Novatec X-Trail 2x2 Carbon Wheels £590

Lightweight carbon chic but extremely flexy and expensive

BikeRadar score 3/5

Novatec carbon-coat their hubs as well as their wheels for strength, but the performance still lacks moral fibre.

We’re still not convinced the carbon adds much stiffness, and with just 24 super-narrow, bladed straight-pull spokes, the Novatecs were very flexy – to the point where they’d warp and stumble noticeably under hard cornering. That said, we did manage to get the rear wheel back to almost perfectly round after properly crisping it mid-ride.

After they’ve survived a full winter, we’ve no mechanical complaints about the bearings or freehub either, and they even come with a lube port for easy refreshing. But all this carbon will definitely burn a hole in your wallet.

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