Superstar Pacenti Tesla Ultralight wheels £259.99

Cheap, customisable mountain bike wheelset

BikeRadar score 4/5

The lengthy name given to the Superstar Pacenti Tesla Ultralight wheels breaks down like this: direct-sale specialists Superstar make them, Tennessee-based Pacenti supply the rims and the hubs are Superstar’s own Teslas. The Ultralight bit is because Quitelight doesn’t sound as good. 

Pacenti TL28 rims are excellent for trail riding, with a 23mm inside diameter that creates a wide, stable profile for 2.35in trail tyres. At a claimed 380g the rims are light, but thanks to that 28mm outside width they’re strong enough to withstand the rocky beatings we’ve given them. They’re stiff too, offering impressive precision through berms, compressions and over the angriest of roots. 

They’re tied to the Superstar Tesla hubs with Sapim’s butted D-Light spokes, and the build remained tight and true in those eyeletted rims during the test period. In our experience, Tesla hubs run trouble free, only eventually getting a bit dry and noisy – chucking in a new set of sealed bearings solves that. 

The rear hub has 60 points of engagement for a pickup rapid enough that you never notice it. It freewheels with a clicking that’s quieter than Hope’s clockwork chainsaw impression but still useful for warning ski-pole waving wanderers that you’re coming. 

The spokes run on brass nipples – also from Sapim – that are heavier but less prone to seizing or stripping than aluminium ones. The whole lot comes in at 875g for the rear and 871g for the front. That overall tally of 1,746g is great for wheels of this ability and price. 

The Tesla hubs accept adaptors for every size of axle; you specify what you want at purchase, while spares are available separately. The hubs are also available in six colours besides black for no extra charge, and the TL28 rims come in 27.5in (650b) and 29in as well for total versatility. 

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

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