e*thirteen TRS+ 29er wheels review
Using a lightweight and stiff 21mm scandium rim, the TRS+ wheelset from e*thirteen has been built around LG1+ Chub hubs and strung together with DT Swiss SuperComp spokes and nipples. On top of that you get rim tape, valve stems and sealant if you want to go tubeless.
The front hub – as used in the company’s downhill wheels – is compatible with both 15mm and 20mm axles (with a change of adaptor), and the rear hub is available to suit 142x12mm and 135mm options, putting them firmly in the all-mountain ballpark. But the all-in weight of just 1,800g a pair doesn’t pigeonhole them solely for burlier riders.
The hubs use a huge 6061 alloy flange and a carbon fibre body to keep weight down and stiffness up by means of shorter spokes. High-quality cartridge bearings roll fast and are sealed well against the elements. The freehub mechanism for the rear hub uses three pawls, each with two sets of teeth cut in, offering 60 points of engagement each rotation. This setup offers a positive and almost instant pickup, as well as the loudest ratchet noise we’ve ever heard on a hub.
The low weight of the wheels means they’re a doddle to get up to speed, but the real gem of these wheels is how stiff they are. We’ve not come across 29in wheels anywhere near as stiff as these – they feel more like a 26in wheel, especially out back clamped in a 142x12mm bolt-through setup. If you’ve been put off riding a 29er due to the flexy wheels, then these could well be your ticket to big-wheeled bliss.
They’re also incredibly strong. We’ve been riding uplift trails, jumping, dropping, landing sideways and abusing them wherever we can, and we’ve not even had to get the spoke key out. They really are that solid. So far, after nearly four months of hardcore use, we’ve had no bearing waggle or notable wear, and when pulling the hubs apart we haven’t even found any contaminated grease in them.
Our only slight issue with them is when we set them up tubeless. Unlike using a UST tubeless setup – where the tyre simply locks straight in – we had difficulty initially getting a couple of tyres to inflate. In the end it required CO2 cartridges to solve the problem, and it was a bit messy. They’ve been as good as gold since, however, with less burping than normal on a tubeless conversion.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.