Edge Composites 1.68 tubular wheels

Tough and dependable aero carbon wheels

BikeRadar score4/5

Edge Composites' flagship 1.68 carbon tubulars' versatile aero-plus-lightweight combination makes them well suited for long, hilly road rides and races but also fast, dynamic events like criteriums and circuit races.

They're impressively light at just 1,270g per pair with most of that weight concentrated at the hubs (claimed rim weight is just 350g) so they accelerate well, too. Moreover, the aggressive 68mm-deep rim profile is quite effective at punching through the air at speed and braking is buttery smooth and predictable due to the dead straight and flat brake track and included SwissStop Yellow King pads.

The tall and straight sidewalls are easily caught by crosswinds, though, and can make for nervous handling at times, especially in swirling gusts. Moreover, the rims' impressive radial stiffness makes for a solid feel beneath you but also a notably firm ride.

Lateral stiffness – though still very good – felt just a half step behind the newer crop of wider, bulged profiles that are notably more resistant to out-of-plane bending even without instrumented test rigs.

Durability is superb, thanks to the extremely high initial build quality and excellent DT Swiss and Sapim components but also the inherent design of the wheel

Moulded-in spoke holes – instead of the more common drilled treatment – retain fibre integrity throughout the rim circumference and work in combination with radiused internal nipple beds to allow unusually high spoke tensions. Indeed, our FSA tension meter recorded a tremendous 20 percent jump compared to some major competitors with nary a hint of dimpling in the sidewalls.

Even tension throughout has also helped our test set stay true over the long haul. Months of pounding on nasty washboarded dirt roads have had virtually zero effect – a good thing considering the tyres have to be stripped in order to access the nipples – and strongly support the notion that the 1.68s don't have to be limited to special occasions. So while they're quite expensive, at least you can enjoy them every day without much worry.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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