Cole Wheels is a company you might not have heard before, be that as it may, once you ride a set you will be completely sold. To see what the Treads thought, Cole sent over a set of their hand built carbon XC wheels named the Aries Lite.
Taking the wheels out of the box right away you know they are light, 1786 grams stated. The carbon rims are a High-Compression, high modulus 25mm Clincher with a 27mm width. Graphics are clean and note well the location of the valve stem, for quick pressure fills. Twenty-eight double threaded and double butted Swiss stainless steel spokes connect the rim to the DSA hub. What is DSA? A technology developed by Cole, Dynamic Spoke Alignment allows for higher spoke tension of the straight pull spokes which provides you better power transfers for quicker starts and handling through the corners. DSA’s cylindrical nipples distribute the spoke tension and road vibrations over a larger area helping to maintain a longer life for your hub. The 6061 T-6 cold forged alloy body, hard-anodized alloy free hub, stops by a center locking disc brake mounting and spins forever by sealed bearings. When I say forever, it sure seemed like forever, beyond the weight of this wheelset the smooth and continuous rotation will impress. Also available, is a 15mm thru-axle front hub.
Now enough of all the technical speak, how did they ride? Once you break off the line or just hit the trail from the parking lot, you will feel all your energy being transferred directly to the tire. In all out sprints the wheels stay rigid thanks to Cole’s DSA technology, there by keeping you headed down the trail and to the finish line. The low rolling resistance is really noticed on downhill sections but it continues to aide you on the climbs as well.
The wheels are solely a mountain XC wheel, but handle very well in technical sections and small rock gardens. The Aries Lite were put through many conditions and terrain and took their fair share of beatings, which to note, they clean up well. It isn’t suggested to use these for downhill or huge drop-offs, if that’s your flavor, look into the Massif. The price tag on the Aries Lite is the only hold back we saw at $1495, priced a couple hundred dollars above the competition. Getting past the price tag, the strength, their light weight and the smooth rolling, low rolling resistance will help you to get past that and assure you that if you are in the market for a high-end carbon wheelset, Cole will not dissapoint.