Carbon Cycles eXotic 26in carbon matrix wheelset review£499.00

Affordable carbon hoops

BikeRadar score2/5

Carbon Cycles’ disc-only eXotic wheelset certainly looks the part. A minimal 24/28 spoke count shaves grams, while the mating of carbon and alloy in one rim through what they call the ‘Matrix process’ is purported to maximise weight loss while increasing stiffness.

At 1,820g – with rim tapes but not skewers – our test pair were in excess of the claimed combined weight of 1,698g. An initial spin in the jig revealed a reasonable build with even tension and roundness.

The relatively light weight kept things rolling along nicely, but the rims suffered several crimps and dents during a single month’s worth of plain vanilla trail riding.

We didn’t find them discernibly stiffer than other carbon or alloy-rimmed wheels we’ve tried, either, although your tyre choice and the pressure you run obviously affects the feel of any wheelset greatly.

Servicing of the three-pawl freehub is quick and easy, with a handful of hex keys allowing access to the innards of both hubs. You’re likely to be delving in there often, though, because the end caps have no seals and the cartridge bearings alone aren’t up to the job of keeping out winter cack for long.

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