Content to fly under the radar as the little known hub manufacturer for major bike brands for years, Taiwanese Novatec finally decided it had more to offer the cycling world than just well crafted hubs. A few years ago, the company applied its extensive expertise to its own line of wheels, which unsurprisingly display the same careful construction and reliability as the hubs they run on. With its cross country and trail FlowTrail 29 Wheelset, Novatec doesn't try to set any radical new trends, rather, they stick with a more basic wheel design that works. Ready to dance with you up root latticed climbs and glide along smooth XC courses, a set of FlowTrail 29 hoops would be a solid investment for your lightweight setup.Sitting in the middle of Novatec's mountain wheel line, the FlowTrail features a more modern internal width of 20mm compared with the featherweight, but narrow Dragon 29's, while maintaining a lighter design than the burlier Diablo 29's. If you're looking for the stability of a wider wheel without paying too high of a weight penalty, the FlowTrail 29 strikes a balance between both. Novatec constructs the 25mm deep alloy rims with a sleeved, rather than welded joint, establishing its position in the spirited ongoing debate about which is better by advocating for sleeved rim joints' strength and lack of potential heat damage to the rim in the construction process. It shouldn't be surprising to hear that the defining feature of the FlowTrail 29 is its snappy, responsive Novatec hubs, which exhibit bombproof reliability meant to rival that found on aftermarket, hand built wheelsets. You can decide for yourself whether this is true as you engage the aluminum freehubs' satisfyingly noisy 3 pawl system, exploding up over rocky cruxes and slamming down on the pedals to shoot out of a tight corner in a race. Two Japanese bearings in the front and four in the rear keep the squat hubs running smoothly during your ride and consistently over time, with reinforc...