AX Lightness v Enve ... for MTB Tubular (29er) use

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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tetonrider
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 am

by tetonrider

I'm a tubular devotee on the road and for cross, and the more I think about it, the more compelling I find tubulars for MTB use. I believe that some of my local trails will be suited for it and, well, I'm just a tire & wheel geek at heart.

I've been riding carbon MTB wheels (Easton 26ers, Enve 29ers) for some time and am sold on them. I believe that a light wheel negates some of the disadvantages of 29ers. I'd like to stick with a lightweight build.

The Enve XC 29er seems to be the most common wheelset out there, mainly because 'cross riders are using it. That said, their builds seem reasonably light (~1225g) and reliable (DT 240 rear, lefty front for me).

More recently the DT Swiss wheelsets (XCR 950 T 29) have come to my attention, as well as the AX Lightness. The DT Swiss wheel sets are about the same weight as the Enves and about the same (retail) price...but they use DT 180 (carbon/ceramic) hubs. This is a drawback in my opinion as I may switch these between 2 bikes, one with QR rear axle and the other with a 12mm thru-bolt.

I *know* the Enve rims are tough and can take some abuse. Can the AX Lightness SRT rims stand up in the same way?

I'm on the lighter side (150#/68kg), so well within their rating. In a MTB wheelset, I value a wheel that stays true and requires little maintenance. I see it's a 3x build and *appears* to be up to the job. I'd consider building with Tune hubs.

Where's the best spot to get AX Lightness wheels? Is it that German r2 site? Do they ship to the USA?

Thank you!

(For what it is worth, I'd be swapping these wheelsets between a Cannondale Scalpel 29er and a Flash/F29er. I'd probably run them with Dugast FastBirds (52s).)

by Weenie


UpFromOne
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA

by UpFromOne

FWIW I've had nothing but top-flight service from R2 Bike, on 3 orders shipped to U.S.

As for the wheels, if you have the dollas, stick with Enve!

tetonrider
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 am

by tetonrider

thanks for your reply.

do you have experience with the ax lightness rims?

looks like the price for a wheelset of ax lightness + tune cannonball SL & prince hubs @ 1,088g is about the MSRP of enve xc 29 tubulars @ ~1225.

for $150 less, one can get the ax lightness + tune cannonball + kong @ 1,125g.

so...there is an 8-11% weight savings.

i can get a better deal on the enve rims, but these prices are pretty similar. makes me wonder about weight and durability. any comments?

what are r2's typical charges for wheelsets to the US? EDIT: Shipping charges are 35 Euros to the US.
have you generally been hit by customs fees?

thanks!

stephenjames
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:44 pm

by stephenjames

I have been using the AX rims here un the UK for a year now. Had 26" and now 29". Built by R2 with tune hubs and CX ray spokes. I run 50mm dugasts fast bird in the dry and custom dugasts with maxxis beaver tread for mud. These wheels are completely awesome in every respect. I only use for UCI elite races with tech zone and spare wheels though. All other events I run Race Gold and tubeless. R2 bike are perfect to deal with, I always talk to Micha.

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Drappo
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Centumcellae

by Drappo

I used AX Lightness rims 26" in the last season, i have a good feeling from the first second, and now i make a new wheel for 29" always with AX Lightness rims.
Alhoa

tetonrider
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 am

by tetonrider

stephenjames wrote:I have been using the AX rims here un the UK for a year now. Had 26" and now 29". Built by R2 with tune hubs and CX ray spokes. I run 50mm dugasts fast bird in the dry and custom dugasts with maxxis beaver tread for mud. These wheels are completely awesome in every respect. I only use for UCI elite races with tech zone and spare wheels though. All other events I run Race Gold and tubeless. R2 bike are perfect to deal with, I always talk to Micha.


thank you for taking the time to reply. i appreciate it.

is the reason you use them only for UCI races that you feel they are not so reliable (long-term) or because your local/training rides are not suited for them/tubulars?

have you run any enve wheelsets?

do you mind if i ask how much you weigh and also how rocky your courses are?

i'm about 150#/67kg and will be riding these mostly in the dry. i tend to be more of a finesse rider, but i do live in an area with some rocks.

race golds do not last a long time around here if one runs tubeless low pressure.

how is the warranty issue for ax lightness?

any comments on the tune hubs vs dt swiss?

THANK YOU!

for the same price, i'm inclined to go lighter but don't want to wind up with something that won't last (or that i will have to be VERY delicate with)....or that has zero support in the US.

tetonrider
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 am

by tetonrider

Drappo wrote:I used AX Lightness rims 26" in the last season, i have a good feeling from the first second, and now i make a new wheel for 29" always with AX Lightness rims.
Alhoa


thank you! have you used their tubular rims (not sure if that is all they make)?

if so....any negative comments at all?

what spokes/hubs?

how much do you weigh and how rocky is it where you ride?

THANK YOU!

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Drappo
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Centumcellae

by Drappo

tetonrider wrote:
Drappo wrote:I used AX Lightness rims 26" in the last season, i have a good feeling from the first second, and now i make a new wheel for 29" always with AX Lightness rims.
Alhoa


thank you! have you used their tubular rims (not sure if that is all they make)?

if so....any negative comments at all?

what spokes/hubs?

how much do you weigh and how rocky is it where you ride?

THANK YOU!

Yes, i use tubular tufo, i never wheight naked, now i sold for 29", sapim and extralite setting.
Negative? the price!!!!!!!
Alhoa

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Zen Cyclery
Shop Owner
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by Zen Cyclery

I haven't worked with the AX lightness wheels, but I have worked quite a bit with the Enves. I have them on my Tallboy, and they are extremely durable. The 5 year warranty is hard to argue with too.

tetonrider
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 am

by tetonrider

Zen Cyclery wrote:I haven't worked with the AX lightness wheels, but I have worked quite a bit with the Enves. I have them on my Tallboy, and they are extremely durable. The 5 year warranty is hard to argue with too.


thanks for the input. i have a set of enve xc clinchers which are pretty bomb-proof. i'm quite sure the tubulars will hold up great, too, and as you note the warranty is solid. for a US-based customer this is especially easy.

if i had to go to ax lightness (or tune) about a warranty), i would suspect it would be a much more difficult process.

i just have no way to assess how likely this might be for the MTB hubs & rims. with cost aside, the issue is weight savings (nice) vs potential nuisance. i just don't know how to assess the probability of that potential nuisance.

by Weenie


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