The big wheelers are coming and 2007 is seeing a flood of 29in parts, including wheelsets with wider rims to handle those ever fattening tyres hitting our shores.
At 28mm wide with a semi-deep disc-specific cross section, the Freedom 29er Disc ticks the right boxes, spreading out 2.3in rubber nicely with little side-to-side roll at lower air pressures. In keeping with the Halo ethos, this wheel is built with toughness in mind, using a traditional three-cross design with plain-gauge spokes for lateral stiffness and easy maintenance. The icing on the cake here is that the wheel also features reinforcing spoke eyelets.
The front wheel weighs 1.1kg and the rear weighs 1.38kg. I've been pounding both round the trails for the last month and they've yet to budge out of true. At their heart lies tried-and-tested cartridge bearing Spin Doctor hubs, and although they're quick release, the front wheel is compatible with a 20mm axle too, future proofing it for forks that'll be released later.
The fairly high weight means it's not for the lighthearted, but it will be welcomed by heavier riders who do aggressive cross-country riding. A 26in version is also available for the same price.