Halo Carbaura RDX wheelset review
Rather than following a barely established trend towards road disc wheels, Halo is ploughing its own unique furrow and offering what it says is a futureproof package. The Carbaura RDX wheelset is available in three rim depths, 38mm, 50mm and 58mm – we tested the shallowest 38mm option.
Highs: Price, versatility, toughness, width
Lows: Versatility limits performance
The wide, full unidirectional carbon clincher rims are, unusually for carbon, tubeless ready, and, while we tested them with disc brakes, the RDXes also include a conventional braking track, so can be used on any bike with rim calipers and Halo’s specific pads. The width at the braking track is 25mm, bulging to almost 28mm at their widest point, a shape recognised for lowering drag and increasing stability.
There are 24 straight-pull bladed spokes with external nipples for easy maintenance, laced two-cross for strength to Halo’s 6D disc road hubs. The hubs are designed for Campagnolo or SRAM/Shimano freehub options, they’re 10- or 11-speed compatible and the rear axle can be altered to fit 130mm or 135mm spacings. The IS 6-bolt disc rotor mount also comes with a neat 2.5mm adaptor that converts the rotor position to suit the hub and chainline combination.
Our set was supplied with the rear disc adaptor and bolts, but no front rotor bolts or quick release skewers. With rim tapes fitted, the front weighed 810g and the rear 930g, which is reasonable but still greater than expected for carbon rims. This is down to the added material used for the braking track and to ensure tubeless compatibility. Tyre fit is also a little tighter than a normal clincher.
We found 25mm rubber ideal for the wide rims, giving a surefooted feeling and progressive grip. Response to accelerations was positive, and the smooth hubs maintain speed well, but the Halos aren’t lightning fast. They are very tough, though, withstanding some biblically rough conditions unscathed, and feeling totally composed under hard braking. The 38mm depth is a good all-round compromise, offering great stability, but the question to ask is whether you want a wheelset that can be all things to all bikes, or whether it’s a compromise too far.