Bavarian component company Newmen is only a couple of years old, but it already has serious pedigree. It’s headed up by Michael Grätz, who founded Syntace and Liteville, and anyone aware of those firms’ engineering know-how won’t be surprised these wheels are jam-packed with clever technology.
Newmen does things differently, from a rounded rim profile with flared rim walls pointing out at 25°, to special patented MG spoke washers with a concave surface to better interface with the rim bed. These dished-out washers allow nipples to orientate themselves and broaden the rim connection to better spread riding forces and loads, which can be up to 300kg, according to Newmen. They help prevent nipples eating aluminium spoke holes over time too.
The flared, rounded rim enables thicker material close to the tyre bead for better impact resistance and less aluminium at the rim bed to save weight. The shape spreads the tyre sidewalls for a rounder inflated profile, and who knew not having a bead hook and pointing outwards doesn’t appear to affect tubeless sealing and tyre sidewall security either? One downside is the rims are harder to produce and bend into shape — possibly reflected in the higher price.
The Evolutions spin on 7075 alloy hubs with top-quality deep groove bearings, six-bolt rotor mounts and use tensioning ‘tolerance adjustment’ end caps with grub screws to perfectly tune any axle play. This is an extra (easy) procedure performed in situ for your specific frame and fork and ensures perfect preload. The rear freehub uses a star ratchet system, which engages all the high-strength steel teeth at all times, rather than pawl design that pops in and out of a recess.
At just over 1,600g for 30mm wide in aluminium with Boost hubs, these Evolutions are seriously light. I’ve thrashed them for months on a shorter-travel trail bike around my local enduro trails and the wheels have also borne the brunt of a return to my childhood habit of hitting up dirt jumps. Few things are more likely to trash wheels than casing big jumps, but these wheels have been absolutely bombproof and still look and ride fresh. The spokes stayed tight and precise, and lateral stiffness is sorted too, unlike some wheels with fewer spokes that can feel a little twisty slamming hard-pack berms in a stiff frame.
The Newmens are arguably not quite as incredibly snappy in acceleration as DT Swiss’ EX 1501 wheels (that I rate as some of the best alloy all-mountain wheels), but are significantly lighter and still have one of the toughest, ding-proof rims I’ve tried. 30mm is the sweet spot for most 2.4/2.5in wider endure tyres too, making these a superb quality lightweight package for a very fair price.