Prime’s Primavera wheelset is the brand’s latest offering to the world of aftermarket wheels.
Prime has developed the Primavera range alongside UK road, gravel and MTB team Spectra Racing, and describes this wheelset as being ideal for hilly races and riding, including fast gravel riding and cyclocross.
This reasonably priced wheelset has proven a great option for road riders and racers looking to upgrade their ride without breaking the bank.
Prime Primavera 32 details and specifications
Following in the footsteps of brands such as ENVE and Zipp, Prime has opted to push the internal width of its new wheels out to 23mm.
This is intended to pair optimally with higher-volume (28mm-plus) tyres, which are swiftly becoming the norm on the road, while even wider tyres than that bring the gravel spectrum into view.
The duration of my testing of these wheels was carried out with 30mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres fitted, which measured up at 32mm.
Prime claims the Primavera range has been aerodynamically optimised through CFD testing, although it hasn’t made clear which tyre size the rims have been optimised for.
The freehub design utilises a double-sprung star ratchet system, which is similar to that used in the previous generation of DT Swiss hubs, before the Swiss brand made the switch to its current Ratchet EXP system.
In my experience, this system of engagement has proven to be exceptionally reliable and easy to maintain when compared to a more traditional pawl-based system.
The hubs come with a 36-tooth ratchet fitted, but a 54-tooth upgrade is also available. The increased number of teeth brings lower engagement angles – which are ideal for light gravel or cyclocross duties where short, sharp pedal strokes are required in technical terrain.
For road riders, the stock 36-tooth ratchet is said to give the optimum balance of an appropriate engagement angle and low drag.
This system also allows for tool-free basic servicing. You can remove the freehub body, clean and re-grease the ratchets, and reassemble them again with no tools required.
Carrying out this kind of occasional routine maintenance will likely save you money in the long run, and make full services and future bearing changes a less frequent occurrence.
Prime is currently offering this wheelset with a Shimano freehub body only, but SRAM XDR and Campagnolo options are available separately.
The Primavera 32 wheels use a mix of DT Swiss Aerolite and Aero Comp spokes, it says, in order to balance light weight with stiffness and durability. These are attached to the rim via alloy nipples.
The wheelset tips the scales of truth at 1,436g, which is markedly more than the claimed 1,272g. Around 65g of this difference can be accounted for by the included tubeless tape and valves, but this still leaves the wheelset coming in heavier than claimed.
Prime Primavera 32 performance
Visually, the Primavera 32 rims appear to be well finished with no obvious manufacturing inconsistencies in the carbon.
On inspecting the build quality of the Prime Primavera 32 wheelset, I found both wheels to be evenly tensioned and true to within +/- 1mm of lateral and radial runout.
This is well within the tolerance of many brands that command a higher price tag, and is great to see at this level.
Personally, I would have preferred if Prime had taken a small weight penalty and fitted brass nipples, given the increased risk of corrosion alloy materials are prone to.
Out of the box, the wheels come taped and tubeless-ready, and I found tyres were easy to seat. I managed this on the first try, using a track pump and with the valve core removed.
On the road, the Primavera 32 punches well above its proverbial weight, providing performance to rival that of far more expensive competitors.
The overall ride experience feels fast and responsive, without being harsh or uncomfortable.
With the rims a relatively shallow 32mm deep, the wheelset handles very well in windy conditions.
On my Fairlight Strael test bike, the wheels complement the frame well, feeling stiff, fast and ‘racy’ despite the bike’s less aggressive nature.
On the climbs, the Primavera 32 comes into its own, feeling responsive during short, sharp out-of-the-saddle efforts.
Similarly on rolling terrain, the Primavera 32 responds well to pressing on over small rises. But when riding flatter roads, the wheelset doesn’t carry speed in the same way deep-section rims might.
However, this trade-off is to be expected, and outright aero flat-land performance takes a back seat to enable climbing and cross-wind performance.
The 36t ratchet engages solidly without feeling draggy, so the sprinters among us won’t need to worry about hubs slipping under load. The freehub produces an audible click without being obnoxiously loud.
The Primavera 32 wheelset would be a worthwhile upgrade for any rider looking to move onto a set of carbon climbing wheels at a great price, although riders seeking more aero performance for flatter rides would be smart to consider the deeper options within the Primavera range.
Available for a penny shy of £900 in the UK, the Primavera 32 offers a keen price point for the performance on offer. Our best road bike wheels buyer’s guide explains the range of wheels available for all budgets, including options from Hunt and Bontrager that are just as competitive.
Prime has included a range of spares and accessories with the Primavera 32 wheels – more than you typically see in most wheel boxes.
Inside, there are hub end caps for use with quick-release skewers and 15x100mm front axles, along with quick-release skewers, tubeless valves, and spare spokes, nipples and washers.
The included valves also feature a pressure-relief channel in the stem nut, which prevents the rim’s cavity from being pressurised in the event of a breached tubeless seal.
Crash replacement policy
It’s understandable that with the relatively low initial outlay for the Primavera 32 wheelset, Prime doesn’t offer support policies to the same level as some of the higher-price brands such as ENVE, Zipp or Reserve, who provide lifetime support.
However, it does offer to replace crash-damaged wheels at 40 per cent off the RRP for two years from the date of purchase.
Prime Primavera 32 bottom line
Prime has done an admirable job of bringing a high-performance wheelset to a reasonable price bracket, and this lives up to its claims where climbing performance is concerned.
However, lighter options are available within a similar price range, such a Scribe’s Aero Wide R42 wheels, which come in a few grams below the Primes despite being 10mm deeper. Plus, riders using XDR or Campagnolo drivetrains will need to spend extra to obtain a suitable freehub.
Based on performance on the climbs and overall ride feel, the Primavera 32 would make a great all-round wheel for a rider prioritising lighter weight over all-out speed and flat-land aerodynamic performance.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $1450.00EUR €1000.00GBP £900.00USD $960.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 1,436g (700c) – actual (claimed 1,272g), Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Prime|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Axle: Quick-release, 12mm, 15mm thru axles
Depth: 32mm tested, 44, 56, 85mm also available
Width: 30mm external
|Brake type||br_brakeTypeSimple, 11, 0, Brake type, Disc|
|Freehub||br_freehub, 11, 0, Freehub, Shimano|
|Rim depth||br_rimDepth, 11, 0, Rim depth, 32mm|
|Rim internal width||br_rimInternalWidth, 11, 0, Rim internal width, 23mm|
|Rim material||br_rimMaterial, 11, 0, Rim material, Carbon|
|Spokes||br_spokes, 11, 0, Spokes, Aerocomp and Aerolite|
|Wheel size||br_wheelSize, 11, 0, Wheel size, 29in/700c|