I am looking to upgrade my current DT Swiss M1700 wheelset for something lighter and more snappy. The M1700s are around 1800g+ and to justify the upgrade I want something much lighter. I really miss my lightweight feel of my 26″ Mavic Crossmax SL and have the itch for some carbon. My budget is around $2000 so I am putting together a list of wheels that I can consider and start shopping. Intended use is XC riding/racing.
Here’s what I have found so far (disregarding my budget) I just found out about the Specialized Roval Control SL yesterday and wondering if there is any other similar set out there that I am not aware of.
1) Enve M525. 1371g @ $3500
Notes: bling bling? Way too expensive for what it is.
2) Bontrager Kovee XXX. 1390g @ $3000
Notes: 29mm internal. Trek’s top of the line XC wheelset.
3) Stan’s Podium SRD. 1287g@ $2550
Notes: Neo hub, known to have good vertical compliance. 23mm internal.
4) Santa Cruz Reserve 25. 1607g @ $2000
Notes: Danny MacAskill marketing. DT350 hub. Nothing extraordinary. No lighter options available.
I am a big fan of Evne. I’ve ridden every rim they make, on/off road and can’t say enough about them. That being said, they are very pricey and unless ultimate stiffness is what you’re after, the other options you mentioned are all good. Enve’s are handmade in the USA and the ultimate in quality I think. That quality comes with a premium price tag though. I haven’t ridden anything that rides like and Enve rim. I have multiple seasons on rims that I have never touched a nipple on. I’ve also busted a few rims, which were taken care of under warranty with less than a week turnaround time, mostly due to shipping. These were hits that would have exploded anything else and I was still able to ride out of the woods, spokes missing and all.
I also have a set of Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon rims on my Nomad and can say that these are the rims I would ride if i wasn’t connect with Enve. While in Santa Cruz I got to visit the composite lab (http://www.ridingfeelsgood.com/santa-cruz-bicycles-factory-visit/) and speak with the engineer behind them ( a Canadian). I have full confidence in the rims. The lifetime warranty certainly backs that confidence.
Another option is the We Are Composite rims. Brainchild of Dustin Adams, a legendary Canadian racer. They are handmade in Canada. https://weareonecomposites.com
@fasttimes great article on the SC factory tour. I was presented an opportunity to demo the Santa Cruz Reserve wheel set so I will most likely check them out. Lifetime warranty is definitely nice to have. WAC looks pretty near as well but appears to be targeted towards all mountain riding.