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Novatec Demon Wheels

Novatec Demon Wheels

Novatec have been making quality wheels for years but for some reason they’ve never really made a big name for themselves. I mean did you know that you you’ll find their wheels at World Cup DH races under some fairly big named riders? Probably not. Anyway, judging by these new DH wheels of theirs they’re probably worth taking a bit more notice of.

We can’t give you an exact UK pricing on these wheels as currently they’re only available direct for €599, but with the exchange rate at the moment that translates into something around the £520 mark. That’s for the pair. That kind of puts them in a bit of a middle ground price wise, but Novatec reckon that performance wise these will rival any wheels. Obviously we’re going to have to wait until after a good few months of testing to tell you if that really is the case, but first impressions are very promising.

The fact that they’re built up using top quality Sapim double butted spokes is a good sign for starters. So often manufacturers try and save money by scrimping on this important area. The hubs seem to be particularly good quality too. When I took the rear one apart there was a lovely ‘pop’ sound as I removed the axle. Tolerances seem very good indeed. Also, the freehub mechanism uses no fewer than six pawls, all of which have two teeth for engagement. This should prove to be very reliable and it provides a fast pick-up. The springs which push the pawls aren’t too strong either so it’s not too loud and there’s very minimal drag. I have to admit that I was cursing a bit when I put it back together as the seal was a bugger to get back into place, but then again over the years I’ve found that often easy seals equal not so good seals, and tricky seals equal much better ones. The fact that you have to undo the axle end caps with 17mm cone spanners also means that you wont suffer from that annoying thing when the cassette and freehub body accidentally fall off the rest of the wheel when you have it out of the bike. The front wheel adaptors simply push on and off though, and they stay securely in place so you won’t be losing them.

These wheels are available with either 32 or 36 spokes which means you can choose what is best for your needs. The pair we’ve got are the 36 version and despite having those extra spokes they still weigh in a respectable 999g for the front and 1195g for the rear. Not the lightest, but then again these feel like they’ll take much more of a beating than some lighter wheels. We’ll let you know how we get on with these in due couse, but from the way it looks right now we should maybe pay a bit more attention to what these guys are producing.

Price: €599.00

  1. Hairy

    I would love to know where the weight really lies in that wheelset. Novatec hub s are tough, but not the lightest….though a slightly heavy hub is not so much of an issue. So what I am getting to is that these wheels might still roll with a nice light feeling if most of the mass sits on the hubs and not the spokes and rims.

  2. gabe

    That ABG is a clever little touch. Kinda thinking it needs at least two steel inserts to actually be effective tho. Three would be ideal but two would be enough. Is there another on the other side of the freehub? or just the one?

  3. chris-m

    Actually a good looking set of wheels from what I can make out on my mobile. Not what I’d call the “lust after” brand, but if they work and are good quality for the money, that’s all that matters.
    Also, the hub looks similar to a Superstar and Nukeproof hub. I’m guessing that the manufacturer of those two brands is Novatec?

  4. Gaz

    Given that a pair of Hope Hoops Evo IIs with Stans Flow rims would set you back £340 and are lighter, completely rebuildable with all the spares and warranty backup you could want, why would anyone buy these? OK they may be a bit quieter but other than that?

    It does beg the questions why are all these proprietary wheelsets so damn expensive?


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