Novatec Diablo 29 wheelset £489

Big hoops for hard riding

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Diablo 29s may not be the lightest 29er wheels out there, but their solid build, consistent performance and reasonable price tag more than make up for the extra grams.

Novatec’s 23mm wide (internally), tubeless-ready Diablo rims get laced three-cross with 32 stainless, double-butted, J-bend spokes front and rear. The ‘4 In 1’ hub technology allows conversion between pretty much all the axle configurations out there, and swapping between them is easy, taking just a matter of seconds. There’s also the option of running an XD Driver Body if you’re running an 11-speed SRAM drivetrain, and switching this over is another easy-to-do procedure.

Our Diablo 29s saw their way through one of the wettest winters on record without skipping a beat. After months of hard abuse, the hubs remain free of play and continue to spin smoothly. Pick-up on the rear has remained sharp throughout and not once slipped under power.

As you’d expect from wheels designed for aggressive trail riding and enduro racing, and weighing in at 2,000g, they’ll take one hell of a pounding and offer that bit of extra reassuring stiffness over similarly priced, lighter weight alternatives. Even after numerous unforgiving, rock strewn downhill runs, ours are still running nice and straight, and we’re yet to ding a rim too.

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

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