We first introduced you to the Dirt Thumper carbon wheel set back in late March. The bad news (for me) is that it has been a very wet spring in my neck of the woods – keeping me from weeks of riding all the excellent local mtb trails. The good news is that hundreds of miles have been put on the Thumpers on a wide variety of terrain – and not just dirt. The other good news is that the local trails finally dried out enough for me to really put the Thumpers through their paces.
My test wheel set came pre-taped so all I had to do was throw on valves, Hodags, and some sealant and I was off and rolling. The tubeless setup was very easy to install; the tires snapped right into place and I have had zero sealant leakage for the duration of my hooning. Simply put, the tubeless setup worked flawlessly for the entire duration of my testing.
While the Thumper wheel set is not the lightest in the after-market realm (nor do they claim to be), this wheel set is much lighter than almost every stock wheel set. Depending on your stock configuration, you should lose one to four pounds depending on your tire and tube/tubeless combo. Thus the $1200 price tag makes them very enticing for anyone who is looking to upgrade from their stock set of wheels. The question is, of course, are the Dirt Thumpers worth it?
Because of the incessant rain, my first several weeks of riding the Thumper wheel set consisted mostly of gravel, sand, and urban randomness. As you would expect from a carbon wheel set, they are stiff, spin up quickly, and look sexy. The double-walled construction of the rims should make the Thumpers a stiff and durable wheel set as well. The engagement of the XD driver never left me wanting; it had consistent and solid engagement. The Dirt hubs have sealed Enduro bearings and spin freely and smoothly. The Thumper wheel set passed the initial testing with flying colors.
And then the trails finally became dry enough to shred…
I’m tall, and rather skinny. While I lack tremendous mass, I did not hold back at all testing out the Thumpers. I ran them up, over, and off everything I could find. The wheel set didn’t ever complain. I would hit obstacles harder than I needed to trying to make the wheels bark at the abuse – they never did.
This wheel set is killer. I ran them very hard with no issues. Despite all of my shenanigans, the wheel set still rolls smooth and remains true. The Thumper wheel set is fantastic.
One of the interesting offerings that Dirt has put forth during my trial of the Thumpers is the option to build the Thumpers – direct from Dirt – with I9 hubs! I had zero issues with the Dirt hubs, but an upgrade to top-of-the-line I9 for an additional $400 ($1600)?! Not bad at all, count me in. So whether you just want to lighten your rig or you plan to do some racing, the Dirt Thumper wheel set is light, very well built, and for a very reasonable price. I’m very impressed.
Now, back to the trails!
For more information, go to www.dirtcomponents.com