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12 VITTORIA Deamion

Searching for an affordable set of tough hoops? The VITTORIA Deamion just may be an option.

Can you believe it? It is already a good 2 months since I have posted the full introduction with all the specs to VITTORIA’s first self-designed all-mountain wheels running by the name, Deamion! Thanks to the mild winter this year – it really does not deserve to be called winter – they have been pretty much in constant use with plenty of time to show any potential deficits or problems. Admittedly, snow and ice have been scarce, but we have had plenty of foul weather and muddy rides to prove out the wheel bearings and seals.

One thing I have already commented on was how well the wheels had been built with an extremely even spoke tension all around out of the box. Sometimes, when pushed hard, one can detect a decrease in tension in a wheel over time but the countless miles of trail use seemed to have done nothing to the Deamion in this regard. No creaking, no spoke settling sounds and post testing inspection shows a solid build. These wheels may not be the lightest at 1830g, but they are definitely built to take a beating and come away with a smile. I like it when products have this worry free atmosphere about them. Sure helps having a good time out on the trail!

The other trait, partly related to the build quality, is how precise and responsive they are during riding. Up front they tracked very precisely and the rear wheel seemed to take power input directly go to the ground. This made up for a good part of the extra weight to carry compared to a lighter set of wheels – the Deamion sure felt and rode lighter than they really were. With my weight of about 80kg/176lbs (w/o gear) I usually sense wheel flex pretty easily, but here there was nothing I could detect while riding, either by feel or visually. On another positive note I still felt them to generate a bit of comfort over the rough grounds.

I did a precise check-up of the wheels after the review on my wheel stand and while being perfectly true in the beginning (or close enough as far as what is relevant for us) only the rear wheel had a deviation of less than 1mm laterally. The front wheel still showed no effect of them having been ridden hard for over 2 ½ months with quite a few unlucky landings and such. Another great indication for a very well built wheel.
While I had been a bit skeptical in the beginning, the 28 Straight-Pull-spokes front and back seem to be more than capable to produce a strong and reliable wheel.

Overall, the VITTORIA Deamion wheels really fall squarely into the category of a ‘true mount ‘n forget’ set of wheels!

28 VITTORIA Deamion

Testing has often been challenging with plenty of muddy and wet conditions .

Additionally, the highly asymmetrical rim design helped even out spoke tension and bracing angles at least partly. The hard use has also left no visible marks or dings on the rims either, despite quite a few snake bites during the review. Obviously the design itself and the alloy are strong and able to handle rough riding well. Superficially I could detect a few minimal scratches on the finish, but they really had to be searched for rather than them sticking out. The decals were still perfectly intact with no peeling or such.

13 VITTORIA Deamion

The hubs have proven to be just as reliable and long lasting …

So, as far as I can tell from this review the VITTORIA Deamion wheels sure are what you would call robust and durable.

Talking about the hubs themselves, I also have very little to comment. The both are well sealed from the elements and with absolutely no care taken during the review the bearings were still perfectly clean when inspected. No need to mention that the high-grade industrial bearings were still running silky smooth with no detectable play.

27 VITTORIA Deamion

VITTORIA’s TNT tires and the VITTORIA wheels have shown to be a n excellent combination.

One thing particularly worth mentioning was the Deamion’s excellent tubeless characteristics. It is positive that the wheels came to us pre-taped, but I found it curious that they didn’t come with tubeless valves included .

The VITTORIA Gato 2.3 TNT tire I have been running part time on them mounted very easily and sealed airtight so easily, that I didn’t believe it at first. That is very positive, but given the tires and wheels had been designed to work together, it is not such a surprise. The special bead hooks and shallow bead shelf did an excellent job in keeping the beads locked and airtight, even when running through corners at minimal air pressures of below 1.0bar/14psi. At these pressures even the reinforced TNT tires started squirming badly, but the bead stayed put no matter what I dished out in the attempt to break the bead lock. No chance.

The MAXXIS Ardent 2.4 EXO tires, also converted tubeless, had almost the same positive behavior, with no issues mounting and just a bit less effort to get them seated initially. Only the less supportive casing didn’t allow for such low pressures to ride and bead lock was only 90% of the VITTORIA/VITTORIA combo – still plenty strong, I might add.

18 VITTORIA Deamion

At 22.3mm inner width the Deamion are not following the current trend for wider and wider rims.

At 22.3mm inner width the rims were merely moderately wide if not to say a bit narrow, and especially when searching for the lowest possible pressure I often wished for just a few millimeters more width, but within the common pressure range for a 2.35″ wide tire – say 1,5 to 1.9bar (or 22 to 28 psi) I really have not much negative to say about the width either. I believe, and our experience has taught us, that wider rims (from 24 to 30mm) usually bring out the very best in many tires (not in all), but being used to rims this size, I didn’t feel cheated performance-wise. So summarizing, the 22.3mm inner width may not be the cutting edge of rim widths, but it sure wasn’t far off either.

29 VITTORIA DeamionAdapter VRklein

Th only issue I had a slightly loose and cap, that would easily get canted within the fork’s dropouts.

There was one little thing though, that I found unnerving: The left side 15 mm end cap on the front wheel sat just a tiny bit loose inside the hub shell and caused unnecessary difficulties when re-mounting. I have told you that the Deamion can be easily converted between different axle standards, by just swapping end caps, but in our particular case one of the caps had the tendency to cant within the dropouts when not inserted perfectly straight into my ROCK SHOX Revelation fork. Consequently I had to take the wheel out again, push the end cap back in again and carefully place the wheels inside the fork, without getting it stuck again. Pushing the dropouts apart just a tad also did the job. I did measure the overall width and it was perfectly fine, so I assume it really only is the question of a non perfect fit between the end cap and the hub itself. Nothing big, but it made wheel mounting just a bit of a pain, something that I easily could have done without – especially since I have to do this very often.

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25 VITTORIA Deamion

They may not be blingy and cutting edge, but the VITTORIA Deamion 29er wheels sure proved to be very good performers for a very decent price.

Verdict: The VITTORIA Deamion 29er wheels have done an admirable job of winning me over during the 2 ½ months period of testing. Given their retail price of 665.- Euro or 699.- USD, they offer a very thorough and solid build, a decent weight of 1830g and a performance that doesn’t need to shy away from wheels much more expensive. Given the weight, their stiffness makes them feel lighter than they really are, while still providing a bit of comfort. Their tubeless characteristics are top notch and are a key selling factor here. The only “minus” in my book is the issue with the loosely fitting end cap, that made front wheel mounting a bit particular, but that is it. While I personally wished the Deamion rims would be just a bit wider, I had no really issues with that and know many riders will be just happy with the given 22.3mm as well.
So, if you are looking for an affordable set of wheels for all-around riding that you don’t need to worry about when things get rough, you may just want to have a closer look at the VITTORIA Deamion wheels.

MiMü

Note: Vittoria provided these wheels/tires at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.