920g, that’s how light can a modern mountain bike wheelset build go these days, it seems. German wheelbuilder Light-Wolf’s wanted to see how ultralight they could build some modern XC wheels, working with off-the-shelf serviceable components and a modern wide 30mm internal tubeless-ready carbon rim. Combining Belgian rims, Italian hubs, and some unique carbon+ti spokes Light-Wolf is pushing the limits of conventional wheel building…
Light-Wolf ultralight 920g, 30mm internal XC wheels
So our first questions were who are these for, and what kind of riding will they stand up to?
Berg rates their rim for riders up to 90kg/198lb and for cross-country & marathon riding. Light-Wolf is just a bit more conservative, simply saying they’re not really suitable for heavyweight riders or downcountry use.
Also, they wouldn’t really recommend them for today’s much more technical World Cup XC tracks littered with gnarly rock gardens and meter-high drops. But really at this crazy-low weight, they’re pretty sure any potential buyers know what they are getting into.
The wheels are built around tubeless-ready 29er Berg Ratheberg carbon rims, dubbed the “World’s Lightest 30mm internal rim” at just 270g.
Light-Wolf laces the ultralight hoops to CNC-machined 7075 alloy Extralite Hyperboost3 hubs with standard steel bearings and an XD freehub body – hub weight claims of 74/148g, front/rear.
Each wheel gets 28 carbon spokes that have been sourced from Asia, featuring titanium heads and spoke threads, laced with Sapim Polyax Double square 16mm alloy nipples. Light-Wolf says the spokes weigh just 2.3g a piece, yet still have similar stiffness to Sapim’s premium benchmark C-Ray spokes.
Plus, they say that thanks to the rim’s offset profile, the wheels build up with a nicely balanced spoke tension profile that should mean solid durability – front 1000/919N & rear 918/1100N.
Light-Wolf ultralight MTB wheels – Pricing & availability?
Light-Wolf owner Felix Wolf tells us the 920g XC wheelset would retail for about 2500€, but… he won’t sell them to you just yet. Currently, they are still in the “study” phase and Light-Wolf doesn’t want to “make experiments on paying customers”. But beyond ride testing them through the winter in Germany, they’ll next go to independent evaluation on a wheel testing rig to “gain more confidence about long-term durability”. Only then will Felix build you a set so light.
With that said, Light-Wolf regularly build custom MTB wheels in the 1000-1200g range, and drop bar wheels that are only one or two hundred grams lighter. So, feel free to drop them a line if you want to satisfy your inner weight-weenie.
What’s next for Light-Wolf? They tell us a sub-UCI-limit 6.5kg XC hardtail with these wheels, 2.2″ tires & a 1×11 drivetrain is in the works. Coming soon, just not to a UCI race start line…