We believe in thorough testing at RoadCyclingUK, and there can be few greater tests of a wheel’s robustness than an outing on Flandrian cobbles.
Marchisio’s TX100, supplied to this office in the first instance with the Vivelo Arc RS and retained for a separate test, begun with a first look last month, accompanied us on a recent mission to Belgium, for which the RCUK Winter Bike was the machine that fell most readily to hand.
We’re pleased to report that the TX100 shrugged off ascents of the Kemmelberg and Oude Kwaremont, and a descent of the former, with little fuss, embracing the demands of a cobbled surface with the same quiet assurance as on rough rural roads back in Blighty, where the majority of our testing took place.
Here, they proved adequate rather than exceptional. We weighed the pair at a combined 1,590 grams without skewers, perfectly acceptable for the £400 price tag. It’s debatable whether even a significantly lighter wheelset would coax more swiftness from the RCUK Winter Bike, a machine designed for steady miles rather than racing performances, but they proved a suitable match for a machine spec-ed with mid-range components from respected brands.
The TX100s are the first we’ve encountered where the freehub body can be removed without tools: a particularly pleasing feature that we would certainly make the most of were we in the market for an easily serviceable winter wheel.
They succeeded the 30mm deep, Fulcrum Racing Quattro in the RCUK Winter Bike and, as might be expected from hoops with front and rear rim depths of 23mm and 26mm respectively, proved easier to handle in strong winds.
In terms of stiffness, however, the Racing Quattros carried the day, in our opinion. While the TX100s are stiff and proved admirably resistant to flex on a well-used test loop containing a couple of fast, twisting descents and a series of short, punchy climbs taken out of the saddle, they did not feel quite as rigid as Fulcrum’s offering; a consequence perhaps of the lower rim profiles.
We tried them with tyres that could not be further opposed: the soft, smooth, 23c Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, and the broader, and considerably less flexible Panaracer RibMo PT. Unsurprisingly, the TX100s proved better matched to the former, where the frankly superior Schwalbe rubber drew the most from the relative lightness and willingness to get up to speed of the Italian hoops.
While on the subject of nationality, it was never likely that Italian wheels would let the side down aesthetically, and they drew plenty of admiring glances and comments despite their deployment in a machine as pretty as the RCUK Winter Bike, where their good looks could have been easily overshadowed.
The attractive lacing patterns of the aero bladed spokes (20 laced radially at the front; 24 at the rear: two-cross driveside, radial non-driveside), and the cog-shaped hubs from which they begin their journey to the rim all drew admiring comments.
To conclude: at £400 and 1,590 grams, the Marchisio TX100 will represent an upgrade to some, and an upmarket training wheel to others. We’d say they’re well suited to either.
For a bike costing circa £1,000, the TX100 is likely to represent a considerable step up from the weighty, and often sluggish offerings typically supplied with machines of this value (assuming, of course, the frame is able to respond accordingly).
As a wheel for winter, the ease with which the freehub body can be removed makes them an obvious selection for the season with the greatest demands for maintenance. Our one reservation here would be the wheelset’s aesthetic charms. Who would ride a wheel this attractive through winter?
UK distributor: Cycling Components