Currently an unknown quantity in most riders’ eyes, Cole may become better recognised thanks to a recent distribution deal with Evans Cycles.
The Aries 920 are Cole’s mid-range cross-country wheels. At 1,910g a pair they aren’t the lightest, but you do get rim tape, skewers, six-bolt disc adapters and 9mm/15mm axle adaptors.
The 21mm anodised aluminium rims are laced with 28 double-butted spokes, and each spoke is treaded at both ends – the hub end threads into a replaceable brass barrel. The aim is increased strength, but it does mean spoke replacement is very specific.
Both hubs are Centrelock and run silky smooth thanks to well-sealed cartridge bearings. Once rolling, the nice noisy ticking of the freehub is reminiscent of a Pro 2 – even if the engagement isn’t.
The nearest comparisons to the Aries 920 are the Mavic Crossride wheels, which are two-thirds of the price and slightly lighter, although they’re blessed with bladed spokes. The Aries are versatile and attractive, but otherwise unremarkable.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.