One of the perks here at Art’s Cyclery is the opportunity to ride the latest and greatest, and I’ve recently been sampling a Crank Brothers Iodine wheelset. The Iodine is designated as Crank Brothers “all-mountain” wheelset, which means its should be able to handle everything from climbing relatively easily to railing through rock gardens to jumps and drops with decent transitions. All-mountain does not mean downhill-race style terrain, or freeride-huckfest-to-flat riding, but simply aggressive riding on aggressive terrain.
How do they ride? I was impressed with the Iodine’s all the way around. They’re fairly light for what they are, weighing 2040 grams (with skewers and dirt)—pretty close to CB’s claimed weight of 1903 grams, and are pretty stiff as well. In fact, I couldn’t tell much of a difference in stiffness between the Iodine’s and my usual wheelset—Mavic 823 32-hole rims on Chris King Hubs—and yet the Iodine’s weigh over a pound less. Plus, the Crank Brother’s hubs are right up there with the King’s in terms of near-instant engagement. I felt the weight loss on my first climb, finally keeping up with my fellow lunch-rider on our usual trail. One area the Iodine’s can’t keep up with the 823’s is in robustness—the Iodine’s are softer, and I collected a few dings in terrain that the 823’s eat for breakfast, but then, my 823 wheelset is a pound heavier.
The real reason I liked these wheels is because… Well… They’re orange. Bright, beautiful, anodized orange. The Iodine’s make any bike look like a factory ride, and if you get your bike stolen, there’s no way your friends won’t notice those wheels rolling around the neighborhood!
The Iodine’s work well for the trails we have in San Luis Obispo; climbclimbclimb, then a high-speed, rocky, and often loose descent. If you can pick lines well and don’t make your bike make up for too much of your inadequacies as a rider, these wheels will not disappoint you, and provide years of service. If, however, you are a wheel-killer, you’ll probably get a year or so out of these wheels if you ride challenging terrain and don’t hold back.