Veltec Speed 4.5 ACC wheelset - review - Road Cycling UK

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Veltec Speed 4.5 ACC wheelset – review

Good all-round alloy/carbon wheelset to offer an aero advantage with excellent braking

Veltec’s Speed 4.5 ACC alloy/carbon clincher wheels are a good option for riders looking for a well-priced all-rounder which brings plenty of stiffness and an aerodynamic advantage.

If you’re not familiar with Veltec, it’s a German brand formed in 1995, but one which only arrived in the UK last year. They offer a wide range of wheelsets across road and mountain biking, all assembled in Europe and, generally speaking, at fairly competitive prices.

Wheels are often one of the first items to be upgraded on a bike – and it’s easy to understand why. The wheelset has a significant impact of how a bike rides, whether it’s in terms of reduced weight, increased stiffness, or, most relevant here, improved aerodynamics.

Veltec is a German brand formed in 1995 but new to the UK
  • Specification

  • Rim depth: 45mm
  • Rim width: 22mm
  • Weight: 1,745g
  • Price: £799

Continuing on the upgrade theme, carbon clinchers with an aluminium braking surface, like the Speed 4.5 ACC, are popular as they pair practicality and improved aerodynamic performance. Riders seeking the lowest weight possible will look to a full-carbon rim – and will need to significantly up the budget – but an aluminium braking surface generally provides more reliable all-weather braking performance than carbon.

The Speed 4.5 ACC has a 45mm-deep rim, so a rider seeking the greatest aerodynamic advantage in a road race or time trial may took towards a deeper rim, but while you might shave a chunk of time off a dual carriageway 25, that may come at the cost of time lost on climbs due to the extra weight, and instability in windy conditions.

At 45mm-deep, the Veltec Speed 4.5 ACC is something of an all-rounder, then. Using an aluminium braking surface coupled with that carbon rim looks to provide the best of both worlds: simple and effective braking with the aero advantage of a slightly deeper rim that doesn’t add too much extra weight.

I’ve ridden carbon/aluminium clinchers before, but these have always used an aluminium braking track with a light carbon fairing. However, with these wheels, the carbon forms a structural part of the wheelset. This increases rigidity and stiffness, and that’s something which is apparent when sprinting over the finish line in a series of spring crit races.

The wheels use 20 spoke at the front and 24 at the rear

The front wheel features 20 Sapim spokes, and the rear 24. The spoke count is pretty classic for a wheelset of this kind – low enough to reduce air turbulence and keep a lid on weight, but high enough to provide a sturdy build.

Performance in windy conditions is reasonably good – I got caught by one strong gust when riding past a break in the hedgerow, but it wasn’t an unmanageable shift and the mid-depth rim is capable of handling most conditions.

The 45mm-deep alloy/carbon rim looks to offer an aero advantage without compromising braking

The wheelset weighs 1,745g, which is about right but a little heavier than the benchmark alloy/carbon clincher – Mavic’s Cosmic Pro Carbon, which is also 7mm deeper. While the Veltec’s feel excellent ridden hard on the flat and powered into corners, they won’t set the world alight when the road rises. However, if you’re after pedigree climbing wheels then these probably aren’t what you’re looking for.

Conclusion

The Veltec Speed 4.5 ACC is a good all-round wheelset which provides an aerodynamic advantage and stiff platform. The aluminium braking surface and sensible spoke count mean these can be used as everyday wheels but will still put a little fire into your pedal stroke on race day, though they’re generally best for flat or rolling terrain.

Pros

  • Good all-rounders for flat or rolling terrain
  • Excellent braking from aluminium brake track
  • Stiff build

Cons

  • A Jack of all trades – not light, not super-aero

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