PRIME RP-28 – BUDGET-PRICED TUBELESS CARBON DISC WHEELS

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The following review was recently added to the post – THE BEST WHEELS FOR ROAD BIKES WITH DISC BRAKES – 2016

Prime Components, the house wheelset and component brand for UK online retailer Chain Reaction Cycles, introduced the RP-28 Carbon Clincher Disc Road Wheelset in the summer of 2016.  Their USD$950, £730, €930, AUD$1225 market price is equal to that of most of the alloy road disc wheelsets but hundreds to over a thousand less than other carbon hoops from name brand wheel makers.

Bottom line, for the kind of rider whose preferences align well with where this wheelset performs best, the RP-28 road disc wheels can be a good solution.  They are not as versatile as some of the better alloy or carbon wheelsets but if you like to climb, prefer tubeless wheels, aren’t looking for the speed of an all-around wheelset or the cushy comfort a wider set can bring you and are happy having your shop work on your bike, these wheels will likely be a good fit for you at a great price.

The Prime rims are set-up for tubeless and, if you are interested in these wheels, it’s the only way to go.  I first rode them with my benchmark, low rolling resistance 25C Continental Grand Prix II S tires that use tubes and I didn’t find the wheels comfortable, even down at 80-85 psi.  With 25C Schwalbe Pro One tubeless down at about 70psi however, they were comfortable, though certainly not plush.

prime-rp-28-store-photoWhile I’m typically able to install tubeless tires using a floor pump, I had to take these wheels to my shop where they have a high volume, pneumatic air pump.  Even for them, it took a little bit of doing to get these all sealed up.  It also took a few rides before the sealant stopped weeping out of some of the spoke holes in the front wheel and spraying back on my legs.  The tires do come off the rims easily though, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to get a tube in if you ever flat on the road.

They aren’t well suited for off road riding, which some of the wider alloy wheels can do quite well.  Dropping the pressure down to 50 psi on a gravel and dirt path still made for an uncomfortable ride.  These kind of trails are left to still wider tires and rims filled with less air.

They do climb well, feeling stiff but not overly so going up and track well in the turns going downhill at speed.  The acceleration you get out of them is good, the rear hub engaging soon after you start turning the cranks.  They also coast smoothly with the hub keeping relatively quiet.

For those of you who use Shimano disc brakes and prefer their rotors, know that the RP-28 hubs only come with 6-bolt hubs.  That means you’ll need to pick up and install or have installed for you a set of 160mm rotors and adaptors as most Shimano road disc components are set up with 140mm rotors and attach using the CenterLock standard.  The wheels do come with both quick release and thru axles and the end caps to support both.

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Prime also makes a 38mm deep model of these wheels with the same rim width dimensions.  Their market price is very close to that of the Fulcrum Racing Quattro road disc wheelset I rated the Best Value.  The two also weigh within an indistinguishable 50 grams of each other.  While both can climb, neither will be a star going uphill.  They share a similar depth and rim profile but neither is as fast as some of the better carbon wheels at this depth.  The Fulcrum does offer a CenterLock option (what they call AFS) as well as a 6 bolt one but isn’t tubeless while the Prime RP38, like the 28, is tubeless but only comes in 6 bolt.

As I wrote earlier, if they align with your preferences the RP-28 (available here) and RP-38 (here) offer you a good option at a great price.

2 comments

  • Steve hello.

    I’m thinking about going tubeless for road, but from I’ve read the higher pressure road tires don’t seal well ifat all. You have used 70 psi with Schwalbe 25C tires, isn’t it too low? Did you have any success using tubeless with higher pressure?

    Thank you.

    • Leon, I’ve run tubeless successfully from 60 to 100psi. The better rims and tires seal fine though some take a high pressure pump to get them there and others you can do with a basic manual pump. Steve

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