Blending value for money with durability, the Nukeproof Neutron V2 wheel is a great option
The cheaper of two complete Nukeproof wheelsets, these Neutron V2s share the brand’s workhorse, durable outlook at a more affordable price point. The wheels aren’t significantly different weight-wise than the top-tier Horizon, but use a less refined alloy rim technology and a less sophisticated freehub design.
This means the 6000-series 29mm internal aluminium rim is designed to be solid and sturdy, but you’re not getting the extra dent resistance and ductility found on the pricier Horizon rims with their added magnesium and silicon particles. The Neutron hubs also have a slower engagement, using four pawls (that are now thicker and stronger than V1 Neutrons) with a 36t/10º engagement. The hubs also use lower quality bearings, but they’re easy to replace and bring a big cost saving – you can always upgrade them later.
Neutrons come pre-taped with valves installed, so there’s no extra assembly faffing; simply add sealant to set them up tubeless. Another reflection of Nukeproof’s no-nonsense philosophy is using easier to replace and source J-bend spokes laced up three-cross, so there’s more overlap and a stronger build (at the expense of a little extra weight).
32 double butted spokes at each end ensure they can handle abuse, whether fitted to a hardtail, enduro bike, or even a DH bike, and Nukeproof also specs more durable brass nipples that corrode less over time. Everything is hand tensioned for better quality control.
These Neutron wheels come stock on many Nukeproof and Ragley bikes, and we’ve racked up many miles on them in the past. Even in notoriously harsh environments like the rocky Lake District. They’re impressively tough and hard to buckle, and the rims are also resistant to dents.
In 29in size, the wheels aren’t especially rapid or comfortable, but not overly stiff either; they simply do the job in hand and deliver good all-round performance. The freehub rasp is loud enough to be too noisy for some tastes and it doesn’t have the fastest engagement for technical climbing or accelerating out of corners. But we’ve never had one slip or fail with any of the sets we’ve ridden.
In fact, the extent of any Neutron issues we’ve had amounts to a slight reduction in spoke tension after being thrashed on a hardtail. Those wheels didn’t go further out of true or come loose after retensioning, which is assuring for a budget wheel package.
If you’re looking for tough replacement wheels, the Neutrons are a great value option. However, they’re too chunky to bring a livelier ride or greater comfort. The Neutrons likely won’t roll that much different to many standard OE wheel sets on mid-priced bikes either, but should withstand more abuse than many budget wheels.
How does this wheel stack up against the competition? Check out our guide to the best mountain bike wheels out there. Pair your choice up with the best mountain bike tyres and you’re set for maximum fun.
Nukeproof’s quality package is one of the cheapest around for a reliable replacement wheelset. Like Silt’s wheel, the hub’s internal sub axle can shift out of alignment, making it harder to thread the front 15mm axle in. Annoying if you have to take the wheel off regularly for transportation. But as that’s our biggest complaint about these £320 wheels, Nukeproof clearly got the important stuff right.