e*thirteen TRS Race Carbon 29er wheels review£1,298.00

Responsive, accurate and tough big wheels from e*thirteen

BikeRadar score4.5/5

We’ve been hammering e*thirteen’s TRS Race Carbon 29er all-rounder wheels for a long while now and they’ve proved an impressively durable and versatile performance upgrade. They're certainly not cheap, but it’s a lot less than you might expect to pay for a pair of carbon wheels from an aspirational brand like e*thirteen.

The carbon rims are ‘only’ 27mm wide (internal) but they’ve got no hook to crimp the tyre inwards, so they effectively shape and support like a hooked 30mm rim. The unique two-piece e*thirteen tubeless valves are a sheer joy to fit — they screw together internally for a guaranteed secure seal, rather than making you fight with leaking external collars like every other valve out there.

The rim build and triple-butted spokes mean they’ve never felt jarring or stuttered over rocky terrain

The smoothly curved pre-taped rim profile has inflated and sealed easily, and instantly, with every tyre brand we’ve tried and held firm even when we’ve been ripping them sideways at low pressures. And it’s not just the rims that are carbon — the central drums of the massive hubs are too, keeping them usefully light despite their size and stiffness.

The big hub flanges mean shorter, wider angled spokes for precise and surefooted cornering and tracking feel. An ultra-quick six-degree pick-up gives instantaneous power transfer through the fat hubs and short spokes that makes the wheels pop and accelerate as if they’re much lighter than their 1,800g (820g front, 980g rear) weight.

The rim build and triple-butted spokes mean they’ve never felt jarring or stuttered over rocky terrain like some super-stiff wheels can. We’ve never had to touch the spoke tension or use any of the spare spokes supplied, and the rims themselves are still structurally rock solid despite a lot of cosmetic scuffs and scratches that show just how hard we’ve been riding them.

The impressive structural performance of the e*thirteens is no surprise, but the great news is that their previously poor mechanical reliability has been massively improved with new lipped V-seals and a grease, rather than oil, lubed freehub. That means the bearings are still spinning sweetly even though other cosmetic bolts on the bike have rusted badly.

They have a no-questions-asked one-year bearing guarantee and a five-year materials and workmanship warranty if you do manage to find worse conditions than us. There are also 650b and 29er versions in either QR and 15x100mm and 12x135/142mm convertible or 110mm and 148mm Boost fit.

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: 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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