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We Are One Composites Union Wheelset

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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We Are One Composites Union
 We Are One Composites Union Wheelset  We Are One Composites Union Wheelset
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Long-Term Review: We Are One Composites Union Wheelset

Handmade in Canada, these wheels are both strong and competitively priced.

Rating: Vital Review
Long-Term Review: We Are One Composites Union Wheelset

Hailing from Kamloops in Canada, We Are One Composites is young company that has been making a name for itself over the past couple of years with a range of in-house manufactured carbon rims. The Union is one of their newest offerings, a rim intended for aggressive enduro riding and racing. It features a slightly lower profile than the Agent downhill rim, to provide for a bit more vertical compliance while retaining ample lateral stiffness. We’ve been putting a pair to the test over the past five months, and we’re here to give you our verdict – to learn more, check out the video below, or keep reading if you prefer that format.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Strong and resilient
  • Very precise handling
  • Competitively priced
  • Multiple build options
  • Great longevity
  • Lifetime no-questions-asked warranty for riding incidents
  • Perhaps a bit stiff for lighter riders
  • Decals look a bit "stuck on"

We Are One Union Wheelset Highlights

  • Intended use: enduro / all-mountain
  • Laid up by hand in Kamloops, BC
  • Unique carbon construction “out of the mould”
  • 32 hole rim
  • 30mm internal rim width
  • Industry Nine 101 hubs
  • Rim weight: 485 grams (27.5) / 495 grams (29)
  • Wheelset weight: 1853 grams (27.5, i9 101 hub, including rim tape and valve, verified)
  • Lifetime no questions asked warranty
  • MSRP: $1399 USD

Initial Impressions

We Are One’s carbon manufacturing technique produces a unique finish right out of the mould, with no filling or sanding or any other type of surface treatment required. The finish is smooth and glossy to the touch and reveals some of the fibers under certain light conditions - complemented by a minimal set of stickers the overall effect is burly yet discrete. Our 27.5-inch set was laced up to a pair of Industry Nine 101 hubs and weighed in at 1853 grams including rim tape and tubeless valves - a build that retails for $1399 USD.

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The Union rim measures in at 30 mms internally, with a shape that makes it easy to mount up the tires tubeless. The factory rim tape job is super clean and the overall build is of very high quality. In fact, We Are One is so confident in their work that they offer a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty – in their own words: “If you break a rim while riding, we send you a new one. Period. It is that simple.”

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On The Trail

On the trail, the Union wheels felt very confidence-inspiring from day one. The engagement of the 101 hub is direct and precise, allowing for quick reactions during technical climbing. The wheels hold a line and track the terrain with precision, as you would expect from a burly carbon rim. They also deliver a certain amount of compliance, which basically translates to a less harsh ride quality. Compliance is a term used by pretty much every wheel – or even bike - company these days, so it can be hard to figure out what’s what. The ride quality of the Union wheel can best be described as unremarkable – in the best sense of that word.

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Point the wheel down some off-camber rocks, and it holds the line with authority but without throwing you off your game at the first impact. Hold it wide open through the brake bumps, the wheels won’t flinch. Steering and braking input is translated to results without delay, and landing bigger jumps is equally devoid of unnecessary drama.

Things That Could Be Improved

We really don’t have much to complain about regarding the Union wheelset – but since’ it’s our job to nitpick, here goes: the decals are a bit underwhelming compared to the finish and feel of the rims. They’re made out of a sort of paper-like material that accentuates the look of a sticker that’s been, well, stuck on, but they’ve actually fared well so far and show no signs of peeling off as yet. This might be the price to pay for the unique finish of the rims, but we always prefer water decals applied under clear coat when possible. The other aspect of the Union wheelset worth highlighting here is the stiffness. There is a certain amount of compliance present in these rims, but we think maybe there could be a bit more, especially in the front wheel. As it stands, the rims are very burly and that’s also how they like to be ridden.

Long Term Durability

We’ve had these wheels out on the trails for five months now, and it’s been a quiet five months as far as these wheels are concerned – no flats, no broken rims, and spoke tension that has remained even. The profile of the sidewall is fairly wide and features a rounded edge that helps ward off snakebites. We’ve not gone easy on these wheels, often times running tires with lower pressures in the name of testing or simple laziness, and the Unions have come through it all with flying colors. Even the finish is holding up still really well, despite a fair few rides in loose and rocky terrain.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

In a world where carbon rims are becoming more commonplace, it can be hard to know what’s what. The devil is as always in the details, and this is where We Are One is doing a great job. Their advanced manufacturing technique makes it impossible to hide any defects with filling, sanding, or paint, and it also allows them full control over how the carbon fibers are placed in the moulds. The result is a very strong wheelset that can handle most if not all types of riding in the burliest terrain, with excellent control and enough compliance not to be overly tiresome. $1399 is not a small amount of money, but it’s actually a lot less than many competitors charge for their carbon wheels, and we certainly feel that the Union wheelset delivers really good value for money here.

More information at: www.weareonecomposites.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // 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 and Video by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product We Are One Composites Union Wheelset
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Carbon
Rim Union carbon, 21mm rim height
Inner Rim Width 30mm
Hole Count 32
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub Industry Nine 101 or Industry Nine Hydra
Rear Axle 12mm x 148mm (Boost), 12mm x 157mm
Front Hub Industry Nine 101 or Industry Nine Hydra
Front Axle 15mm x 110mm (Boost), Other (Available with Torque Caps)
Disc Mount Type Centerlock, 6 Bolt
Spokes Sapim Race or CX-Ray
Nipples Black, Silver, or Colored
Colors Black
Weight
  • 4 lb 1.4 oz (1,853 g)
  • 4 lb 2.3 oz (1,880 g)
Miscellaneous
  • Laid up by hand in Kamloops, BC
  • Revolution mold process allows for precise fiber placement and extension
  • Rim shape allows reduced radial stiffness and utilizes less fiber while increasing impact strength
  • Recommend tire sizes: 2.35" - 2.8"
  • Rim weight: 485 grams (27.5") / 495 grams (29")
  • Multiple build options available
  • Custom builds available from We Are One Composites
  • Lifetime no-questions-asked warranty
  • Price
    • $1,399
    • $1,640
    • $1,556
    • $1,798
    More Info

    www.weareonecomposites.com

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