For the same price as Mavic’s Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL front carbon clincher wheel, Wiggle is offering these own-brand Cosine 55mm carbon clinchers. There’s a 45mm option for the same price, and 30mm version for £100 / $180 less. A bargain, but do they still perform?
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Their height is offset by 23.4mm external width and barely tapering unidirectional (UD) carbon walls with a bullet-shaped leading edge. The claimed 19mm internal width actually measures 17mm. It’s still good, but a little conservative compared to some of the wide competition. Our 25mm Clément tyres inflated to exactly that and the rims are recommended for 23mm to 28mm rubber.
The 7075 alloy hubs spin on sealed cartridge bearings and are stitched to the rims with 20 front and 24 rear Sapim CX Delta J-bend spokes. Claimed total weight is 1,775g and our set, including rim tapes, came in just 3g heavier.
Cassette fitting is fiddly as the freehub body seems slightly over-anodised, making every sprocket grip tight if not carefully wiggled on squarely. Having swapped from some ENVE SES wheels, the Cosines don’t give away too much in terms of lateral rigidity, and once rolling, feel pleasingly quick. Freehub engagement is reasonable, and hard accelerations from slow speeds, while effective thanks to the rims’ stiffness, are a little softened by rotational weight. They dispatch hills efficiently, but they’re not built for mountain goats.
At high speeds the front wheel is a little more active than the best alternatives, but they’re very manageable, feeling stable even in gusty winds. They’re taut and aren’t prone to brake rub, which helps them corner with a positive, predictable feel. The braking track is reinforced with a durable heat and abrasion-resistant resin, and with the supplied brake pads, they’ve so far proved decent grab-free stoppers in the wet and dry. Now bedded in, they squeal pretty loudly with almost every use, which doesn’t affect function, just your will to continue pulling the lever.
There are many cheap carbon clincher options, many of which we look on with suspicion, but the Cosines come from a respected manufacturer, are sensibly built, look classy and perform well. They come with a 90kg rider limit, but at this price these are a deep rim steal for time trial or road riders looking for more speed on the flat.