Ritchey WCS Protocol wheels £319.99

Top-flight aluminium road race wheels

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

Tom Ritchey has designed a top aluminium wheel that eschews the trend for radial spoking in favour of a more robust, highly tangential pattern (the spokes come out from the hub at a tangent) for the rear wheel. 

This is constructed with 24 DT Aerolite spokes in a two-crossed pattern for longterm strength and reliability. The front wheel also uses a crossed spoke pattern which increases drag slightly, but reduces the likelihood of fracture to the hub flange.

Lateral rigidity is ensured with the off-centre, asymmetrical rim that helps to give an even spoke tension across the rear wheel, and should prove to be robust in the hands of powerful riders.

In use, these wheels showed outstanding lateral stiffness, and the lighter than average midi-section rims were very fast and agile. The midi-section rims were also largely unaffected by strong crosswinds. There’s not much to criticise here, except that they can only be used with a Shimano 10-speed cassette and not 9-speed. 

Ritchey may be best known as a mountain bike pioneer, but he was a useful road racer in his day and that experience shows in these wheels.

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