British brand Halo builds competitively priced wheels by hand in the UK for most types of cycling.
Carbaura XCD wheels spec details
The wheels’ maximum recommended rider weight is 100kg, which is the weight of both rider and any load being carried.
The carbon rims are 35mm tall, 30mm wide externally and 26mm internally, making them ideal for a set of the best gravel tyres from 28mm to 50mm wide.
They spin on Halo’s off-road specific GXC hubs, which include the 120-point engagement Supadrive freehub, sealed bearings, 12mm end caps and Centre Lock rotor fitment.
Each wheel has 24 Halo Black Aero Racing Stainless spokes with a J-bend, so the wheels can be repaired easily. Including 12mm end caps and the pre-installed tubeless tape, the Carbaura XCDs weigh a very healthy 1,451g.
Fitting a pair of Mavic 40mm tubeless tyres was child’s play, and they only needed 50psi from a track pump to seat fully on the rim.
With sealant added, the combination took a few rides to settle down and they only lost 5psi overnight.
Inflated to 30 to 35psi for a mixture of road and gravel riding, the tyres measured 42mm wide, giving welcome additional volume.
Be aware, though, that compared to the relatively small variations in road bike tyre weights, gravel tyres can vary by over 200g each, and this affects the rotational mass of the wheel.
Carbaura XCD wheels performance
The Carbaura XCD rides very well, with excellent response from its fast-engaging freehub, and enough rigidity to prevent wind-up (where the hub twists before the rim, due to the flex in the spokes).
Whether the J-bend spokes and spoke pattern contribute to compliance is hard to say when rolling on large-volume, soft tyres, but flowing through uneven, potholed tracks, the wheels conformed well to the ever-changing surface.
Their lateral stiffness and stability is helped by the widely spaced hub flanges, and counteracts any noticeable deflection due to high loads and the action of large-volume tyres.
Carbaura XCD wheels bottom line
At a price that’s lower than many of the best gravel wheels with equivalent specs, the Halos are hard to fault.
I did notice a high-pitched buzzing from the Shimano HG or SRAM XDR-only freehub, but that’s a minor quibble.
|Weight||1,451g (700c x 35mm)|
|Freehub||Shimano HG or SRAM XDR|
|Rim internal width||26mm|
|Spoke count||24 front, 24 rear|
|Spokes||Black Aero Racing Stainless, J-Bend|
|Tubeless compatibility||Tubeless ready|