Miche 988RR 650b wheelset review£656.00

Super light alloy rollers

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If you run narrow treads and want to seriously lighten your bike, these Italian wheels should go straight in your basket. We always take manufacturers’ weights with a pinch of salt, but at 650g front, 800g rear, the 988RRs weigh less than claimed and are some of the lightest alloy hoops available.

While freehub engagement is relatively slow, with a maximum lag of 18 degrees, once they connect they accelerate with breathtaking ease. They’ll likely knock a big chunk of static weight off your bike too. While a lot of the weight loss comes from the low, narrow, asymmetric-spoked rim, they also use triple-butted Sapim spokes, plus titanium hub guts.

The rims are tubeless ready with a seal kit, and there are adapters for 15mm and 142x12mm axles. Despite an exposed face on the drive side, the SKF bearings are still running sweet and the wheels remain tight and true, which mirrors our long-term experience with Miche hoops. The conventional J-bend spokes are easy to replace if you’re careful with the alloy nipples too.

With a 20mm internal width they’re only suitable for 2.2in or slimmer tyres though, and unsurprisingly for their weight, there’s noticeable flex if you really push them through corners or rock heaps.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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