e*thirteen XCX Race Wheels – First Look

24mm wide wheelset at 1,350g and 28mm at only 1,520g

Pro Reviews

The Tallboy 4 is shown here with the IW28 XCX wheels

e*thirteen has been making wheels for a while now and we’ve had the opportunity to try them in the very capable YT Industries bikes. These burly bikes entrusted e*thirteen with this crucial component and they’ve done well in the aggressive Trail and All-Mountain category. But e*thirteen wanted to play in the highest levels of XC and light Trail riding so they have introduced the XCX Race wheels to the line-up.

Everything about these wheels have been designed for the task. A precise cassette with 6-degree engagement is at the heart of the system

These new wheels complement their new XCX Race cranks which are the world’s lightest carbon MTB cranks, and our XCX Plus cassettes. The all-new XCX Race Wheels complete the trifecta of podium-worthy gravel, trail, and cross-country components from e*thirteen.

Weight of the new XCX crank is 392 grams with a 32t ring

Designed for iconic XC races like the Breck Epic, Leadville and BC Bike race, are two complete XCX Race Wheel offerings. The IW24 wheelset is a cross-country rider’s dream at a mere 1,350g, and the IW28 wheelset comes in at only 1,520g and better suits trail riders using slightly larger tires.

Triple butted spokes, hookless rims with carbon layups specific the task with tall walls to support the tire

We’ve had the opportunity to try out the IW28 and they weigh in at 1590 grams with valves and tubeless tape. Thus, their claim of 1520 grams is indeed accurate. Build quality seems to be of the highest level with a flawless carbon finish and aluminum machined with precision. Spoke tension is even all around and the wheel is true as can be.

Our Tallboy 4 which started up at 28.35 lbs ended up at 26.79 lbs after changing the stock carbon wheel setup to the XCX wheels, Vittoria tires and e*thirteen cassette

Even the manner the wheels are shipped to the customer is fascinating. This is the first time we’ve seen wheels shipped like this among the hundreds of wheels we’ve received over the years as they’ve tried to optimize packaging size and wheel protection. The problem is the rear wheel usually occupies so much space with its 148mm wide axle so cardboard spacers have to be employed to keep it from damaging the spokes of the adjacent front wheel. e*thirteen put in a novel approach by removing the axle from the rear hub and separating it in its own box inside the package. This allows two narrow, fully protected boxes to protect each wheel.

Innovative packaging allows compact and safe transport of the wheels as the wide/configurable axle is not installed in the wheel during shipment.

And the different axles and cassette drivers are shipped as ordered with the user installing the axle themselves. Simple installation and very clear instructions are the keys and e*thirteen seem to have accomplished this with instructions on the protective cardboard attached to the spokes.

We’ve had a couple rides on the IW28 wheels and the ride is lively and confidence-inspiring.

Our ride impressions with the XCX IW28 are very favorable so far. It brought one of our favorite bikes, the Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 to life as climbing prowess and agility were improved. This is a bike with a big sweet spot and the wheels, cassette and lighter tires dropped almost two pounds off the bike. It gave the bike more spring and more pop up and down the hills. The 6-degree hub engagement improved responsiveness as well to accelerations. The 28 mm rim width seemed perfect for the new Vittoria Agarro tire and other trail tires we’ve come love lately.

We’ll see how these hold up over the next few months but it’s good to know all wheels come with e*thirteen’s Lifetime Warranty, 6-degree hubs, and unrivaled performance.

NIPPLES: Alloy w/Nipple Washers.
SPOKES: IW24 DT Swiss Revolution Spokes, triple-butted.
SPOKES: IW28 DT Swiss Comp Race, triple-butted.

The wheels and tires makeover brought out the lively nature of our test Tallboy 4 rig.


28mm 380+/-15g 24mm 340+/-15g
24mm inner width creates the best profile for tires 2.0-2.3” wide while helping to keep weight low. Taller rim profile maintains impact strengt
of a narrower internal width while improving aerodynamics.

28mm inner width best suits trail tires 2.1-2.4” wide.
Shorter profile keeps weight low and impact strength high.

The Chameleon sports the ridiculously light XCX cranks while the Tallboy 4 wears the XCX wheels proudly.

WH4XRA-100 $809 – XCX Race Carbon Front Wheel | 29” x 24mm | 24 hole | 110x15mm Boost
WH4XRA-101 $990 – XCX Race Carbon Rear Wheel | 29” x 24mm | 28 hole | 148x12mm Boost | Microspline Driver
WH4XRA-102 $990 – XCX Race Carbon Rear Wheel | 29” x 24mm | 28 hole | 148x12mm Boost | XD Driver

WH4XRA-103 $719 – XCX Race Carbon Front Wheel | 29” x 28mm | 28 hole | 110x15mm Boost
WH4XRA-104 $880 – XCX Race Carbon Rear Wheel | 29” x 28mm | 28 hole | 148x12mm Boost | Microspline Driver
WH4XRA-105 $880 – XCX Race Carbon Rear Wheel | 29” x 28mm | 28 hole | 148x12mm Boost | XD Driver

For more information on XCX line check out www.ethirteen.com/

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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