RaceFace does carbon wheels! The new offering from RaceFace is the Next R wheelset. Offering a trail/enduro wheel platform in both 27.5 and 29” options! The RaceFace Next R wheelset features both boost and non-boost standards and an internal rim width of 31mm, allowing you to run tires anywhere from 2.3-2.6 inches wide. Built around the Vault hubs, which have become a major favorite at our shop, the Next R wheelset are built with straight pull spokes, offer fast engagement, and have minimal drag giving you solid rolling speed. The best part is the $1500 price tag, which is really competitive with the rest of the high end wheel options on the market. To sweeten the deal, these wheels come with a 2-year no questions asked guarantee, meaning you’re covered!
The Next R rims have an asymmetrical spoke design giving the spokes both a better bracing angle and a more even drive vs. non-drive spoke tension. Taller than normal hub flanges make this wheel very balanced and solid. While carbon rims are notorious for being stiff, the Next Rs manage to strike a nice balance between being too stiff and having forgiving and smoothing qualities. Mounting up my tires of choice went on without any major hassle, which is a relief considering that carbon rims typically put up more of a fight when mounting rubber. Once I mounted my tires, the beads seated fairly easily.
I’m fortunate enough to have a wide variety of trails to test the RaceFace Next R wheelset. From mellow, pedally trails to the rough, rocky, chunky local trails, these wheels saw everything. While not on the extremely light side, the Next R wheels are lighter than my current wheels and also about 100g lighter than my old Turbine R wheels. The rolling speeds of these wheels are most noticeable on flat trails and climbing uphill. Combining light weight and minimal drag (thanks to the Vault hubs) the Next Rs get up to speed quickly enough. Once up to speed they like to stay there, rolling smoothly. On my 29er test bike, they completely rolled over rocks and ruts like a monster truck should. Cornering on this wheelset is an absolute blast. Pair the fast engagement with the smoothness and reliability of carbon wheels and rippin’ in and out of corners is just about as much fun as you can have on a bike. What impressed me most is the rock impacts these things took. With my luck, I tend to land on all the rocks on the trail and the Next Rs definitely took some hard and loud rim impacts. A few of the worse sounding smacks made me flinch, but after inspection not one mark was present. Many aluminum rims would have been dented and smashed up, but the Next R wheels took those impacts like Rocky Balboa taking face shots. They just kept on going.
With many impressive features, the Next Rs have been some of the nicest, all around carbon wheels I have had the chance to ride. From good width for wide and aggressive tires, to fast engagement from the hubs, these check all my boxes for what make a trail/enduro wheelset great. With a price tag of $1500 and the awesome warranty RaceFace offers, it's hard to beat the Next Rs!
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