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If you really don’t like the sound of a really loud freehub when coasting, the Scribe Aero Wide+ 50-D wheelset really isn’t for you.

I’m not talking about what you hear coming out of the latest generation DT Swiss 240 freehub or the louder yet distinctive chordal sound of a Chris King R45 freehub. No, the Scribe freehub is a far louder, lower pitch noise that almost sounds angry.

Other riders told me not to coast near them, based on their hand motions because I couldn’t hear them, at least until I started pedaling again. My fellow tester Miles heard the comments too from those in his group when free coasting on fast downhill sections.

And yes, I tried to quiet the hub using the grease and video instructions Scribe sent me for that purpose. I noticed little difference.

I go into this first and in some detail because it’s the most distinctive characteristic of this wheelset.

If none of that bothers you, or you prefer loud freehubs as I know some do, the Scribe Aero Wide+ 50-D is a great value-priced, carbon wheelset option for fast riding and racing on flat and modestly rolling terrain.

Related: You can compare my review of the Scribe Aero Wide+ 50-D with other value-carbon wheelsets in this review of The Best Value Carbon Wheelset.

Miles and I found these Scribe wheels hold their momentum well at speed on straight sections. They are also plenty stiff enough to give you the confidence to lean into a corner, ride through it, and power out at high speeds.

If you’ve got the watts of a racer like Miles, these Scribes are responsive and fast enough to cover most any accelerations. For me, more of a B group rider without the turbo boost power of a racer like Miles, their response felt more like a slower reacting, more typical aero wheelset.

When the road pitches up, both of us found the wheels struggled, as do many aero wheelsets. Rolling courses with long yet modest hills make you work hard on the Scribe Aero. Short kickers of 7-10% really slow you down.

For me, the aero wheelset analogy extends to my need to also lean these Scribes into steady sidewinds to stay on my line. When I got hit by gusts, I couldn’t hold it.

Miles had a better experience, finding the sidewinds didn’t affect him much, and performed better than others he’s tested. While we weigh more or less the same, the winds were highly variable during our spring testing perhaps leading to our different reactions.

With a good set of supple, tubeless tires inflated lower than you might normally set them, the Scribes can be quite a comfortable wheelset on good roads and bad. We tested them with both 28mm Schwalbe Pro One TLE and 28mm Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR tires at pressures ranging from 55psi/3.8bar to 65psi/4.5bar for our 148lb/67kg to 155lb/70kg body weight.

The Contis at the lowest inflation pressure was the most comfortable combination.

Scribe Aero Wide+ 50-D

I measure and weigh wheels when they first arrive, share none of that info with my fellow testers, and forget most of it myself with all the gear traffic coming through my door. That usually turns out for the best as not knowing the specs limits the performance bias we might bring into our test riding.

That certainly made sense for this wheelset. The specs and most of the “Aero Wide+ 50-D” name suggest very little about how we found that these wheels perform.

At 1529 grams measured with pre-installed tape but without the valves (vs. the claimed 1448 grams) and 50.5 mm depth, they spec out more like an all-around wheelset than an aero one.

Measuring 29.6mm externally near the tire edge of the rim, 30.2mm at their widest point, and 21.1mm internally, these wheels are wider than some but not nearly as wide as many that provide the kind of handling and comfort these Scribes can.

So the Wide+ and 50 in their name might suggest a different type of performer than what we found. If they drop those parts of the name and simply call it the Scribe Aero D, they’d have a name that better describes this wheelset’s performance. (This probably wouldn’t work with the rest of their product names, however, as all of their carbon disc brake wheels are called Aero Wide+ followed by the rim depth number ranging from 32mm to 80mm).

And despite all the attention the loud freehub with its glossy hub shell and white script Scribe logo calls to this wheelset, the matt grey finish on the rims we tested is quite a modest look. Miles calls them “boring.” They look ok to my style-blind eyes but certainly are at odds with the boisterous, flashy hubs.

While I’m really out of my depth trying to psychoanalyze a set of wheels, the unexpected nature of the Scribe’s performance compared to its specs and its aural and visual aesthetics seem to make it, behaviourally if not technically, an eccentric wheelset. The freehub almost calls out at you, saying “look at me.” When you do, the rim finish seems to respond with “there’s nothing to see here.”

Setting aside my psychobabble (or should I say cyclobabble?), this Scribe is another example of why I focus on performance and not specs in our reviews.

Scribe’s warranty policies are better than many that sell wheels at similar price points especially those sold direct by overseas manufacturers.

Specifically, they offer a 3-year warranty against material or workmanship defects and a 50% crash replacement discount for the life of the wheels. Should you need or want them, they will also send you a set of replacement bearings in years 2 and 3 of your warranty free of charge. All of these apply to the original owner.

Miles and I didn’t experience any quality issues during our several-month test period. I did open up the freehub to grease it and to my untrained eyes, it seemed to be well-built. Scribe includes valves and lockrings along with spare spokes, nipples, and other parts to adapt the wheels to older disc brake rotor technologies.

In The Know Cycling is ad-free, subscription-free, and reader-supported. If you want to help keep it rolling without any added cost to you, buy your gear and kit after clicking the store links on the site. When you do, we may earn an affiliate commission that will help me cover the expenses to create and publish our independent, comprehensive, and comparative reviews. Thank you, Steve. Learn more.

Available direct from Scribe, the Aero Wide+ 50-D wheelset sells for US$1100, £870, €1100. While shipping is free, Scribe notes the price “may be subject to additional customs charges” and indeed mine were though Scribe told me that it doesn’t happen often.


  • Thank you Steve- I have read many of your articles- so useful and informative.

    I am in the market for 50mm deep carbon wheels without paying an arm/leg. I have seen wheels from Hunt, Scribe, Winspace and Elite. Do you have any thoughts on Elite Wheels Drive Disc ( For the cost and weight, these appear to be a nice option. I am not sure of the durability and performance of these wheels. Thank you!

  • Mike, I don’t know Elite wheels. As you can see in the review of this wheelset and others I’ve compared it to in the post I linked to, specs like depth and weight don’t predict performance. If you look further at that comparative post, you can read my reviews of the performance of a range of wheels in the value carbon price category. Steve

  • I have these wheels, and the loudness is not something I love but neither does it bother me or my fellow riders that much. I’m a group C type rider, found them plenty responsive from a standing start and stable in crosswinds. I’m 5’8″ and around 153 pounds. As for climbing, I found them no worse than my older ARC 1400 DICUT 48mm (older generation, not the current one) and they are more stable and faster accelerating at least from what I can feel. I am currently riding them with 27mm ENVE tires and generally at 65-70 psi, maybe I need to experiment with lower pressures that even that.

  • I own these wheels and agree that the hubs as delivered are way too loud. The rachet is lubricated with light oil that does nothing to deaden the sound. However, when I followed the instructions and added a decent amount of grease they became super quiet. Much quiter than the likes of DT Swiss. The procedure is super simple and they havent needed regreasing in 10,000 km over 18 months in very hot, wet and humid conditions. I wouldn’t let the sound put you off. I don’t have much experience with other wheels, but these wheels normally review well and the combination of price, stiffness, weight, configurability, warranty and after sales service make them an absolute bargain in my opinion. Definitely worth a look.

    • Pete, thanks for your comment. As I wrote in the article, I applied the grease that Scribe sent me using the video instructions they provided and noticed no significant difference. What grease did you use and what procedure did you follow? Thanks, Steve

      • Hi Steve. I also followed the instructions from Scribe, but used Finish Line Premium grease. I just re-watched the video and remember that I probably packed in quite a bit more grease on the ratchet than indicated as it looked a bit light for sound deadening. However it was 18 months ago, so can’t remember for sure. I will probably use Parktools HPG-1 next time. What did you use?

        Note that I’m in year 2 and Scribe is in the process of sending me the first set of free replacement bearings, so I will re-grease the ratchet when inserting them. Greasing the ratchet only needs a couple of cone spanners, but be aware that to replace the drive side rear bearing you need a Scribe specific ratchet tool. Although the bearings are free, the tool is not. I think this is the same for most rear hubs, but my local bike shop carries the tools for the likes of DTSwiss, but not for Scribe.

        Scribe will also send a replacement set of bearings in year 3 which is great so having to buy the tool is not so bad.

        • Pete, Scribe sent me Dumonde Tech Freehub Grease. Scribe also warned that adding too much grease will add drag. Hard to quantify the added grease, added drag tradeoff but I don’t like having to start with one issue that trying to solve causes another one. As mentioned, applying the amount similar to what was shown in their video didn’t noticeably reduce the decible (or drag) level. And replacing bearings every year or so suggests they aren’t very good in the first place. As to the tools, a cone wrench and a pair of pliers worked fine for me. Steve

  • I don’t have a lot of experience with sealed bearings so jot sure what is good and what isn’t. Where I ride is very hot, wet, humid, and sandy which doesn’t help. Front and back wheels still spin freely, but I can feel the very slightest grinding when I turn the front spindle with my fingers. Will replace in the next week or so.

    As for increased drag on the back wheel, just never stop pedalling and you will be fine ?

  • Hi Steve, I’m interested in buying a set of Scribe wheels.
    I have no experience with light high profile carbon wheels, I have always used aluminum wheels of around 1800 gr and my weight is 60-65 kg. I’m torn between CORE 42-D, CORE 42|50-D and CORE 50-D. I’m worried about stability in case of cross winds and the fear of skidding. In my case, is it better to choose 42 mm depth or are they comparable in terms of ease of driving with the 42|50 and 50 mm depth? Last question, Scribe offers the possibility to choose between 36 Tooth 10° Ratchet and 54 Tooth 6.6° Ratchet with an additional cost of 65 euros. Is it worth it or is the 36 Tooth 10th Ratchet good? Thanks!

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