Novatec Diablo wheelset£470.00

Multi-axle trail hoops

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Novatec are a top-end Taiwanese brand and the Diablos are tough, tight multi-axle trail wheels. They’re not cheap though.

The 25mm rims have taken some big hits without any damage but tyres over 2.35in definitely felt pinched.

Silver spokes either side of the valve make finding it easy when you puncture though, and the Polyax locked nipples keep the wheel feeling tight and accurate even when you put serious mileage into them.

Novatec supply a box of four different axles for 9/15/20mm front and quick-release/12mm rear compatibility as well as wheel bags and spare spokes.

Their weight is relatively high and reaction speed low for a narrow wheel at this price though, and the loose-fitting adaptor end caps are a pain.

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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