These wheels are designed to combine the lightweight advantages of carbon with the ease of use of standard clincher tyres – with no compromise on the braking.
Compared to aluminium, carbon braking surfaces are ‘grabby’ with all but the best dedicated pads, with the heat generated under braking making the pads stick.
To combat this, Tune have developed a carbon rim with aluminium strands woven through the braking surface and rim bed which, they claim, will dissipate heat quickly and stop any of that grabbiness.
The hubs are Tune’s Mig/Mag combination at 73g front/188g rear – among the lightest available. Assembled by Harry Rowland, our complete wheelset weighs 1,348g – 607g front/740g rear – which is around 240g heavier than the Lightweight Standard IIIs we tested earlier this year, but £1,000 cheaper.
We’ve tested these in road races, big rides, commuting and even a trio of cyclo-cross races and they’ve held up impressively. The hub bearings felt a little stiff initially but have loosened and stayed buttery smooth, and the rims have remained true.
The 42mm depth rim makes for a stiffer wheel than a standard depth but this is offset by the increase in acceleration. That said, harder hits are dampened more than anticipated, and the stiffness really helps high speed cornering.
The light front also makes for quick handling. Some ﬂex can be felt when sprinting hard with the occasional touch of rim against brake pad, but nothing that slowed us down.
As for braking, it’s excellent – superbly positive just like an aluminium rim. We compared them to Mavic’s ceramic coated Open Pro – probably the best braking rim on the market – with the same tyres, pressure, bike, speed and road, and the Tunes came to a stop within a metre of the Mavics. Impressive.
The one downside was tyre ﬁt. It’s tight and takes a fair amount of strength to get a tyre on, especially when you’re wary of using a tough tyre lever on that carbon rim.
Other than that, Tune have created a rim with all the beneﬁts of lightweight carbon but none of the compromises; the smooth, stiff, light ride with superb braking is exactly how carbon wheels should be.
They’re also available in a 25mm depth (300g lighter) and 58mm. Racewheels also offer rental packages on its wheels, so you can try before you buy.