Today, Race Face are launching their Aeffect R Alloy wheelset. I've been fortunate to have had my hands on a set for the last couple months, logging hundreds of miles on them to see how they fare.
The Aeffect R was designed by Race Face to be a solution for riders in search of a reliable option for aggressive trail riding that isn't overly expensive. The wheelset uses a 6069 alloy rim with a 30mm inner diameter laced to their Trace hub via standard J-Bend spokes.
The hubs and rims can be bought individually, and the wheelset is available in both 27.5" and 29" versions. There is also a wheelset with a more e-bike friendly rear hub. The Aeffect R 29" wheelset tested here weighs 2,000g and sells for $599 USD.
Aeffect R Details
• Size: 29" / 27.5"
• Intended Use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Hub: 28h; 4 pawls, 36 POI / 10-degree engagement
• Driver options: SRAM XD, Microspline, HG,
• 30mm internal width
• Weight: 2000 grams; 925f, 1,075r - with tape/valves (confirmed)
• MSRP: $599 USD (as tested)
The Trace front hub is a 15x110 Boost-only option, while the the rear hub is available in 12x148 or 12 x 157mm spacing, with Micro Spline, XD, and HG freehub bodies available. Both hubs use 6902 cartridge bearings. The hub has 10-degree between engagement points, a steel axle, along with oversized J-bend spoke flanges. Swapping out freehub bodies is a simple tool-free process and takes all of thirty seconds, if you take your time.
The 28-hole, 6069 alloy rim has a 30mm inner diameter and 20mm depth, and is laced to each hub with a three-cross pattern. There's 4.5mm of offset to allow even spoke tension. Speaking of spokes, Race Face includes 5 spares with the wheelset so the stick you find mid-ride doesn't end your weekend.Performance
Out of the box, the Aeffect R30 rims come set up for tubeless tires. I have used a couple of different sets of tires throughout testing, starting with a used set of Maxxis Minions and then switching over to Michelin's Wild Enduro treads as the leaves started to fall. Both sets of tires mounted up with minimal effort and with a floor pump.
Many of the wheels I have been riding over the last few months have had quick engaging hubs and carbon rims, along with weights that are several hundred grams less than the Aeffect R30. With those lighter weights and more click click clicks in the hub comes a price that is on average three times what these wheels cost. Did I notice a difference? Of course. Did it matter? Not really.
At 2,000 grams, the weight of the Aeffect R30's is respectable for a tough aluminum wheelset, and in line with other contenders in this price bracket. The wheels felt solid and sturdy, without being too
stiff and jarring - exactly what you want from any wheelset. As far as durability goes, I had several suspension-bottoming rim strikes while bombing through leaf covered rocks, some of the hardest hits I've given wheels in some time, and the rims suffered no damage whatsoever. No dents, no broken spokes, no flat spots, nothing.Price & Weight Comparisons
Compared to several other alloy wheelsets, the Aeffect wheels are an attractive option. The Crankbrothers Synthesis E wheels are also $600, but the hubs don't offer nearly the same engagement, at 17-degrees, compared to the Aeffect's 10. Plus, they're heavier by 72 grams. The Stan's Flow EX3 wheelset is 150 grams heavier and costs $99 more, with the same engagement.
Industry Nine's 101 Enduro S wheelset has a quick 4-degrees of engagement and is 100g lighter but comes in at $150 more than the Aeffect wheels. One outlier is Hunt's Trail Wide wheels which boast 4.3-degrees of engagement, weigh 1,832g and sell for $449 USD, although they are built a little more towards all-around trail use than heavy enduro hits.
Good ride quality+
Not the lightest, but on par for the pricepoint