Race Face's new flagship carbon wheels aim to deliver low weight and high strength with excellent comfort.


Race Face’s new Era carbon wheels claim to offer the optimum balance of weight and compliance, as well as offering the peace of mind that comes with a no-quibble crash replacement guarantee. Rather than trying to design the best wheelset in one specific area, Race Face’s engineers have gone for a more holistic approach that, it says, nets them the best overall wheel package on the market.

Race Face Era Carbon Wheelset Need to know:

  • 1,750g weight on 29in wheelset
  • $1,599 USD price (GBP £1,698 for a set, or £849 each)
  • Flagship Vault hub with 3º engagement
  • 30mm internal rim width
  • Lifetime warranty – inclusive of crashes
Race Face Era wheels

The new Race Face Era wheels claim to be strong, light, compliant, and snappy (but not in the bad way)

To achieve those goals, it has gone down the front and rear-specific route, with a front wheel optimised for compliance, and a rear wheel geared towards stiffness and strength, using different rims and spokes to tune the ride feel and performance characteristics. It’s a concept that will be familiar to anyone who’s owned or ridden any of Crankbrothers current wheels.

Race Face Era wheels

Cross-sections of the rear (left) and front (right) Era rims.

Up front, the rim uses a shallow double wall profile with an 18.6mm depth and 30mm internal width. Keeping it low profile allows greater lateral compliance, boosting comfort and control through rough terrain, and the asymmetric design reduces uneven spoke tension. The sidewalls have a small bead hook on the inside, and a broad, flattened upper section, that resembles an anvil, to help spread the load under impacts and avoid pinch flats.

Race Face Era wheels

The rear wheel gets a massive Vault hub with wider bearing placement and offset pawls for rapid, solid engagement.

At the rear there’s a deeper, 22.6mm, asymmetric box-section rim with the same 30mm internal width. This is laced with double-butted spokes to the Vault hub, with 3º engagement (using six alternate pawls), an oversize hub shell to reduce spoke length, increase torsional stiffness, and extend the bearings further apart to reduce loading and improve durability.

In-house testing at Race Face was carried out during the design and validation phases of the new Era development using wheels from popular brands such as Reserve and Crankbrothers. Check out the chart below for the results from Race Face’s lateral stiffness test below, but if the results are to be believed (they seem broadly in line with our ride experience during testing on-trail) it clearly shows that the Eras bring a more comfortable ride than a Reserve 30 HD or DT Swiss front wheel. The Era needing around 40% less force to deflect 1mm compared to the Reserve.

Race Face Era wheels

Race Face Era wheels were tested by Race Face in-house against leading competitors.

Factor in the weights (chart below) and it’s clear that there’s a weight penalty attached to Zipp’s super-supple 3Moto wheels, with the Era coming second only to the DT Swiss XCM 1501 on the scales, and runner-up to the reserve for impact strength.

Race Face Era wheels

The best overall blend? Race Face certainly thinks so.

Race Face will be offering the Era Carbon as single front and rear options in both 29in or 27.5in, allowing customers to easily build mixed wheelsets. Individual wheels will be sold with spare spokes, and consumers can choose from Microspline, XD, and HG freehub options. For now there will only be a six-bolt rotor fixing option, but a Centrelock version will follow later this year. Price for a pair of wheels is $1,599, with UK pricing at £1,698 for a pair.

All Era wheels are backed by Race Face’s lifetime warranty, and for the ultimate peace-of-mind, that includes crashes.