With a new year here and the season around the corner, a lighter wheelset doesn’t sound too bad for 2018. There’s no reason to go out and search for the best wheelset as each rider has his or her own style of riding. From climbing to long distance, we all need something in common, and that is lightweight wheels.
Sometimes finding the most lightweight wheelset seems to difficult as manufacturers are always coming out with something new. As for 2018, the scales are set the and the lightweights are here.
1. Ax-Lightness Ultra 25T (Tubular) 790g
The Ultra 25T’s have been rated the lightest wheels today at 790g a pair. Yes, that is for both wheels! The German engineers have integrated laminated spoke holes with the option to include ceramic hybrid bearings if you would like.
The Ultra 25Ts have a newly designed brake track that improves the hold during any rough terrain. The manufacturer states the integrated logos also improves the aerodynamical performance due to the new rim shape. Amazing? I think so!
Ax-Lightness grants the rider a 100kg weight limit and promised each wheelset to be hand built! With the reviews in, the Ultra 25T has surpassed expectations and continue to blow the lightweight wheel category out of the water.
2. Zipp 202’s (Tubular) 1180g
This wheelset fell into the #2 lightest wheelset of 2018. The 202’s are at ultralight 510g (front) and 670g (rear). Zipp has designed these wheels to be very aggressive uphill, along with intense downhill riding to follow any rider type.
The 202s have taken the gold medal at multiple Grand Tours and is well known around the country for there product. Zipp has made this wheelset even better with 77/177 hubset as the old model couldn’t keep up. They also have instigated a new quick release as well as a new hub for better performance. This hubset is designed to change driver bodies conveniently without re-dishing the wheel.
If you are looking more for a carbon clincher wheelset, Zipp also has the 202 NSW Carbon Clincher!
See more info here:
3. Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL T (Tubular) 1190g
By far the lightest of the Mavics, the Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL tubulars have been designed to do what no other manufacturer can do, and that is to be extremely light yet stop at any powerband. The Ksyrium SL has a 50% faster and harder stopping rate than any other wheel in it’s in class.
The Carbon SL is also equipped with double-butted stainless steel spokes and lightest hub ever produced. The stability these spokes produce is unbelievable.
Mavic recommends using Ykision Pro Tubular tires as each wheel is measured at its best with these tubes. Although both tires offer the same brand, the front should be on Griplink thread and the rear Powerlink. This is for maximum traction and efficiency during use. Both come in 25mm.
4. Mavic Ksyrium SLR (Clincher) 1295g
Mavic has created this new carbon clincher to be extra light in its group class of carbon clinchers. They have designed the wheel to be treacherous up mountains but also very quick down. Mavic has designed carbon fiber spokes to be round and hollow, so if compressed they will not shatter.
The durability of this lightweight wheel exceeds the limits of any wheel in its category. Mavic has designed the SLR’s to be 30% stiffer laterally than any other wheel. With that durability, there is an upgraded braking system integrated as well. Exalith has been added to the SLR’s for an increased 20% in stopping distance as well.
Mavic recommends fitting these carbon clinchers with Yksion Pro tires. They offer an overwell balance of grip and a low weight of 210g. (The front and rears are side specific and are available in 23 and 25m)
5. Pro-Lite Bracciano (Clencher) 1501g
The Pro-Lite Bracciano’s are 100% hand-built with aero bladed spokes and the choice of a swappable Shimano or Campagnolo hub. They are engineered with Japanese EZO bearings and a 42mm profile alloy rim.
With a 90 degree bend, the spokes are bent and butted specially so each wheel is integrally stronger and prone to last longer. Each wheelset is built with special washers that lay against the hub flange so the spokes fit perfectly without any irritation or loss of power.
Pro Light has made these clenchers to be different to be unlike any wheel today. Although they weigh the most out of the 5, some argue these clenchers are made the strongest. Depending what cycling you will be doing, these rims are recommended for road racing.
Each wheel has its own unique features as the scale above highlights, even if are not looking for the lightest, all of the wheelsets have their own advantages and can be used for almost any terrain.
To be the quickest or to get the most reliability out of your bike treat it appropriately and make sure your old wheelset isn’t falling apart or in need of attention. None of us want to be in the position during a long ride when a wheel cracks or spoke gives out because of wear and tear. These new clinchers and tubulars are up to date on durability and have riders back on that trail for a much more guaranteed ride.
No need to watch those sunny sunsets or cold foggy mornings fade away anymore, get your rig what it deserves this year.