These wheels come ready to go out of the box with rim tape and and pre-installed valves. Mounting a tire on the hooked bead was as easy as it gets, with Maxxis, WTB and Schwalbe tires all seating and staying sealed without issue. The first time I rode the Maul TR wheels I forgot about them. That’s probably not the feedback you expect from a $1,750.00 carbon wheelset, but hear me out because it’s a good thing. All too often I hop on a new set of carbon wheels and have to re-learn the way I corner or get accustomed to a change in the way the bike feels. It’s easy to convince yourself after spending that kind of cash on a wheelset that having a massive change in the way your bike rides is an improvement, but honestly some of my favorite products are the ones that are designed well enough that you can forget about them and just ride. Since the carbon wheel market is jam packed with solid offerings that are light, strong and durable, the separating factor now comes down to the feel of the wheels, and Spēd Precision absolutely nailed it.
The Maul TR wheelset isn’t the lightest on the market nor is it the flashiest, but they work really damn well. No one is going to stop you on the trail to check these out, but sometimes subtle, black and understated graphics are better. These wheels let the ride do the talking. The time Spēd Precision spent in the lab fine-tuning the vertical and lateral compliance of the wheel pays off in dividends out on the dirt. I live in a region littered with sharp, jagged rocks that don’t think twice before claiming your expensive wheel as their own. Despite dropping tire pressures into the teens, the only damage I was able to incur, short of literally trying to destroy the wheels, was a torn tire sidewall. Slamming the wheel sideways on a landing or throwing your weight into a corner results in a surefooted feeling that isn’t harsh, but still unyielding. I love me a good pedal smashing power-wheelie on the way out of corners and these wheels happily oblige thanks to the four-degree driver and stellar torsional stiffness. Whether you’re on the gas to get up a technical climb or charge out of a corner, these wheels have all the stiffness and efficiency that you would expect from a carbon wheel at this price point. Pitch the bike into some stair-stepped rocks or chattery braking bumps and the wheels deliver a composed and deadened response. It’s literally like my Christmas wish list of carbon wheel ride dynamics. Do I wish the wheels were a tad lighter? Yeah, especially since weight savings are one of the major draws of a carbon wheel, but not once did I actually notice the slight weight penalty aside from on paper. To be fair the 1,775 gram Maul TR wheelset is only about 200 grams heavier than a $2,700 set of Enve M60’s, so at this point we’re really splitting hairs. As a mid level price point offering, the Maul TR wheelset’s on trail performance is comparable to wheelsets that far exceed that price range.