Product Review: Race Face NEXT SL 29er Wheels

Race Face NEXT SL 29er Wheels

It’s no secret that cross-country riding and racing have been drastically evolving, and so have the bikes and components. With more demand on cross-country gear, brands have had to respond with products that are still light but also sturdy. Race Face has a long history in mountain biking with product lines ranging from cranksets to wheelsets. This year Race Face released its newest addition, the Next SL wheels, for riders looking to push their cross-country rigs as hard as possible. We installed the Next SL wheels, with their burly hubs and new lightweight carbon fiber rims, on one of our favorite XC rigs for a long-term review.

Tech info: Race Face has a broad range of wheelsets for everything from enduro to cross-country riding. Within Race Face’s line of components, the Next SL represents the top with the lightest and most purpose-built designs. The Next SL wheels use a carbon fiber rim with an internal width of 26mm and an external width of 31mm. This internal width is versatile enough to handle anything from 2.1-inch- to 2.4-inch-wide tires without ballooning the shape too much. Like most modern wheels, the Next SL rims are tubeless-ready. Race Face uses a 26-hole rim with three-cross lacing on straight-pull hubs for a finished product that is strong but quite stiff. The rims use a 4.5mm offset to help with the overall strength and stiffness of the wheel. For easier maintenance, Race Face builds the Next SLs using one spoke length.

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