Four Four Three Momentum Complete Wheel

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
Views:
Momentum 27 web
C70_momentum_27_web C70_momentum_27_2_web C70_momentum_27_3_web C70_details_5_web
Create New Tag

Compare to other Wheelsets

Need more info? View our MTB Wheelsets buyer's guides.

First Ride: Four Four Three Momentum Wheelset

Awesome engagement and a super strong rim on this brand new wheelset from upstart Four Four Three.

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: Four Four Three Momentum Wheelset

Anew brand in the component market, Four Four Three is on a mission to provide quality wheels at affordable prices. After extensive prototyping and testing phases, they are now bringing their first four products to market, and we’ve spent some time putting their heavy-hitting Momentum wheelset to work on the trail. Read on to find out more!

Four Four Three Momentum Highlights

  • Aluminum 6061 T6 sleeved rim
  • Rim Finish: Sandblast
  • Rim Dimensions: outer 35mm/ inner 30mm /height 28mm
  • Hole Count: 32H
  • Disk Mount: IS (6 Bolts)
  • Tubeless Ready, rimstrip and Presta valves installed from factory
  • Decals printed onto pro grade vinyl & laminated for high durability
  • Spokes: Triple butted 5.7g/spoke color black, alloy nipples
  • Available for: Shimano (10spd, 11spd) & SRAM XD (10spd, 11spd, 12spd Eagle)

Anew brand in the component market, Four Four Three is on a mission to provide quality wheels at affordable prices. After extensive prototyping and testing phases, they are now bringing their first four products to market, and we’ve spent some time putting their heavy-hitting Momentum wheelset to work on the trail. Read on to find out more!

Four Four Three Momentum Highlights

  • Aluminum 6061 T6 sleeved rim
  • Rim Finish: Sandblast
  • Rim Dimensions: outer 35mm/ inner 30mm /height 28mm
  • Hole Count: 32H
  • Disk Mount: IS (6 Bolts)
  • Tubeless Ready, rimstrip and Presta valves installed from factory
  • Decals printed onto pro grade vinyl & laminated for high durability
  • Spokes: Triple butted 5.7g/spoke color black, alloy nipples
  • Available for: Shimano (10spd, 11spd) & SRAM XD (10spd, 11spd, 12spd Eagle)
  • Boost and non-Boost available in 27.5” and 29” versions
  • Weight (wheelset 148x12mm, 110x15mm): 1945 grams (claimed) / 2003g (verified)
  • Upgrade Colors (decals ordered with wheelset): Red, Orange, Blue, Green, Yellow
  • Included in kit: 2x60ml Four Four Three high quality fast seal tire sealant bottles
  • MSRP: $600.00 USD, free shipping to US and mainland Europe (ROW shipping charges vary)

Initial Impressions

The Momentum wheelset is Four Four Three’s most aggressive offering, and it makes quite a statement when you pull it out of the box. The finish is excellent, and the wide, deep rim profile give the wheels a very purposeful look. The graphics are bold but not loud, at least not in the standard grey version we took delivery of. If you want to spice things up a bit, you can specify a decal upgrade at the time of order, and you’ll get a set of decals of your chosen color included in the box.

The 30mm internal width rim is right in the sweetspot for today’s 2.4-2.6” tires, and the beefy rim profile was made to take a beating. There is a small hook on the bead, and an internal raised edge to help keep the tire in place as things get rowdy. Four Four Three offers several other rim profiles, including a carbon option, if the Momentum should be a little on the heavy side for your needs (the Momentum rim weighs in at about 520 grams, with the wheelset tipping the scales at just about 2000 grams with rimstrips and valves installed).

Four Four Three spent a lot of time and effort developing their own hubshells, and they went with quality internals too. Dubbed “FCS” for “Full Contact System”, the rear hub features 6 pawls, each with 3 teeth. Because they all engage at the same time (there are no offset pawls here), you get the full 18 points of contact at all time, which should bode well for longevity. Using a ratchet ring with a very tight tooth profile yields a fast, 3.5-degree engagement.

The Momentum is built with triple-butted spokes, 2.0 gauge at the narrowest part. Once again, Four Four Three have preferred the heavy artillery in favor of extra reliability.

On The Trail

Because of the deep rim well, slipping the tires onto or off the Momentum rim is a breeze. With a fresh tire we were able to get it to seat with just a floor pump, while a more heavily used tire (that doesn’t hold the bead shape so well) was a bit more stubborn and required us to resort to the “tubeless blaster” just to crawl up the rim bed and catch the bead initially. The Momentum comes fully tubeless ready from the factory, with tubeless rimstrip and valves already installed. Add the supplied sealant and you’re good to go. The tubeless held from day one and was never a cause for concern during the test.

Moving out, two things immediately were immediately obvious to us: the fast, crisp engagement, and the quick rolling speed of the hubs. Without resorting to hyperbole here, the hubs are among the better we’ve tested when it comes to rolling resistance out of the box. They have the angry beehive thing going, but the volume is not very loud – several notches below what we would consider a loud wheel (a Hope hub, for example).

On the trail, the Momentum wheelset is stiff and precise, but not overly harsh. Thanks to the strong build and the solid engagement of the rear hub, there is a very pleasant directness to power transfers and direction changes. We’ve had the wheelset out for about 1 month so far, and we’ve managed to test on all kinds of terrain with the same positive result.

In order to up the ante a bit, we tested the Momentum down to ridiculously low tire pressures (~15 psi), to see how it would deal with dents and dings. We managed to put about 8 small- to medium-sized dents into it before a particularly deep impact saw the tubeless seal fail for the first time. By then, the rim wall had been compressed down into the rimbed which made it impossible for the tire bead to engage the rim. We could still ride the rim with a tube, but more impressively, we were then able to straighten the rim wall out to the point where we could once again mount our tire tubeless. With the amount of abuse the rim had seen this was far from a foregone conclusion, and we don’t feel that just any rim would have survived in this scenario. Especially since we didn’t even have to true the wheel afterwards – it was still spinning straight and the spoke tension was holding, testament to the strength that the deep rim profile provides. The shots below show the damage AFTER we had straightened it out again (in two spots).

The Momentum wheel is on the heavier side of the enduro equation, but our experience with other wheels shows that it’s hard to get too far below 1900-2000 grams before strength and reliability start to become a factor, certainly if you are hard on your wheels. On the bike, these don’t feel heavy at all, their crisp engagement and fast rolling hubs more than make up for any weight penalty.

Things That Could Be Improved

The Momentum is an impressive wheel, but were we to nitpick, we’d say the alu nipples could be swapped for brass, as they tend to be more durable for a very small weight penalty. On the topic of weight, at 520 grams the rim is slightly on the portly side, but we certainly feel that its strength more than makes up for the extra heft. Consider other wheels in the Four Four Three line-up if this is a real concern.

Long Term Durability

We’ve only had these wheels out on the trails for about 1 month so far, so it’s too early to provide a definitive verdict on overall reliability. As discussed in the “On The Trail” section above, the rim dealt with impressive levels of abuse and came out swinging on the other side. The 18 points of engagement of the “Full Contact System” hub also bode well for the longevity of the freehub, but we’ll have to come back to this review to let you know how the seals and bearings handle a little seasonal slop after we rack up some more miles on them this winter.

What’s The Bottom Line?

There’s no shortage of quality wheels out there, but that’s not to say that there isn’t room for some more. Four Four Three is a young company that has invested a lot of time and resources into both their rim profiles and their hubs, and the result is a super strong and seemingly very reliable wheel that offers great value for money. At a time when many alloy wheelsets tend to be creeping towards the $1000 mark, it is refreshing to see the kind of performance and features that the Momentum delivers at $600. We’ve given this wheel a true pasting and it has shrugged it all off so far, and we have no qualms about leaving a set on our bike for many more happy miles.

More information at: www.fourfourthreebikes.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord 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 Momentum Complete Wheel
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Aluminum
Rim Aluminum 6061 T6, sleeved construction
Inner Rim Width 31mm
Hole Count 32
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub Four Four Three Surge, free-hub compatibility/Availability: Shimano (10spd, 11spd) & SRAM XD (10spd, 11spd, 12spd Eagle), 18 points of engagement, 3.5 degrees
Rear Axle 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub Four Four Three Surge
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Spokes Triple butted 5.7g/spoke, black
Nipples Alloy External
Colors Grey, red, blue, orange, yellow, green
Weight 4 lb 4.6 oz (1,945 g)
Miscellaneous 35mm external width
Price $600
More Info

​www.fourfourthreebikes.com

More Products