Halo Carbaura RCD 700c
Halo’s disc-brake version of the Carbaura wheelset is available in 35mm or 50mm depths. I tested a pair of the 35mm tall Halos, which have unidirectional carbon rims measuring 25mm wide externally and 19mm internally.
They’re laced to the RD2 hubs with 24 J-bend, slim, black Aero Racing Spokes per wheel with brass nipples.
To counteract the forces from the disc brakes and drivetrain, the wheels have eight spokes crossed once on one side and 16 spokes crossed twice on the other.
The freehub uses Halo’s 120-point engagement Supadrive system, which is said to engage almost instantly and is available in Campagnolo, SRAM XDR or Shimano fit.
My pair of RCD 35s weighed 1,546g, including 12mm thru-axle end caps and tubeless rim tape. Halo says that the rims have been aerodynamically shaped by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) testing.
The rims are a symmetric, broad V-shape with a fairly blunt leading edge, not parallel-sided with a rounded edge profile, like some of the leading aero rims.
They are tubeless ready with tubeless tape fitted and are claimed to be suitable for tyres from 25mm to 35mm wide.
Instantly noticeable is the high-pitched noise from the Supadrive freehub, which sounds urgent even when pushing the bike. When freewheeling, it sounds like a sackful of crickets, but the drive does pick up quickly when you press on the pedals.
When attacking hills or sudden sprints, the Halos feel laterally stiff, helping accurate line control. Using slim, J-bend spokes adds some ride compliance making the wheels feel a little less taut than straight-pull spoked models and producing effectively quick, rather than aggressive, acceleration.
They gain speed keenly, sustain it willingly on flat or undulating terrain and are predictably solid in crosswinds but, at least in my tested configuration, lacked a real kick when climbing.
The RCD 35’s straightforward build promises simple maintenance and this is a decent value carbon fibre aero wheelset. Their performance isn’t class-leading but, then again, neither is the price.