Silt All-Mountain wheelset is sorted for price and gives you the extra zip of lighter wheelset, yet remains tough enough for proper UK riding.
Based in Northern Ireland, Silt is a new brand putting together complete wheels like this Silt All-Mountain wheelset at a sensible price. Plenty of others, like the Hunt Wheels TrailWide, have successfully done this before, so what is Silt bringing to the party?
First off, despite the very reasonable price for such a competitive weight, its MTB wheels are more than just a bunch of random components slung together. Silt uses its own patented Ratchet Drive freehub design, which is a DT Swiss-style star ratchet with a spring-loaded washer and only one moving part. The leaf spring engages when the freehub is driven, with both ratchet teeth contacting simultaneously. The system has a rapid pick up and worked perfectly throughout testing.
Silt’s own drilled-flange hubs use double- sealed bearings at both ends. The front has two bearings and the rear has double bearings stacked side-by-side for extra durability. Rubber seal lips on the bearing cartridge are 1x contact and 1x non- contact, and Silt also specs its own special ‘aqua’ grease with a claimed greater water resistance before breaking down. These endurance bearings also sell on the website for £15 a set.
The aluminium rim is a heat treated and hardened T10 blend – an alloy I’ve not encountered before. It has an external width of 35mm, reducing to 30mm inside for a good tyre footprint, and it is drilled 28h front and 32h rear. Spoke eyelets are angled to help point the Sapim D-Light spokes at the hub flanges, and they are positioned asymmetrically (offset) for more even spoke tension. The double-butted spokes are J-bend for ease of replacement with alloy nipples and built two-cross front and three-cross rear. A nice touch is that tubeless valves, spare spokes and nipples are included in the box.
A local young ripper, who does a lot of bike park riding and has a reputation for breaking wheels, also rode the AMs with instructions to do his worst. Several months later, there’s a barely visibly ding in one rim, but both ends are still running perfectly straight and true with zero spoke tensioning or attention. Silt’s freehub hasn’t missed a beat either, and the hub bearings are still smooth.