Priced more keenly than most alternatives in this class, Scribe’s Aero Wide R42 D+ will appeal to any rider looking for aero gains in a range of scenarios.
The depth is subtle enough not to upset the aesthetics on a traditionalist machine, while being deep enough not to look out of place on an all-out aero road bike.
Scribe even hints at use on gravel bikes without stating that intention in as many words, mentioning that the bead design is secure “even at lower pressures”.
In any case, wheels are often the first major upgrade a rider makes, and it’s often for a deeper-section pair.
Scribe Aero Wide R42 D+ wheels specification and details
Scribe’s AeroWide range covers all depths, from 30mm up to an 80mm-deep rear wheel, available either as matching pairs or a given-depth front with the next-deepest rear. Each set of wheels is offered with ‘endurance’ or ‘race’ bearings and comes with a choice of colour for the graphics.
Weighing in at 1,417g, the identical rims measure 42.3mm deep and 30.2mm at their widest point.
The overall diameter is slightly bigger than usual at 634mm, and while that often means tyres can be hard to fit, it’s not the case here because the bed of the rim sits a helpful 8.6mm below the lip.
The bead-seat diameter is a touch larger than the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standard 622mm by 2.2mm, which may not sound like much but will make a satisfying ping when the tyres seat.
It’ll also make that fitment more secure, meaning breaking the seal to remove the tyres could take a notable initial effort.
The rims have a 21mm internal width, giving a wider stance to any size tyre, upping air volume to both increase comfort and reduce risk of impact punctures at lower pressures.
The hubs are Scribe’s own brand with Pillar Wing 20 straight-pull spokes. The rear has 16 driveside spokes in a two-cross pattern, with eight spokes also two-crossed on the non-driveside.
These are arranged in a two-to-one style, each pair of driveside spokes between a non-drive friend. Scribe doesn’t state a reason for this, but other companies with a similar design suggest it improves stiffness under power, while keeping low weight in mind.
The 14 non-driveside spokes are two-crossed, while the seven driveside are radially laced, presumably because of the increased braking force.
Out of the box, the rims are ready taped for tubeless setup, with a long list of accessories. Centrelock lockrings, six-bolt disc adaptors, tubeless valves, and a couple of spare spokes and nipples have you covered for most eventualities.
There are also different axle standards available aftermarket should you find yourself requiring different compatibility further down the line.
By way of aftermarket care, Scribe offers its Infinity crash replacement program, giving you 50 per cent off the cost of replacement parts for the entire time the original owner has the wheels.
There’s a three-year warranty and two sets of free replacement bearings offered over the course of the first three years.
A 105kg combined weight limit for rider, bike, accessories and luggage is in place, with riders over 90kg being advised to seek regular checks on the condition of the wheels.
Scribe Aero Wide R42 D+ wheels performance
A trueness of +/- 0.3mm for each wheel before being ridden was the most common figure for wheels in this test. Over the course of testing, the front went out to +/- 0.5mm, while the rear suffered marginally worse at +/- 0.6mm. Those figures were very similar to most other wheelsets and well within the +/- 2mm dictated by British Standard requirements.
Roundness was a similar story, both wheels beginning the test at +/- 0.3mm and finishing up at +/- 0.4mm – pleasingly consistent. Again, the British Standard for this measurement is +/- 2mm.
Spoke-tension variance doesn’t get talked about a lot, except by accomplished wheel builders, but like the logo on the hub being visible through the valve hole (which is the case on these wheels), it’s a sign of a well-built wheel.
These Scribes began testing with a variance of 3 per cent front and rear, which was as high as any other wheels in the test. As with the roundness, both wheels dropped 1 per cent to 4 per cent variance, suggesting a highly respectable build quality.
Two 17mm cone spanners are all that’s needed to get the rear axle out and dismantle the drive mechanism.
This is an interesting take on the contra-rotating toothed rings. The driving ring has teeth on its outer edge, holding it in place in the freehub with a leaf spring engaging it via 36 teeth and 10 degrees of engagement and a driven ring screwed into the hub body.
It’s solid, efficient and loud. The front hub has press-fit end caps, which can be removed without tools for easy servicing.
The axle has a 15mm internal diameter, so can be used with that standard axle if the relevant end caps are purchased.
These wheels are the lightest in the test and that, combined with their aero profile, makes for a properly fast set of wheels.
That said, there’s a noticeable if not significant amount of flex when out of the saddle. Seated efforts, be they tempo-paced climbs or drilling it on the flat, are enhanced by a feeling that the wheels are helping somewhat.
Sprinting or attacking a climb doesn’t feel significantly flawed, but there’s a subtle compliance sideways that’s evident if you’re not quite breathing out of your eyeballs.
When it comes to handling, that compliance helps, allowing a more confident approach to flowing, high-speed corners thanks to the subtle damping of rougher surfaces.
Of course, an element of that comes from the greater tyre volume afforded by the wider stance of the tyre on the rim. However, that alone would be a subtly less solid-feeling than the experience offered by the AeroWide 24+ wheels.
Almost all the riding I did on these wheels was done in blustery conditions, but they behaved well. Only in direct crosswinds did they feel a little twitchy, and I stress the ‘little’.
It was easily controlled with minimal input, and any slight headwind or tailwind seemed to settle the wheels again. Leaning into a strong cross-tailwind seemed to have a sail effect and resulted in an extra little push.
Fitting tyres can go one of two ways, thanks to the larger-than-average overall diameter, but employing good technique makes for a much smoother experience, the deep bed offering plenty of opportunity to stretch the tyre on.
The tall bead seat also means a seal is achieved easily when performing tubeless setup, and seating tyres is a loud and satisfying experience.
The freehub mechanism is extremely loud. This and the relatively deep-section rims that enhance the noise combine to make conversation difficult when freewheeling.
Scribe Aero Wide R42 D+ wheels bottom line
Competitively priced, a usable depth and easy to live with, the Scribe AeroWide 42 S+ is a solid competitor in a saturated field.
The wheels are appealingly lightweight, come with a solid after-sale care package and won’t beat you up in the same way some stiffer wheels do.
The drawbacks for some will be the weight limit and for others the noisy freehub, but if neither of those things concern you, these wheels are a legitimate contender.
How we tested
We’ve assessed seven pairs of road bike wheels around the £1,000 price point over months of gruelling testing.
From varied endurance rides to high-intensity short but hilly blasts, we’ve put these wheelsets through their paces.
Each set of wheels had a list of parameters measured – including trueness, roundness and spoke-tension variance – out of the box, with measurements taken again at 500km.
Wheels on test
- VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50
- Fulcrum Racing Zero DB
- HED Ardennes RA Pro
- Bontrager Aeolus Elite 50
- Scribe Aero Wide 42 D+
- Vision SC55 DB TLR
- Zipp 303S
|Price||AUD $1564.00EUR €1054.00GBP £870.00USD $1151.00|
|Weight||1,417g (700c) – including tubeless tape|
|Features||105kg weight limit
Crash replacement scheme
Free bearing replacement up to three years
Three year warranty
|Rim internal width||21mm|
|Spoke count||21 front, 24 rear|
|Tubeless compatibility||Tubeless ready|