New Wide Guard technology reduces punctures from impacts by up to 44% , according to Giant.
Giant’s is not the first brand you probably think of when choosing a new set of wheels, but perhaps its time to consider the Taiwanese Goliath if these latest claims are to be believed. New for 2024 are two new wheel systems – including, two new E-MTB versions – that have been proven on the EDR circuit. The TRX wheels use carbon fibre rims and are aimed at trail riders, while the TRA are alloy and aimed at enduro and DH riders. Giant say these wheels have already been ridden to victory by Youn Deniaud, who won a stage of the Enduro World Series earlier this year. So, what’s new, and is this tech good enough to match the current best mountain bike wheels?
Giant WheelSystems TRX and TRA need to know:
- Two WheelSystems formats: TRX and TRA
- Both feature new hubs with 72 tooth pawl drivers
- Both also available in E-MTB versions
One ‘new’ feature on the WheelSystems is the Wide Guard technology. This essentially means they’ve added some extra width to the rims to protect the wheel from big impacts. But the other benefit is that you might not feel the need to run tyre inserts, thanks to the extra width broadening the contact point between rim and tyre. This was backed up by EWS stage winner Youn Deniaud, who said:
“We were riding and testing the TRA wheels for months, and I love the confidence they give me,” Deniaud said. “The wheels really delivered on the tough track at Loudenvielle. I didn’t have to run tire inserts, so the bike felt lighter and more responsive, and the instant engagement of the hub meant I was super-fast out of the corners.”
The 5mm wide sidewalls apparently outperform previous Giant WheelSystems and other wheels in the same category by up to 44%, testing wheels on withstanding the highest impact force without flatting. Another benefit to the 5mm sidewalls and 30mm inner rim diameters mean that riders can run lower tyre pressures, thus enhancing traction.
The hubs have also seen upgrades, with the TRX and TRA wheels now using 72-tooth pawl drivers in the rear hubs. This leads to instant engagement and claimed better power transfer through the wheels. Giant has paired this with an oversized drive-side hub body bearing, axle and ring nut, all on the rear hub. These, combined with enlarged pawls leads to a claimed increase in stiffness and durability.
Finally, both TRX and TRA wheels are now available in E-MTB versions. These feature electric bike optimised hubs which utilise heavy-duty steel axles and cassette bodies. Giant claim this is so they can handle the higher torques of E-MTB riding.
The TRX wheelsets are designed for trail riding and are made from carbon fibre. They weigh in at 1,846g for the pair of 29in wheels or 1,809g for a mullet setup. The E-TRX, the electric MTB version weighs slightly more at 1,971g for the 29in pair, and 1,989g for the mullet setup.
The TRA wheels are constructed out of aluminium and are designed for more enduro and DH riding and racing. They weigh in at 1,947g for the 29in pair, or 1,914g for a mullet setup. The E-TRA 29in pair weigh 2,070g and the mullet pair weigh 30g less at 2,040g.
Wheels are available now on select Giant bikes and e-bikes, and will soon be available for aftermarket purchase in select markets worldwide.