As well as bringing you the meanest machines from Pinarello, Wilier and Time, we were at the London Bike Show scoping out what’s new in the world of wheels. Here’s what we found…
The Bullet range is Campagnolo’s collection of carbon wheels with an aluminium braking surface. Pictured above on the Chicken Cycle Kit stand is the Bullet Ultra 80. It has a rim depth of 80mm, with corresponding 50mm and 105mm options also available. The rims are specially developed by Campag to maximize aerodynamic efficiency and minimize buffeting in crosswinds, with the Italian manufacturer’s anti-rotation spoke system keeping the rim, spokes, alloy nipples and cup-and-cone hub properly aligned, while oversized drive-side flanges increase torsional stiffness. Claimed weight is 815g front and 955g rear and you also get wheel bags for your money (£1299.99, if you’re wondering).
At the other end of the price spectrum are these budget hoops from Miche. Ok, so the Excite wheelset isn’t new but the colour pictured above is. The medium profile 6005 alloy rims (26mm) have a ground braking surface, while Excite hubs have an alloy casing and cone/bearing movement for long-lasting performance. Claimed weight is 820g front and 1050g rear, with the retail price set at £114.99.
Strada are relatively new to the wheel building scene and set out with a mission statement to “source, import, hand build (in the UK) and retail directly via the internet high quality carbon and alloy wheels for sporting cyclists at a competitive price point supported by good friendly customer service, technical knowledge and warranty.” Pictured above is a prototype of their new 50mm clincher. It’s taken the West Sussex-based company half-a-dozen attempts to find a rim their happy with but the wheelset’s now ready for testing by their resident rider. CX-Ray spokes and Strada’s own hubs complete the look and bring the overall weight up to 1,500g. Expect to pay £995 for a set.
Matrix are new in the UK and are being imported by Owen Watkins, a cyclist who went in search of a well-priced carbon wheelset and, having found Matrix, fell in love with their TX50 hoops so much that he decided to share them, and the rest of the range, with us. Four wheelsets currently make up the road range: (from front to back) the Matrix 300 winter wheelset (£274.99), the R38 deep alloy clinchers (£395.99), the T38 carbon wheelset (£699.99) and the T50 wheelset (£699.99). They also have a selection of time trial and mountain bike wheels, frames and an online bike builder.
Edco wheels are being brought to these shores by UK distributor Veroli, with a varied range covering three categories: super sport, competition and optima. The competition range includes the Furka wheelset pictured above. The Furka is built to last and so while far from the lightest wheels on the market at 1675g for the set, they should withstand anything you throw at them. That combined with a cermaic braking surface means these are carbon wheels that can be used year-round. Edco wheels are handmade by just two wheel builders and one of them, Martijn van Sambeek, was so confident about the strength of these wheels that he laid one on the ground and stood on it, one foot planted on either side of the 55mm carbon rim. Retail price for the Furka is £1,599.99, while the Furka Light wheelset (£1,529.99) takes tubs.
Edco’s wheel builder Martijn was also keen to show off Multisys; the Swiss company’s rotor compatible with Shimano, Sram and Campagnolo. The patented product’s been around a couple of years but it’s still a clever piece of kit.
When asked what wheel he wanted to showcase, Lightweight’s Chris Hewings went straight for the Disc, unveiled at Eurobike last summer. The full carbon Disc weighs 780g has a “massive” 90 N/mm of lateral stiffness. It’s also available with ceramic bearings. Lightweight say the Disc is best paired with their VR8 front wheel. €3,840/$US6190 for the wheelset.