by Marc Basiliere
April 17, 2014
Well thought out carbon fibre from the Continent
While not a big name in the UK or US, the more we see Xentis’ offerings the more that we think that they should be. The company’s North American distributors were on hand at Sea Otter showing off their latest and greatest. Standing apart in what’s become a sea of carbon, Xentis’ rims are laid up by hand in Austria with a number of nice, unique details. While the hidden nipples won’t be to everyone’s taste, Xentis’ moulded-in valve stem hole and anti-rattle gasket make for a finished-looking wheel. On the road side, cycle computer magnets are built into the rim- counterbalancing the valve and, again, making for a very well finished package. Rims are individually serialised with each wheel’s measurements and its builder’s signature written in by hand.
In the case of the 650b/27.5in Squad 2.5 MTB wheelset, the Swiss Edco hubs are fitted with Belgian C-Bear bearings and laced using Sapim CX-Ray spokes for a top-shelf build. End caps are available for all of the usual axle standards and XD drivers are can be fitted for the 1×11 crowd. The rim itself is a healthy 30/26mm wide and all-up weight is an impressive 1,290g. Despite all European-sourced components, the Squad 2.5 MTBs are, at $2,500, actually less expensive in the US than other first-world options.
On the ‘cross side, Xentis’ Squad 4.2 Disc is a 42mm deep disc-compatible wheelset. Not especially wide at 21/19mm, this model retains its brake track so can be used until you’re ready for road discs (or until road discs are ready for you). Despite their deep section, reinforced braking surface, aerodynamics-enhancing turbolator, and all of the nice touches mentioned above, the 4.2s weigh a very manageable 1,470g.