Nukeproof Generator All Mountain II Wheelset Review

Sep 10, 2009 at 11:44
by Alasdair MacLennan  
Many years ago, back in the haze of purple anodizing, 20" handlebars and custom lightweight parts courtesy of your Black and Decker, Nukeproof were a company well known for their high end trickery such as carbon bodied hubs. It's doubtful that many would remember those products but Nukeproof over the last few years have been reborn (thankfully less the purple) and are back in the fold with some very neat kit, including the wheels we have on test here. These are their factory offerings which are made up with several parts from the collective Nukeproof stable to produce a capable, light, and all importantly well priced set of hoops. We've had this pair on test for over six months now, opting to give them a good pounding before coming to any conclusions. After all, it's easy to get something feeling good out of the factory but far harder to have it feeling the same after a season of abuse.

Extensively tested over the course of the 2009 British race season, read on to see how we thought they coped:Words: Alasdair MacLennan, Pics: Ian MacLennan

Nukeproof Generator All Mountain II wheelset

Nukeproof Generator All Mountain II wheelset

Front Hub - Disc Side

Front Hub - Disc Side


Now I'm not known for being light on rims. Never have and doubtfully ever will be. So much so that for the same set of rims to be attached to any bike of mine for more than six months is something of a rarity. Some start to fail from the off whilst others just slowly die in a grave of flat spots and torn out eyelets. For years, the pick of the bunch has always been the Mavic 721/521, and before that the old 121, but these haven't been updated in years and the competition has since caught up with some fantastic products. One of these companies is Sun Ringle. Whilst they have been making rims for years, they finally seem to have a credible alternative to the venerable 721 in the shape of the MTX29. Disc only, reasonable in weight at 570g and create a tyre profile similar to that of the 721 thanks to their internal width being 22.5mm vs. the 21mm of the Mavic (Mavic use internal width to name rims, Sun external). So they seem to tick all the boxes but how do they stack up once ridden in anger? Unfortunately, like the 721 these are only single eyeleted but whilst a shame, it doesn't seem to have hampered their strength as, despite plenty of abuse and a fair amount of spoke tension there is no hint of deformation or cracking around the eyelets and this is something Mavic's offering often fails to achieve.

Rear Hub - Drive Side

Rear Hub - Drive Side


The front rim is still straight although has obviously been re-trued several times as any wheel needs to be, has no dents and aside from the usual scrapes in the powdercoat that arise from uplifts, remains undamaged. The back however is a slightly different story. A number of dents are evident but, somewhat miraculously, no flat spots and having been in use since January with close to ten days of riding at Fort William, not to mention two races there and a week in France, that is some going – like I said, I'm hard on rims. The material does seem to be slightly softer than used on Mavic's but although this means they may dent slightly more readily, they don't puncture as readily either (partly the softer material, partly the wider bead which spreads the impact better). Being that bit softer, they are also easier to straighten back out without the sidewall cracking which can only be a good thing. Don’t let the thought of these dents put you off as I will dent anything; the rims are tough and most riders are unlikely to have any real issue with denting. They are light, have stayed straight and true despite plenty of abuse and don't puncture at the first opportunity. If you feel like a wider rim may suit you better then the MTX is also available in 31mm, 33mm & the massive 39mm guise. As MTX29's the rims are available in black and the pearl white you see here whilst as full wheels they come in either black or yellow with custom Nukeproof graphics.

Rear Hub - Disc Side

Rear Hub - Disc Side


The Generator hubs which lend their name to the wheel sets are neat and tidy at first look and things only improve from there. Despite a price increase in the UK since their release, they are still well priced as separate items at £55 for the front hub and £130 for the 150mm rear seen on test here. As well as the tested black, yellow hubs are also now available for that Deemax-esque look. Cold forged bodies and large flanges all round help maximize the wheel's strength whilst excess material is neatly machined away. Now, front hubs are generally pretty basic affairs no matter who they're from and this large flanged Generator is no different although a neat touch is to include both 20mm and QR adapters in the box. The two large 6805 bearings are pretty common too so replacements should be easy and cheap to come by. After six months of (ab)use these could now do with being replaced but that is pretty consistent with most other hubs I've used over the years and is no major issue when a new pair can be so easily replaced for less than £10.

MTX29 graphics

MTX29 graphics


In comparison, the rear hub is still running just as sweet as the day it was pulled from the box. With six cartridge bearings to spread the load you would be forgiven for expecting noticeable drag but that is not the case. In fact, when spinning it all in your hand, drag is the last thing that comes to mind. Two bearings sit on each side of the hub body with a further two inside the anodized aluminium free hub body. In reverse to most, the subtle sounding 30 tooth steel ratchet is mounted on the freehub with the pawls and mini leaf springs mounted inside the main body. It's neat, tidy and well sealed, despite regular abuse from the pressure washer (the British summer is inevitably a wet affair), the grease is remarkably uncontaminated and the bearings still spin as smoothly as ever. In fact, they have been pretty much trouble free all year. The only slight niggle is that the threaded end caps have come lose on occasion. Although it would appear to be quite common having spoken to several other riders using these, it's also easily sorted with a dab of medium thread lock on each side and a nip from the spanner as, once that has been done, they don't come loose again.

No-Tubes rim strips fitted - review to follow!

No-Tubes rim strips fitted - review to follow!


As a package, these wheels are hand built with double butted Wheelsmith spokes and stainless steel nipples, coming in at an actual 2196g which compares closely with the claimed 2160g and as a result you can see they've definitely not been on the pies. When box fresh the wheels were perfectly true and after several long days of riding they remained as such which goes some way to indicating that some pre-stressing has gone on in the background prior to their dispatch. Individually, all the parts here are very good indeed. Collectively, as a set of wheels, they work superbly. Good enough for the Chain Reaction team to run at World Cups, they are also light enough for trail center use where you still want something tough but also have to get the bike to the top without recourse to motorized means. Available in all black and all yellow, and with the three main rear hub sizes to choose from (135mm QR, 135x12mm & 150x12mm), there's bound to be something suitable in the range for the vast majority of riders out there. The previously mentioned MTX33's can also be spec'd on these hubs for a ready made wheelset option called the Generator Downhill compared to these narrower and lighter Generator All Mountain II.

Still going strong

Still going strong


Current UK pricing:
Nukeproof AMII wheelset £300
Rear hub: 150mmx12mm £130
Front hub: QR/20mm £55
Sun Ringle MTX29: £55
hotlines-uk



41 Comments

  • + 9
 Ali,

I'm still running Nukeproof carbon hubs on my Balance 24" BMX cruiser from way back in 1996.
  • + 8
 wow! lol
  • + 2
 My generator hub I got about 6 months ago has only had about a 10 rides on it and i already have made a flush ring where the 3rd sprocket is supposed to go on the freehub. They are made of cheese! I wonder if I could find a different freehub that would fit because the sound and stiffness feels good.
  • + 2
 Thats the same with any hub with a Alu freehub, they cut notched and cut very easily.
  • + 1
 It would be nice if they had another option for the body with something a little stronger.
  • + 1
 + 1 on carbon hubset Love em
  • + 1
 hope do a steel option on there hubs. there alu ones are the same they cut in. good luck.
  • + 1
 my mate has the same problem on his free hub.. also rounded off.. at the last sprocket..
  • + 2
 Hope technology hubs rule, i have been using then since they started so all this rubbish about they are not reliable is crap. My mate had a 8 year ols Ti glide hub which had a hub shell cracked. any other company would have told him to sling it. But not Hope, they sorted out a new one and re built it.. thats product belief right there.. And yes i do ride and ride hard in crappy conditions. Not like all this dust rubbbish in the states. And i am still running Hope pro 2 hubs now, and would not change them for a fancy namby pamby blingtastic company who claims there hubs are the best...
  • + 1
 I need my Rims changing asap i used to run EX721 and i thought they were very nice to ride and pretty light and strong but i keep toying with the idea of getting some Nuke Proof Generator Race Disc Rims but i can't decide. What do you guys think?
  • + 1
 great review, honest and direct without the usual huge amount of industry jargon straight from the company. I've recently started to pay attention to Nukeproof as a company and they seem very straight forward and to the point. I will be purchasing these on Friday to batter the bollocks out of during our good old English shit-fest winter.
  • + 2
 Ali, Great review, may consider those rims for next season, but I'll keep my now 9 year old Hope Bulbs ta
  • + 2
 I've been eyeballing these hubs on Chain Reaction for a while. Nice to finally get a review of them.
  • + 1
 I know a few people who have split the hubs into pieces though. be warned. hope pro 2's are lighter, slightly cheaper, stronger, and hope has an amazing returns/repairs thing going on!
  • + 11
 Pro2's are trendwhore hubs. There are many nicer hubs on the market, but all the kids don't know about them. I would take a NP over a Hope any day of the week, including blursday the day I invented last week so I could have a longer weekend.
  • + 4
 Pro 2's were a good exaple of a hub everybody knows, which have all the attributes that i listed above. Just because kids dig them doesnt make them any worse. Is your attitude of going against the flow and being 'different' not just a trend in itself? If its cheap and its good then why the hell not? thats what I say anyway. And yeah, I'd much rather rock some I9's, but we can all dream...
  • + 2
 hope hubs are the complete opposite of a 'tredwhore' hubs in my opinion , they are the reliable work horse of hubs ,not a single fault with them
  • + 2
 "Blursday" thats pure Gold! Can I use that?
  • + 0
 bunkey-How is prefering a product that is of a higher performance level going against the flow? They aren't cheap compared to the actual cheap hubs out there. 90% of the reason people like them is the colour options and the fact they are loud. Both of which are absolutely retarded reasons for buying a product.
bigburd-Are you kidding me? Go look at the DJ/street forum, go look at all the threads titled "what should I buy" and garbage like that... Every 12-17yr old out there thinks hope pro 2's are the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they aren't even THAT reliable compared to any other high end hub. Go do a bit of research and you'll find many cases of people have issues with them.
  • + 1
 And yes robc, you are more than welcome to use it. Wink
  • + 1
 cool beans!
  • + 4
 'And they aren't even THAT reliable compared to any other high end hub' Theyre also about half the price. I greased my rear Pro 2's freewheel to f*ck so that it'd shut up a little, I hate loud bikes, as do a lot of other people I know who have them. For a Pro 2's price/weight/reliability range, they're one of the best. I obviously hit a raw nerve or something when pointing out your go against the flow 'untrendy' trend, so I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. And yes, I too would rather have a high end hub, hence the reference to I9's, but unfortunatly I'm not a spoilt whistler kid, even my cheap 'trendwhore' Pro 2's took a lot of getting!

No harsh feelings Salute
  • + 2
 I see what you're saying, and your point is taken. BUT just to be the devils advocate here... If someone is spending 4, 5, 6 thousand dollars on a bike, why not spend a couple hundred more and get something just that much better. Especially with a rear hub, as they have more moving parts and take more abuse, it is important to have something that transfers your power into the wheel in the most efficient and reliable way possible. My main gripe isn't with the hub itself really, more so with the fact that many people consider it to be better than everything on the market.
  • + 2
 Yes I do agree with your last statement there. There seems to be a mass of people who belive it is the be all and end all. Much like the people with their Halo wheelsets, and their ideologies that a wider rim is just oh so much cooler. You do have a point.
  • + 2
 Find me a lighter, stronger, and cheaper hub than the Pro 2, and maybe you'll have a point. For bonus points, find one that is as easy and unnecessary to maintain, with as amazing customer service as Hope. They're not trendy in the way that Deity is. They're trendy because they're hands-down the best hubs in a very wide price bracket.
  • + 1
 "they're hands-down the best hubs in a very wide price bracket."...can you explain this is a little confusing...very wide price bracket?
  • + 2
 Yeah. Basically to get a better combination of user-friendly, light, strong, and good service, you have to get King or Hadley or I9. Which are significantly more expensive. So in my opinion (and that of others) the Pro II essentially rules the roost up until you get into thousand dollar hubsets.
  • + 1
 ok thanks...
  • + 1
 I'm sure the Pro 2's are a decent hub. Only reason I was looking at Generators was that I was looking for something with a slightly faster engagement than Pro2's but still in a reasonable price bracket.
  • + 1
 Im goin to have to get me a set of them. Razz
  • + 2
 some sick product.
  • + 1
 the name says it all , it really is nuke proof !
  • + 1
 i thot they were for all mounatin, but he was using for dh....
  • + 1
 You'll find a lot of weight conciouss downhillers use 'all mountain' branded rims to save weight. tbh theyre strong enough. Ive been running spank subrosa's for the past 2 seasons and ive only killed 2 rear rims and put maybe 2 flat spots in the front - which are easily pulled out.
  • + 0
 how exactly are you easily pulling out flat spots? Aluminum does not bend, it fails. Even if you can't see cracks they are still there. From my experience when I try to repair flat spots they end up looking worse and are definitely weaker than if I just left the flat spot alone. I run 40-42 PSI now and flat spots are a thing of the past. Manafacturers recommended PSIs usually start at 35psi for a reason. If you're under that and are getting flat spots blame yourself.
  • + 1
 Yes you are correct, pulling out flat spots does result in a weakened rim, but its better than the bead of the tyre popping out every time you land slightly squirly. I run about 35psi in the front, and 38-40psi in the rear. Im pretty hard on my wheels. Riding ft william every other weekend whilst the lifts are running doesnt axactly prolong the life of a rim! Razz
  • + 1
 yeah for sure though it has never happened to me...bill sounds fun too.
  • + 1
 YUM
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