Poshbikes' retro-cool, traditional hand-built wheels were specced and built to be strong rather than light, so it was surprising to find that these are the lightest wheels in this test.
These are a perfect example of how good hand-built wheels can be – brake rub was all but absent when climbing out of the saddle. One of our staffers has had a set of these for three years and they have remained perfectly true, resisting the effects of thousands of miles as well as the worst efforts of clumsy baggage handlers (and indeed clumsy bike handlers) after several holidays abroad.
They provide a balanced compromise between stiffness, comfort and low-rotating mass, which simply means they feel fast both on the climbs and when barrelling hard downhill. The price includes a pair of Tune padded wheel bags.
These wheels are based around the German company Tune’s superb Superlight Mig/Mag hubs. These are some of the best engineered hubs we’ve seen and use smooth ceramic hybrid bearings for minimum rolling resistance.
Weight is kept to a safe minimum, paired with highly regarded DT Swiss R1.1 rims. These weigh 430g apiece and have brake wear indicators on the machined surface to tell you when they’ve reached their serviceable limit. The spokes are DT’s Aerolites which are, in effect, bladed-section spokes in miniature so the elliptical section goes through the hub flanges without the need to elongate the hole to take the teardrop section.
The attraction of a hand-built wheel becomes obvious when you look at the spares back-up – spare parts and spokes are available from Poshbikes by return of post, although Aerolites should be available in most good high street bike shops. There are plenty of hub and rim options – ours came with a 28-spoke radial-laced front and a two-cross 28-spoke rear, though 32 and 36-spoke rims are available. Rims come in either black or silver as do the spokes, and Tune’s hubs are offered in eight anodised shades, so colour matching them up to your bike is easy, should you want to.