Pro-Lite have a reputation for building wheels that are tough and dependable. Sometimes, though, they can be a little on the heavy side, particularly at the rims, where weight can make a difference you can feel when climbing and accelerating.
Tipping the scales at 1,050g for the front and 1,275g for the rear, these wheels aren’t exactly light. And, true to form, they do carry that extra bit of mass at the rim. That’s to be expected with a wheel made from an aluminium brake track combined with a structural carbon deep-section rim rather than an aero fairing.
But there’s a lot more to a good pair of wheels than just low weight, particularly if it’s at the expense of longevity. This is where the Gavias really earn their keep. We’ve had a pair of the original Gavias, on the ﬁrst version Bolzano hubs (these are version two), running on a commuting bike for 18 months – 48km a day, six days a week, on rough rural roads.
The result? They’ve needed to be trued once and required one replacement freehub. The only thing that will spell the death of these wheels is the brake pads wearing through the rim.
The ride quality at speed is excellent, and acceleration isn’t as dulled by the extra grams as we’d expect, though we could feel the extra weight on short, sharp climbs compared with lighter, similarly priced non-aero wheelsets. They hold their speed very well, and although crosswind performance isn’t as good as the best, it’s up there with other similarly priced aero wheels with 50mm deep rims.
The braking surface is true, and the wheels come with eight spare spokes, eight nipples, quick releases, nipple tool and an aero spoke anti-twist tool. Couple that to good warranty and parts availability, and there is just one thing that might be able to put you off these wheels: that whopping front hub. At 85mm wide and with a 75mm ﬂange diameter it won’t ﬁt into every fork; most front hubs are 30-40mm in diameter. You need to measure 37.5mm up the fork leg from the middle of the dropout – if there’s a 90mm gap between the fork legs at this point then the wheel will ﬁt (the great majority do).
If you value strength over low weight, then – as long as your fork will take the hub – you can’t go far wrong with these wheels.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.