Silt's AM alloy package was very positively reviewed by us recently, and this is the competitively-priced £800 Silt AM Carbon version.
The Silt AM Carbon wheels ship ready to ride with tubeless valves and two spare spokes and nipples. The 31.2mm reinforced rim has thicker carbon on the sidewalls and spoke eyelets (that are also drilled off-axis to point at the hub flanges for a better build). Even laced three-cross with 32 spokes, Silt AMs are seriously light at under 1,750g for a 29er wheelset, and that lack of mass is immediately noticeable in terms of acceleration and zip.
Silt’s rim is reasonably deep at 24mm with a smoothed rectangular profile (similar to an e*thirteen TRS Race Carbon trail wheelset) and a profiled bed for easier tubeless installation. The double-sealed ‘endurance’ hub bearings and proprietary star ratchet freehub design are shared with the brand’s alloy wheels that have proven durable throughout a wet UK winter. The freehub
has a fast pick-up and isn’t too noisy.
From the off, Silt’s carbon wheels feel really urgent and easy to turn over exhibiting a clear sensation of continuous smooth motion up steeper climbs. So, rather than there being a lag at the top between the power stroke of each pedal revolution, and the wheels dragging along in surges like plenty of 2kg 29er packages, the Silt AM Carbon wheels roll evenly and easily. They also feel very tight and precise when changing direction from side-to-side, swerving stumps and roots, and they pick up speed fast when stamping on the cranks too.
The flipside of this rapid, reactive feel is a more staccato, jagged ride than softer, duller carbon wheels (like the WTB CZR Carbon wheelset). There’s a lot of feedback directed into hands when impacting harsh, square-edge hits like fist-sized roots or bigger stones on pebble- flecked man-made surfaces, and this can be a bit jarring, and also more fatiguing on long rough runs.
Another aspect of this reduced radial compliance is that the front tyre skitters across jagged surfaces more than a better conforming wheel, in turn noticeably reducing grip and confidence over wet roots or off-camber sections.
Silt’s wheels are fast and direct in the vein of earlier carbon wheels, before brands like Zipp and Crank Brothers flipped the thinking and consciously engineered extra compliance for more grip and tracking. This doesn’t mean the lively, feedback-rich, ride won’t suit some, but rather than enduro riders surviving the hardest trails, with a near XC-weight, mile-munchers after a fast, light wheelset might be a better target audience.