FSA RD 488 tubular road wheelset review£999.95

Italian rollers

BikeRadar score3/5

FSA are better known for their headsets, cranks and cockpit equipment than they are for their wheels, but these Italian rollers are comfortable, lightweight and fair value at just under a grand.

The 50mm rims mount the conventional bladed spokes straight into a broad base for reassuring outer-edge strength. These wheels are light for their price, so they pick up speed healthily enough.

They track and brake adequately for letting loose on the descents too. The medium flanged hubs and radial spoking also stops them stinging badly if you clobber a pothole unexpectedly.

They went out of true during testing, but the visible nipples made sorting that out easier than with a lot of buried spoke wheels. Spoke key, valve extenders and brake pads are included in the wheel package price.

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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