Halo Vortex 650b wheelset review

Tough, stiff and built to last mountain bike wheels

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £420.00 RRP | USD $569.00
Halo's Vortex 650b wheelset

Our review

Unashamedly heavy-duty wheels for relentlessly aggressive riders
Buy if, You want tough wheels that will last
Pros: Super-tough and very stiff; near instant freehub pick-up; broad internal width; easy servicing
Cons: Heavy
Skip to view product specifications

Halo has made super-durable wheels for decades and it’s been working on the Vortex for two years, on UK tracks and the Enduro World Series circuit. The result is a max-strength gravity/big-rider wheelset that’s built to survive relentless abuse.


The rim has been designed around a 2.5in tyre, but the 33mm internal width will handle 2.8in rubber just fine, and they’re tubeless taped as standard, with a snug fit that blows up easily.

The walls are extra-thick to fend off dings and the 6061-T10 alloy was chosen for its impact resistance.

Spoking and rim construction are asymmetric for equalised stiffness, and the wheels are hand-built with traditional J-bend spokes. Micro-teethed pawls in the freehub give essentially instant three-degree pick-up.

A heat-treated chromoly steel axle adds more strength, and I’ve had zero issues even when using these wheels on a heavyweight e-bike.

They’re easy to strip too, and Boost and Torque Cap kits are available.

While they’re overkill for average trail use, the rapid pick-up and serious build stiffness help offset their hefty 2,190g weight (990g/1,200g) when accelerating.

It’s the way I’ve been hitting everything I can at full throttle, day in, day out since I got them, without a single issue, even running teen tyre pressures, that makes these great hardcore wheels, though.


The price is good too, considering how long they’re likely to last.

Product Specifications


Name Vortex 650b wheelset
Brand Halo

Description Price is with XD Driver
Front Wheel Weight 990
Front Wheel Weight (kg) 1.2
Nipples Material Brass