Giant’s P-SLR1 Aero wheelset is one of the more expensive alloy-rimmed options out there, but just because it’s not 100 percent carbon doesn’t mean it’s not a high-end, high-performance product.
The lightweight aluminium scandium alloy used for the rim means these actually weigh less than most all-carbon clinchers that are close on price – and they’re a lot lighter than most similarly priced aluminium-carbon hybrids.
Having an alloy rather than a carbon braking track is also a big advantage, resulting in far more predictable and consistent braking control, particularly in wet or changeable conditions. You don’t need to switch pads when you switch between these and your ‘training’ wheels either.
Not that you’ll need to switch for safety reasons, as handling in a wide range of wind and speed conditions is also a big strong point here. Get them up to speed and the 50mm-deep carbon shroud noticeably helps with maintaining it, while the contemporary rounded section means much less of the usual shunting about in sidewinds or heavy trafﬁc that can be the case with similar depth rims with a ﬂatter profile.
They turn in obediently rather than wanting to keep going straight ahead on fast descents, and despite a low spoke count – 16 front, 20 rear – there’s no distracting deﬂection even when you’re properly attacking twisty descents.
The 21mm-wide rims also fatten up whatever rubber you’re running for a noticeably smoother and more surefooted ride, and they’re tubeless-ready for greater versatility. Pick-up from the DT Swiss freehub is slightly slow, so you might get a clunk out of corners before it catches up, but otherwise climbing and acceleration is very encouraging.
Hidden spoke heads are potentially a pain to adjust – particularly if you’re running them tubeless. But we’ve had them under a powerhouse rider with a proud pie appetite who started blowing spokes in other wheels in a matter of weeks, and the Giants are still running ﬁne after a full nine months of testing.
We’ve had no trouble with the hubs either, despite a full winter of dirty and particularly cold commuting. Super-secure, single-handed tightening DT Swiss skewers and a wheelbag are included, completing what is an impressive value wheel package.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.