The Dopamine range of products consists of rims and hubs. The hubs are available in both boost and regular with a choice of driver and end cap configurations. Drivers and end caps are fitted as per client order, so no extra charges are incurred for these choices.

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Both hubs and rims are offered in 32 hole drilling only. Corse Components claim this is due to the inherent strength achieved with a 32 hole with two or three cross lacing pattern further catering to reliability. Technically, the hubs feature a traditional four pawl, 36 point engagement system with standard size Enduro bearings featured throughout, easing any stress on your local bike shop too.

Models & Weights


Front 100 x 15mm, 150g
Front 110 x 15mm (boost), 158g
Rear 142 x 12mm with Shimano driver, 287g
Rear 142 x 12mm with XD driver, 270g
Rear 148 x 12mm (boost) with Shimano driver, 295g
Rear 148 x 12mm (boost) with XD driver, 290g

The Corse Dopamine rims have an internal width of 34mm with a claimed weight of 455g on the 27.5" version and 495g for the 29er. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is R 7 695,00 per rim in either size. The complete wheels, 29 with boost hubs, come in at the 1760 gram mark - good for their size and intended use.

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Corse Components claim that the 34mm internal width combines ideally with a 2.4" tyre and your normal air pressure which results in a faster rolling wheel. You are also more likely to be faster over sandy sections due to the tyre profile as well as the ability to push harder through rougher terrain, thanks to the extra volume. Running a skinnier tyre than 2.35 is not recommended on the Dopamine wheels as a narrower width (according to Corse Components) will result in a tyre with too square an edge which will compromise on trail performance.

On the Trail


Corse Components specify these as Marathon, Trail, and All Mountain wheels. They went straight onto my Knolly Warden and have been a perfect match. No stranger to wider rims, having ridden American Classic's Wide Lightning on a couple of bikes and Derby Rims on a some others, I kind of knew what tyres would work and what pressures I like. If you're new to wider rims, then there will be an initial period where you will have to work out what pressures and tyres work for you.

With wider rims you can run lower pressures - that is one of the selling points. Lower pressures, along with the sheer width or the rim, makes for a bigger contact patch which gives you greater traction and grip. Too low though and the tyre will roll on its carcass through turns or under heavy load and you can run the risk of rim and tyre damage. Generally speaking, I run between 18 and 25psi front and 20 to 28psi rear. On the Knolly, I settled somewhere between 23 and 28psi.

As far as tyres are concerned, I used 2.3 Maxxis DHR II front and Maxxis Aggressor rear which worked great. Not all tyres work on wider rims, especially those with pronounced side knobs as they square off more than other designs on a wider rim. This makes leaning the bike over at speed quite sketchy and unpredictable. Downright scary to be more precise. What you want is the extra width to rid the tyre of its balloon shape, but with a rounded tread profile in order for the tyre to ride like it should.

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The internal width puts it on the narrow end of the scale for proper plus wheels with those coming in somewhere between 36 - 40mm these days. They are still wider than some of the early plus wheels and brands like Ibis spec their plus bikes with their own wheels with a 35mm internal width with a 2.8" tyre mounted. I haven't tried these with plus tyres, but I'm sure they will fine for 2.8" tyres and are just about perfect for the new breed of 2.6" tyres. That means you can have a trail and all mountain wheelset that can do plus size duty should the need arise.

The Corse Components hubs are in the ballpark with other leading hubs, but can't compete with Industry Nine's instant engagement. For technical, twisty climbs I prefer a hub with faster engagement as the slightest pedal stroke will engage the hub and get you over or around a specific section when momentum is not on your side. To date they have not needed any maintenance and spin as fast and smooth as the day I got them.

Hitting the trails with these has been great fun. There is no other way of putting it! Thanks to their low weight and overall stiffness, they spin up fast and transfer energy through the pedals into forward momentum. Fortunately, the wheels are not stiff to the point of being uncomfortable.

Rides or trail sections where grip is of utmost importance is where these wheels excel. The bigger contact patch and lower pressures work together to offer seemingly endless levels of grip which translates into bags of confidence. Pushed hard there are no signs of flex or give, neither from the wheels or the tyres.

As an added bonus, I have found the lower pressures and wider contact patch to be much better through thick and loose sand. So long as you can can keep a steady momentum, you are more likely to make your way through a sand patch on these than on a narrower rim running higher pressures.

Durability


I'm happy to report that I have not had a single issue with the wheels. Of more (relevance / importance) is feedback from Matt Lombardi who managed a full season of enduro racing, including his EWS races, on a single wheelset with not so much as a broken spoke or burped tyre. For those interested, he was running 25-27 psi at events with Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5WT front and a High Roller 2.4" or DHR 2.4" rear tubeless with no inserts.

I can add that aesthetically mine have held up very well with no unwanted scratches, dings or marks. Even though I have not been bashing them around on the international race circuit like Matt, they are running as true, fast and smooth as the day I got them.

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Pricing


Complete wheelset - R 18 950
Rims - R 6 995
Hub sets - R 3750

Verdict


If you have not tried wider rims yet then you really should. Whether it is on your trail, all mountain or cross-country bike. As an All Mountain / Enduro / Trail slayer wheelset, the Corse Dopamine offers a great package and ticks all the boxes. It is worthy of consideration and if you are looking to go proper wide, then it's one of only a handful that will get you there.