We Are One Union MTB Wheelset Australian Review
Why We Are One?
Over the years, I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to ride some really great and some not so great carbon wheels. I, like most people, have had good and bad experiences since carbon wheels started to enter the mainstream market. It seems like almost everyone is offering carbon wheels so it can take a bit to stand out amongst the crowd, We Are One have definitely done so. This leads me to my current bike build, I was lucky enough to get a hold of one of the Forbidden Druid's. Forbidden being a Canadian brand inspired me to work with a Canadian brand theme for the build. That concept brought me to We Are One Composites, hand made in Kamloops Canada. These guys are as Canadian as it gets and with a unique carbon manufacturing process and a great reputation already I was keen to see what these wheels would bring to the table.
The "We Are One" Way
We Are One make their rims differently to any other carbon rim manufacturers out there. The common practice is to pull the rim from the mould, sand back / fill any imperfections for an even finish, drill holes, clear coat and you're ready to ride. Sanding / filling the holes means that the carbon layers within the rim are not perfectly distributed which can have a distinct effect on the strength and ride quality. In contrast, We Are One remove their products from the mould, drill your holes, buff the finish and they're ready to ride. No sanding, filling or altering. This is possible because of a unique layup process that allows them to produce rims with the most minimal variance, perfect out of the mould. This is impressive and all but to really get us excited these rims need to prove their worth on the bike.
Internal width: 30mm
Weight: 1890 grams (29" / Hydra)
Wheel size: 27.5" or 29"
Hub Options: Industry 9 Hydra or 101
Price: $2399 (1-1 Hubs) or $2899 (Hydra Hubs)
Ride quality is huge when it comes to wheels, especially carbon wheels. A wheel that is too soft will squirm and will be off putting in the rough and around corners, robbing you of speed. Yet a wheel that is too stiff will rattle your hands and ankles apart, skimming across the ground as it bounces off rocks and struggles to hold traction. After a few initial morning rides on the local trails I was confident in the feeling of these rims. Coming in hot to rough sections of track I was able to hold a line without being pinged off track on harsh, square edge impacts. The wheels were smooth and compliant, dulling some of the rattling vibrations I was used to on stiffer wheels. Despite this suppleness in the rough when tearing at berms the wheels didn't move around under me uncomfortably, instead they kept me on a true course, I pointed the bike where I wanted to go and the wheels complied without protest. Things were feeling good but with an investment in carbon wheels you need to be sure that they can pass the test of time as well.
Long Term Take
I've had the wheels for 5 months now which means they've been put through their paces in a range of locations and over a range of trail scenarios. I've even gone head to head with my nemesis rock at the bottom of a Garapine G-out. It was a solid impact with the loud bang cutting through the air and making me pull over to check everything out. With an elevated heart rate I checked the bike over to find the rim to be completely unaffected, impressive stuff.
Its worth mentioning that if any damage had occurred to the rim We Are One rims have a lifetime limited warranty policy to give riders that extra piece of mind on their investment.
There was one draw back I have experienced with the rims. They have a stunning natural finish and shine to them. But, I now have a couple of scratches on them after rocks bounced their way across the rim. Structurally the rims are perfect yet the scratches do stand out against the gloss finish of the rim more than others. A very small draw back in the scheme of things, it's a mountain bike after all!
As far as my initial impressions are concerned, nothing has really changed in my eyes even after 5 months. They quite simply offer all the right qualities most riders are looking for in a carbon wheelset, compliance, durability and the confidence that comes in a great product backed by a lifetime warranty.
Doing things differently doesn't automatically mean that its better yet, in this case the crew at We Are One are onto something. Having put these wheels through their paces at home in Australian and overseas in NZ they've not only feel great to ride but have proven their durability leaving me with complete confidence in the product. If you're after a top of the line Enduro / Trail wheelset the We Are One Composites Union rims / wheelsets are deserving candidates. That's before you consider that these wheels are priced far better than some other options that don't provide the same performance.
If you'd like to know more about the We Are One carbon wheel range talk to our staff today or check them out online.
*On a side note, I spec'd my Union wheels with Industry 9 Hydra hubs and they've been unreal. They did have a bit do friction initially as they we're packed really well with grease but have since free'd up and run smooth and fast! The 690 point of engagement is just ridiculous.