Novatec Blast mountain bike wheelset review£399.95

Attractive ready-mades

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Joytech are one of the biggest Far Eastern wheel manufacturers, and Novatec is their upmarket brand.

The Blast uses an alloy rim – not the 2X2 model’s carbon hybrid – and 24 Sapim Race straight-pull spokes keep weight light, if not exceptional, for a cross-country setup.

The Polyax locking nipples keep the wheel tighter and truer than we would expect for a reduced spoke wheel.

Add a firm connection from the broad alloy bodied hubs and there’s feedback and accuracy to play with on the trail, though we’d be wary of punishing them. Smooth Japanese cartridge bearings with metal contact seals provide a nice finish.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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