THE BEST ROAD DISC WHEELSET UPGRADES
Summary: If you’ve bought a road disc bike recently, you’ve probably asked yourself…which road disc wheelset would be a real upgrade at a reasonable price? Among the best we’ve tested, I found the Zipp 30 Course Disc Brake Clincher to be the Best Performer (market price $1000 from stores I recommend in the US here, here) and Easton EA90 SL Disc to be the Best Value (market price of $700 in the US here, here).
Road disc bikes are now front and center, mainstream, almost in your face. If you are a road cycling enthusiast, your next road bike will most likely have disc rather than rim brakes. And if you’ve bought a road disc bike recently, you’re probably asking yourself the same question you did shortly after you bought your last good rim brake bike – what are the best wheels I can get to upgrade my bike at a reasonable price?
With new road disc bikes now outselling rim brake ones, there are more and better road disc wheelset choices coming to market each year. The same categories of choices you’ve had in rim brake wheels – upgrade, all-around, aero, and climbing – are filling out now with new wheelsets specifically for road disc bikes.
In this post, I’ll share my reviews of the best of these wheels from the upgrade category that are available as of this most recent post update. These wheels will provide a far better riding experience than the stock wheels that come with most new road disc bikes.
All are comfortable to ride, helped in part by having wide rims (19-21mm inside width) that can be set up with tubeless tires. Made from aluminum alloys and typically selling for under $/£/€1000, these road disc wheelset upgrades are less expensive than carbon wheels that make up the other categories, most that sell for 1.5-3x more.
While primarily designed to ride on paved roads, many of these can also be ridden with wider tires on dirt, gravel, cyclocross and other off-road surfaces where we take our road disc bikes these days.
Related: For a review of the best alloy and carbon rim brake wheels, click the Best Rim Brake Upgrade Wheels
Related: Not sure what kind of wheels to get? Click Road Bike Wheels – How To Choose The Best For You
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ROAD DISC WHEELSETS
Click on any red statement below to go directly to that part of the post
Stock wheels are no better on road disc bikes than rim brake bikes
Compatibility exists even if standards aren’t quite there yet
When evaluating a road disc wheelset upgrade, some criteria are more important than others
The Zipp 30 Course gets my nod as the Best Performer; the Easton EC90 SL is the Best Value
ROAD DISC WHEELSET DEVELOPMENTS
Several market, product, and technology changes have occurred over the last few years that may affect your consideration and decision of which road disc wheelset to buy. I describe these here before providing you my evaluations of the wheelsets themselves.
New Road Disc Bikes For Endurance and Racing Displacing Rim Brake Ones
From everything I know, 2018 was the first year that more endurance road bikes with disc brakes were sold to road cycling enthusiasts like you and me than those made with rim brakes.
These endurance bikes are made with carbon frames and sell for between $/£/€2,500 and $/£/€5,000 with some going for up to $/£/€10,000. Most have tier 2 or better component groupsets like Shimano Ultegra and Dura-Ace or SRAM Force and Red with mechanical or electronic shifting and have hydraulic (rather than cable-actuated) disc brakes.
Among race bike models, road disc bikes are clearly in the ascendancy even though the pro tour and many top-category amateur racers still use rim brake bikes.
I’ve been following the emergence of road disc bikes since 2014. There’s little doubt that we are now well beyond the tipping or inflection point in the shift from rim to disc brake bikes. Within a couple of years, you won’t even be able to buy a new rim brake, enthusiast-level, endurance road bike. I don’t doubt it among the bigger brands. The smaller and classic brands may take longer, unable to cover the added design costs in the short term or unwilling to change their iconic positions.
Campagnolo, which was the last major groupset and wheelset company to introduce disc brake components and did so years after the others, is probably Exhibit A for the financially challenged and legacy positioned late switchers. They are working to catch up to the fast-moving shift to road disc brake bikes, announcing and introducing new wheelsets and groupsets.
Among the leaders, Giant, the world’s largest bike manufacturer, has been selling only endurance road disc bikes for many years now. Specialized, another of the largest volume bike sellers, now offers its Roubaix model that once broke open the entire endurance bike category only with disc brakes. Trek, the third member of the world’s largest major bike brands now sells disc brake endurance and race versions of its most popular models
The shift to road disc has happened among smaller bike companies too. Canyon, one of the fastest-growing bike brands, started selling road disc bikes in 2017 with more road race models in disc brake than rim brake and an equivalent number of models in their top endurance lines. BMC’s top endurance bike lines and all of Focus’ endurance bikes are road disc.
North American bike brands Cannondale, Felt, and Cervelo sell road disc endurance and race bikes throughout their product line and for some models no longer offer rim brake bikes. Italian brands Pinarello, Colnago, and Bianchi sell road disc endurance and race bikes throughout their lines.
For those of us traditionalists out there, we best get used to it. Road disc bikes for endurance riding and racing is happening now, not something off in the future.
Stock Wheels No Better on Road Disc than Rim Brake Bikes
Continuing the practice from rim brake bikes, the wheels that come with most new road disc bikes – aka “stock wheels” – continue to be underperformers relative to the potential created by the bike frame and components. Disc brake components are more expensive than rim brake ones so bike makers need to find places to keep their other costs down to prevent bike prices from climbing further. Combine this with down sales and profit years for the bike industry starting in 2016 and you get a reinforcement of the old maxim that wheels are the first thing you’ll want to upgrade on your new bike including when it’s a road disc one.
You’ll find a good number of DT Swiss, Mavic, Fulcrum, 3T, and OEM brand wheels (Axis, Cannondale, Giant) made by DT Swiss and others on new road disc bikes that you won’t find available or promoted for aftermarket or upgrade sales.
Canyon and, in a more limited way, Specialized and BMC are exceptions to this. Similar to what a couple of other bike brands did their first year selling road disc bikes, Canyon has put carbon all-around and aero wheels from Zipp, Mavic, Reynolds or DT Swiss on their more expensive ($5000 and up) road disc bikes. Specialized puts Roval CLX series carbon wheels on a few of their bikes at their highest price point and BMC is putting the newest DT Swiss carbon wheels on their most expensive bikes.
You will also find alloy upgrade wheels like the Zipp 30 Course or HED Ardennes coming stock on a few models. But, these are more the exceptions to the rule that new road disc bikes get stock wheels you’ll want to upgrade.
More Carbon Models Designed For Road Disc Performance; Few Alloy Ones Are
In my past annual reviews of alloy and carbon wheelsets, I’ve written about the performance and design differences between disc and rim brake wheels. Beyond the need to handle the forces of braking on the disc rotors placed at the center of the wheels rather than at the rims (more spokes and beefier, slightly wider hubs), there are ways to make purpose-built disc brake wheels perform better than adapted rim brake ones, once freed of the rim brake requirements.
I wrote about the opportunities to reduce rim weight, create more aerodynamic rim profiles, phase out carbon-alloy wheelsets, and build road-specific hubs rather than use off-road ones that have been adopted in many road disc wheels. We are also increasingly seeing “asynchronous” profiles or those with more material on the side where the rotor sits to handle the brake forces more effectively without affecting the ride quality.
All of that and more is happening in the carbon disc brake wheelset world. Sadly, little of it has happened for those of us looking for less expensive, alloy road disc wheelset options. And it’s not because of the material differences, at least not in my opinion. Rather, it is more likely because the innovation usually comes in carbon wheels first where the margins are bigger. I’m also guessing that there’s not enough volume yet for aftermarket road disc brake wheels to justify investing in lower margin alloy upgrade wheels.
Will it happen for those of us who want to upgrade the stock wheels that came with our new road disc bikes but are not able or willing to spend on carbon wheels? I believe it should but greater demand from cyclists for carbon wheels has stalled it for now.
When? As the number of new road disc bikes grows, the number of riders looking for purpose-built disc brake wheelset upgrades at alloy wheelset prices will grow with it. At that point, the volume of demand for alloy road disc wheels, if not the margins, will justify it. At the same time, the demand for alloy rim brake wheels will be going down as fewer new enthusiast level rim brake bikes are sold, and wheel makers will be anxious to replace the lost aftermarket sales on the rim brake side with more disc brake wheels. I have no inside information, but my guess is that by 2022 or 2023, there will be a lot more innovation in this alloy upgrade road disc category.
I’ve seen a couple of things that could be interpreted as initial signs of this switchover among alloy upgrade road disc wheelsets. The Zipp 30 Course, for example, is an alloy wheelset that has been sold for many few years in both disc brake and rim brake models using different rims. It appears to be better suited and more competitive in road disc brake applications than rim brake ones.
Also, while wheels are getting wider for all road (and off-road) bikes, Fulcrum announced a new, 19C disc brake version of its Racing Zero wheelset before it said anything about updating its 17C rim brake model.
Other wheelsets, like the Campy Zonda Disc Brake wheelset, have asymmetric rims to handle the differential braking forces on the wheels. These are modest changes that don’t fully realize the potential redesign opportunities I mentioned above but are still a good sign of added road disc wheelset focus. The result, in the case of the Zonda, is a wheelset too heavy and too narrow to be competitive with and included in this review of the best wheelsets in this category.
Alloy road disc wheels still weigh more than their rim brake siblings – most an unnoticeable 50-80 grams – when, if designed first for disc brake use, they should weigh less by roughly the same amount. And while their retail prices are now about the same in disc and rim brake versions (disc brake wheels used to be notably more expensive), most are still closer to $1000 than $500.
That’s the bad news.
More Brands Selling Road Disc Wheelset Upgrades
The good news is that most of the better rim brake alloy wheels are now made in disc brake versions, with brands like Campagnolo and Fulcrum slowly joining in at the alloy upgrade level and Bontrager and Mavic offering more alloy road disc wheels than in past years.
While there have been some good upgrade wheelset choices out there when I’ve updated this disc brake wheelset review past years, I’ve seen few among the major brands in 2020 and prices have yet to come down significantly.
Shimano, which has been a pioneer in disc brake components and standards, has unfortunately done nothing to advance an early and now inferior alloy disc brake wheelset line. If or when they re-engage here (and their financial performance of late suggests it might be a while), I would expect to see prices pushed down.
There are of course many smaller wheel brands sourcing components and often complete wheels designed and assembled by contractors or assembling them in low volumes on their own. They are also increasingly offering alloy upgrade disc brake wheels.
Much as I would like to provide you, my fellow road cycling enthusiasts, guidance on the wheels offered by these brands and by custom-built wheel makers, the sheer number of them makes it such that there’s just no way I can evaluate them.
And if I did, there’s no way I could determine that what I experience is what you would experience as the custom-built wheels are, by definition, unique. The ones designed, built, and assembled by others on contract for the wheel brands that sell them are at the mercy of what their contractors are sending them from lot to lot and how those contractors or contracts may change from year to year. They also have limited distribution and support networks, making whatever they offer, no matter how good, available for sale and service only to a limited number of you.
Compatibility Exists Even if Standards Don’t
As with any relatively new product category – whether it be road disc bikes or new consumer electronics or most anything else that grows organically – it often takes years for standards to be set. Usually, the strongest players call the shots and if the product category or ecosystem that it is part of is fragmented, standards bodies can take eons to reach an agreement.
There are some dominant players in different segments of the cycling industry but none that cross all of its equipment segments. At this point, Shimano with its road disc groupset dominance and, to a lesser degree, some of the larger bike companies, have birthed and are shaping the emerging standards for road disc wheelsets as there are no wheel makers nearly as dominant and the wheels must obviously work with the bikes and components.
What has emerged as the road bike standard is Thru Axle (TA) with a 12x100mm front axle diameter and width (rather than a 15x100mm) and a 12x142mm rear. New wheelsets are far more commonly coming with Shimano’s standard Center Lock (CL) hubs rather than 6 Bolt (6B) ones.
Some wheels come with end caps that allow you to use different width thru-axles and even QR ones. In some cases, you have to order (and buy) the options separately. Very few come standard with 6 Bolt hubs. If you use 6 Bolt rotors on your wheels now, you can get an inexpensive adaptor to use them on wheels with Center Lock hubs. There is no adaptor, however, to put a Center Lock rotor on a 6 Bolt hub
I’m now beginning to see some wheelsets having very limited inventory or not even being offered in anything but the emerging standard I wrote about above. In the next couple of years, if your bike and components aren’t set up that way, you may have far fewer choices than you have today.
In the wheelset comparison table, I’ve noted the compatibility options for each wheelset.
All of this may sound a bit confusing. If you are unsure of what you have, there are a few things you can look at on your bike to sort through it all.
First of all, if you have to unscrew your axle to get your wheel off, you’ve likely got TA. You can also look at your dropouts. If they have a slot, it’s a QR. If the ends are completely enclosed, it’s TA.
As for the rotor interface and rotor itself, if your rotor attaches with screws it’s a 6B. If it attaches with a ring, CL.
Tubeless is Nearly Ubiquitous
Wider and tubeless-ready rims are one thing that almost all disc brake wheelset makers seem to agree on. All the wheels in this review are “tubeless ready”. You don’t have to run them with tubeless tires but they are ready if you want to.
They also range from 19mm to 21mm wide across the inside of the rim, the dimension that affects wheelset comfort and handling along with the size tire you use, how much you inflate it, and the amount of vertical compliance built into the wheelset.
I mention tubeless and rim width together as, while this review is for road disc wheelsets, I know some of you plan to take your wheels off-road on dirt or gravel for a change-of-pace ride during the season or race cyclocross in the fall. Don’t hide. I know you are out there. I’ve seen you out there! (Oops).
A wide, tubeless wheelset will allow you to install and run tubeless tires down to very low pressures and still provide you comfort and good handling on dirt, gravel, or grassy trails.
Note, however, that all tubeless rims are not created equally. While replacing a tube and installing and inflating a clincher tire is pretty much the same experience on most wheels of similar width and depth, the experience of mounting, getting sealant in and blowing up a tubeless tire varies greatly from one model wheelset to another. Does it ever!
On the flip side, none of these alloy upgrade road disc wide wheels are very wide on the outside, ranging from 22-25mm. This likely ties to most of them using the same rim design as their rim brake wheel siblings and perhaps some practical alloy rim manufacturing limitations or the added weight that accompanies added alloy wheel width.
Carbon road disc wheels, while having similar inside widths to alloy road disc ones, are now ranging in the 27mm to nearly 30mm range allowing for wider 25C and 28C tires that still optimize aero performance by having the inflated tire width remaining less than the rim width.
Since none of the alloy wheels are very deep (most ranging in the 25mm to 30mm range) and some still have an older box or V-shaped profile, there’s no aero benefit you should expect to gain from them in the first place. Therefore, 25C tires on these wheels that measure wider than the rims aren’t going to change your aero performance and can provide you more comfort and better handling.
I wouldn’t recommend going to 28C tires unless you plan to do a lot of off-road riding. 28Cs on alloy wheels the width of those in this review can make your road handling quite mushy with the lower tire pressures you’ll likely run them at and the 5-8mm of tire extending beyond your rims that create a less vertical (and more lightbulb like) tire sidewall shape.
Improved Performance That You’ll Notice, At A Price
Of course, you upgrade your wheels to give you better performance over the wheels that came with your bike and a better and more enjoyable riding experience overall. Wheels are usually the weakest link on your new bike and hold you back from getting the performance and enjoyment you can obtain from the frame and components that are the foundation of your bike.
I have found that that to balance the potential of what your bike can do, you should plan to spend somewhere between 20-40% of your bike’s original price on better wheels. The price of most stock wheels is about 5-10% of the bike.
Looking at the price tags rather than the percentages, these wheels aren’t cheap. One thousand $750-$950 is the asking price for a good road disc wheelset upgrade that will give you a noticeable improvement in performance.
However, if you think you also might want a more versatile or more dedicated aero or climbing wheelset in addition to the stiffness, acceleration, comfort and other basic performance improvements you get with an alloy upgrade, you’ll need to move to a carbon wheelset and spend close to that 40% number. If you are thinking of going that way or want some guidelines deciding which way to go, I suggest you read my post Road Bike Wheels – How To Choose The Best For You.
It’s important to think now about what kind of riding you plan on doing 2-3 years out and what kind of wheelset will best serve you then. Doing so will help you from buying an alloy upgrade wheelset now only to decide you’d prefer to have put that money into a carbon wheelset a year or two down the road.
When evaluating wheelsets, I consider 20 specific criteria that fall into one of four categories – performance, design, quality, and cost. You can read the descriptions of those criteria here.
While all these criteria are important, some are more important depending on what kind of riding you are intending to do and what kind of bike you have. Braking performance, for example, is an important wheelset criterion for riders climbing and descending or riding in the rain on rim brake bikes.
It’s hardly even part of the disc brake wheelset evaluation since most hub and spoke systems on disc brake wheels effectively transfer the braking responsibility to the rotors and calipers. Rotor selection – both size and material – and hydraulic brake components are key to road disc brake performance but largely independent of wheelset choice. For this reason, I’ve dropped braking as a criterion in road disc wheelset reviews.
Other criteria, like stiffness, are equally important whether you are talking rim or disc brake wheels or upgrade, all-around, climbing or aero wheels. Still others, like acceleration, need to be looked at a bit more closely on alloy disc brake wheels rather than rim brake ones since the former tend to be a tad heavier and have road hub designs that haven’t had as many years of refinement as the off-road ones they may have been born with.
While design specs like weight and rim width are worth noting in and of themselves and may (or may not) deliver the intended performance those specs are often associated with, a wheelset’s actual acceleration, stiffness, and comfort on the road, for example, are far more important than the design specifications that we often get so hung up on (and sold on) and too easily equate to those performance attributes.
When it comes to choosing between a road disc and rim brake bike, most cycling enthusiasts will likely go with a road disc bike for its superior braking performance, its ability to be ridden more aggressively and faster down hills, in and out of corners, and for the versatility to ride it in most any weather on varying road terrain. Those things have more to do with the bike than the wheels.
Disc brake wheelset upgrades will noticeably outperform the stock wheels that came with the bike through some combination of accelerating better, being stiffer, more comfortable, handling better and improving the bike’s versatility to ride a variety of terrain mostly on the road and on some off-road surfaces. And that will make a world of difference to the performance and enjoyment of a good $/£/€2500 to $/£/€5,000 (or more) road disc bike that you’ll likely have invested in as an enthusiast.
Road disc upgrade wheels combine these performance improvements for less than $/£/€1000, a far better price than carbon wheels which are often priced 1.5-3x more.
If you want a wheelset with better aerodynamics for flats and rolling terrain, that climbs exceptionally well in the mountains, that combines the versatility to perform well in all types of terrain, to help you ride competitively in endurance rides or club and higher-level road races, or even mix in some gravel or dirt or cyclocross with your road riding, you’ll want to go with a carbon disc wheelset instead of one the alloy upgrades I’ve reviewed in this post.
Sorry, but you do get what you pay for.
Note that I have only evaluated wheels for their performance riding on a paved road surface. Gravel, dirt, cross, and other alternative or off-road riding is entirely another kettle of fish, bag of bones, set of spokes, etc. Many road disc bikes can be taken on fire roads or dirt tracks or gravel paths with the road wheels I’m evaluating and some are intended to perform well both on and off-road.
Set up with the right tires, many of the wheelsets I’ve evaluated can also be used off-road with CX or ‘alternative’ bikes that have higher bottom brackets and have more space in the frame and forks for wider, lower pressure tires and other frame, component, and wheelset characteristics designed principally for off-road riding. My evaluations, however, are based on-road riding and I can’t tell you which ride better off-road or in some combination.
With all of that noted and uploaded to the cloud, here are my reviews of the current group of best disc brake wheelset upgrades.
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ZIPP 30 COURSE DISC BRAKE CLINCHER – STIFF, RESPONSIVE, COMFORTABLE, AND VERSATILE
The Zipp 30 Course Disc-brake Clincher gets my vote as the best road disc wheelset upgrade for your road disc bike. It’s a good all-around performer with nearly all the current design benefits and at a competitive market price (USD$1000).
What you’ll notice most about the Zipp are its strength and responsiveness. It’s laterally quite stiff, a bit on the heavy side but still very responsive to your acceleration efforts. Good acceleration depends as much and probably more on rim aerodynamics and hub performance as low weight (see here for a discussion of this). These wheels use the Zipp-patented toroid aero profile and the 77/177 hubs that Zipp also puts on their more expensive Firecrest carbon wheels. This probably offsets the weight disadvantage when compared to most other wheelsets in this category.
The Zipp 30 Course is a very comfortable ride, the most comfortable and smooth-riding one of the wheels tested for this review. The rims are wide (21mm inside/25mm outside), wide enough to enable you to ride 25C or even 28C tires if you want to maximize comfort on rough paved or packed dirt roads. However, I wouldn’t go any wider than 25Cs (which will measure 28mm+ once mounted) if you plan to do mostly road riding. They are plenty comfortable with tires of that width while riding even rough paved roads at the right pressure.
The wheels are set up at the factory with rim tape to run tubeless. It is one of the easier wheelsets I’ve found to mount tubeless tires on. If you’ve thought about taking the leap into tubeless, this would be a good wheelset to go with for that reason as well.
Like many of the best road disc wheelsets, this one comes with all the hardware to easily convert between quick release and thru-axle of the range of sizes your bike might need. The wheelset hub only comes in a 6-bolt option. If you are currently using Center Lock rotors and weigh under 165lbs/75kg, you can pick up a set of 140mm 6-bolt rotors here that I use made by Avid (Shimano doesn’t make 6-bolt in that size). If heavier, go with 160mm 6-bolt Shimano rotors here. It will cost you $60-$70 for either pair.
There’s not much this wheelset can’t do well. You can cruise on it comfortably, you can race on it confidently, and you can take it on dirt roads and to cyclocross events capably. It didn’t do anything for me going uphill but it sure was solid going down. That’s a pretty good combination of performance characteristics for an upgrade wheelset.
You can find and order the Zipp 30 Course Disc at the best prices using these links to my recommended store Planet Cyclery and compare prices from others I also recommend at Know’s Shop.
EASTON EA90 SL DISC – A STRONG, VERSATILE PERFORMER WITH A NEW HUB
As I’ve found with other Easton alloy and carbon rim brake wheelsets I’ve tested in the last couple of years, Easton gets a lot right with the EA90 SL Disc wheelset.
The rim and disc brake models of this wheelset use the same rim and have a contemporary rounded rim shape and width. The EA90 SL Disc wheels are amongst the stiffest wheels you’ll find, absolutely unbending no matter how much effort you put into them. This, of course, is a good thing when it comes to wheels.
They handle precisely going around corners, accelerate well and are very comfortable on either tube and tire or tubeless rubber, the latter which sets up quite simply.
While their actual measured weight is similar to the Bontrager and HED wheelsets (and about 100g less than my recommended Zipp 30 course), they climb better likely due to their stiffness and perhaps owing to their rounded rim profile.
While it’s a personal thing, I also like the look of their black matte finish and lettering and find it more attractive than most others in this review. If your last name is Easton, even better.
So, a lot to like.
Since last evaluating the EA90 SL Disc, Easton started selling this wheelset with their new Vault hub along with the same rim and spokes as before. This is a good step forward.
The M1 hub was one adopted from Easton’s mountain bike wheel line and required a 6-bolt rotor interface and quick-release axles. If you wanted thru-axles, you had to pay extra for the hardware and likely to get it installed. Worse, most mountain bike wheel hubs are over-designed for what road bike or even cross bike wheels need and that typically makes them heavier as well.
The Vault hub is CenterLock and comes with end-caps that any enthusiast can easily switch out for whichever axle configuration suits your frame. I’ve ridden this hub on the carbon EC90 SL road hoops and the alloy EA90 AX gravel wheelset. It rolls well, maintains the stiffness of the wheelset, and has modest freehub sound.
The EA90 SL’s performance and great price, retailing for $750 and at times less, make it the Best Value in this category. Use these links to recommended stores Planet Cyclery and JensonUSA to find it at the best prices.
BONTRAGER PARADIGM ELITE TLR DISC – GREAT HANDLING AND CRUISING
Bontrager added the Paradigm Elite TLR rim and disc brake models to their line a couple of years ago. They sit above the Paradigm Comp and Paradigm models. All of them use the same rims but the Elites use DT 240 hubs that you’ll see on many of the better alloy and carbon wheelsets sold by a wide range of top brands.
So, my question was, are they “Elite” compared to the performance of disc brake wheelset upgrades from other brands in this review?
One of the first things my fellow tester Moose (90kg/200lb) and I (68kg/150lbs) both noticed after riding the Paradigm Elites was their handling performance. They tracked very well in and out of corners on the flats and on downhills, giving you plenty of confidence.
We ran them with the recommended Bontrager 26C tubeless tires and at about 10 psi lower than regular clincher pressure. This, in combination with the wheelset’s 19.5mm internal width likely helped produce the solid handling platform.
What makes many alloy wheels an upgrade over the stock set is the way they roll – usually smoother and quieter. The Paradigm Elites are good, on par with the hubs on the Zipp 30 Course.
These wheels, while stiff enough for most riders, aren’t as stiff as the Zipp, Easton EA90 SL or Mavic Ksyrium Elite for heavier enthusiasts.
Comfort? With tubeless tires and inflated to a lower pressure than a tubed clincher, the Paradigm Elites absorb the bumps better than most. But, I still felt bumps, surface cracks, and rougher roads and it seemed that the tires were dampening them more so than the compliance of the wheels.
Speaking of the tires, the Bontrager 26C R2 TLR on these wheels measured 26.7mm wide once installed (a piece of cake) and inflated (one with a hand pump, the other took a compressor).
Overall, the Paradigm Elite wheelset gives you an enjoyable upgrade over the average stock set – confident handling, smooth rolling, and dampened rough road surfaces. At $950 through this link to Trekbikes.com, they give the cruising enthusiast a good option for a better ride but don’t stand out among this strong group of road disc wheelset upgrade options.
HED ARDENNES RA DISC – THE INNOVATOR THAT OTHERS CAUGHT UP WITH
Before the Zipp 30 Course was introduced, I picked the HED Ardennes Disc as the best performer amongst road disc wheelset upgrades. It weighs much the same as its rim brake sibling with which it shares the same rim design, rides as comfortably as its rim width would suggest (20.6mm inner, 25mm outer), and handles extremely well.
HED led the revolution to wider road wheels and the Ardennes went to its width in 2014. As you can see from the wheelset comparison chart above, most of the others in this category have caught up or nearly so in their rim dimensions. I personally can’t tell much improvement in comfort and handling on the road between 19C and 21C width rims with 25C tires but the 21C rims do allow you to more easily roll 28C and even wider for off-road riding if you want to use your wheels that way.
The disc brake version of this wheelset is stiffer than the rim brake model, the latter which was underwhelming. The more robust, HED-designed Sonic Disc hub and added front spokes undoubtedly contribute to this.
Like most wheels in this category, the Ardennes is made tubeless-ready. You select your thru-axle preferences at the time of order rather than switch between axles and end caps after you’ve received the wheels.
They are not sold with hubs for quick release axle setups.
The wheels are set up standard with a Center Lock rotor interface. You can get an adapter kit ($20) if you want to use your 6 bolt rotors.
A couple of years ago, these wheels really stood out among the pack of alloy upgrade road disc wheels in handling and comfort and also climbed better than most. Others have caught up or exceed the Ardennes’ performance in some categories.
To better compete, and not unlike what you’ve seen from Campy, Fulcrum, and Mavic over the years, HED offers these wheels using the same rims with slightly different hub components to create the Pro ($850) to the Performance ($650) models.
You can find and order the HED Ardennes RA Disc at the Performance Bike.
MAVIC KSYRIUM ELITE UST DISC – COMFORTABLE AND STIFF AT A GOOD PRICE
As you may have heard, and you are a cyclist living in a tunnel without Internet service if you haven’t, Mavic announced its entry into the road tubeless market with its typical bravado that goes something like: We waited years after others had entered the road tubeless market until we had invented a miraculous new form of technology that is the new standard and no one will ever approach it. (My hyperbolized and satirized paraphrasing.)
Mavic blanketed the major cycling media which promptly repeated the company’s claims (but did none of their own testing) in article after article writing that UST or Universal Standard Tubeless was easier to install, lighter, safer, yada, yada, yada.
You can’t blame Mavic for executing a well-crafted marketing campaign. You certainly can (and I do) laugh at all the ad-sponsored online and print publications for being Mavic’s megaphone.
Well, now that the echo chamber has subsided and Mavic has been selling its UST product line that stretches from low-cost-alloy wheels to high-priced carbon ones, let me give you my impressions of UST and specifically, the Ksyrium Elite UST Disc road disc wheelset.
I’ve been evaluating two UST wheelsets… a low-cost alloy one and a high-priced carbon one.
First, I was amazed at how consistent the inside width is in these wheels. I typically measure a wheel’s inside width at a half a dozen places and take an average. Even the most expensive wheels vary by 0.2 to 0.3mm along the rim. By contrast, the Mavic wheels varied by less than 0.05mm and that may be due more to the limitation of my measuring technique than the variability in the wheel’s inside width.
Secondly, I’ve been installing a whole bunch of different tubeless tires on a whole bunch of different tubeless rims for a few years now and watching a lot of YouTube videos to make sure I’ve got all the tricks down. And with Mavic UST, I found the Yksion Pro UST Tubeless tires that Mavic sells with these wheels no easier to put on, inflate, seal or remove than most other road tubeless tire and rim combinations.
That’s neither a plus or a minus, it’s just me injecting a bit of reality into the marketing hype that’s been going around.
There are three factors, all plusses, that I believe are more important than the two above for those of you who want all the benefits of tubeless but are uncomfortable about having to install tubeless tires.
1. Mavic’s UST wheels are sold with Yksion tires already installed on the rim. All you have to do is unscrew the valve core, pour 30ml (1 ounce) of the sealant that Mavic provides with the wheels into the open valve, screw the core back in, and pump up the tire with a regular track pump. Done.
2. The price of the wheelset includes the tires. That’s a good thing, and about $100, £80, €100 you don’t have to spend for another set of tires if the Yksion Pro UST Tubeless tires are any good.
3. My experience riding these tires on a couple of different wheelsets leaves me feeling pretty good about them. And, a review published by independent tester Jarno Bierman at Bicycle Rolling Resistance shows that the tire’s rolling resistance and tread puncture resistance are within you-won’t-be-able-to-tell-the-difference range of the new Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless and many of the other, better road tubeless tires. The exception is the Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL which has at least 10% better rolling resistance than the Yksion, Schwalbe and other everyday tubeless tires.
How about the wheels’ performance?
Prior Ksyrium Elites have earned the reputation of being stiff. Elites and Campy Zondas have always been the wheels you recommended to your heavier friends because they were unbending no matter how much weight or power someone could put into them. My 200lb fellow tester Moose, self-appointed president of the FFCC (Fat F***ers Cycling Club) tells me these current Elites uphold their reputation for stiffness.
With the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Disc now available, I’ve dropped the Zonda disc brake wheelset from this latest version of the road disc wheelset upgrade category review. While less expensive, the Zonda is narrower (17C vs. the Elite’s 19C), heavy (1675 grams), and is not tubeless-ready.
The Elite is also quite comfortable to ride, tracks well and cruises well on the tarmac. It’s not as comfortable as the Zipp 30 Course but it’s no less comfortable than the other wheelsets I’ve reviewed in this category.
It’s not the fastest accelerating wheelset nor does it do anything special tracking through hard turns so I wouldn’t race on it. But if you are a cruising enthusiast and are ok riding the Yksion Pro tires that come with these wheels at ($750, £500, €570), it’s a good deal.
You can find and order the Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Disc at The Pro’s Closet.
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Steve, do you think HED Aedennes Plus is still a competitive contender? I have a chance to get LT for for $550, which is over $100 less than best valued Mavic Elite?
I should probably rephrase my question. Steve, I really want to hear yours and especially Moose’s opinion on two particular wheels HED Ardennes LT and Ksyrium Elite. I can get both for about same price (Mavic with tires installed or HED plus pair of Schwalbe Pros).
Wheelset won’t be the primary set, more like a back up and adventure set. Being in the same weight category as Moose at 200LBS I need strong, stiff and reliable wheels. They will be used for climbing, mostly for short and very steep paved streets and maybe for some fire roads. For longer and less steep rides I still will be use ENVE SES 3.4. Great wheels, but I’m getting tired of them going out of true. So, what you would say..?
Ksyrium Elite or HED Ardennes??
Thanks in advance
Mavic. They’re stiffer.
Thanks Steve, appreciate the advise.
Do you know if there any difference between 2018 and 2019 models, I can not find anything online
Vitaliy, The current model is the UST one. Prior to that it wasn’t UST and was a narrower rim with a poorer performing tire. So look for the UST model I linked to above. Mavic doesn’t make a distinction between 2018 and 2019 even though some stores may label it that way. Steve
Thanks again Steve, much appreciated!
Got my first ride in with Mavic Elite UST Disc. Totally agree with review. Very comfortable and soft ride, stiff (!!!) climb reasonably well even being on heavy side, not so great with acceleration. Would definitely use them on less maintained roads and gravel adventures. Also good to have them as backup set for ENVE SES 3.4s.
Steve, question off topic if I may, would love to hear your opinion on upgrade bearings. Not for Mavics, but in general.. Do you think it worth for cycling enthusiast to spend money on ceramic bearings for wheels and/or bottom bracket ?
Vitaliy, Thanks for the feedback on the Mavics. Regarding ceramic bearings….No on wheels, I don’t know on BBs. Steve
Thanks Steve, just confirmed my thoughts.
Great article- almost set on the Easton’s, but came across Hunt 30Carbon and the Industry 9 AR25 – any thoughts on those 2 wheels/brands by any chance?
Nic, Hunt does a great job marketing and sourcing wheels designed and made by others. Not a fan. Industry 9 puts their good (not great) hubs on rims made with Reynolds rims. Don’t know that wheelset but was underwhelmed by the similar width, deeper Reynolds AR41 DB wheelset with I9 torch hubs. Steve
Thanks Steve. Really informative! I am really overwhelmed by the amount of variety out there in my price range of $1k-$1.3k! I want a light and versatile wheel that will give me that extra push uphill, but won’t limit me off road. I am 140lbs. Was hemming and hawing on custom Easton’s with DT Swiss 240s but jensons sake price on the Easton’s now are hard to beat!
Argh so waited too long and it’s sold out! Went poking around Merlin’s and saw the Reynolds aero 46 DB for ~1300. I know u were underwhelmed, but at that price is it worth it or should I wait for the Easton’s. The Zipp 302s were also on sale, but they are heavy. Thanks again for your patience and knowledge!
The 46 DB is clearly the best of that group of wheelsets and that’s a great price…
Hey Steve, Happy New Year.
Question not so much about wheels, but wheel/tire combo. I have a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheels which I’d like to use with gravel bike I’m building now. How wide as far as tires I can go without compromising safety and handling? Don’t care about aerodynamics since it’s gravel bike.
Thank you in advance
Alex, Check out this post on the topic https://intheknowcycling.com/2016/04/03/best-wider-road-bike-tires-wheel-sizes/ Steve
I remember someone warning me about Zipp hubs, but the reps at the LBS assured me they were rock solid sound across the model lines. Given the look and the price (at the time) that soothed my spirit and met my budget, I got them (Zipp 30’s). One day while out on a long ride, I got a flat. No problem. Fixed it. However, I couldn’t get the rear wheel back on. During the struggle, I noticed the rear hub “internals” were exposed. I ended up getting a ride to the same LBS where they ended up sending the wheel back to Zipp for repair. Two and a half weeks later, the wheel was returned and I was off to days of Happy cycling again right? Wrong. Less than six months later, same issue reappeared and I’m again waiting for Zipp to fix/return it (start of the third week). So now, given my temperament for reaccuring problems, I started researching new (preferably Carbon) wheels as a replacement, but for a non racing cyclist (I compete against myself and my times), with occasional fast paced group rides (hills and flats), the pricing vs performance hierarchy is not only confusing, it’s budget busting. Being blunt, there’s no way I could successfully navigate the expense of $2400+ wheels when trying to keep a happy home. Lol. So I’ve been looking at swapping out Zipps hubs for better alternatives or finding good, reliable, durable carbon discs that don’t exceed my Happy-home budget limit of $1500. Logic tells me just swap the hubs (if possible), but the hand-rubbing, want-some-new-shoes enthusiast says new wheels. Hence the delimma and the question, Chris King hubs I’m told are really good, but require frequent servicing, vs DT Swiss, which require less servicing and are more reliable, but are not as durable. Or just new wheels all together? I dunno what’s fact vs fiction. Lol Any suggestions, clarifications, recommendations are appreciated?
Mark, Not knowing exactly what the issue is with your hub, I’d think it’s either fixable or replaceable with another Zipp hub assuming it’s still under warranty. That certainly be a lot cheaper than rebuilding the wheelset with a CK or DT hub. Steve
Steve… thank you for responding. Appreciate it. Evaluating a custom wheel option as well.
Hi Steve… thanks for all the great in-depth reviews. Am in a bit of a quandary about wheels and would like your opinion. I am buying a new bike to be used mainly in the Alps and treating myself to a top end Ridley Fenix SLX Disc frame and Ultegra groupset but I am reaching the top of my budget. I can’t quite get myself to spend on a top end carbon wheels initially so I am wondering whether to get a set of top end alloys / entry level Carbon, with some aero benefit, as my only set and be done with it, or start with a set if Ksyrium Elites as a stop gap measure which can then become a backup / foul weather set when I am able to justify spending on some top end carbon wheels in a year or two. I do long events like the Tour du Mint Blanc and Marmotte and appreciate I will be giving away some time in the short term by not being on aero wheels. Not too worried about climbing as I prefer stiffness over light weight – they are long steady climbs with nit a lot of accelerating once rolling.
CA, Hard to answer that question for you. Would suggest you clearly define your riding goals, profile and budget and then go from there. Take a look at this post on how to choose the best wheelset for you.
A few of your comments don’t align with my experience. There’s really no aero benefit to be had from alloy wheels as they aren’t made deep enough. I’ve not heard the term “entry level carbon” before so don’t know what you are referring to. If you mean carbon wheels priced similarly to alloy upgrade, I’ve found you get what you pay for. You are going to give up braking or stiffness or durability or responsiveness. Lastly, the idea of having a backup set of wheels a bit outdated. If you ride in the winter weather or want a set for climbing or time trials perhaps a second set would be called for but todays wheels are made to be ridden 7 days a week. Steve
Steve – thank you for the reply and I appreciate your feedback – here are some clarifications.
In regards to budget – I am way over and hence something has to be compromised in the short term and I sense wheels are the easiest as can rectify in a year and can then use the alloys as a second pair. My thinking about the second pair is that the bike will be permanently based in the Alps and I intend to train during spring and autumn in the valley and weather can get wintery and there are also gravel routes / sections.
In regards to entry level carbons with aero benefits, these are the OEM wheels available under £1000 such as Hunt which come to mind.
So the decision is either spend £1000 now on wheels or get first set at c. £500 and then get a >£1500 set next year.
Steve, my LBS recommended I build up wheels with Whisky no9 50d rims and White Industry hubs. Would cost $1k less than an ENVE SES build. Do you have any experience with Whisky rims? Given their move from MTBN they seem to have a lot of experience with disc but a lack of pedigree in road riding / racing
Ed, Never heard of them. Looked them up and the info is incomplete. Qs I’d ask your LBS – where are they made, does Whiskey design them, are they open mold, what is their durability track record/how many returned under warranty/crash protection claims, how much do the rims weigh, how stiff are they, how do they perform in crosswinds, etc. They are way expensive ($900 for the pair), have a rather conventional profile, and provide no design or customer feedback info. It’s a brander or manufacturer at best (see my review of https://intheknowcycling.com/2019/03/31/best-carbon-wheelset-for-the-money/) that I wouldn’t go near at that price and with a whole lot more knowledge at any price. Steve
Hi Steve – thanks for all of the great, thorough content!
I am weighing two options: Easton EC90 SL 700 disc at Jensen vs. Mavic Ksyrium elite ust disc. Almost exclusively recreational road riding with a mix of climbing efforts and flats on ’17 Cannondale Synapse. I want to go tubeless and a deeper dish intrigues me. Are the EC90s still a good option with the older hub and vs. the current Ksyrium Elite?
The EC90 set seems a steal at <$800. Is that your take?
*edit* I posted the wrong link (EA90s instead of the EC90s I intended):
Alan, don’t know that 6B QR hubs would work with your Synapse. Would guess that it’s a Centerlock Thru Axle. The M1 hubs are also an off-road hub that’s a couple of generations old on this wheelset. Steve
Thanks for highlighting the 6b vs. CL, Steve. If I can ask a follow-up question …
I’ve now narrowed down to two value-oriented hoops: the newer Easton EA90s disc with Vault & Mavic Krysrium Elite disc. I’m leaning toward Easton due to 100 grams lighter and a better aero profile.
Though both are lower cost, I can pick up the Mavic for $475 vs $780 for Easton. Worth the extra bucks?
Alan, That’s hard to say as I can’t tell what performance factors are more or less important to you. I can only offer my reviews and let you decide if you think one is worth that much more than the other in the way you put an economic value on those things. I can suggest that if you think these reviews and answers to your questions are valuable to you, buy whichever wheelset through the links I’ve provided to stores I recommend for their high customer satisfaction ratings and low best prices so I can cover the costs of buying gear and site expenses and continue to produce reviews and respond to comments. Thanks, Steve
Out of curiosity, can you actually buy the most up-to-date Easton EA90’s anywhere? The only place I’ve seen them is Jenson USA, and for a while they’ve been marked out-of-stock / usually ships in 2 weeks. I’ve not seen the latest version with vault hubs anywhere else. This is irritating because they seem to be the best performer / value in the alloy upgrade category and should have been “out” in the market for almost a year now yet they are nowhere to be found in stores online. Curious if you have a link to them actually in stock somewhere.
Frank, The only store I recommend (price, selection, customer satisfaction) that has them online is JensonUSA here and I know that they are shipping them with Vault hubs. What Jenson and Easton are doing isn’t unusual. Rather than have a distributor or store hold inventory that someone (store, distributor or company) has to pay for, the store takes the order from a customer and then orders it from the company to ship to you a couple weeks later. Steve
What you say about stock wheels is spot-on. My new Specialized Diverge has bust two spokes in the few months I’ve had it, just pushed nipples through rim. OK I’m 120kg but I’ve had Zipps, Zondas and Fulcrum Zeros which never had a problem . Gonna get the Mavic for the width. thanks!
Hi Steve, any update on the Easton 90 SL Vault HUB? Looking at the EASTON and the HED Ardennes Plus SL which are both discounted now for around $700 USD.
I’m pretty light, so not much concern on stiffness with either wheelset. I’d like to try and run 28’s which is making me lean toward the HEDs.
Any thoughts either way?
Alex, Haven’t tried the Vault Hub. Haven’t read anything negative about it from users on forums either. That’s a good price for the SL. If stiffness doesn’t matter, it’s a better value at that price and just as good a wheelset. Steve
Steve- thank you so much for your great articles! Based on your recommendation, I checked out getting the Zipp 30 Course Disc wheels for my Specialized Roubaix. But the Roubaix has center lock rotors and the link in your article to the Jenson site where one can buy a 6 bolt rotor brings you to the Shimano XT SM-RT86 6 Bolt ICE-TECH Rotor, which seems to be intended for mountain bikes. One can buy road-bike 6-bolt rotors made by other companies, but I don’t want to mix a non-Shimano rotor with my Shimano disc brakes. So, this seems to rule out the Zipp wheels for me…. which leads me to Mavic. Two questions for you: 1) Did you try the Mavic wheel that’s a step up from the Ksyrium Elite UST Disc? It’s the Ksyrium Pro UST Disc and it comes with spokes made of an aluminum alloy, instead of the steel spokes the Elite UST Disc wheels have. Mavic says the alloy spokes are stiffer, stronger and lighter than traditional steel spokes. I wonder if the alloy spokes would make the acceleration better. (Your table puts the acceleration of the Elite UST Disc in the “worse” category.) 2) What about riding the Mavic wheels with tubed clinchers instead of tubeless? To what extent does your rating of the Ksyrium Elite UST Disc assume/depend on using them with tubeless tires? I ask this because I have sworn off tubeless tires. Thanks, Steve!
Paul, Your Roubaix disc brake calipers are probably set up for 140mm diameter rotors. If you are under 180 pounds, you can safely stay with that size and use the Avid 6-bolt rotor I link to. If you are more, you can go with the Shimano rotor which they only make in 160mm and have your shop set the calipers up for the larger rotors. The only distinction between MTB and Road rotors is the marketing. Shimano uses 140mm rotors for their standard road setups and 160mm and larger for their MTB ones. SRAM uses 160mm for road. The technology is much the same. Both Shimano’s and SRAM’s road disc components were developed from their MTB ones. And the Avid rotors work perfectly well with the Shimano calipers. I wouldn’t recommend you rule out a wheelset based on needing to use a perfectly good and fully compatible rotor made by someone other than Shimano.
As to your questions about Mavic. 1) No. Mavic (and notably Shimano, Campy and Fulcrum) play the marketing game of offering you spoke and hub options much the way car makers offer you trim options. They look different but generally don’t perform differently. Acceleration is not going to change because of a change in spoke material. 2) No change to my rating. If you pick the right model, size and inflation level, you can get nearly the same rolling resistance and comfort from tubed tires as you would from tubeless. The Mavic’s internal and external rim widths will play a bigger role in the comfort and handling of the wheelset than will the difference between a tubed and tubeless tire each with the best-suited model, size and inflation. Best, Steve
Thanks, Steve! That’s very helpful!
I bought a bike that came with Mavic All Road Elite. This is fine for what I do with the bike. I run it with tubes and Schwalbe 30mm tires. Changing a flat is hell on earth, though. Is there a disc wheel that is as easy to change a flat on as my rim brake bikes?
Paul, those wheels use hookless rims so you’ll need to run tubeless tires that work with hookless rims, You can put a tube inside tubeless tires. Don’t know what Schwalbe model you are trying but you can’t use a regular clincher tire from any brand on hookless rims. The tire beads aren’t made rigid enough to hold in place and there’s no hook for the tire bead to hold on to. None of the wheels in this review are hookless so any should work with a regular clincher tire. Steve
Steve great article…again!…I am looking at purchasing a Specialized Tarmac Elite. The major difference between that and the Tarmac Pro is the wheelset so I am thinking of upgrading the wheelset to EITHER the Specialized CL50 that comes on the Tarmac Pro or the Boyd 36 MM Carbon Road Disc. I bought a set of wheels from Boyd from your recommended list of budget wheel upgrades a few years ago and love them. Any suggestions? I work at a LBS so I can get a good deal on either of these sets…I cant on the ones you have listed and money is an issue.
Hi Paul, I’m flattered that you work at an LBS and are asking for my recommendation. But while I have reviewed the CLX 50, I’ve not reviewed the CL 50 or Boyd 36 and don’t know anything about your rider profile. So I’m unfortunately in no position to recommend one of those two wheelsets. Steve
Steve, I’ve noticed that your older Zipp NSW 303 reviews are no longer on the site? Did you accidentally remove them?
David, Hah! I guess I can’t slip anything by perceptive In The Know Cycling readers like you. Sadly, Zipp no longer makes the 303 NSW disc wheelset so to avoid frustrating readers by leaving up a review of a wheelset that I loved but is no longer available, I did take it down. Zipp replaced it with the more expensive 353 NSW and the less expensive 303 Fircrest. There are reviews of both of those on the site. Just use the search bar at the top of any page.
The 303 NSW rim brake wheelset is still in the Zipp line up and it’s reviewed here, though it’s awfully hard to find in stores with the shortages going on in cycling gear now and the priority Zipp and most everyone else has put on disc brake wheels. Cheers, Steve
Steve, after completing the rider profile I was able to determine that a wheel from the all-around category is probably the best fit for my riding habits and goals. I have narrowed down my options to the Pro 37 and the 303s but your outstanding review of the Zipp 30 has me wondering if that wheel is a better performer than both the Pro 37 and 303s. Your thoughts?
John, I don’t know that the Zipp 30 is a better performer than the other two. Probably more similar overall but with different specs and compatibility considerations. Most notably, you can only use a tubeless tire with the 303 S; you can use tubed clinchers or tubeless tires with the other two. You can only use a 6 bolt rotor with the Zipp 30; the other two use centerlock rotors. The Zipp 30 has an alloy rim; the other two are carbon which many prefer these days. The Zipp 303 S and Bontrager Pro 37 are wider wheelsets more easily suited to 28mm or wider tires if you want more comfort than the Zipp 30 which is best with a 25mm wide tire but can take a 28mm max tire without sacrificing performance. The 303 S and Pro 37 are both deeper than the Zipp 30 which is important if you go at aero speeds. If you use the tubeless rim strips on the Pro 37, they are notably heavier than the other two which weigh about the same; if you use the Pro 37 with tubes and use the regular cloth strips, they will all weigh about the same. The Zipp 30 are less expensive. Availability may vary. The links provided take you to what’s available online. Steve
With regards to 6 bolt rotors in 140 or 160mm size. The Avid rotors have an unfortunate reputation for “turkey gobble”.
The best 6 bolt option I have found is: SwissStop Catalyst rotors.
Also, SRAM make centreline 140mm 6 bolt and TRP also make 6 bolt 140mm rotors but, they are not really as confidence boosting as the Catalyst rotors.
Read your excellent review on alloy wheels. Rim brakes as well. Would you recommend the HED Ardennes, over Campy Shamal Ultra c 17’s? Be a back up set used on 2 bikes, but mainly a Colnago Tecnos from ‘96. Looks like I’m ok with clearance as well. Sometimes you can’t part with an old pal.
Rick, Yes, for sure. At a minium, the wider HED Ardenenes will give you better handling and more comfort. Steve
Hi Steve. I don’t think you should recommend the Easton EA90 SL Disc wheels anymore. In 2019, I bought a pair because of your recommendation. After a year and a half of riding with them, the rear wheel developed hairline fractures at a few of the nipples. This caused a wobble that could not be fixed and presented a safety concern. So I returned the wheel and Easton replaced it for free, based on the warranty. I then road on the replacement wheel for a year and lo and behold, the exact same problem arose – hairline fractures at several of the nipples. I am not bothering to ask Easton to send me a replacement; I am not going to ride their wheels anymore.