WTB Laserdisc Trail wheelset review from Spoke issue 30

I must have rebuilt my old wheels over twenty times. That’s not bad going, considering I bought them from a pro downhiller around seven years ago when I still had V-brakes. So when I went for my first ride on my new WTB Laserdisc Trail wheels with Hope Pro II hubs – well, let’s just say I had forgotten what a round wheel actually felt like. Five months of winter riding have passed since that inaugural trip, and up until about a week ago they spun like brand new. Until my extra-wide bars – don’t start – caught a tree and sent me on what I thought would be a wheel-tacoing slam.

Laserdiscs aren’t the lightest wheels around but they’re packed with features. Like the distinctive I-Beam, for example, added support designed to counter spoke loads and enhance torsional stiffness. Another feature, which suffers from a seriously dire choice of name, is the Unbendium Bulge. This is an extra strip of aluminium where the old V-brake surface would have been. Hell, I didn’t even know it was there until I watched some Interbike coverage.

So the deal is this: I weigh over 100 kg, I don’t look after my bikes very well and I ride two or three times a week off-road. To go hard for five months without having to straighten a wheel is amazing, but to be able to ride my bike home after finally buckling one is pretty mind-blowing. And these are just the all-mountain wheels. The freeride and downhill sets must be totally bombproof. Caleb Smith

Leave a Reply