Our Monitor and Karve wheels are our lightest cross-country wheelsets and we often get asked how to choose between them. Both are around the same weight, with different compromises on strength and width. These are the two options:
Of the two, the Monitor is the strongest but narrower at 25mm internal width compared to the Karve at 30mm. The Karve despite being wider is actually a little lighter because it has a lighter carbon layup and also doesn’t have the asymmetric design of the Monitor; rim weights for 29er versions are typically 353g for the Karve, and 365g for the Monitor.
Wheelset weights on Boost width straight-pull hubs are 1391g for the Monitor, or around 1367g for the Karve.
The asymmetric spoke drilling means the Monitor builds into a stiffer wheel, but during testing the Karve has shown no issues with flex or wheel strength.
In our experience the Monitor is extremely strong, with many riders using their wheels on mid-travel trail bikes in mountainous areas and no failures to date. The Karve is a newer addition to the range so we have less feedback, but it is expected to be more susceptible to damage from large rock impacts – where the rim completely bottoms out through the tyre. In testing the Karve wheelset has been ridden on bikes with up to 150mm travel with no issues but in this case it’s important to use tyre pressures high enough to prevent rocks directly impacting the rim.
These wheelests are availble built onto almost all our range of hubs. The Karve is currently only available in 29er size with 24 spoke holes, while the Monitor is available in 24 or 28-spoke options, with 29er (700c) or 27.5″ (650b) sizes available. Either of these wheelsets can be built onto Boost or non-boost hubs, centerlock or 6-bolt disk mount, all the usual options!
We recommend most of our 24-spoke wheelsets up to about 85kg rider weight, with 28 spokes per wheel recommended over that.