Cole Brontes XC Lite mountain bike wheelset£249.99

Reliable and affordable

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Cole’s entry-level wheels are reliable, but at just under 2kg, ‘XC Lite’ doesn’t describe their weight – not for the price anyway. The mid-depth rims don’t have eyelets but they’ve have taken some serious rock slaps without complaint. While they’re not as outrageously rigid as Cole’s more expensive straight-pull wheelsets, the bladed J-bend spokes keep tension well and track okay. 

Other Cole wheels we’ve used long-term are still going strong, the axles are switchable via different end caps and the wheels also come with a padded wheelbag, which is fancy for the price. The 19mm internal rim limits wider tyre choice though. They’re not tubeless-compatible unless you add an aftermarket seal strip and valve kit either.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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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