As many of you already know, I am in the process of reviewing the Project Pink Ellsworth Evolve. Before I get to the overall bike review (pretty much frame only review), I want to touch on a couple of the components as I go along.
This bike came spec’ed with the WTB LaserDisc Trail 29er wheels. Here is the information on these wheels from WTB’s website:
USAGE:29″ Cross Country Racing
MSRP:Front $220 / Rear $320 / Single Speed Rear $400
The ultimate Wagon Wheels. With 27-millimeter-wide LaserDisc Trail 29″ rims, 28 WTB double-butted spokes and LaserDisc Lite hubs, these wheels are light enough for the racecourse yet strong enough for aggressive trail riding. Optional LaserDisc SingleDuty rear hub.
front 950g laserdisc lite – 28h laserdisc trail 29er black 14/15 gauge | black alloy nipples | laced 3-cross
rear 1090g laserdisc lite – 28h laserdisc trail 29er black 14/15 gauge | black alloy nipples | laced 3-cross
It is my experience that these wheels are not built for trail riding. After the first ride, they had to be trued. Halfway through the second ride…they were worse off than the first! The biggest flaw on this set is the 28 spoke build. With increased diameter of 29″ wheels, you increase the leverage from the axle. This creates more force than you would see in a normal 26″ wheel under the same riding conditions. It is this fact that makes it even more important to have a stronger wheel build with the larger hoops. I would be interested to see how these same wheels would perform with a 32 spoke build. Even at full tension, the wheels are coming out of true.
Below is a video on how the wheel looks after my ride today. I could physically feel the wheel flexing while I was riding. For the rest of the testing session I am robbing the Industry Nine/Flow build off of the Moots to guarantee a proper assessment of the frame.
Have you guys had any experience with WTB’s 29″ package? I have had great success out of the rest of their products, so I am going to email them to see what their thoughts are. I have not been riding these wheels in any situation they are not built for.