On review is the new ethirteen TRS+ 26 inch All Mountain wheelset. Do these light, stiff and gorgeous alloy wheels deliver the benefits of carbon fiber hoops at a fraction of the cost?These wheels rip. Compared to a benchmark set of Stan’s Flow rims laced with DT Swiss 14/15/14 butted spokes on Hope Hubs, they’re stiffer, lighter, louder and ruder. Steering precision is noticeably improved. Tubeless setup can be a pain at first, but read on for a fix.
You never forget your first time
You’ll never forget your first ride on a brand new set of high performance wheels. Just picture it: heading for a tight left hand corner, you’re on the same familiar line you always choose, threading the trail between trees on the left and an ever present rain rut to the right.
Normally, Nike Free Run a slight correction with the handlebars would have little or no effect here. But this time on your new Stiff ‘N Lite wheels, you nudge the bars a bit and you’re Nike Roshe Run instantly flicked across the rut and onto a narrow sliver of trail on the far right side. You’ve never considered this thin strip of trail rideable at speed, yet your bike sticks Nike Free Run the line and safely jets you into the turn wider and faster than ever.
One ride and you’re hooked
Hoot and holler, ’cause you just fell in love with your stiffer, lighter mountain bike wheels. Now you understand why so many seasoned mountain bike riders choose wheels as the first component to upgrade.
It’s true: a set of premium wheels can transform a good bike into a really great bike. Lighter wheels accelerate quicker, sustain speed longer and go uphill faster. Stiffer wheels track more precisely, with less lateral deflection though rough or rocky sections and when landing from drops and jumps.
Stiff, light, cheap. Pick two
The trick, then, is to make wheels that are both lighter and stiffer. Naturally, carbon fiber wheels are the gold standard, offering superb strength to weight ratios, stiffness that’s off the charts and a price tag to match.
If spending $2,000+ on wheels is hard to justify to yourself (or a non riding spouse), there are more realistic options out there for riders seeking the benefits of lighter and stiffer wheels. While not exactly cheap, an alloy wheelset in the $1,200 range will provide noticeable improvements to any mountain bike equipped with OEM wheels.
Minimum 21mm internal rim width to support a 2.2 2.4 size tireHubs must be convertible to fit all common axle/dropout configurations
Does ethirteen have your number?
One option that’s relatively new to the market comes from the folks at ethirteen: the TRS+ wheelset. Designed and built for the Enduro and All Mountain rider, the ethirteen TRS+ wheelset is bristling with so much engineering, their poor marketing person must have worked double overtime creating names for the myriad features.
Forget marketing speak. The TRS+ wheels check all the boxes, with a couple of footnotes that will be addressed shortly.