To most Internet trolls there are two things that stand out about these wheels: the fact that they’re plastic and the fact that they cost $4300 for a set. These two standout facts have produced a barrage of opinion. So how do these wheels stand up to the real wild world of riding?
The front wheels come in 9 mm, 15 mm, and 20 mm sizes, and the rear wheels come in 10 mm and 12 mm. Front and rear are sold separately, so you can have any combination you like. I took possession of a set of these wheels seventeen weeks ago, and as I sit here writing this the wheels are as straight as the day I pulled them out of the box. At only 1.45 kg per pair they are lightweight, long range, heavy hitting bombers. I have cased jumps, rattled through square-edged rock gardens, and drunkenly ridden into curbs. Even with this reckless assault upon the wheels they remain as reliable and round as the moon’s orbit. After a month, my rear hub developed a little play, but this was quickly solved with a spanner turn. More recently, the rear hub felt a little bit gritty. No spoke work has been required whatsoever.
The ballistic grade carbon rims hold up to abuse. My final test will be aiming a couple of rounds at them come stag season. Easton backs these wheels up with a two year, no-questions-asked insurance policy, so if you do manage to mangle them in a lump hammer incident, or by dropping the bike off the roof rack at highway speeds, then a new pair will spin their way back to you.
These wheels have been stiff and durable, they hold tyres well, they’re light and they make me a better lover. They may be expensive, but they might be the final word in wheels. I’ll keep you posted. SEB KEMP
Kiran MacKinnon is a human dyno. When Santa Cruz Bicycles needs to test, experiment and validate suspension then Kiran is the one of the main people we call on to do that work. Not only is he an extremely talented bike rider and incredibly knowledgeable about suspension, but he can actually interpret and translate what he’s feeling in a way that he can communicate to the rest of the engineering team. This enables them to cross-reference the data they’ve collected with real life, on-trail experience to build better bikes and provide the right setup for our riders. We’re constantly refining our VPP™ suspension as well as the damping tunes shocks we spec on our bikes in order to make sure our bikes ride really, really good.