HomeCyclingRace Face Period Carbon MTB Wheels give Bumps the Aspect Eye

Race Face Period Carbon MTB Wheels give Bumps the Aspect Eye

With the brand new Period carbon MTB wheels, Race Face was hell-bent on making one of the best mountain bike wheels by being second-best in key parameters. If that appears like an odd technique to go about it, maintain studying, it’ll all make sense.

Whereas rivals’ wheels concentrate on being the lightest, or essentially the most compliant, or the stiffest, Race Face says none of them mix all of these qualities in the precise proportions. In order that they benchmarked the brand new Period wheels towards six prime manufacturers’ carbon path and enduro wheels, concentrating on one of the best qualities of every and balancing one towards the others.

Race Face says that by being not fairly the stiffest, or lightest, or most compliant wheels available on the market, they’re really one of the best as a complete package deal. They’re nonetheless very mild, very compliant, and snappy, nevertheless it’s how these options come collectively that give them their edge. Right here’s the way it all comes collectively…

race face eras carbon MTB wheels

The Race Face Period cranks debuted in late 2022 as their carbon fiber choice for path/all-mountain riders. It took benefit of Race Face’s many years of in-house carbon fiber experience. They’re remarkably mild, not only for the class, however even in comparison with many XC cranks. But it surely’s additionally powerful sufficient to come back with a lifetime guarantee, crash injury included.

rim closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

Now they’re taking all of that have and making use of it to the Period carbon wheels. Developed over three years and 5,300 hours of driving, they’re aimed on the “shore to the core” path/all-mountain rider to steadiness light-weight and stiffness, but in addition compliance and sturdiness. Principally, they needed to be…

Robust, Compliant, Mild & Snappy

rim closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

Compliance is the recent subject in mountain bike wheels, so we’ll begin there. Race Face says compliance is the property of a cloth present process elastic deformation when subjected to an utilized drive. For wheels, we normally consider it as vertical compliance, which is the flexibility of a wheel to compress (ovalize) slightly below a tough influence.

It will be significant, however Race Face’s take a look at knowledge confirmed that for the average-weight rider on a regular enduro bike, at backside out, you’ll have about 5mm of vertical wheel compression. However you even have 50mm of tire compression, 160mm of suspension compression, and as much as 16mm of handlebar flex. So, does 5mm of wheel compliance actually matter towards 226mm of suspension + tire + handlebar compliance?

Yeah, it does, however it’s important to give it some thought otherwise.

race face eras carbon MTB wheels compliance graphic

There’s additionally lateral compliance, which is the flexibility for a wheel to flex aspect to aspect throughout off-camber impacts. This helps the wheel monitor straight whenever you’re pinballing via a rock backyard, so it’s much less more likely to throw you off your line.

Mix the 2 in simply the precise quantities and you’ve got the key sauce. Each lateral and vertical compliance assist the wheel higher deal with the forces that will trigger you to lose traction.

race face eras carbon MTB wheels rim profile cutaway

To do that, the Period carbon rims have completely different rim depths and profiles from entrance to rear. The entrance is eighteen.6mm deep, rear is 22.6mm deep.

This makes the entrance wheel a bit extra compliant to maintain your steering on monitor. The rear is a bit deeper for extra lateral stiffness because it has much less influence in your steering and management, however maximizes the flexibility to rail corners and deal with off-axis landings.

rim closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

Each are 30mm broad internally, which is 1mm narrower than the Subsequent R all-mountain wheels. These maintain the thick “Anvil Edge” 4.5mm-thick bead profile to guard towards impacts and pinch flats. They’re principally hookless, with simply the tiniest little lip inside so as to add extra width for higher pinch flat safety.

They’re constructed with 28 double-butted spokes per wheel, with completely different spoke lengths entrance and rear, however the identical size on either side of every wheel. Spare spokes are included, and so they’re commonplace spokes you’ll find at most retailers in a pinch.

Vault hubs on the heart of all of it

hub closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

Race Face’s Vault Hubs have been on the heart of their mountain bike wheels for years and so they’re nice. The customized internals put the pawls on the outer circumference of the outsized shell, with a large ratchet ring on the freehub physique itself. That’s the reverse of the usual design, nevertheless it lets them transfer the principle bearing outboard additional because the outsized internals make room for it straight below the ratchet ring.

hub closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

The non-drive aspect bearing is pushed as far out as doable, too. This makes the hub a lot stiffer, so lateral forces have much less influence on engagement.

It’s additionally very fast to have interaction, with six pawls and 60 tooth yielding 3º engagement.

hub closeup on new race face eras carbon MTB wheels

Low-drag labyrinth seals maintain the crud out, confirmed within the moist and dust of the PNW the place they’re primarily based. The hubs are available in 6-bolt brake mounts for now; a Heart Lock model is coming later in 2024.

Claimed weights are 1750g (29er) and 1692g (27.5”). MSRP is $1,599 ($2,150 CAD) and features a Lifetime Guarantee, crashes included (they’ll simply change the wheel).

So, does chasing second make them one of the best new path MTB wheels? We’ll see, now we have a few units on take a look at. First impressions are excellent. I smashed them via loads of roots and rocks throughout a latest launch occasion, nailing one massive root at full velocity and full compression popping out of a G-out. It shrugged it off, and I saved rolling, with seemingly no momentum misplaced.

I’ve been a fan of their Subsequent SL wheels for years, and the Vault hubs are superior. I’ve additionally ridden and trusted Race Face’s carbon cranks for a lot of, a few years with zero points. These appear to stay as much as their claims, positively price a glance. Lengthy-term evaluation coming in just a few months.


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