Veltec Speed AL review£425.00

Budget aluminium aero clincher wheelset

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Veltec is a German wheel builder, established in 1995 but is a relative newcomer to the UK. The Speed AL is the company’s budget aero model, intended to appeal to riders looking for a winter/training wheelset or a worthy upgrade to an entry-level bike.

The all-black, stealthy-looking Speed AL wheels are hand-built in Germany using 42mm-deep section, tubeless-ready, aluminium clincher rims (18mm internal rim width, 22mm external). They’re laced onto Veltec 818RS hubs, which feature fully sealed bearings, with Sapim CX Sprint Aero stainless-steel bladed spokes. 

The front wheel gets 20 radially laced spokes, while the rear has 24 cross-laced ones to provide a good balance between strength and weight. The wheelset weighs 1,810g (without skewers), which is respectable considering the price and performance.

Their all-black finish looks great when first fitted to a bike. Sadly, as with all anodised brake tracks, they’re soon scrubbed back to the bare aluminium after a few rides. Although, that aluminium surface does mean braking is strong and progressive in all types of weather.

Veltec Speed AL performance

When it comes to riding, the wheels roll really well once they’re up to speed, and accelerate better than expected considering their weight. The strong build makes for confident cornering and their general handling and performance is assured, yet comfortable considering the deep-section aluminium rims. I ran them with Hutchinson Fusion 5 Galactik 25mm tyres.

The V-shaped profile the rims use is dated now and doesn’t fair as well in crosswinds as newer, ovalised rim profiles. I didn’t have any problems with control in strong winds, although the rims’ 42mm depth obviously adds extra weight, so they perform best on flat or rolling rides.

They come with skewers (102g per pair) and are compatible with Shimano/SRAM 11-, 10- and nine-speed (10- and nine-speed with the spacer provided) and Campagnolo 11-speed.

Veltec Speed AL verdict

Overall, Veltec’s Speed AL is a high-performing aluminium aero wheelset at a reasonable price, although there are cheaper options out there. There are compromises in terms of weight and rim profile but they deliver great performance, strength, comfort and reliability.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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