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Fun fact: Carbon wheels are actually not all carbon. Sure, the rims are carbon, but there’s also those pesky hubs. So, until the world’s design students free us from the tyranny of the spoked wheel, we will need hubs to keep our fancy carbon rims spinning. But in the meantime, we’d like those hubs to be fancy too, please. That may be why there was a bit of a delay between WTB releasing the CZR i30 and i23 rims earlier this year and today’s announcement of the full WTB CZR carbon wheels. They were working on a hub that deserved to be laced to these pretty top-notch rims. We’ve got our review of the rims themselves here, but let’s recap what makes them special.
The spoke holes are reinforced, much like what Santa Cruz did with their Reserve wheels. They’re also offset to keep spoke tension more even, and there’s a clever nylon strip beneath the rim tape to keep dimples from forming over each spoke hole. Dimples, though cute, will allow air to sneak under the bead of an unseated tire, making it harder to get the outward pressure to get the beads up to where they’re supposed to be. The rims also have a 30mm inner width and a relatively flat profile for better vertical compliance. They’ve got enough going on to be worth lacing to whatever really loud or really quiet hub you choose. But if you don’t have time for that, the new WTB i30 wheelset is your answer.
The new Frequency hubs are built around a six-pawl system, where three pawls alternate in engaging to make for 5 degrees between engagement points. The hub is being introduced on both the gravel-focused i23 wheels and the mountain-focused i30 wheels. The freehubs are the same between both wheels, except for the stronger spring behind the pawls of the i30 wheels. This is intended to make for a more positive, forceful connection between the pawls and the ratchet ring, but if a lower-drag, quieter ride is your priority, the lighter spring meant for i23 wheels can be swapped in there.
All the new CZR wheelsets offer the same yes-we-mean-it lifetime warranty against any breakage that happens while the original owner is riding the wheels. This is only the rims, not the whole wheel, so you’re either re-lacing the rim yourself or paying WTB to do the labor for you.
The i30 WTB CZR carbon wheels weigh 878 grams up front and 1030 in the rear, give or take a couple grams depending on your freehub body choice. They’re 28-hole only and standard Boost only and, at least for now, 29-inch only. The front wheel goes for $750 and the rear goes for $850.
You can find them at wtb.com/czr-i30-wheel