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Halo Carbaura XCD wheels review

Halo’s gravel heroes

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £950.00 RRP
Halo Carbaura XCD gravel wheelset

Our review

An excellent gravel wheel at a fair price
Pros: Understated looks; great all-round performance
Cons: No Campagnolo compatibility; freehub buzz
Skip to view product specifications

British brand Halo builds competitively priced wheels by hand in the UK for most types of cycling.

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The Carbaura XCD is, as the name suggests, a 700c carbon-disc wheelset for gravel riding, especially long-distance gravel racing, ultra adventures or lightweight bikepacking trips.

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.

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I did notice a high-pitched buzzing from the Shimano HG or SRAM XDR-only freehub, but that’s a minor quibble.

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £950.00
Weight 1,451g (700c x 35mm)
Brand Halo

Features

Brake type Disc
Freehub Shimano HG or SRAM XDR
Rim depth 35mm
Rim internal width 26mm
Rim material Carbon
Spoke count 24 front, 24 rear
Spokes Black Aero Racing Stainless, J-Bend
Tubeless compatibility Tubeless ready
Tyre type Tubeless
Wheel size 29in/700c