With weight being a distant second (or third, possibly fourth) to durability, the new WTB HTZ i30 eMTB wheels get heavy duty rims, hubs, and spokes to handle the roughest trails on the biggest bikes.
All-new alloy rims and hubs take an e-mountain bike’s extra weight into account, offering better braking heat management, impact resistance, and stiffness. Even the bearing counts come into play. They’re big wheels for big bikes, here’s all the details, followed by a video of Mark Weir trying his best to destroy them…
Starting with the 6069 alloy rims, WTB uses a new extrusion shape with a dramatically offset spoke bed and rim walls up to 20% thicker than the KOM Tough i30 mountain bike rims.
Thicker sidewalls improve impact resistance, and a thicker, flatter spoke bed wall keeps them straighter and laterally stiffer. The red strip comes on the wheels and covers the spoke holes for extra protection…you’re meant to put tubeless tape over it.
The rims’ offset spoke placement keeps spoke tension more even from side to side for a stronger wheel.
Their “On Ramp” design gives you a deep center channel to help mount tires, then locks them into place once they’re seated. They’re 30mm wide internally, hence the “i30” model name.
The hubs are oversized, with a larger 17mm rear axle sleeve for improved stiffness and reduced bearing wear. There are 32 spokes per wheel, and they are also oversized – 13 gauge double-butted 2.3/2.0, thicker at the hub.
Another unique feature are these heat sinks just inside the 6-bolt brake rotor mounts. WTB says these reduce heat by 10%, helping maintain braking power even on the longest descents.
They have 42 teeth in the drive ring for 8.5º engagement. Where most 6-pawl hubs offset them so that only 3 are engaged at any time, WTB engages all 6 at once for maximum contact and engagement.
This dramatically reduces any slippage, and helps them last longer despite the increased torque from the motor.
Each hub has five bearings, two inside the shell on either end, and THREE inside the heat-treated freehub bodies – two on the inboard side, one on the outboard side for HG and XD. MicroSpline driver bodies add another one at the outside, too.
They’re available in 29er front and rear, and 27.5″ rear for mixed wheel size bikes.
WTB HTZ i30 eMTB wheel weights
- 27.5″ rear – Microspline: 1411g
- 27.5″ rear – Shimano HG: 1405g
- 27.5″ rear – SRAM XD: 1367g
- 29er front – 1235g
- 29er rear – Microspline: 1462g
- 29er rear – Shimano HG: 1456g
- 29er rear – SRAM XD: 1427g
Available now, MSRP is $329.95 (£299.95) front, $439.95 (£399.95) rear, and $769.90 (£699.90) for the set.
Mark Weir sends it
I rode them for a couple runs at Dolomiti Paganella Bike Park in Andalo, Italy, and while I’m no Mark Weir, I tried my best to hit every rock and root I could on the descents.
Totally overbuilt, but the goal is to make them nearly indestructible. Because it’s not just that full-power eMTBs are heavier, its that they allow us to ride more and longer, so the wheels typically see more abuse.
One of the beauties of e-bikes is we can ride them up the hill, too, not reliant on a shuttle. That effectively doubles (or more) the mileage per run. Combine that with braking bumps…
…rocks, and roots, and it’s a lot to ask of any wheelset.
A few runs aren’t enough to put these through their paces, but even the WTB guys I rode with were impressed that Weir hadn’t been able to destroy his set yet. If you’re looking for the toughest eMTB wheelset for the roughest trails, these not only look up to the task, they’re surprisingly affordable, too.