Newmen EVOLUTION SL A.30
Newmen is a small German manufacturer that puts a lot of store in the toughness of its wheelsets. Yet, among 13 other wheelsets also tested, these are some of the lightest alloy wheels designed for enduro riding. They’re also competitive on price compared to similarly lightweight alloy hoops.
It’s worth pointing out that they ship without tape or valves, but I weighed them once I’d added my own.
Unlike most alloy rims, these use a hookless bead, so there’s no recessed bead socket at the base of the rim sidewall. This should make the rim sidewall stronger and less resistant to denting because it maintains the same thickness all the way to the junction with the rim bed.
Newmen’s EVOLUTION SL A.30 wheels. Georgina Hinton
In addition, the sidewalls are flared a few degrees outwards, which Newmen claims makes them more resistant to dents. This is because most rim-damaging impacts are slightly side-on, rather than hitting the rim at 90 degrees, and a flared sidewall is less likely to fold inwards when faced with such an impact.
If you’re worried that an outwardly-flared, hookless bead sounds like a recipe for the tyre slipping free of the rim, I’ve had no issues with burping air or seating tubeless tyres.
When turning the hub axles and freehub by hand, they offer noticeably more resistance than most wheels. Georgina Hinton
Newmen EVOLUTION SL A.30 wheelset ride impressions
The first thing I noticed is that the hub axles and freehub offer noticeably more resistance than most wheels when turning them by hand, and the rear wheel slows down quicker than others after being spun up to speed in the workstand, as if the brake were dragging slightly. But it’s difficult to quantify the effect of this drag in real world riding and I can’t say they felt slow-rolling or draggy on the trail.
Newmen claims this drag is due to tight bearing seals and thick bearing grease, which are used to boost longevity at the expense of a little rolling speed.
I’ve ridden them hard in Malaga and the UK, including one rocky run with a slow rear flat finishing at 20psi where I felt the rim bottom-out on the ground. The rims show no signs of damage, so although damaging rims is a bit of a lottery, they appear to be tough so far.
The Newmen EVOLUTION SL A.30 has a measured internal rim width of 29.8mm. Georgina Hinton
After back-to-back tests against other comparable wheels, the compliance and comfort offered is mid-pack, though better than most carbon hoops.
There is a slight ringing sound from the spokes when punching the pedals and the freehub engages suddenly, but this won’t bother everyone.