Four Four Three Dissident Complete Wheel

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Tested: Four Four Three Dissident Carbon Wheelset

Strong rims and fast hubs highlight this great value carbon wheelset from Four Four Three.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Four Four Three Dissident Carbon Wheelset

There is no shortage of carbon wheel options today. Regardless of price point, you are sure to find a range of choices, from generic catalog rims to super-specialty items that cost as much as a good full suspension bike. Four Four Three is taking the middle road with the Dissident, supplying a wheel built on its own rims and hubs at a competitive price made possible by a direct sales and distribution model. We’ve been testing a pair for over a year to find out how it measures up – read on to learn more.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Very strong rim
  • Reliable hubs
  • Fast engagement
  • Good value
  • Rims are quite stiff
  • Tall rims not compatible with all valve stem lengths
  • Slightly on the heavy side

443 Dissident Wheelset Highlights (27.5")

  • Rim material: Toray T700 Carbon
  • Rim finish: matte
  • Weave: UD
  • Inner side wall type : Hookless
  • Rim weight: 490 grams (27.5")
  • Spoke holes: 32
  • Rim dimensions: outer width 35mm / inner width 30mm / height 30mm
  • Rear hub size: 148x12mm 
  • Front hub size: 110x15mm
  • Rear hub weight: 345 grams (148x12mm)
  • Front hub weight: 196 grams (110x15mm)
  • Wheel weight front 27.5"/110mm: 868g
  • Wheel weight rear 27.5"/148mm: 1017g
  • Wheelset weight 27.5" 148x12mm+110x15mm: 1885g
  • Spokes: High quality triple butted spoke (5.7g / spoke)
  • Nipples: Alloy external
  • Disk Mount: IS (6 Bolts)
  • Hole count: 32H
  • Valve: Presta 
  • MSRP: $760 USD

Initial Impressions

Disregarding the custom yellow stickers found on our test build, the standard Dissident rim is a rather sober yet classy affair with black/grey water decals over a matte black rim. The width of the rim is 30mm, standard fare for all-mountain / enduro rims today, while measuring in the other direction reveals a relatively tall profile. The wheels are tubeless ready out of the box, with rim tape applied and presta valves installed. There is even a small bottle of sealant included, all you need to do is fit your tubeless ready tires and pump them up and you should be good to go.

The “Surge” hubs are Four Four Three’s own. The rear spins on five cartridge bearings, while the front makes do with two. The ratchet ring of the freehub mechanism features 54 teeth, but the six pawls engage the ring three at a time in an offset pattern, effectively doubling the number of clicks and creating a superfast 3.3-degree engagement. The hubs can be configured for either 142mm or 148mm rear axles, and either 110mm or 100mm front axles (via tool less end cap swaps). At this point, SRAM XD drivers and classic Shimano options are available, we do not have a confirmed date for Shimano Micro Spline availability but we imagine it should be forthcoming as more and more vendors are obtaining licenses to supply it.

The hubs are laced to the rims with triple-butted, j-bend spokes and external nipples. Nothing fancy, which also means that spares are easy to come by and the wheel can be trued without having to remove tires and rimstrip. 

On The Trail

We have had a pair of Dissident wheels running on a test bike for over a year now, and we also laced a pair of Dissident rims to the latest Shimano XT hubs (which were needed to test the new Micro Spline cassettes). During this time, we’ve mounted up a number of different tires. The rim channel is not very deep, which means you will need to resort to using tire levers to get most tires over the flanges, but once the tire is in place it’s fairly easy to get a good tubeless seal.

On the trail, the Dissident wheel rolls fast, and the crisp engagement of the rear hub provides a very dynamic feel at the pedals. The sound produced by the six offset pawls is also fairly “dynamic”, although not overbearing to the point of being obnoxious (your friends will be the ultimate judges of that, but we found it pleasing without going too deep on the dBs). The rim is quite stiff, if you are looking for the most compliant carbon wheelset out there this will not be it. On the flipside however, it has proven itself exceptionally strong and nearly immune to abuse, and it is also capable of holding a line through the rough stuff without getting bounced around too much. We’ve had a few pinch flats during testing (particularly with Maxxis EXO casings), but other than that, the wheel has not given us any cause for concern. Spoke tension has remained even with only minor corrections, and the rim surface is still reasonably fresh despite the inevitable close encounters with assorted sharp objects during the course of the year.

 

Things That Could Be Improved

The tall profile is probably one of the reasons that this rim is so strong, but it also causes an issue with valve stems. “Standard” length valve stems only protrude just enough for your pump to clamp onto, and some of our compact pumps would fail to connect altogether. Something to keep in mind if you are heading out on longer adventures, make sure your small pump works and that your spare tubes have long enough valve stems. We’d also love to see this rim retain its current strength but offer a little bit more compliance – but perhaps that is asking for too much.

Long Term Durability

With a full year on the trails under our belt, we’re confident in stating that this wheelset is in it for the long haul. The hubs are still spinning smooth, and closer inspection revealed that they have resisted dirt ingress very well. The rims have taken a beating, and they have come back for more. Despite numerous encounters with rocks and extensive testing with low tire pressures, the rims have withstood the abuse with just a few scuffs to show for it all.

What’s The Bottom Line?

The Dissident wheelset has a lot going for it. A very strong rim laced to a high-quality hub with super-fast engagement is a recipe for a wheelset that feels dynamic and ready for action. Such a strong wheel invariably ends up being a bit stiff as well, but it’s not something we hold against the Dissident, especially in light of its competitive price tag. At $760 USD (+ shipping), the Dissident wheelset still has plenty of competition but it is a very fair price for quality product that is not built around catalog parts.

More information at: www.fourfourthreebikes.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Four Four Three Dissident Complete Wheel
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Carbon
Rim T700 Toray, UD carbon rim
Inner Rim Width 30mm
Hole Count 32
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub 443 Surge
Rear Axle 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub 443 Surge
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Spokes Triple butted
Nipples Brass
Colors Black with grey/black decals
Weight 4 lb 2.5 oz (1,885 g)
Miscellaneous
Price $760
More Info

www.fourfourthreebikes.com

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