Pro-Lite Gavia P55 clincher road wheelset review£1,049.99

Built for speed

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These medium-depth wheels are designed for fast riding, and from the first pedal stroke it was clear they’re more than up to the job. The short, taut spokes give an electric response with no trace of wind-up. Acceleration is easy, the efficiency of the wheels overcoming the 1,469g weight even when climbing, and the aero benefits paying speedy dividends.

We tested the clincher versions, which have full-carbon 50mm T700 rims with a ceramic braking strip. This sits proud of the rim surface and 5mm in from its edge, to reduce heat build-up from braking friction, so offset brake shoes may be required. Reduced heat combined with high quality construction means tyres can be inflated up to 150psi. A new Continental GP RS tyre did prove an incredibly tight fit though.

The Bolzano hubs use two bearings at the front and four at the rear; enough to brush off the most sustained battering by heavy or powerful riders. Large skeletal flanges with finely machined keyholes prevent spoke movement and energy loss, and because the stainless spokes pull on the hub at a direct tangent, the wheel can be built with greater tension.

Over rolling terrain the Gavias proved fast everywhere, cornering confidently with no noticeable deflection, only unsettled when cornering at 35mph-plus in a crosswind, and even then the handling was predictable. Over familiar roads we were often riding one gear higher than usual. Braking performance was excellent in all conditions too, exceeding that of our conventional setup.

In fact the only problem we’ve encountered has been a very loose spoke in the rear wheel after only 70 miles. This necessitated removal of the tyre, tube and rim tape to access the nipple. Re-tensioning was then straightforward. The ride quality was firm but never harsh, the crossed spoke pattern proving more compliant than a radially spoked wheel.

Even over broken city roads they gave a good degree of shock absorption, noticeable when tested with an aluminium frame so likely to increase long distance comfort further on a well damped carbon frame. Each pair comes with wheel bags, titanium and carbon skewers, a spoke nipple drive, spare nipples, an aero spoke holder, eight spokes and carbon-specific brake pads.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 43
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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