de built me this: Funworks hubs,Sapim Laser,Funworks 25mm rims,32 spokes.1650gr. 400€. Going string after 2 enduro seasons.
  • + 1
 *strong
  • + 4
 @adrennan: I rather walk with my bike than using Deore hubs.
  • + 0
 Nevermind.
  • + 2
 @passwordpinkbike: miss the joke?
  • + 2
 Mavic ex721 on hope pro 2 evo, about £400 5 years ago and still going strong after 3 summers in the bike park and the rest of the time in great british mud.
  • + 4
 @adrennan: hahahaha! I remember having this setup late 90's. Damn wheels were cheap back then!
  • + 1
 @adrennan: I wish you could still get Rhyno lites but you can't. If you know where can get a 26" 36 hole please let me let me know!
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: pretty sure halo still makes rims that meet that.
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Thanks for that! you can also get Sun MTX-33 26/36 which are OK but I still like the welded Rhynos. I bought the very last ones Outside Outfitters had.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Just logged into my shop's QBP account. "Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite XL Rim 26", 36h, Schrader, Black". They have 19 in stock in their Minnesota warehouse. Yes, it's a schrader valve, but hey. All else is what you're asking for, including welded joint (they also have the pinned joint version for cheaper in stock). They never quit carrying them as far as I know. Your local bike shop surely has an account with QBP.
  • + 1
 @tmargeson: I never considered QBP distro via LBS , duh. Thanks for checking!!!!
  • + 9
 $1100.00 for aluminum!... someone had to say it
  • + 2
 Looks good on complete bikes and when marked down 50% next october.
  • + 7
 I just figured out that you can purchase the classic stickers that come on ENVE wheels by themselves. That pretty much defeats the purpose of buying ENVE wheels.
  • + 7
 "there aren't any glaring reminders of close encounters of the geologic kind to be seen" - nice turn of phrase.
  • + 2
 turn of phrase i had never heard this expression in my life until monday last week, and now ive heard it at least 5 times since then so weird
  • + 9
 I'll pass
  • + 5
 Hmmm. Looks like a remix of a ten-year-old i9 hub. Hmmm. 6deg offset pawls to double engagement? Also lifted from the i9 playbook. What's new and awesome about these wheels??
  • + 3
 You would know.
  • + 2
 I had a turbine r (rear wheel) on my bike for about 6 months with tons of shuttling and some really rough terrain in Peru and Ecuador as well as bike park riding in oregon and they have been by far hands down the toughest rim I have ever had (never messed with carbon). The Bontrager Line Comp that came on the bike was dented so badly that it was impossible to get spoke tension on several spokes in a matter of rides. I put this on and my problem of denting rims all the time was gone. But with that came a new problem. Instead of the rim folding the tire will cut because these rims will not give. After 3 or more pinch flats (pinched tire, not tube) and next to zero visable damage to the rim, I started running an insert and they have been awesome since. I would say inserts are mandatory with these wheels. The hub has been incredible as well. After a sloppy muddy wet season riding a ton in Ecuador I recently pulled the hub apart to clear and lube the freehub and there was next to no gunk or grime in there. It was unbelievable. The only clean bearings on the whole bike I found during an overhaul were the ones in this wheel. Nearly same age bontrager front hub bearing are super dry and crunchy sounding. The vault hub is buttery smooth and freewheels better after the use. Did seem to freewheel not so freely at first but has broken in well. I have since sold the bike and bought a set of I9 enduro s's for the new ride and proceeded to fold the rim through the sidewall into the rim bed on the second ride completely destroying the tubeless seal. The i9 rim is like puddy compared to the turbine.
  • + 4
 I'll just stick with my $350 Azonic Outlaws. Sure, they weigh a ton. But those things are bombproof! Trued them once in 4 years of hard riding, and that's about it.
  • + 2
 Much as I like Race Face I gotta say this is pretty steep in price.

In the UK I can buy a set of hand built Hope Pro 4's on high end Spanks or even on Carbon / Carbon Kevlar rims for the same price or slightly cheaper.

I'm guessing they won't stay at that price for very long as off the shelf wheels. But if they do then someone ought to stop smoking the funny cigarettes.

I kinda like the look of the hubs but will stick to Hope (or some Chris King when I've sold my liver) for now
  • + 6
 The complaining is strong with this group.
  • + 1
 I've been riding these rims for over a month now, and haven't put them in my truing stand once. I'm the kind of person who destroys a wheel set in a couple of rides. I also love the vault hub because the noise isn't overwhelming and they have amazing Ingagement. On multiple occasions I have had that cringing experience of feeling your rim hit a root or rock, even after having these experiences my wheels have no dents and not even a scratch. RaceFace sent me extra spokes with this wheel set and I haven't used one of them, and don't plan to. If you blow up this wheel set you need something that a set of m90s can't offer at 2,000 plus dollars.
  • + 1
 "...The rims aren't anything to scoff at either, with a 30mm internal diameter and a 4.5mm offset that allows for a zero dish front wheel and an almost-zero dish rear..."

30mm internal diameter? More like 30mm internal width.

Not sure if we are ready for a 30mm wheel size yet...
  • + 17
 Had a set on a finger bike once. Held up awesome to the local sessions in the sink.
  • + 3
 They were trying to slip a new standard in without anyone noticing. You just blew that wide open!
  • + 13
 You're right - I meant width. 30mm diameter rims are for squirrels.
  • + 1
 Any concerns about the spoke choice? For AM use, 14/17 (2.0/1.5) are way light in a 28h build. I see they're using 14/15 in their Atlas version, seems like a better choice. Also puzzled that RF didn't use bladed spokes to help control twist in a straight pull hub. I've ordered a set but wondering whether to respoke them eg with DT Aero Comp (14/15 before blading).
  • + 2
 You could easily get a pair of Kings laced to flows at this price. Kings are undoubtedly going to last longer, normal spokes, higher spoke count, etc. So why?
  • + 2
 Or hope pro 4 to flows and then take the 500 you'll save and buy something else....or.....save it! Gasp!
  • + 0
 @ellingferd: Or ditch the hopes for White Industris, get freehub bodues made if metal, not cheese, better bearings, a nicer sound, longer reliability, and spend about the same!
  • + 1
 A lot of money for such a heavy wheel... I guess it depends on discipline used. Turbine used to represent Xc/Trail.. definitely on the more aggressive trail given weight and width. Look nicely built.
  • + 4
 Wish they were keeping a 26 inch wheel in the Raceface/Easton line up
  • + 7
 2nd. But not at $150 per rim... TG for Stans.
  • + 14
 26'er riders are not dropping 1k on flavor of the month straight pull 28 spoke unproven hub 150$ replacement rim bullshit.
  • + 4
 @rnm410: Race Face offers the ARC rims which retail at $100 for an option directly aimed at Stan's. Rims are offered in 24, 27, 30, 35, 40 and 45mm internal widths to fit anyone's need. Turbine R rim is only priced at $150 because it's the stiffest rim aluminum Race Face or Easton has made, so it's a premium level product.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the review. Question for the writer....do you think the drag you experienced could be new bearings and seals, which will go away after being broken in?
  • + 0
 You could buy a set of halo vapour wheels for £300 and they will do exactly the same job as these wheels that are nearly four times the price,absolutely ridiculous!you are paying for the name!I have always thought raceface stuff is expensive but this takes the piss!Il stick to my halo's thanks
  • + 4
 straight pull spokes. nightmare. ugh...
  • + 8
 Reasoning?
  • + 6
 @Kramz: Try working on straight pull spokes when the nipples are frozen due to corrosion (or due to thread locking compound, like it is standard on DT Swiss wheels! You are fecking joking me, right?!). The spokes just turn inside the spoke hole in the hub, because there is no J-bend to keep it from doing so. You have to have a vice grip on the spoke, just to loosen the nipple.* WTF?

Also, try getting the spokes when you don't have at least half a week left to wait for them. Good luck!

Straight pull is complete BS and has only been invented by the wheelmakers to lower production cost:
1. One less step in making the spokes themselves = cheaper
2. Hub shells are usually smaller in diameter, which makes the forged billet that is needed smaller. Also reduces the time on the CNC to get the hub. Look at traditional and straight pull hubs from DT Swiss to see what I mean. The RF wheelset here with the big diameter is a rare exception.
3. Wheelbuilding time is reduced when they are built in great quantities at a factory by lower level personnel. Its way faster to thread the spokes through the hub, they don't turn and twist inside the hole, etc. Watch the "Inside Cube" report on pinkbike, where they are building wheels out of DT Swiss straigt pull components.

Its a rip off.


*Disclaimer: This also does happen to regular J-bend spoked wheels, but it is the exception. With straight pull it is the norm.
  • + 15
 @theobviousfaker: Simply removing the bend in a spoke has nothing to do with corrosion/spoke prep and is not an inherent trait with a straight pull spoke...as you halfway point out. It's common in all nipple/spoke combos; J-bend spokes twist too.

Straight pull spokes were designed to eliminate the main stress riser in a spoke -at the bend. It's a better design from an engineering standpoint, not a conspiracy.
  • + 1
 @theobviousfaker: My wheelset uses bladed aero spokes. I have to use a pair of pliers or aero spoke tool to true my wheels. Everytime. I don't see how this is a particular problem for straight pull, as most high end wheels will use bladed spokes anyways.

Also most straight pull hubs I have seen are significantly more expensive, and I imagine that is because the spoke hole has to be precisely milled at an angle.
  • + 5
 @theobviousfaker: Did you read the article? Straight pull spokes provide more even tension = stronger wheel. The hub shell is larger than most hubs = shorter spokes = stronger wheel. Maybe your mechanics expertise are what should be questioned. It is very easy to apply a small amount of pressure to the spoke, to create friction which then causes the spoke to spin independently of the nipple.
  • - 4
flag rmalexan (Oct 4, 2016 at 8:08) (Below Threshold)
 @Broth-Ratchurch: You are right that straight pull spokes eliminate stress at the bend, but the reason for the switch is because mass-produced wheels have a different tolerance than hand built ones. Using straight pull spokes in mass produced wheels makes for a stronger, more durable wheel at lower tolerances. Hand built wheels that are at near perfect tension have no issue at the j bend
  • - 1
 @probikegeek: the preference for j-bend spokes doesn't come from the engineering side of things. I hate straight pull spokes because of their price, availability and their wretched tendancy to be proprietary to each brand. I can walk into about any shop and buy 64 j-bend spokes in the correct length if need be and still have money for some beer.
  • + 2
 @theobviousfaker: Unless you use I9 Torch, which don't have nipples...
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Oh yeah, well maybe you don't have nipples...
  • + 6
 @WasatchEnduro: Thanks for reminding me of that time I crashed riding shirtless.
  • + 3
 Coupled with the sound of tires scratching over hard pack that hub noise would make sweet trail music.
  • + 1
 Can all the $600 to $700 hope/DT flow/arc wheel build people please tell me where you can get wheels for that price? Are you doing the build your self?
  • + 1
 flow/hope for 570$ at Colorado cyclist now. 2 minutes of googling, you can probably do better.
  • + 2
 can't wait for the 20mm x 135 x 12mm
  • + 2
 Guys, I'm out of popcorn!
  • + 1
 A wheel review Yet no mention of tension situation Either before or after riding. Weak.
  • + 1
 Anyone recommend some decent, but not too expensive, dh 27.5 wheel sets?
  • + 1
 Where do you get the axle conversion kit parts? Can't find them anywhere.
  • + 1
 Never mind. Went with Onyx instead.
  • + 2
 pretty flossy
  • - 2
 No thanks...no RF on my bike

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