Roost i33EN Wheelset
Are These The Best Affordable Carbon Wheels?
Words by Justin Serna | Photos by Cole Gregg
Carbon wheels have long been the “pimp my ride” solution for most mountain bike enthusiasts. Nothing says, “I take this sh*t serious,” like a set of sexy carbon hoops. One reason for this status factor is the exorbitant cost most brands charge for their wheels. Currently there are carbon wheels available from countless brands. You can find a carbon wheelset online from questionable Chinese brands, established component manufacturers and bike brands or even small, niche American companies who hand-make their wheels here in the States. It’s definitely a saturated market, but during our years of testing bikes and products, few things can really change the ride of your bike as much as wheels. Not all carbon wheels are created equal and we were excited to try these new Roost wheels.
Roost is based in Boulder, Colorado and they off three different and very distinct wheelsets: the i27XC, i31AM and the gravity focused i33EN. We tested the i33EN, which are built around a 33mm internal rim width, 38mm external and heavier duty Enduro layup meant to withstand the rigors of racing and aggressive riding.
Roost’s rims are manufactured in Asia before being shipping to Boulder, CO. Once they arrive at Roost HQ they are laced and trued using the Holland Mechanics OT before a detail oriented quality control check where tension is finalized by hand. The goal is to deliver customers an evenly tensioned and perfectly true wheel.
What’s really impressive is the fact these wheelsets are available for $900 in 27.5” or 29” with Boost as well as Non-Boost spacing options. Roost offers them with your choice of a Roost 150t engagement free hub or the tried and true DT Swiss 350 or 240 hubs.
The high modulus, pre-preg carbon fiber layups ensure a high strength to weight ratio and the reinforced nipple beds with a curved carbon strip ensure that each nipple is equally strong, despite the spoke pull angle. Every wheelset comes with a 1-year manufacture’s defect warranty and a lifetime crash replacement at $225 per new hoop.