Strikingly situated for XC and trail.
A worthy upgrade to your XC whip or trail bike, the Crank Brothers Cobalt 2 29in Wheelset turns heads with its striking twinpair spokes. Not only do these spokes dress up your beloved bike with eye candy, but more importantly, they increase stiffness and strength by distributing rider forces across a triangular spoke structure. To those unfamiliar with engineering, triangles are employed on bridges and overhanging structures, namely for their load-bearing ability. Translated into the Cobalt 2's riding characteristics, you'll appreciate a noticeable increase in stiffness over flimsier stock wheels, especially when you're tracking across rough terrain.
Another benefit to twinpair spokes, overall mass sits closer to the wheel's center for relatively quick acceleration when you're spinning up climbs and bursting out of corners. It tips the scales at a respectable 1790 grams, which is satisfactory considering its alloy composition and enthusiast-level price. Compared to the racier Cobalt 3 Wheelset, the Cobalt 2 weighs only 55 grams more, which isn't a bad tradeoff, considering you'll save loot for future upgrades to your bike. Something to note, the 24 spoke count is less than others in the XC/trail category, yet its stiffer twinpair design makes up for the fewer number of spokes.
Considering the 6061-T6 alloy rim sits at a relatively narrow 23 millimeters, we'd recommend running tires somewhere in the 2.2-inch range, although you could squeeze on a slightly larger tire for greater plushness at the risk of exposing more sidewall. The undrilled rim profile makes tubeless set-up a cinch without the need for rim tape. Another thing to note, Crank Brothers redesigned the hubs a couple of seasons back for greater reliability. Both hubs run on sealed cartridge bearings, with the rear hub having a three-pawl freehub with 21 points of engagement.
- Enthusiast-level XC wheels with striking spokes
- 24 twinpair spokes increase stiffness and strength
- Spokes place mass closer to center for acceleration
- 6061-T6 alloy rim for optimal strength-to-weight
- 23mm rim width optimally supports tires of 2.2in
- Undrilled rim profile for easier tubeless set-up
- Three-pawl freehub with 21 points of engagement
- Separately available SRAM XD freehub body