Trifox is a regular brand featured on YouTube videos. They have been reviewed by the chino-centrinc Trace Velo YouTube channel, amongst others. They sent in a set of WT11 wheels for an engineering review.
The wheel rims are fabricated using carbon composite material, featuring an external width of approximately 25mm and an internal width of 18mm. These rims incorporate a hooked bead design. The construction includes recessed spoke holes, necessitating the application of rim tape. Their design adheres to traditional specifications, consistent with models prevalent over the past several decades. The rim profile is characterized by a blunt toroidal geometry, a design paradigm that was predominantly favoured during the 2015-2020 timeframe but has since experienced a decline in popularity within the industry.
The set reviewed was measured at 910g for the rear wheel, 815g for the front wheel. Giving a combined weight of 1725g.
This wheelset is equipped with a 4 pawl ratchet system, a mechanism that mirrors the widely adopted standard in the cycling industry. This system is designed to provide reliable and efficient power transfer from the cyclist’s pedaling action to the wheel’s motion. The ratchet system operates by engaging four pawls, which are small, toothed levers, into a toothed ring (the ratchet ring) to transmit torque. When the rider pedals, the pawls engage with the teeth of the ratchet ring, propelling the wheel forward. During coasting, the pawls disengage, allowing the wheel to rotate freely without resistance from the drivetrain.
Throughout the testing period, the ratchet system of this wheelset demonstrated remarkable durability and reliability. Notably, there were no instances of the pawls freezing or seizing, a common issue in lower quality hubs, especially in cold weather conditions. This consistent performance can be attributed to the high-quality materials and precise engineering of the pawl and ratchet mechanism. The resilience of the pawls and the ratchet ring against environmental factors like temperature variations ensures a steady and predictable performance, regardless of weather conditions.
In some less expensive hub designs, the female recessed ring, which houses the ratchet ring, can contract slightly in cold temperatures. This contraction can lead to a failure in the ratchet system’s ability to disengage when offloaded, meaning that the mechanism remains engaged when it should be idle. This issue can hamper the free rotation of the wheel and potentially affect the rider’s control and efficiency. However, in the case of this particular wheelset, such issues were not observed, suggesting a higher level of precision in manufacturing and choice of materials that resist thermal contraction.
Arguably, the absence of contraction-related issues in this wheelset’s hub design is more advantageous than a scenario where springs (used to push the pawls into the engaged position) fail. Spring failure can lead to a complete loss of drive, as the pawls would not engage with the ratchet ring. In contrast, the issue of ratchet disengagement due to contraction, while inconvenient, does not result in a total loss of propulsion, maintaining some level of functionality in the wheelset. This comparison highlights the superior reliability and functionality of this wheelset’s hub design, particularly in comparison to lower-end models where such problems are more prevalent.
Spokes and Tension
The wheelset in question incorporates bearings manufactured by NTN, a company renowned for its precision engineering in the field of bearing technology. These bearings are distinguished by their internal construction, which includes metal cages that are riveted for enhanced durability and structural integrity. The use of riveted metal cages in the bearings is a design choice that typically contributes to increased stability and longevity of the bearing system. This construction method helps in maintaining the alignment of the rolling elements, thereby ensuring smoother operation and reduced friction.
Despite the high-quality expectations set by the brand reputation and the price point of the wheelset, practical evaluations have revealed a suboptimal lifespan for these bearings. This discrepancy between expected and actual performance is a critical point of concern. Bearing life, which is a measure of durability and efficiency under operational conditions, was found to be significantly shorter than anticipated. This reduced lifespan not only affects the overall performance of the wheelset but also increases maintenance requirements and long-term costs for users.
Upon further investigation, it was identified that irregular spoke tension was a contributing factor to the premature wear of the bearings. Spoke tension plays a vital role in maintaining the structural integrity and balance of a wheel. In this case, inconsistencies in spoke tension led to an undesirable distortion of the hub. This distortion, in turn, exerted uneven forces on the bearings, compromising their operational efficiency and lifespan. Such an imbalance can cause increased stress and strain on the bearings, leading to accelerated wear and tear.
This correlation between irregular spoke tension and bearing deterioration underscores the importance of precision in wheel construction. It highlights the need for meticulous attention to spoke tension during wheel assembly and regular maintenance checks to ensure uniform tension distribution. Addressing these issues is essential to optimize the performance and longevity of high-quality wheelsets like those equipped with NTN bearings.
Out of Balance
Spares and Warranty
All of the supplied wheels come with spare spokes and a tubeless valve fitted. The wheels have a 2 year warranty.
These wheels don’t offer many advantages. Although the high-quality bearings enhance performance more than expected, the irregular spoke tension and resulting hub distortion negatively impact the overall quality of the wheelset. Considering alternatives from brands like 9Velo, Elitewheels, Winspace, or ProX would be a better choice.
Watch On YouTube
You can find discount codes here