After lusting for some carbon MTB wheels for a while and deciding that I didn’t want to spend a huge amount in case I didn’t get on with them. I came across a huge thread on SingleTrackWorld that threw up many positive comments about Light Bicycle wheels. Given how positive the feedback was I decided to give the Light Bicycle wheels a go.
Buying the wheels direct from China was a different sort of experience. After deciding that buying with a credit card was going to be fairly safe I chose the hookless (no bead) 30mm wide carbon wheels. Even the website admits that these are “very similar” to the Specialised hookless rims, which have had great reviews. Next was the hubs and spokes. The hubs I chose were the Novatec which are the same as many other wheel builders use (Superstar) and had the same reliable bearings as some of my other wheelsets. Red to match the bike build in progress.
Cost? $568 which at current rates is a very competitive £337. Plus postage and import duty. Still very much cheaper than any other sort of carbon wheels from the well known brands.
After some interesting Anglo-Sino e-mails to confirm the hub configuration and the spokes, I had to wait almost a month for delivery since I forgot that I’d ordered just before Chinese new year. Light Bicycle were very rapid in getting back to queries though.
Eventually the big box arrived and out came a pair of very light and really high quality looking wheels. After a quick application of some Stan’s tape, valves and sealant. Two specialised 29er tyres went up almost instantly and stayed up beautifully. Just the addition of red anodised valves, which Dave suggested, were the final essential touch.
So what do they ride like? Well my comparators are the Roval aluminium wheels on the my Camber Carbon 29er. They might not be the highest quality, lightest 29er wheels, but they are OK and the Light Bicycle wheels blew them away. The carbon wheels must be a good 0.5-0.7kg lighter and are a good deal stiffer too.
Along with lots of recent road miles the first ride on the new wheels was a 40 mile blast over the Surrey hills to meet the Moles at Peaslake. Heading over the bike was really covering the ground well and after meeting D’Andy on the way back he hit Strava PR’s on the way back from the Tower keeping up.
So in summary. Amazing value, light and stiff carbon wheels that really made the bike feel quicker. In fact my only “problem” now is that I want another set for the Camber Carbon 29er!