Looking for a quality plus size wheelset for an upgrade or custom build? The RaceFace Aeffect Plus 40 wheelset might be for you. Our valued customer Tegan Hartman gives his take on the plus size wheels from RaceFace. Check it out!
I bought my RaceFace Aeffect Plus front and rear wheels together as a wheelset, for a budget build I am doing on a 2018 Surly Karate Monkey frame. I did a lot of research before finally deciding upon these, so far I have no regrets. I chose these because RaceFace is a well-known brand and other wheels at this price point, just didn't seem to measure up as far as what I wanted for weight and quality/durability of the build parts.
Upon first unboxing them I was impressed with the lightweight build quality. In addition, the matte finish complemented by gray decals look absolutely sublime. It is a nice change from the in-your-face decals that RaceFace is sometimes known for (I do like those, but was looking for a more subdued look on this build).
The wheels are quite simply a steal at this price. The rims are solid (figuratively you know), and the rear wheel comes with 5 extra spokes included in the box, which I will be tossing in my frame bag as spares as soon as I finish my build. They were true straight out of the box (I even threw them on a truing stand to be sure). My only wish is that they came with a 6 pawl hub option, but the 3 pawl will be just fine for my needs and budget. In comparing these to a similar Whisky Parts Co wheelset that I have laced into Formula hubs, even though my build is not yet finished and I haven't been able to take them for an official spin, yet... I would say these come out on top.
The RaceFace Trace hubs roll smoothly and have not yet seemed to gather any friction within the hub itself, something I did notice with my other wheelset. The 40mm rim width is perfect for my 3" tires, though I'm sure you could run anything between 2.8" to a little above 3" without getting too crazy.
I definitely appreciated that even for a somewhat budget wheelset they came thru-axle compatible and equipped with the SRAM XD Driver Body. My brand new SRAM GX Eagle Cassette looks right at home and cozy on the rear wheel!
This was the first time I have ever set up a tubeless wheelset, so I had an experienced friend help me out. He took one look at them and was immediately impressed with the material they used as a rim strip. Instead of using rim tape, they use what looks and feels like a molded hard rubber strip which seemed to help guide the tire bead into place and overall helped make the tubeless set-up process a breeze. Straight out of the box the valves were tightly pressed into the strip and the nut was screwed on plenty tight, so no last-minute fidgeting was necessary with either of these items. Getting my WTB Ranger tires over the rims was a bit of a challenge and took a few feats of strength. Once they were on, we were able to easily seat the bead and finish up the tubeless process using Finish Line sealant and an air compressor. I have even taken the tires off and put them on again, since then, and was able to easily re-seat the bead using only a floor pump! This is a huge plus for me, as I am currently procrastinating on getting myself an air compressor just yet.
If I had to be nitpicky about anything, I would say my only real complaint is the plastic Presta valve caps that came on the wheels. They seem to be of the kind that never really screw down tight so I will be switching those out with a better quality set soon. But honestly, if you are looking for a sub $500 plus-size wheelset or just a replacement front or rear wheel for your plus-size setup, definitely check these out. I know I wasn't disappointed by them, and I expect to get many years of enjoyment out of these wheels.