Bontrager’s Affordable Wheelsets
One of the best (and most costly) upgrades you can make to your mountain bike is buying a new wheelset. A set of carbon hoops easily costs $1500 or more, but that’s slowly changing. At Sea Otter, Bontrager unveiled a new carbon wheelset that retails for $1200. They’re also offering two alloy wheelsets priced at $300 and $600 respectively. To learn more, check our coverage here.
Kenda Hellkat and Helldiver Tires
Developed with input from the Polygon UR World Cup team, the new Hellkat and Helldiver tires are aimed squarely at the DH scene. They feature a new ultra-sticky rubber compound and sidewalls have been reinforced with Kevlar to help reduce weight and improve abrasion resistance. For more info, check our coverage here.
New Stan’s Freehub Bodies
To help improve durability, Stan’s has introduced an upgraded Speed Sync and Dura Sync freehub. It weighs roughly the same as the old version, but has for more pawls, and uses three new bearings. They’ve also added additional waterproofing. The new hubs will be shipping on all new wheelsets and are backwards compatible. They’re not available aftermarket just yet, so pricing is TBD.
New Stan’s Entry Level Wheelset
Bontrager wasn’t the only brand showcasing affordable wheels. Stan’s new S1 series retails for just under $500. They’ve taken some of the best selling rims, like the Arch, Crest, and Flow, and added some material to beef them up. The rims are built using Stan’s NEO hubs, Sapim spokes, and brass nipples. For more info, check out Eurobike coverage here.
American Classic Smokin’ Gun Wheelset
American Classic founder Bill Shook has always been a fan of wide rims. His newest wheelset, the Smokin’ Gun, has a 40mm internal width and is designed for tires 2.5 and wider. They’re available for either 27.5 or 29er wheels and sell for $899. American Classic is also offering a boost conversion kit for their existing 100×15 and 142×12 hubs. Retail is $35 a wheel. For more info, check our coverage here.
When you punch a hole in your tire that’s too big for the sealant to fix, Dynaplug is your best friend. Their new Racer kit stores two plugs, one on each side. It also comes with three extra spares. Retail is $44. That may seem expensive, but it’s a lot cheaper than throwing away a race entry fee due to a mechanical. Dynaplugs are made in the USA, too.
The air version of the Dynaplug works just like the regular models but allows you to top off your tire through the puncture. The kit retails for $74 and includes one Dynaplug tool, two threaded C02 cartridges, and four standard plugs. They also offer a Megaplug Air Kit for $20, which includes the Megaplug Repair Nozzle and four Megaplugs.
Formula Linea Wheels
Formula is best known for their brakes, but they also manufacturer suspension forks and wheelsets. Their new wheelset is the Linea G. The G stands for gravity because these wheels are built for abuse. They’re available in all the most popular wheel sizes, freehub body, and axle configurations. The alloy rims have a 30mm inner width and are laced to Formula hubs. And by Formula hubs, we’re referring to hubs the Italian manufacturer has designed in house, not the cheap Formula hubs found on entry level bikes that are built by Formula Taiwan, which is a different company.
HED Raptor and No Big Deal Hoops
Like buying American made products? ENVE isn’t the only company making carbon hoops in the USA. HED Cycling bakes their rims in Minnesota. At Sea Otter, they were showcasing two new rims, including the 27.5 Raptor, which has a 41mm internal rim width. It’s available in either 28- or 32-hole and has a hookless bead. Meanwhile, the No Big Deal is a 26er fat bike rim with a 65mm internal width. For more info, check our coverage here.
Industry Nine Copper Wheels
Love this copper wheelset? Industry Nine is doing a limited run of 29 copper wheelsets. Available in either 27.5 or 29er, they’re built around Enduro 305 rims. Price starts at $1255 depending on configuration.
Teravail Kennebec and Cumberland Tires
Teravail is a relatively new company, but it’s making a splash in the tire scene. Their newest offerings are the Kennebec and Cumberland. The Kennebec has an aggressive profile that will stoke out gravity-minded riders. Those interested in a fast rolling rear tire with aggressive side knobs should look at the Cumberland. For more info, check our coverage here.
Project 321 Magnetic Hub Driver
In the early days, Project 321 used an Industry Nine driver in their hubs. Recently, they developed their own version which uses magnets to activate the pawls into the drive ring. For more info, check our coverage here.
Schwalbe Addix Rubber Compound
Schwalbe has some of the best tread patterns in the business, but in the past, their tire compounds have left something to be desired on the durability front. Two years ago, they hired a renowned rubber expert and made a big investment in manufacturing equipment. They’re claiming all that work has paid off with their new Addix rubber compound. It’s said to be faster rolling, better gripping, and more durable than anything they’ve offered before. For more info and our first ride impressions, check our coverage here.
Race Face Next R Wheelset
The Next R wheelset uses Vault hubs Race Face developed for their Turbine wheelset. In this configuration, the hubs have paired with a 31mm wide carbon rim, that has an offset spoke layout. Claimed weight for a 27.5 wheelset is 1680g. That’s not bad for an enduro rated wheelset. Price is $1499.