29ers pretty much live and die by the quality of their wheels and Pro Lite has put some serious thought into its new Antero wheels. They’re a decent set mechanically but definitely more trail than all-mountain when it comes to their rims.
QR, 15 or 20mm front hub and QR or 142x12mm rear compatibility mean an easy fit on most bikes and an XD freehub is available for SRAM 11-speed setups. The only potential glitch is that the front hub design around the six-bolt mount means it won’t take Shimano two-piece, six-bolt rotors without a bit of filing. While the welded rim is easy to set up tubeless the relevant valves aren’t included like they are with most wheels at this price.
Despite a broad looking external face and the AM tag the actual internal diameter is only 21mm so treads wider than 2.2in/50mm feel pinched and slightly unstable at lower pressures. Twenty-eight straight-pull Sandvik butted spokes either end mean they’re only adequately rather than dramatically stiff when you start trying to take the fight to the trail. The internal I Beam rib means they’ve taken several months of rock descent beatings without bending or wobbling out of line though. Their strength is reflected in a 1987g weight for the pair, at least 100g heavier than most similar price and purpose competitors.
The massively flared XE rear hub hides a six-pawl freehub mechanism that picks up drive extremely quickly (4.3-degree lag to be precise) so responsiveness is okay despite the overall weight. Well sealed bearings mean it’s still running smoothly months after seeing its first mud, which isn’t always the case even with more expensive wheels.