Crank Brothers Iodine Wheelset Review

crank brothers iodine wheelset Crank Brothers Iodine Wheelset ReviewWhat your bicycling stuff looks like shouldn’t matter. But it does. You might pride yourself on having functional cycling gear. Whatever works best, is what you want, and what it looks like is secondary at best. But we’re willing to bet that even so, you make choices about components that are at least partly based on looks. And when someone makes a comment on how good your bike looks, it feels good. Riding the Crank Brothers Iodine wheelset will definitely attract comments on their stunning looks. Not only will their burnt orange coloring catch the eye, the unique engineering that holds this wheel together is the real eye-catcher.

Crank Bros Innovative Design

A conventional wheel has spoke holes are drilled into the rim, however, this has the inevitable effect of weakening the structure. Crank Brothers wanted to design a rim that maintained its inherent strength. They created a system whereby vertical ribs have been machined along the inside of the rim as a place for the spokes to be attached, instead of the conventional hole and nipple approach.

The spoke nipples are therefore away from the main structure of the rim, and are elongated from the hub, attaching to the spokes, meeting each other halfway. Crank Brothers have claimed that this new nipple placement in the middle of the structure of the wheel actually makes a stiffer wheel and has the additional benefit of simplifying the truing process. The last innovation worth mentioning is that Crank Brothers say that their proprietary “twinpair” spoke design means there is low dish in the wheel and it allows for more even, balanced spoke tension.

The rear hub benefits from an oversized, 25mm axle. The oversized axle is better suited for absorbing the kind of impact you would expect on a free ride wheel, such as technical, fast and rocky descents.

Ride Report

We tested these wheels at some local mountain bike trails on the side of a mountain. Out there we had not only technical descents, but the weather is notoriously changeable, fine and dry one minute, rivers flowing down the single track the next. The Iodine wheelset truly is bombproof. It is extremely strong and stiff, and took the worst we could throw at it, including jumping it off the stairs that lead out of the parking lot. Even in the worst of weather the Iodine came through with flying colors, which is testimony not only to its strength, but also to the durability of the sealed cartridge bearings within the hubs.


The truing system looks a little tricky to get used to, but we did not get a chance to test that as these wheels did not need truing. These wheels look amazing, best of they look different form all our friends’ wheels, but this is not design innovation for the sake of looks. They work and they look great - the best of both worlds.

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