e*thirteen TRS Race SL Carbon Wheelset

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e*thirteen TRSr SL Wheels
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Conquering Moab on the All-New e*thirteen TRS Race SL Carbon Wheels

Stronger and lighter. What's not to love?

Conquering Moab on the All-New e*thirteen TRS Race SL Carbon Wheels

The arrangements were simple:

"We've got some new prototypes to show you. Where do you want to meet?"
"I'll be free March 30-31. Moab? Let's do this thing!"
"Deal. Bring a trail bike."

Just minutes before they were due for departure from their San Luis Obispo, California office, e*thirteen's Connor Bondlow and Scott Ender waited anxiously for samples to arrive from overseas. The carbon goodies we'd be riding were about as fresh from the oven as you can get.

With the Albatross loaded, the two flew through an all day drive to get to Moab. Spring conditions meant hero dirt, loads of spring-breakers, and an awesome adventure were in store.

Refining The Rim Profile

The recently dusted La Sal mountain range hinted at things to come as we installed the new TRSr SL wheelset. What was new, I

The arrangements were simple:

"We've got some new prototypes to show you. Where do you want to meet?"
"I'll be free March 30-31. Moab? Let's do this thing!"
"Deal. Bring a trail bike."

Just minutes before they were due for departure from their San Luis Obispo, California office, e*thirteen's Connor Bondlow and Scott Ender waited anxiously for samples to arrive from overseas. The carbon goodies we'd be riding were about as fresh from the oven as you can get.

With the Albatross loaded, the two flew through an all day drive to get to Moab. Spring conditions meant hero dirt, loads of spring-breakers, and an awesome adventure were in store.

Refining The Rim Profile

The recently dusted La Sal mountain range hinted at things to come as we installed the new TRSr SL wheelset. What was new, I wondered? Connor explained that they'd redesigned the rim profile and given the hubs an overhaul.

e*thirteen's enduro and downhill racing heritage has honed our dedication to maximizing strength and impact endurance. We have yet to bring that level of reliability to trail bike and all-mountain weights until now.

What surprised me was that they'd actually made the rim sidewall thinner to achieve their claim. A much improved carbon layup and better distribution of material are to thank.

By reducing sidewall thickness from 3mm to 2.5mm and balancing the profile strength, we were able to double impact damage resistance while reducing rim weight by over 30g per rim.

The result? A wheelset that weighs 150g less than its TRSr enduro counterpart with twice the impact strength of its predecessor - the 27mm TRS Race wheels.

The new wheels measure 28mm wide internally, pairing well with tires up to a 2.4-inches wide. Because all e*thirteen wheels come ready to rock with tubeless tape and their fancy aluminum valves installed, installation was a breeze and we were quickly on our way to one of Moab's finest trails.

TRS Race SL Carbon Wheel Highlights

  • 27.5 (650b) an 29-inch trail bike wheelset
  • 28mm internal width carbon rim with hookless profile
  • Double the rim impact strength compared to previous version
  • Tubeless compatible - Rims come pre-taped with aluminum tubeless valves installed
  • New SL aluminum hubs with secondary seals and 6-degree engagement
  • Front Axle: 15x100 and 15x110mm Boost
  • Rear Axle: 12x142 and 12x148mm Boost
  • Includes various interchangeable end caps and extra spokes
  • SRAM XD or Shimano compatible freehub
  • 6-bolt disc mount
  • Laced with 28 double-butted j-bend spokes and black alloy nipples
  • All bearings guaranteed for one year
  • Five year warranty
  • Wheelset Weight: 27.5 - 1,650g // 27.5 Boost - 1,664g // 29 - 1,733g // 29 Boost - 1,748g (incl. valves and tape)
  • Rim Weight: 27.5 - 388g // 29 - 422g
  • MSRP : $1,499 USD / €1,699

Taking Down Captain Ahab

Moab's Captain Ahab trail is a fast and furious huckfest, and it was the first BLM-sanctioned advanced trail in the area. To access it, first you have to pedal up Hymasa or Amasa Back, both of which are technical feats marked by hundreds of short, punchy efforts up and over boulders and ledges.

Setting out for the ride, I noted the purr of the rear hub as we coasted out of the parking lot. With 60 teeth and three pawls at work, they provide fast 6-degree engagement – a welcome number in terrain where quick power delivery is essential.

With 60 teeth and three pawls at work, they provide fast 6-degree engagement – a welcome number in terrain where quick power delivery is essential.

The previous TRSr hubs used a bonded carbon hub shell, which certainly sounds fancy (and expensive). For 2018 they've moved to a machined 7075 aluminum shell that weighs the same and is more economical.

"A fully aluminum hub build allowed for a smaller shell diameter, while we kept the flanges large in true e*thirteen fashion to optimize spoke triangulation and overall wheel strength. Even with a steel axle these hubs come out at the same weight as the current TRSr carbon hubs but take much less time to manufacture, decreasing cost for the consumer and allowing us to produce much more."

The diameter of the driveside flange on the SL rear hub is 61mm, while the non-driveside and both front hub flanges are 57mm.

Piloting down Ahab is brutal on bikes, especially when you mix some speed into the equation. Rock-smashing is the name of the game, and the wheels proved themselves time after time during the rugged and often exposed 1,000-foot descent as we raced the sun to the valley floor.

Porcupine Rim In The Snow

The next morning I called an audible. The boys had never ridden Porcupine Rim and simply had to experience it. You can't say you've mountain biked in Moab without having ridden arguably the most iconic Moab trail, can you? With low overnight temps and rainclouds all over the radar I knew it'd be a gamble. Other crews were calling off their ride plans left and right, but we were determined to make it happen. "Bring a jacket!"

As we headed from town I recall looking out the truck with my fingers crossed. Scattered between the ominous grey were a few patches of clear sky. There was a chance this could be incredible. We pressed onward past the many towers looming over Castle Valley.

Gaining elevation, the rain turned to sleet and sleet to snow. Faced with an unexpected road closure a few miles from the top and inches of snow beneath our tires, the crew bundled up and began the slog up the unfinished road.

It wasn't long before the clouds departed and the sun shined down. With that came the hero dirt we'd ordered.

Those that have ridden Porcupine Rim know well just how rough this trail can be. Look closely and you'll find broken bike parts scattered all over the famous 13-mile stretch of rock and sand. Once out of the upper singletrack it's a relentless onslaught of oddly angled impacts out to eat your lunch, and it's here that the wheels made their biggest impression.

All too often carbon hoops can feel overly stiff, but that's not the case with the new TRS Race SL wheels. They communicate the terrain well and are stout side-to-side, but take a bit of the sting off otherwise harsh terrain.

All too often carbon hoops can feel overly stiff, but that's not the case with the new TRS Race SL wheels. They communicate the terrain well and are stout side-to-side, but take a bit of the sting off otherwise harsh terrain. By blending just the right amount of stiffness, compliance, and width at a very reasonable weight, e*thirteen seems to have found a nice sweet spot for this trail-oriented wheelset.

"Snow, mud, flat tires, hero dirt, and smiles all around. This ride had it all." Just part of the Whole Enchilada, but a whole lotta fun.

The new TRSr SL wheels ship this August. We will continue to put them through the paces. Visit www.bythehive.com for more details.


About The Tester

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Photos by Brandon Turman and Courtney Steen

Specifications

Product e*thirteen TRS Race SL Carbon Wheelset
Riding Type Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Rim Material Carbon
Rim Hookless profile
Inner Rim Width 28mm
Hole Count 28 or 32
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Rear Hub SL hub // 7075 aluminum hub shell with large flanges // 6-degree engagement // Interchangeable axle plugs // XD or Shimano freehub
Rear Axle 12mm x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Front Hub SL hub // 7075 aluminum hub shell with large flanges // Interchangeable axle plugs
Front Axle 15mm x 110mm (Boost), 20mm x 110mm
Disc Mount Type 6 Bolt
Spokes The Hive triple-butted custom // Black
Nipples Black alloy
Colors Black
Weight
  • 3 lb 10.2 oz (1,650 g)
  • 3 lb 13.1 oz (1,733 g)
Miscellaneous Wheel Weights (including tubeless valves and tape)
- 27.5” = 1,650g (F: 745g, R: 904g)
- 27.5” boost = 1,664g (F: 752g, R: 912g)
- 29” = 1,733g (F: 795g, R: 938g)
- 29” boost = 1,748g (F: 802g, R: 946g)

Rim Weights
- 27.5” = 388g
- 29” = 422g
Price $1,499
More Info

What's in the box: TRS Race SL wheels, tubeless tape, tubeless valve, spoke x3, nipple x3, nipple washer x3, 12x142, 12x135, QR endcap plugs (142mm wheels only)

​e*thirteen website

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