I’m a fan of CrankBrothers wheelsets. The pair of Iodine’s I had were phenomenal wheels that I still think about to this day. As carbon wheels have become more and more common, it was only a matter of time before CrankBrothers jumped into the action. But, it goes without saying that carbon wheels are not for everybody. Reducing that rolling weight and adding a touch of quiet-ness to your ride will cost you plenty. In the case of the Cobalt 11 29’s, we’re talking $2200.
Just over a month ago, while talking with the Easton folks, they gave me the lowdown on the process for building carbon wheels. Lets just say that the price of these hoops is due to the lengthy carbon layup process that is done by hand. Making aluminum wheels is a process of extrusion and bending, but carbon is a different ballgame. $2200 seems to be the going price for carbon 29er wheels with the one anomaly being the Roval Trail SL 29 at $1700 (if you can find a pair).
Back to the new Cobalt 11 29ers, here are a few feature highlights:
- Weight: 1550 grams is respectable, but the Easton EC90 XC and Roval Trail SL’s are lighter
- Price: $2200 is right in the middle of what others are charging
- Color: The black/gold color scheme is nice and much less flashy than other CrankBrothers models
- Axle Configurations: 9mm or 15 qr up front and standard 135 or 142 spacing in the rear (great flexibility)