At a glance
CZR i30 wheels were designed to handle it all, which is why they feature a strategically reinforced carbon layup and are hand built using double-butted spokes, brass nipples and high-engagement hubs featuring top-tier bearings and oversized freehub seals to establish themselves as wheels that simply won’t quit.Buy Wheels on
About the brand
WTB stands for Wilderness Trail Bikes, and is one of the oldest brands in MTB history. Founded in 1982 when Mark Potts, Charlie Cunningham and Mark Slate combined their powers to create better products for riding bikes off road. The team started off designing products that then were licenced to various other brands.
Examples of technology developed by WTB that were produced under license include designs for tires made by Specialized Bicycle Components, the Blackburn B-52 water bottle cage, geometry for the 1987 Trek Bicycle Corporation mountain bike line and the use of Greaseguard in the top-end Suntour XC Pro component group.They were the first to launch a 29’’ MTB tire back in 1999, so they know their thing when it comes to designing rubber.
In 2002 Cunningham and Potts left the company, leaving Mark Slate as the only founding member active in the company. Around that time, they started to become a big OEM supplier to many big brands like Marin, Gary Fisher etc. Currently they have a big range of saddles, tires, rims, wheels, tubeless fluid and grips for the road, off road and gravel market.
Although their website doesn’t mention a specific sustainability practice or goals, they are heavily involved with trail advocacy, supporting several organizations. More info on that here on their website: https://www.wtb.com/pages/advocacy
WTB makes a limited but high quality range of wheels for gravel and MTB use. Besides their flagship CZR I30 carbon wheels, they also have the Proterra wheels in either Light or Tough versions. The CZR’s are only available in 29’’ / boost option for the moment, and you can choose between Sram SD or Microspline body to match your drivetrain.
The wheels have 28 double butted spokes, brass nipples and weigh in at 1884 grams for the set. The wheel set is based on their own Frequency hubs, with a 5 degree engagement. The carbon rim has special reinforcement on the nipple area, to make sure they can take a beating and if you do manage to smash them against a rock or root and break them, WTB will send you a free replacement. Don’t run them over with your car though, that doesn’t count!
Out on the trail
Production tolerances are nice and tight, which shows when mounting tubeless tires. Both were easy to mount and had no problems staying air tight on the first try using WTB’s own tubeless fluid.
Weighing just under 1900 grams, they feel light and nimble especially when accelerating. The 30mm wide rim profile kept them feeling stiff and poppy. The engineers did a great job on keeping some flex in the wheelset to prevent arm pump and blurred vision but they do have that characteristic carbon wheel feel to them.
Hub engagement is usually where you can really notice the difference between an el-cheapo and a more pricey wheelset. The WTB uses 6 pawls, giving you a small 5 degrees between engagement points. This makes it quick to engage when stomping on the pedals. There are some brands out there with even more direct engagement points, but definitely not in the CZR’s price range.
During the testing period they held up well, being ridden hard on loose dry roots and rocks. After several months they are still true and straight with no apparent sign of use.
The WTB CZR I30’s are a quality set, for a very reasonable price if you’re after some nice carbon wheels. One thing I really like about these, is that they use dead regular J bend spokes. No rotating of the spokes when you’re trying to true the wheels, and it's dead easy to find a replacement anywhere in the world. It’s an investment for sure, but one that will definitely last a long time.Buy Wheels on
This review was in Issue 70 of IMB.For more information visit WTB
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.