NOBL TR38 27.5 WHEELSET - COMPONENT TEST
There can only be one thing that matches riding your bike, and that is pimping it out with some shiny parts. After dampers, the hoops that keep the bike rolling have to be up there as one of the most important parts to upgrade.
There is always a debate going on somewhere about carbon or alloy. I am pretty sure there will be one going on about the spoke count and wheel size too. Stepping up to the chopping block for a good shake down is the Nobl TR38 wheelset. This carbon beauty more than looks the part, but does it hold up to the look and glamour? That’s the question that we are here to find out.
Silent driver setup
0% driver bite point
Nobl TR38 Rims
32 hole front and rear.
27.5 and 29” options
2.5 year manufacture warranty as standard
5 year crash replacement warranty as standard
Lifetime warranty available to purchase
Hand made in Canada
The wheelset that was specified for this test was a 27.5 TR38 rim, 32 spoke all round laced up to Onyx Hubs. The first point to mention would be that I wish I could have every wheel laced to an Onyx hub. The silent driver was superb, some people may love a loud free hub sound, but until you have ridden a super quiet bike with a silent driver, you have not lived. After months of hard work and abuse, the bearings still feel as they were when new and the driver is smooth and super precise. A point worth adding is the sheer instantaneous engagement of the driver on the Onyx hub. It is as close to 0 degree engagement as can be found. This hub is by far the crown jewel on this wheelset.
Onto the rim itself. This carbon 30mm ID hoop has a fanatic look to it. The deep rim profile looks the part on any bike that they are mounted to. After popping a set of Bontrager tyres on for the test, it was a good way to see how well the Nobl wheel set up tubeless. The tyres were a little tight to get on, but come on, this gives faith that they will not be blowing off the rim when the hammer is down! The tyre even inflated with a simple track pump and little effort may I add. Things are all looking great.
After bolting the setup on the Pivot Firebird that was a custom build at the time, there was an awful lot of carbon on show. This did bring out a small flaw. The TR38 when 27.5 has a short spoke, this means that they are a super stiff wheel. If a few less spokes were present this would take the edge off and save the arms and hands on the long descents. Wheels account for a large amount of the fatigue that you will feel when riding. So this is a factor that needs to be bang on.
Having ridden the wheel for several months there was not a single mark on the setup, even after taking the pressure down as low as dared to try and test the 3.5mm oversized hookless beads. As much as some things seem like sales tactics, these hookless beads actually work…. after trying hard to rip the tyre off the wheel through the corners, they held strong. Sealed and intact on the rim. This hookless setup also helped bat away a few harsh rim impacts too, having only incurred one puncture from a sharp rock that would have sliced the best of tyres.
Nobl also offer some pretty impressive warranty. For no extra cost at all you will get 2.5 years cover from all manufacturer’s defects. It also includes a 5 year crash replacement. If you are a lunatic like me, then this can be bumped up to a lifetime warranty for a small fee of $100… I’m sure you can work out what that is in GBP. You really cannot fault the company’s faith in their product. Also worth a mention is that Noble suggest that the TR38 is E-Bike compatible. A tasty subject but it is something to think about.
The Nobl TR38 is an example of a very stiff wheelset. This taken into consideration, it would be something that would be more suited to a DH/hardcore enduro setting, as we cannot fault the reliability of these hoops. When specifying a wheel such as this, remember that the smaller 27.5 wheel will come up stiffer than its larger counterpart. This taken into consideration it would be wise to think about lowering the spoke count, of at least the front wheel, to the 28 spoke option to help add a little forgiveness where it counts.
If you are looking for a solid, no nonsense carbon wheelset, the Nobl is a good option. Coming in at around the $1,500 mark depending on what build you take on. This is not an expensive wheel when comparing it to the likes of Envy that come in at double that.
The long and short of this is that the TR38 is a super stiff, super reliable and an inexpensive carbon wheelset option that will more than hold up to the abuse that can be thrown at it. They also look smart! If the front wheel was 28 hole and also 29” I would buy a set for my personal bike.
Word and Photos - Ieuan Williams