XC Wheelset Recommendations?

Building up an Epic Evo. 185lbs rider.

The OEM wheels are Roval Control SL but I want to stay away from Roval. Bad experience with them.

So far my only choices seem to be:
Enve m525 — 1300g, these seem dated
Hunt XC Wide Race — 1500g, these are a great value

Any other suggestions? Thanks

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Santa Cruz Reserve


I’ve beaten the hell out of my roval control sl’s. No issues thus far. Arizona sharp rocky terrain. Hope I never have a bad experience! The Reserves, from what I’ve seen, are indestructible and quite appealing. Good luck!


I think the only problem with the Hunt is that at that weight at 24mm internal width at least the Enve are 25mm internal width. I have DT Swiss XRC 1200 and they have been great even on Grade 5 trails.


Agreed, the Hunt seem to be inferior in every aspect except value. But in that value ($600?) they excel!

I had bad luck with some older Roval carbon wheels, but my experience with a newer one has been fantastic. I’ve been riding the Control SL for a couple of years now; probably 4000 miles and the only issue was a broken spoke from a branch. Not a super heavy rider (175 pounds) and not super technical trails, but for XC riding they’ve been great.


I can’t say enough good things about Jerry Chabot’s (Built By Jerry, previously called Next Cycling) wheelsets. I have them for my XC bike, road bike and gravel too. Bombproof and exceptionally light. Below is a link to his XC wheelset. His warranty is just amazing (no questions asked lifetime warranty on the rims). Built By Jerry | Grit

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I had 2 bad experiences with Roval wheels.

(1) 2016 Tarmac broken spoke - I don’t blame them although getting the replacement spoke was not easy
(2) 2018 Sequoia broken spoke (with less than 200mi on the bike). Specialized chose not to help me here, writing it off as “wear and tear”, which was complete BS

I am a recovering Specialized boycotter :slight_smile:

I agree, I was going to comment yesterday, I’ve had Hunt XC Wide and they were excellent, but not in the same post code as Enve.

If you’re considering Enve then I assume cost isn’t a huge barrier and you could get something a lot lighter, with a wider internal width, and carbon hoops.

If you’re interested in something different, you can get Duke Racing Wheels from Germany built up for around €6-800 depending on spec which can be crazy light and still have a high weight limit.

I’d say that there’s some pretty well tested options listed here though with the SC, DT etc etc.


Maybe consider lightbicycle.com? Lots of customization options and reasonably priced. Only downside is 2-3 month lead time from order placement to receipt.


Sant Cruz Reserve or NOX composites. Both make great wheels.

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I had a set on Nox rims built up by Colorado Cyclist on DT240 hubs. Not super light, but really durable wheels. The Nox seem to be a cheaper alternative to ENVE rims which (IMO) are horribly overpriced.

I’ll throw a +1 for Nox. Got a set built up with hope hubs for my Xcode/everyday bike and they have been flawless. Reasonably priced too as carbon rims go

for my previous bike (cannondale fsi hardtail) I went with chinese rims (nextie aysm 26.5 mm) hope rear hub and tune lefty front hub, 32 sapim d-light spokes and alu nipples. 1575 gram, rims were a bit on the heavy side with 400 grams. (build them myself), total cost, ~800 euro, because I had to be additional fees 1 month after the rims arrived… :frowning:

For my new bike (scott spark rc team) I have some nice stuff on order, duke lucky jack sls3 rims (30mm front, 28mm rear), erase hubs, 28 d-light spokes (for my 75 kg 28 should be enough on a fully) and brass nipples this time. expected weight, just under 1400, modern wide and light stuff, and should be as durable as the heavier nexties, but time will tell.

My advice, go to a well known wheel builder, provide your wishes, weight, riding style and budget and you will get a nice custom set, with the components -you- need

I’m failing to really understand the dilemma here - either a top line Enve wheelset or a budget set of Hunt wheels? If you have the budget for the Enve, but them.

I’ve always liked Roval wheels, and if I could have kept the wheels on the Camber I sold I would have!

I have the Hunt wheels you mention, and they actually weighed in slightly lighter than quoted. They are a doddle to set up tubeless and are a great set of wheels. There’s not much up to £1000 that are as good. But the Enve’s aren’t really comparable.

Just taking a survey in March 2022. All the other threads on XC wheelsets might be stale. No dilemma.

Am I right in remembering the M525’s are a 25mm rim?

If so, I’d go for something wider since you’re spending the money and can hopefully future proof yourself a bit.

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Thanks, yea, the M525 are an older wheel. and 25mm internal width.

Looks like the SC Reserve 28 XC wheels are the ones i’d like to get. Unfortunately i have to build them up from scratch as the wheelsets are out of stock everywhere…

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the sc reserve 28 rims are quite heavy @385 grams… My cheap nextie rims (390 spec, 400 actual, 26,5mm 175 dollar) where about the same at a third of the price, not to say the quality is equal, but they are not super light weight…, they claimed wheelset weight is very low, only because of the DT 180 hubs and 24 spokes…

The duke rims I mentioned before are 310 grams for the 28mm DUKE Lucky Jack SLS3 6TERS | DUKE, la roue artisanale Haut de gamme
and around 400-500 still cheaper then the SC rims.

That way, your can still build a light set where the weight savings are where you notice it when spinning (at the rim, instead of at the center), and you can get decent MTB hubs instead of 180’s

I’m also on the market for a new wheel set to replace the 21int wheel set that came with my bike.

What do you guys think of this? anyone had any experience with SILT? I believe they are connected to ‘scribe’.

I’m sceptical on 28 spoke wheels on an mtb, but I’m relatively new to the sport. I’m 65kg and trails here are pretty gnarly (wicklow, Ireland)