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
- 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
- Limited hub options (available in boost and Centerlock only)
- Don’t come pre-taped for tubeless
You May Also Like: Bruce's full review
Zipp 3ZeroMoto pros and cons
- 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
- 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
Revel RW30 pros and cons
- Precise steering and handling
- No durability issues despite hard riding in Moab, Utah
- All-American hubs and rims
- Carbon recycling gives you warm fuzzies
- Ride feel seems a bit harsh until you get accustomed to it
- Why 29mm, not 30mm, internal width?
- Most expensive wheelset in the test
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.