These new Zone wheels are much wider and tougher than the first-generation sets and properly tubeless ready, but they’re seriously heavy as a result.
While the outer rim width is 35mm, thick walls and pronounced lips mean the internal aperture is only 28mm. As a result, they’re best matched to 55-58mm tyres, which generally equates to 2.3-2.5in, depending on brand.
They come taped and valved as standard, though, and most tyres I’ve tried on them can be inflated with a track pump and stay secure down to low pressures. The extra wall thickness means the rims are impressively dent-proof so far, which was the Achilles heel of the previous sets.
A well-tensioned build with 32 double-butted spokes and brass nipples gives plenty of failsafe strength to back up the welded rims.
The ride feel is solidly shock-absorbing without being overly harsh, and they track and hold lines and momentum confidently no matter how rowdy it gets. Pick-up from the ‘Superlight’ rear hub is firm once you’re past the (average) 10-degree freehub lag.
At 2,170g (1,020g front, 1,150g rear), my 29er wheels (650b also available) take a lot of effort to accelerate or change direction, and they’re only available with splined Center Lock rotor mounts.
Pricing is comparable to similar sets from other brands (front: £200, rear: £250), though, and you get a rim sticker sheet for personalisation.