TPC Blog

Back To Blog

Carbon enduro MTB wheels: Three worthy options

By Spencer Powlison

Published

The bike world has warmed up to the concept of carbon fiber rims. Road, triathlon, gravel, cross-country mountain biking — they all benefit from the weight savings, stiffness, and aerodynamics that carbon offers. There is one hold-out, however: Enduro mountain biking.

The jury is still out on whether carbon bike rims will make life radder for the gravity junkies that prefer heavy-duty MTBs that boast 150-170mm of full-suspension travel

So we decided to test three wheels that might change the game for enduro mountain biking: ENVE Foundation AM30, Revel RW30, and Zipp 3ZeroMoto. Watch the video for our complete comparison and read on for some quick and dirty takes on whether these carbon upgrades are worth it for enduro riding.

Note: Although the ENVE wheels are pictured with Schwalbe Magic Mary tires, the majority of the testing was performed with a Maxxis Assegai front tire and DHR rear tire, same size and specs as the other wheels in this comparison.

ENVE Foundation AM30 pros and cons

ENVE Foundation AM30 wheel
Price: $1,600
Weight: 1,852g
Inner rim width: 30mm

Pros

  • Excellent ride quality
  • Wide Hookless Bead is fairly effective at preventing pinch flats
  • Very easy tubeless set-up
  • Made in the USA rims and hubs
  • Least expensive wheel in the test

Cons

  • Limited hub options (available in boost and Centerlock only)
  • Don’t come pre-taped for tubeless

SHOP ENVE AM30 WHEELS | SHOP ALL ENVE WHEELS 

You May Also Like: Bruce's full review

Zipp 3ZeroMoto pros and cons

Zipp 3ZeroMoto wheelPrice: $1,800
Weight: 1,965g
Inner rim width: 30mm

Pros

  • Single-wall design makes for a noticeably smoother ride
  • Wheels feel eager to corner
  • Possible to run higher pressure without sacrificing ride quality to mitigate pinch flats

Cons

  • Can be tricky to mount tires due to inner rim shape
  • Heaviest wheel in the test
  • Zipp's freehubs are improving, but engagement not on par with Industry Nine yet

SHOP ALL ZIPP MTB WHEELS

Revel RW30 pros and cons

Revel RW30 wheelPrice: $1,975-$2,200, depending on hub option
Weight: 1,840g
Inner rim width: 29mm

Pros

  • Precise steering and handling
  • No durability issues despite hard riding in Moab, Utah
  • All-American hubs and rims
  • Carbon recycling gives you warm fuzzies

Cons

  • Ride feel seems a bit harsh until you get accustomed to it
  • Why 29mm, not 30mm, internal width?
  • Most expensive wheelset in the test

SHOP REVEL RW30 WHEELS

You May Also Like: Spencer's full review

Do you dig carbon mountain bike wheels? Which wheelset would you ride? Let us know in the comments.

Recommended stories

RipRow: The training & rehab tool you won't find at the gym
RipRow: The training & rehab tool you won't find at the gym
Steve injured his shoulder mountain biking, but came back stronger, fitter, and faster than ever thanks to the RipRow, a unique workout machine and training tool. Not only is it great for pumping, balance, core strength, and other MTB movements, but it can help with rehab and physical therapy for cycling injuries.
Read More
How Denver got a dedicated downhill MTB trail
How Denver got a dedicated downhill MTB trail
A short drive from Denver, Colorado, Floyd Hill's Sluice trail is a gnarly, downhill-only, purpose-built mountain bike trail. We went to the Session Series enduro MTB race to see what this singletrack is all about. And, we talked to the folks from COMBA to learn how this trail was built.
Read More
2020 Yeti ARC vs. original: More similar than you think
2020 Yeti ARC vs. original: More similar than you think
Yeti Bikes produced a limited quantity of special 35th anniversary ARC bikes. These Turq carbon hardtails are modern marvels with Fox 34 forks, SRAM Eagle, and tons of anodize bling. Seems worlds apart from the 1992 Yeti ARC, right? Maybe, but these two mountain bikes have five key similarities.
Read More

0 comments



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Newsletter Sign Up