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Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Discontinued
Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset
 Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset  Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset  Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset
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Tested: Gravity 1 Wheelset by Guerrilla Gravity

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Ian Collins

Guerrilla Gravity is taking a unique approach with their custom handbuilt wheelset program. Unhappy with the direction the bicycle industry pushes riders in with regards to price vs. performance, Guerrilla Gravity created a custom wheelset program that seeks both value and performance in an effort to, in their own words, “make things less cost-prohibitive for the people, but still make things they're stoked on.” In order to provide a product that satisfies both their price and performance standards, Guerrilla Gravity uses select off-the-shelf products that should, ideally, create a handbuilt wheelset that doesn't cut corners in terms of performance, weight or durability, while still providing the customer an affordable alternative that comes with that extra attention to detail that a machine-built wheel may not have. We're fans of that approach, so we got on-board a set of their Gravity 1 wheels to see how a value-minded handbuilt wheelset would hold up.

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Gravity 1 Wheelset Highlights

  • Handbuilt in Colorado
  • Available in most standard dropout and brake configurations
  • Best strength-weight-price ratio available (claimed)
  • Uses off-the-shelf parts for easy replacement
  • Base level rim: WTB Frequency i25 // 32 hole // Black // 25mm internal rim width //WT69 alloy
  • Base level hubs: Shimano Zee
  • Base level spokes: Double-butted with alloy nipples
  • Tubeless ready
  • Completely customizable
  • 1,987g (tested) 1,945g (claimed)
  • MSRP: $495 (base build)

Initial Impressions

Guerrilla Gravity offers two tiers in their Gravity wheelset line, with Gravity 2 being the lower cost option starting at $405.00. The Gravity 1 wheelset we tested starts at $495 and can go upwards from there depending if you want to upgrade any of the individual parts of the wheelset. We chose to test it in its least expensive form, which translates to Shimano Zee hubs laced to WTB Frequency i25 rims using Wheelsmith double-butted spokes.

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Out of the box the wheels were true and had good tension all around. They came pre-taped up and with tubeless valve stems so we quickly mounted our tires, threw in some sealant and got them ready to roll. Note that the tubeless kit runs an additional $25.

When we mentioned the attention to detail that comes with a handbuilt wheelset, we're not only talking about precision and build quality, we also mean extra little touches that tell you a human built these wheels. They're a nice package.

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On The Trail

Once the cassette and brake rotors were bolted to the hubs all that remained to do was throw them into the dropouts and hit the trails. Mounting the Gravity 1 wheels on our bike was without issue.

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Coming in at a very respectable weight and stiffness, acceleration and snappy cornering is definitely something we felt when riding these wheels. They came with a good amount of tension in the spokes which translated to a responsive feel with no windup or flexing felt when getting hard on the gas or the brakes.

The 25mm internal width provided a decent tire profile and sufficient sidewall support when combined with our 2.3-inch WTB Vigilante Team Issue tires.

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At 10-degrees (36-points) the rear hub's engagement is pretty much in line with industry standard at this price point. It may not be as fancy as some high-end hubs out there but it feels crisp and definitely gets the job done. A Hope Pro 2 EVO hub upgrade will bump the engagement to 40-points, while adding $295 to the bill, and a Chris King hub upgrade will double the amount of engagement points to 72, but will also more than double the price of the wheelset. As far as trade-offs go, this is a classic example, but the Zee hub we rode performs well and will certainly not leave you feeling short-changed.

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Long Term Durability

After a couple months on the Gravity 1 wheels we can say they've held up great. No de-tensioning of the spokes occurred after the first few rides which can be typical of a newly built wheelset - these stayed true and tight. The rims have been holding up well too and we've yet to put any dents in them running pressures around 30PSI while riding our local tracks with a few resort days thrown in for good measure.

Things That Could Be Improved

We've yet to find a major or minor flaw in the Gravity 1 wheelset. Sure, we can talk about faster hub engagement, fancier/lighter rims, and better spokes - but those are all available as upgrades when you order your Gravity 1 wheelset, should you feel the need to treat yourself. Here it is very much about getting what you pay for, and in this case, we're talking about a solid wheelset that does exactly what it says at a very competitive price.

What's The Bottom Line?

Guerrilla Gravity set out to build a solid, light-weight and affordable wheelset and they nailed it. While the Gravity 1 wheelset is a no-frills utilitarian style build, the absence of any major weaknesses lets the rider focus on the positives, and that is what's going to get people stoked on their bikes. If you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket and fancy a handbuilt wheelset, the Gravity 1 wheels would be a wise investment. They are made from high value, durable components with a solid build and are upgradable as your budget permits.

Visit www.ridegg.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session. He is currently a student at UCSD and a wrench at a local bike shop.

Specifications

Product Guerrilla Gravity Gravity 1 Wheelset
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 26", 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Aluminum
Rim WTB Frequency i25
Upgrade Options: Stan's Flow EX (add $10.00), e*thirteen LG1+ (add $105.00), and ENVE DH ($1,800.00)
Inner Rim Width 25mm
Hole Count
Tubeless Compatible No
Rear Hub Shimano Zee
Upgrade Options: DT Swiss 350 (add $175.00), Shimano Saint - Centerlock (add $250.00), Hope V2 - Black, Blue, Gold, or Silver (add $295.00), DT Swiss 240 (add $455.00), and Chris King - Black, Gold, Green, Mango, Navy, Pewter, Pink or Silver (add $550.00)
Rear Axle 10mm x 135mm, 12mm x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 150mm
Front Hub Shimano Zee
Upgrade Options: DT Swiss 350 (add $175.00), Shimano Saint - Centerlock (add $250.00), Hope V2 - Black, Blue, Gold, or Silver (add $295.00), DT Swiss 240 (add $455.00), and Chris King - Black, Gold, Green, Mango, Navy, Pewter, Pink or Silver (add $550.00)
Front Axle 20mm x 110mm
Disc Mount Type Centerlock
Spokes Wheelsmith Double-Butted - Black or Silver
Upgrade Options: Sapim Laser - Silver (add $45.00), and Wheelsmith Double-Butted - Blue, Green, Red, or White (add $65.00)
Nipples Silver
Other Options: Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Purple, Red, or White Color Nipples (add $20.00) and Brass - Silver (subtract $10.00)
Colors Black Rims with Colored Nipple and Spoke Options
Weight 4 lb 4.6 oz (1,945 g)
Miscellaneous Add on Rotors and Adapters for Centerlock or 6-Bolt to Match Hub

Upgrade Options: Centerlock - 6 Bolt Adapters (add $55.00), SLX Rotors (add $55.00), and XT Ice Tech Rotors (add $105.00)

Single Wheel Options: Front Only (subtract 60%) and Rear Only (subtract 40%)

Price $495
More Info

Guerrilla Gravity Website

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