At first glance, the Scrub Wheels Carbon 30 look like they have all the ingredients for a solid, well-performing wheelset. Handbuilt by Scrub’s main man Andrew Carman in Northumberland means you’re not going to get a set of wheels that’s been tightened by a robot and not destressed, only to go wobbly on you after three rides.
Weight is pretty low and price are competitive even compared to a good alloy wheelset, the former not really being the real reason to go for a carbon rim, more so the stiffness they offer. It’s always nice to see high quality spokes and nipples used on an aftermarket set of wheels too.
The wheels come pretty subtle with only the blue graphics poking their heads out of the grey and black of the rest of the wheels. The freehub has a dull, mechanical sound rather than a high buzz, a muted note that I definitely prefer over some of the angry wasp impressions that some offerings sport these days.
My first struggle with the Scrubs was getting a Super DH and a Super Gravity Schwalbe set onto these wheels. With Schwalbe adding an extra lip on the bead to aid tubeless sealing and the rims having little flex, on top of me being quite weak for a man, my hands were mostly raw by the time I got them fitted. Needless to say, they weren’t going to roll or burp too easily either. Any normal adult would likely have had little issue here.
With the rubber fitted and the wheels bolted into the bike it was time to see what they were made of. Over the months that followed they would be thrown down pretty much anything and everything a year in Scotland could muster. From lengthy Munro descents to laps of the woods, the Carbon 30s had everything possible thrown at them.
They never felt stiff, or sloppy, just that right combination of rigidity and compliance that’s the hallmark of a well-made wheelset. The engagement was immediate always and that stiffness really meant the power you were putting out didn’t go to waste.
Despite some seriously harsh words coming from the rear wheel, and occasionally the front when I got my timing wrong, the Scrubs never missed a beat. No punctures, no rim damage, no rim out of true, no loose spokes… Nothing. Even though they had been jetwashed a fair amount, with the garage forecourt option being my best and nearest option, the bearings ran smooth and fast for a full year.
Swapping freehubs over was also a breeze if I needed to swap between XD and Hyperglide drivers when changing the wheels over to a different test vessel.
I am certainly not a wheel-mangler by any means, at 9 stone, I probably never will be, but I do put a fair old amount of miles into a set of wheels and have worn bearings out fast if they show any sign of weakness. I’m happy to report that the Scrubs just kept on spinning regardless of what I did.
What do we think?
Fit and forget is a term bounded about for bike components these days but the Scrub Wheels Carbon 30 really did embody that phrase. Maybe not since I tested a set of DT Swiss XM1501s, the wheels I judge all others by, has a set of wheels been so high performance and low maintenance.
I’d go out on a limb and say that if I were custom building a bike tomorrow, the Scrubs would join the Formula Mod shock as an unquestionable addition.
Could do better:
Not an awful lot
You can check out the Scrub Wheels Carbon 30 wheelset on their website here.
Read all our other product reviews on our Gear page here.