FSA AGX Wheels: At The Finish – by Grannygear
We began with a retrospective look at this wheel set when it was a 29″er item back ‘in the day’ and how, rebadged as gravel wheels, it was still a valid option albeit with some old tech like 6 bolt disc mounts. Since then I have been on them exclusively for gravel duty and I think its time to report back.
As we had said, these are kind of a daily driver wheel set. They are not a costly or light wheel and there is nothing too much that stands out. They are configurable, but not without some wrench turning, so they can be adapted for front axle types, etc. They also are a hand built wheel, so if the person at the truing bench is paying attention, then that is a step up from a machine built version.
To recap a bit further, they weighed 1813g with tape on there and stems and cost $629.00 retail last I looked. I have run several sets of tires on them tubeless and there have been no issues at all with fitment or inflation.
How have they been to use? Steady. They are still very true. I have not had to tension them or toss them in the truing stand. That has been as I expected based on my experience with the older MTB branded version. It’s a strong wheel for gravel use.
What has not been so great is the bearing life. For some reason the bearings feel a bit rumbly. I have not had them in any real moisture to speak of, at least not enough to explain that. My other set of old 29″er Afterburner wheels (basically the AGX wheels) remain smooth to this day after a few years use on MTB and then, for a bit, gravel. That these are not silky smooth is a surprise. Things happen, and perhaps the bearing spec is not what it was or FSA just got a bad run of them. I tried adjusting them but it seems to be a matter of new bearings at this point, although they are still OK to use.
I have no doubt, considering the short time I have used them, that FSA would replace the bearings under a warranty situation. Bearings are simply a wear item in any hub and at some point, it’s likely they would need to be refreshed. Still, this was a bit premature.
Other than that, the AGX wheels are getting it done. In the push towards wider internal gravel wheels, these are a bit behind the curve in that sense. From a value standpoint, consider the Sojourn wheels from Rolf Prima that I reviewed a bit ago. They are slightly lighter, slightly more costly, and are wider internally. They are also hand-built in the US of A.
And I think that points out how fast wheels are changing and how competitive the market is for gravel wheels. In some ways, the AGX wheels feel a bit long in the tooth with the 6 bolt rotors and narrow-ish rim. It’s not that any of that is a terrible thing, but it seems that for 1800g, I might expect a wider rim and for a 21mm internal rim, I might expect a lighter build weight.
And that about wraps that up.
For more details see the FSA website here: https://shop.fullspeedahead.com/en/wheelsets/mtb-gravel/agx-wheelset
NOTE: FSA sent over the AGX wheels for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We not mot paid, nor bribed, for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.