WTB has announced its new CZR carbon disc-brake wheels, which use its carbon CZR i23 700c gravel rim and CZR i130 29in mountain bike rim, first seen by us earlier this year when they weren’t available in complete wheel builds.
Designed for gravel riding and mountain biking, WTB is offering a free replacement guarantee if you break a wheel, as long as you are the original owner and riding your bike when it happens.
About the policy, WTB says that when it comes to carbon rims, how brands stand behind their products is becoming increasingly more important, with no quibble replacements seeming to be the holy grail.
The rims are now paired with WTB’s own Frequency hubs, which are the result of two years of testing. The thru-axle hubs were designed in-house to improve the performance and durability of the complete wheels, and use oversized seals for improved weatherproofing.
The rear hubs have a six-pawl design with alternating sets of three pawls for 5 degrees of engagement, but the pawl system is fine-tuned for the different applications of the wheels.
The rear hub on the CZR i23 gravel wheel has lightweight pawl springs that are said to minimise drag and therefore improve performance for the faster paces of gravel bikes compared to mountain bikes. While the CZR i30 rear hub has heavier duty pawl springs to engage with greater force and cope with the additional torque of steep mountain bike climbs.
WTB says that both wheels are compatible with either pawl system and a light pawl kit will be available for riders who want a quieter hub on their CZR i30 wheels.
All the wheels come fitted with a tubeless valve and TCS tubeless tape, as well as WTB’s Solid Strip design – an internal nylon strip that sits between the rim and tubeless tape to prevent the tape from pushing into the spoke holes and to ensure a smooth interface between tyre and rim.
WTB says this makes mounting tyres easier and protects the airtight tyre and rim combination when a spoke breaks.
Sold as individual wheels rather than sets, all CZR front wheels will cost $749.95 and rear wheels $849.95 (UK and international pricing is currently TBC).
The wheels will be available at local retailers in the USA soon and at retailers in Europe by late September.
WTB CZR i23 gravel wheels
The WTB CZR i23 gravel wheels are available in 24 and 28 spoke hole designs with either Shimano Centerlock or six-bolt rotor mounts.
The rear wheel is available with either a Shimano 11-speed, Shimano Microspline or SRAM XDR driver body.
WTB claims the weight of the front wheel starts at 620g and the rear at 775g, including the tubeless valve and tape.
WTB designed the 24mm deep rims to blend stiffness and compliance for power transfer and comfort. The carbon thickness of the rims has been fine-tuned to reduce weight and improve vertical compliance.
Thicker carbon around the spoke holes is claimed to improve wheel strength and durability while enabling WTB to minimise the amount of material elsewhere.
All the CZR i23 wheels are built using Pillar spokes. These are cold-forged and have a ‘winged’ shape that is said to reduce drag at the trailing end of the spoke, although WTB hasn’t gone into specifics here or made any aero claims.
WTB CZR i30m mountain bike wheels
WTB says it designed the CZR i30 wheels with an emphasis on durability and to “handle it all”.
The 29in CZR i30 front mountain bike wheel has a claimed weight of 878g while the rear wheels start at 1,036g, depending on whether you opt for the SRAM XDR or Shimano Microspline freehub body.
The CZR i30 wheels have six-bolt rotor mounts.