Shimano XT AM mountain bike wheelset review£389.98

All-mountain wheels

BikeRadar score4/5

Shimano’s XT wheels have been around for a while. The rims are Shimano’s unique design, and use reinforcing pontoons for the red anodised spoke nipples. They’re pretty much bombproof, and at 27mm wide they’ll handle reasonably big tyres fine.

They’re tubeless compatible too. Most importantly, they’re impressively strong and despite only having 24 spokes, every set we’ve tried has stayed straight despite serious beatings. The straight-pull plain gauge spokes mean they steer okay and the freehub picks up quickly under power.

The cup-and-cone hubs need regular checking and regreasing to keep them sweet though. They only come in a 20mm front/quick-release rear Center Lock rotor version, although six-bolt adaptors are available.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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