Wheel Compatibility guide

To never get caught out, there are 4 key questions we can ask about your bike's setup that will fully inform compatibility with our NSC variants - ensuring you are good-to-go straight out of the box.

 

It’s not as complex as it might sound, as there are many industry standard combinations we would expect to see, greatly reducing the chance of incompatibility. 

The aim here is compatibility - so this guide is best supported by other resources that show the full benefits of the setup options you have.

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MTB COMPATIBILITY GUIDE

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ROAD / GRAVEL COMPATIBILITY GUIDE

 
mountain biking compatibility header

mtb compatibility guide

Download the NSC MTB Compatibility guide  / worksheet in PDF form here.

1. groupset / FREEHUB 

All of the mechanical parts of your bike are the groupset – so basically everything except the frame, fork, wheels, handlebar, seatpost and saddle.  In most cases, the groupset your bike is fitted with is determined by the bike manufacturer and is chosen to fit in line with their range hierarchy.

 

When we say ‘freehub’ or ‘driver,’ we are talking the part of the hub that the cassette interfaces with. When we say 'speed,' we are talking about the number of sprockets or cogs on the rear cassette, not the number of teeth.

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shimano

Within the MTB segment, Shimano use two freehub standards across their groupsets. For their 8,9,10, or 11 speed setups they use freehub body commonly referred to as ‘HyperGlide’ (HG). These are the most common driver formats around.


Shimano 12 speed setups can vary – these many be a standard ‘HyperGlide’ setup or a less common ‘Micro Spline’ setup.


NSC compatibility:

We can support all Shimano MTB setups, however we need to fit the right groupset driver, whether this is HG or Micro Spline

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sram

SRAM utilise both HyperGlide and XD freehub bodies across their MTB groupsets. For both 11 and 12 speed SRAM setups, it can be either HG or XD (AXS).


An easy way to check is to count the number of teeth on the smallest sprocket. 10 teeth means XD, 11 teeth means HG.


NSC compatibility:
SRAM compatibility is not an issue for us, however we need to fit the right groupset driver, whether this is XD or HG.

2. HUB SYSTEM

Current mountain bikes utilise the wide 'boost' hub to provide extra strength. They also feature wide rims to accommodate big wide tyres with aggressive tread patterns.  

A wider axle means that the flanges on each side of the hub can be set further apart, increasing their bracing angle and, hence, the wheel’s strength. The main reason for this with mountain bike axles is the drive to build more robust wheels.
 

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non boost

For a long time, ‘non-boost’ hub widths were common on most MTB setups, in both quick release and thru axle formats.


Front: 15mm x 100mm
Rear: 12mm x 142mm
(Diameter, width)


NSC compatibility:
NSC does not stock non-boost variants of our MTB wheels, but these are available. Note if your setup is non-boost, it could have a quick-release locking system too — check with us on this. 

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boost

For mid-range and higher spec XC, trail and enduro bikes, ‘Boost’ width hubs with thru axles are now the norm. 


Front: 15mm x 110mm
Rear: 12mm x 148mm
(Diameter, width)


NSC compatibility:

All NSC MTB wheels are boost width with thru axel compatibility as standard.

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SUPER BOOST

Super-Boost is an emerging extension of hub widths for the rear wheel, however this is seen as a downhill standard with little overlap into the carbon segment.


Rear: 12mm x 157mm
(Diameter, width) 


NSC compatibility:
NSC does not currently have a Super Boost variant available, however we are always listening to what the market requires!

3. braking SYSTEM

Disc brakes were first introduced on mountain bikes and are now a standard fixture on any new mtb. 

 

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6 bolt disc

6 bolt rotors are most common in MTB setups


NSC compatibility:

NSC MTB wheels come fitted with 6 bolt hubs as standard.

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centre-lock disc

Centre lock rotors are less common, but emerging on new MTB setups.


NSC compatibility:

NSC MTB wheels come fitted with 6 bolt hubs as standardd, so please let us know if you require a centre-lock setup, it will most likely require a custom hub setup, otherwise new rotors might be the order!

4. wheel dimension

Back in the day there was only ever one standard in MTB - the trusty 26" wheel. Then along came the 29", and later the slightly compromising 27.5".  This key dimension makes a significant difference on the overall ride, so there is plenty of commentary on their pros and cons!

 

26"

The humble 26" MTB wheel has now been superseded by 27.5" and 29" variants.


NSC compatibility:

NSC does not carry a 26” MTB wheelset unfortunately.

Slightly smaller and lighter than 29", the 27.5" is more nimble and maneuverable, and sometimes making for the more forgiving setup.

NSC compatibility:

Yes, NSC carries 27.5” MTB variants.

29"

The larger in the pack, providing the smoothest roll on rougher terrain and best momentum, however also the packing the most weight on.


NSC compatibility:

Yes, NSC carries 29” MTB variants.

27.5"

Still unsure?

Reach out and chat your compatibility questions with us!

 

road cycling compatibility header

road / gravel compatibility guide

 

Download the NSC MTB Compatibility guide  / worksheet in PDF form here.

1. groupset / FREEHUB

All of the mechanical parts of your bike are the groupset – so basically everything except the frame, fork, wheels, handlebar, seatpost and saddle.  In most cases, the groupset your bike is fitted with is determined by the bike manufacturer and is chosen to fit in line with their range hierarchy.

When we say ‘freehub’ or ‘driver,’ we are talking the part of the hub that the cassette interfaces with. When we say 'speed,' we are talking about the number of sprockets or cogs on the rear cassette, not the number of teeth.

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shimano

Within the road segment, Shimano use the same ‘HyperGlide’ freehub bodies across all their groupsets, whether it’s 8,9,10,11 or 12 speed

NSC compatibility:

Straight from the factory, our NSC road wheels are compatible with any Shimano groupset. From 8 speed, right through to the new 12 speed. 

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sram

SRAM utilse both HyperGlide, XD and XDR freehub bodies across their groupsets. For 11 speed SRAM setups, it can be either ‘HyperGlide’ or XD

NSC compatibility:

Our NSC road wheels support all SRAM groupset options, however we need to fit the right groupset driver, whether this is XD, XDR or HG.

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campagnolo

Campagnolo is a road pure-play system with thier own proprietary freehub driver designs - the ‘Classic Campagnolo’ and their new ‘N3W’ system.

NSC compatibility:

Our NSC road wheels in Campagnolo configuration use the N3W system, meaning we support all Campagnolo groupset options!

2. HUB SYSTEM

Generally, Gravel and Road setups utilise the same wheel sizes and hubs formats, conforming to the same standards, While the same overall diameter, you are unlikely to fit a gravel wheel on a road bike however, as the width of the rim and tyre can be significantly greater.

 

With the introduction of disc brakes (DB) to the road bike market, two key axle-related changes have been introduced, both of which have been well and truly proven in the mountain bike world.

The first is wider hub spacing. Early disc brake road bikes kept the standard (130mm) rear hub spacing, which resulted in narrow hub flanges once room was made for a disc rotor to be fitted. Eventually rear hubs were widened to allow enough space for a disc rotor, a wide hub flange and a standard cassette.  The second change was the introduction of the thru-axle.

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disc brake / thru axle

Thru axles feature a larger diameter than quick release skewers, boosting stiffness. They improve handling and reduce flex, especially for powerful riders and rough conditions. As an added bonus, they position the wheel more consistently during wheel swaps, which ensures perfect brake rotor alignment.


Front: 12mm x 100mm
Rear: 12mm x 142mm
(Diameter, width)


NSC compatibility:

Our Disc Brake (DB) Road and Gravel wheels come fitted with standard thru axle hubs.

rim brake / quick release

A quick release wheel has a hollow axle, 9mm in diameter at the front and 10mm at the rear, with a 5mm diameter skewer that passes through it. Until recently, all road bikes used rim brakes and they all had front axles that were Standard hub widths,100mm on the front and 130mm on the rear.


Front: 9mm x 100mm
Rear: 10mm x 130mm
(Diameter, width)


NSC compatibility:

Our Rim Brake (RB) Road wheels are fitted with standard quick release hubs. New skewers are also included with every RB wheelset.

3. braking SYSTEM

While rim brakes are the classic setup, disc brakes (first introduced on mountain bikes) are now a standard fixture on most new Road and Gravel setups.

 

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centre-lock disc

Centre lock rotors are the new road standard.

NSC compatibility:

NSC DB wheels natively support centre-lock rotors. You should be able to transfer your rotors straight over!

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6 bolt disc

While 6 bolt rotors have been around for many years, they are generally considered a legacy format in DB road setups these days.

NSC compatibility:

Our NSC DB wheels can support 6 bolt discs with low-cost adaptor kits. Otherwise, a new set of rotors may be the order!

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rim brake

Rim brakes have been the most common road riding setup for many generations. You're among friends riding RB!

NSC compatibility:

NSC carries Rim Brake variants of all road wheels. You will need to swap your pads out for carbon pads though beware!

4. wheel dimension

Wheel dimension variations are basically unheard of in the road segment due to the standardisation of the 700c wheel, however in recent times we have started to see a variation in sizes emerge on gravel bikes, through the re-introduction of the historic 650b size.

 

The gravel variation has emerged as while a larger wheel provides for less rolling resistance and better momentum, a smaller wheel better accommodates a larger tyre profile, for more grip and better handling of rougher terrain.

Compatibility in this area is as much about the overall wheel dimension as it is the tyre you pair it with and the width of the forks your bike has. Get this — on a smaller wheel, the same tyre diameter equates to less overall size, meaning you will fit a wider tyre through the same set of forks when using a smaller dimension wheel. Example: a 650B wheel with a 47mm wide tyre is about equal to 700c x 28mm setup!

 

For clarity, when we say 'wheel dimension' we mean the overall wheel size, not the 'wheel depth' which are our NS 38 / 50 / 60 / 88 product variants!

650b

650B is slightly smaller wheel (584mm diameter), a format now more seen on some gravel setups to allow for a larger volume tyre.


NSC compatibility:

NSC does not currently carry 650B variants of our road or gravel wheels, sorry! If this is what you are hoping to ride let us know!

700c

700c is the most common size wheel for both road & gravel (622mm). They will be found pretty much everywhere you look! 


NSC compatibility:

All NSC road and gravel wheels are 700c size.

Still unsure?

Reach out and chat your compatibility questions with us!