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Race Face Announces Next SL Carbon Wheelset

October 25, 2018


Race Face Announces Next SL Carbon Wheelset

Race Face announced on October 18, 2018, the release of their Next SL wheelset, a 29”-only clincher model that’s said to combine light weight, 26 mm internal (31 mm external) width, and added strength to maximize aggressive cross-country and mountain trail riding. Per the company, weight comes in at 1,555 grams.

Since Race Face is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox Factory, Inc., they advertise that the Next SL wheelset was produced “with the Step Cast 34 Factory Series rider in mind.” This is Fox’s 120 mm dedicated race fork, which can accommodate up to a 2.6” tire on a 29” bike frame.

Each wheel comes with 28 Sapim Laser spokes of equal length, laced 3X. Together, the manufacturer advertises Next SL as the ultimate, fast-riding trail wheelset “for attacking the climbs and pushing the descents.”

Race Face also indicates on their website that the wheelset is “designed to complement our award-winning Next SL crankset.” However, they don’t list any specifics regarding this aspect, and none of the authorized retailers we reached out to offered additional insight.

                                Quick Specs                               
Manufacturer Race Face
Model Nexus SL Wheelset
Category Trail, Cross Country (XC)
Size 29”
Weight 1,555 g (3.42 lbs)
Material Carbon fiber composite
Origin Taiwan
MSRP $1,600 (set), $825 (rear), $775 (front)

Next SL Wheelset vs. Race Face R Wheels

Like Race Face’s wider, enduro-oriented R line, the Next SL wheelset features full carbon fiber composite construction, a high gloss black finish, and a 4.5 mm offset spoke hole layout to improve stiffness.

These pokes attach to their Vault Hub, which promises to maximize lateral stability and deliver “stronger, stiffer wheel construction,” “super fast engagement, long bearing life, and tool-free end caps.”

Important: Keep in mind that the tool-free interchangeable end caps are sold separately and cost $20 per pair.

The Next SL wheelset also comes with 12×148 BOOST rear hub spacing, 15×110 Boost front hub spacing, and an oversized hub flange that’s said to improve bracing and accommodate larger bearings.

stock image showing Race Face Next SL Carbon Wheelset mounted to Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt mountain bike in forest next to dog
Race Face’s new Next SL carbon wheelset, paired with the XC-oriented Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt (and Rupert). Credit: Fox Factory, Inc.

Unlike the R line, though, the Next SL wheelset is tubeless ready (rim tape and valves come pre-installed) and features interchangeable vinyl decals (vs. R’s water transfer logos).

Finally, Race Face offers the R line in 27.5 and 29” versions, whereas Next SL wheels are solely available for 29” models.

Next SL Warranty Details

All Race face carbon wheelsets, including Next SL, come with a limited two-year, no-fault, Carbon Confidence Guarantee. Keep in mind, however, that this only applies to new purchases made from an authorized dealer. Also, that you’ll need your original proof of purchase.

You can find more details on the Race Face website.

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Derek has more than two decades of experience as a cyclist, and is the founder of TreadBikely. He currently travels full-time with his family via RV, enjoying the country's best biking destinations. A secular Buddhist, Derek frequently explores the intersection of cycling, mindfulness, and compassion in his writing. #rolloutblissout
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