I ordered some Enve XC rims build on Tune hubs for the MTB Trilogy mountainbike race in Czech from Strada Wheels. The MTB Trilogy is a 4 day stage race in Teplice Nad Metuji on the border between Czech and Poland. The race goes through some of the hardest MTB trails Czech has to offer. In fact the last day combined the hardest parts of several one day marathon events held in the same area during the year. The 24 hour torrential rain and thunderstorms the day before the race made things only harder.
Unfortunately, as with a lot of carbon products this year, delivery of the rims was delayed. However Jonathan offered to lend me his set of carbon wheels and even converted them to the correct axle standard for my bike (Scott Spark RC 29).
I was impressed by the wheels straight away. To start off I was a bit worried about fitting my tyres because the rims were not tubeless ready (the new version will be tubeless ready however). I had nothing to worry about though. My tyres (Schwalbe Rocket Ron) fitted and sealed on the first try. I can only imagine that the new version will be even easier. On the trail the wheels felt great. On the climbs the wheels felt light and accelerating out of corners was easy. During the fast rocky descents the wheels felt solid. The stiffness of the rims made for a very responsive wheelset giving lots of confidence. Not once did I feel any flex in the wheels going through rocky descents or tight corners.
The big test came when I handed the wheels back and put my own wheels back on. Although the Crest rims and Hope hubs are certainly not a bad combination I could definitely feel a significant difference. The bike felt slow accelerating out of the corners and on descents they weren’t as responsive as the carbon wheelset I borrowed. Furthermore under heavy cornering or braking I could feel the wheels lacking stiffness compared to the carbon wheels I borrowed.
I can’t wait to get delivery of a brand new set of these wheels for my next stage race in a few weeks time instead of the Enve rims I originally ordered.
Strada Wheels have gone beyond what could have been expected to help me and I am very grateful for the support from Jonathan and Darren.