Evolutions of WTB’s cross-country wheels have been a common sight on complete bikes for years but now you can get them as a separate upgrade.
The cutaway ﬂange hub is a lightweight design that’s appeared under various names. The only thing protecting the cartridge bearings is ﬂoppy rubber lip seals, so it’s essential you keep them scrupulously keen.
The rim is comparatively soft and easily damaged too, although the 25mm width adds support – and therefore protection – to wider tyres.
The 32 double-butted spokes at either end keep them tracking well and they’re not a bad weight for a mid-width rim. But at just under £400, most shops could provide something a lot more durable for dirty weather.