We’ve had Pro-Lite’s Antero AM wheelset on test for six months now, and they have racked up some mileage. Check out Tom’s thoughts on these trail bike wheels.
We first came across Pro-Lite back in September and were caught up in the passion and enthusiasm of the bunch of ex-pats who had made Taiwan their home and wheels their business. Pro-lite are already an established brand amongst roadies in the UK, and through their distributors NRG4, they are looking to develop their presence in the off road market.
The wheels I’ve been running are the Antero AM wheelset. These are handbuilt with 275 rims, 28 spokes and Pro-Lite’s XE hub taking care of the back end. All of their wheels are put together by hand and individually stressed, tensioned and stressed again to make sure they are ready to run from the word go. Each wheelset is supplied with adaptors letting you run 15mm or 20mm on the front and 12mm or 12X on the back. You can also run them quick release, apparently. The rims are welded and tubeless ready.
In terms of looks they are spot on, with a shot-peened matte black look and simple white graphics, but we’ve also seen ideas on a drawing board for some different colours in the pipeline. Changing the hubs between sizes is dead easy and means they will fit pretty most enduroy combinations. There’s also a 29er option available with the same hubs and (obviously!) bigger rims.
The rims are “tubeless ready” and have been running tubelessly with both Continental and Vee tyres without any bother, holding onto the bead of tyres well even at lower pressures. I’ve burped air a few times hitting big square edges but never totally lost the tyre, letting me finish sections of trail without too much hassle.
Pick-up on the rear hub is great, with the massively oversized freehub bearing also giving room for 6 pawls, each with two teeth for a really quick engagement. We’ve had no issues with longevity of the bearings front or rear, and after 6 months of pressure washing (sorry!) they are just about ready for changing. The front houses 2 bearings, the rear 3 normal sized bearings and one massive one. This is designed to help improve stiffness and longevity of the hub. Popping the cassette off, there’s been no chewing into the freehub body which is really encouraging given how much riding the wheels have had.
The lacing pattern on the front is “half-radial”, and a 2-cross, 3-cross on the rear, with straight pull spokes. Pro-Lite pride themselves on the level of stressing, tensioning and re-tensioning that go into each and every wheel before it leaves the factory, and this has proved worth it’s weight in gold, in 6 months of riding I have had no issues with spokes becoming loose or the wheels developing any wobbles at all. In fact until last week when a loose log decided to join my back wheel they were still absolutely perfect with zero re-tensioning. Thanks to that log I replaced a spoke but I’m now back and looking forward to more faultless riding.
Weight wise, they compare well to offerings from the French and Yorkshire, at 828g F and 905g R, and price wise they stack up well against other high end offerings at £429.99 for the 275 or 29er versions. On top of that you have the advantage that NRG4, the UK distributors handle all the repairs, spare and ongoing care through the warranty and beyond.
So what’s the bottom line? A pair of wheels that have performed faultlessly straight out of the box, come at a competitive price, and from a company based in the UK that will keep looking after you. If you are after a light set of wheels for riding all day, racing enduro, or just hammering on your trail bike these are well worth a look.
Pro-Lite Antero AM RRP £429.99