I’ve started my first grown up job, and want to treat myself to a really nice set of carbon wheels for my gravel bike. I’m currently looking at two different wheelsets - the Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel with EZO steel bearings, and the NOBL CR35 with an i9 torch hub. I’m leaning toward NOBL wheels, as they have a higher quality hub and better customization options.
If anyone has any experience with either of these wheelsets, or recommendations outside of these two, I’m all ears! I’m looking to spend roughly $2000 all in.
Very happy with my bontrager Aeolus Pro 3Vs. 25mm internal width, light, roll very well, no rider weight limit, durable, great warranty and reasonably priced.
I ordered Giants CRX 2 wheelset. for the price I don’t think they can be beat. 31mm external width, 1520 grams. You would be way under 2k for the set. I did have to buy the XDR freehub body separately though.
What’s your budget?
Zipp 303 and 303S are both great. (I use a TL 303 Firecrest as my road wheel and it’s fast and bombproof)
Roval just came out with a new line of gravel wheels which are awesome. (Terra CLX and CL)
There are all kinds of great options out there right now.
I will second the Giant CXR 2 as a good and budget friendly option. I have tried my best to smash the hell out of that wheelset and they are still running perfectly. I have had them for about a year now and used them at the hydrocut, all the worst “roads” around here, and even a couple of winter rides (maybe not a smart idea) and they are still rolling great. The only downside is that the hubs may not have the same level of engagement as your other options you listed. I haven’t noticed this for gravel rides but could be a deal breaker for some.
My budget is around $2000, as mentioned. I’m a heavier guy so I need a strong wheelset that’ll withstand me + bags, which is why I’m considering a custom wheel builder. Plus then I can get orange hubs
You can’t go wrong with custom. I also am confident that custom orange bling will save at least 10 watts.
I bought a set of these last year:
The parent company (NOBL) is based out of Vancouver. They can set it up with your choice of hubs. I opted for DT 350 with sapim cx ray spokes. Total came out to be around $1300, not a single issue with them.
Oh sorry I missed that! Custom is a great choice for sure. When you say bags do you mean bike packing or something lighter duty? I’d figure out your strength, weight requirements, then look at rim/spoke/spoke count options and then what sort of hub you’d like to use. I love DT Swiss hubs with straight pull spokes.
I’m talking bike packing. I’m around 220 pounds, plus another 30 or so for gear puts me at a pretty heavy weight for lighter wheelsets. I’d like a higher spoke count if possible, but strong spokes are a decent alternative too.
Another option for custom wheels would be light bicycle wheels: Carbon Rims & Wheels - 100% Customizable | Light Bicycle
Not used the gravel wheels but have their road wheels for a few years and they have been bombproof and really nicely made. You can do DTSwiss or even Chris King or Industry Nine. If you email them they will even customize to your requirements e.g. if you are heavier they can add carbon (because they make the rims not just buying them). I seem to recall with DT Swiss hubs it was about $1200 including tax.
I built a set of wheels using Light Bicycle rims and used them to race Unbound Gravel (well it was DK at that time) and they were perfect for gravel. I have since used them for cyclocross racing and still no issues. So, if you need even more options to consider you wouldnt be dissapointed.
Again going custom is a great option. With any custom build (either LB or whatever you go with) you can pick the number of spokes for your build. I don’t think you have anything to worry about anything you go with in terms of custom. If you go with a 32 spoke build it is going to be durable assuming you have hub options that you want at that count.
A custom builder will listen and then tell you what spokes you need, taking everything into account
Some wheels trade hub durability for expense (and weight). Several high quality hubs have already been mentioned. I like DT Swiss as well; the 350 is well regarded for reliability.
I think I’ve settled on building with Light Bicycle. I can get a 28H front/rear setup with a i9 torch orange hub, shipped for just over 1600. Seems like a great price.