Based in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC, Nobl should know a thing or two about building tough mountain bike wheels. This is the first time we’ve had a set of Nobl wheels on test here at Singletracks, but the brand has been around about a decade now.
Nobl TR37 wheel specs
- Rims: carbon, 32h, 30mm internal width (rear), 31mm internal width (front)
- Hubs: Choose from Industry Nine, Hope (tested), DT Swiss, Chris King, Onyx, Classified, and Son
- Weight: 1050g (rear) and 860g (front) as tested
- Price: Starting at $1,300 for the pair
- Buy from Worldwide Cyclery and Amazon.
On test here is the TR37 wheelset in a mixed wheel setup with the new Hope Pro 5 Boost hubs and Sapim Race spokes in black. Nobl TR37 wheelsets start at $1,300 for an Industry Nine 1/1 or DT Swiss 350 build, and come in at $1,400 USD for the Hope Pro 5 build tested.
As we all know, carbon production tends to be cheaper overseas, so Nobl rims are produced in Taiwan, however they’re designed in-house in BC. Built to order, Nobl wheels are hand-laced on Vancouver Island with an almost bewildering number of choices of hubs, spokes, nipples, valves and more. Hubs on offer include Industry Nine, Hope, DT Swiss, Chris King, Onyx, Classified, and Son.
The Nobl TR37 rims on test here are the brand’s all mountain/enduro offering. Part of Nobl’s Sinewave series, the TR37 has a “sinewave” pattern to the outside of the rim which Nobl say helps with lateral stiffness. And it looks cool. Since the TR37 is meant to be a heavy-duty rim, they’re only available in a 32 spoke hole configuration. All of the Sinewave mountain rims come with a lifetime warranty where Nobl will replace the rim free of charge if broken during riding, and a crash replacement policy at 50% off for any whoopsie off the bike.
The TR37 rims are front/rear specific, with different rim profiles and layups for each end of the bike to optimize strength/stiffness for the specific demands required of them. The rear rim has a 30mm internal width, suitable for most modern tires, with a 31mm width up front for higher volume tires, since many people run a bigger tire up front. Both rims are designed around the same lateral stiffness, however the front is vertically 25% less stiff, or more compliant if you will, as well as being about 60g lighter. Both rims have a 2mm offset to the spoke bed for more even spoke tensions between drive/non-drive side, which is always a good thing.
Nobl TR37 wheels in the real world
Weighing 1050g for the rear and 860g for the front wheel, the TR37s are right in line with most other wheels in this category, hovering at about 1.9kg for the set. That’s not light, but it’s also not heavy. Setup was easy; my Continental Kryptotal and Specialized Butcher tires mounted and inflated without a compressor. If I have one complaint however it’s that the rear Hope Pro 5 hub needs the drive-side end cap removed to remove/fit the cassette.
This was my first time riding the Hope Pro 5 hubs, and they are a nice upgrade from the Pro 4 in terms of engagement, increasing almost threefold from 44 to 108 points of engagement. Most people expect high engagement on high-end hubs these days and it is nice, especially when ratcheting over technical obstacles or putting in a half pedal stroke before a feature. The Pro 5 hubs aren’t as aggressively loud as previous versions, if that’s what you like about Hope hubs, though they have a nice buzz and are easily further quietened with a drop of oil.
In terms of ride quality, the TR37s are quite a stiff rim. While they’re not noticeably jarring, they certainly also don’t have any noticeable flex to them, akin to a stiff set of aluminum wheels, especially in the rear. They felt plenty stiff in the corners and planted through rock gardens and chunder, though I didn’t feel any magical carbon properties. Under bigger impacts however I did feel more feedback through the rear than with other carbon wheels I’ve ridden.
I typically run inserts on my personal wheels for safety, though I haven’t been running inserts on the TR37s for testing. So far, I’ve had zero punctures and zero chips or cracks in the rims running DH casing tires, and in spite plenty of rock-rim impacts. One of the best things about modern rim design is bead edges that have been designed with more surface area to make pinch flats less common, and so far, so good on the TR37s.
On the topic on longevity, the TR37s have suffered a few hundred kilometres of bike park, shuttle laps and technical enduro type riding this summer, and have remained arrow straight with perfect spoke tension the entire time. There are some scratches to the finish, and the decals are starting to wear from the ropes on my North Shore Rack. I’d personally prefer a less conspicuous logo under the rim finish rather than water transfer decals over top since they tend to damage easily, but they could simply be removed or replaced, and Nobl does offer replacement decals in a wide array of colors.
Pulling the Hope Pro 5 rear hub apart for my end of test inspection as I tend to do, it was the first time I had cracked it open. Similar to Hope hubs of old, the end caps and freehub just pull right off, so the freehub can be easily serviced. The main freehub seal on this particular hub looked as though it wasn’t sitting quite right, and when I pulled it off I noticed some water and dirt ingress that is slightly concerning.
The seal itself is plastic with a metal ring over top, rather than simply rubber. While the new seal arrangement should have lower drag, it may not be as water-tight, though it’s equally possible that it just wasn’t seated properly when I received it. Aside from this, the internals look robust, and the freehub body features a circlip to retain the pawls and springs so they don’t fall on the ground when removed – ask me how I know that’s a good thing.
Pros and cons of the Nobl TR37 mountain bike wheels
- Heavily customizable
- Hand built
- Strong and reliable
- Graphics easily damaged
- Rear rim can feel harsh under impact
Nobl TR37 wheels are a solid choice for all-mountain and enduro riding. While they’re not the most lively feeling wheels, they’re stiff, strong and reliable with a good warranty. Without spending mega bucks on something truly boutique, I feel like that’s about as much as you can ask for from a set of hoops, and the warranty is practically worth it alone.
Those who like to customize their bike and want the option of building their wheels with some crazy color combos will be happy, as will the folks that just want solid, reliable wheels at a good price.