Airstreeem Team SL 33
Super light weight wheelset from Airstreeem
As well as producing a range of 8 top end carbon framed bikes, such as the Race SL Nano Light we have on test, Airstreeem also manufacture 8 wheelsets in carbon, carbon and aluminium and aluminium only. New to the UK, Airstreeem handbuild their wheels in Salzburg, Austria, and this, the Team SL 33 wheelset, is Airstreeem’s lightest.
The Team SL 33 are a seriously light set of wheels. At 1170g for a bare set of wheels, there aren’t that many other wheels that are lighter. These are special occasion wheels, when you need every advantage to achieve your goal.
The Team SL 33 is a 33mm deep carbon rimmed tubular with a fashionable, more aerodynamic 23mm wide tyre bed. The brake track has a special Nano High Temperature coating that improves braking.
When tested at the Swiss Stop test center in Switzerland, using their Black Prince pads, the Team SL 33’s produced some impressive figures. Simulated braking at 60kph in the wet saw the Team SL 33’s stopping in 90m as opposed to 123m for a standard carbon rim and at that same speed they also ran a whopping 173°C cooler than a standard rim! That’s right – one seven three.
This double thickness Nano High Temperature coating means the rims are not subject to such high temperature variations, which improves their strength and lifespan. The test results suggest that the rims perform as well as an aluminium rim.
Airstreeem have specced these test wheels with lightweight DT Swiss 240 hubs, but you can have them with Airstreeem’s own hubs which use double bearings; that’s 4 on the front and 5 on the back to improve axle stiffness and reduce bearing wear. Airstreeem hubs also use straight pull spokes. The DT’s use normal Sapim CX-Ray spokes, 20 radially spoked on the front and the rear uses 24 spokes in a 2-cross pattern.
Crazy light Tufo Elite Jet tubulars provide the contact patch between the bike and tarmac. At 160g each the Tufos are best saved for time trials or maybe circuit road races where you know you’ll be on smooth tarmac.
Airstreeem also produce a deeper version, called the Team SL 50. As well as being 50mm deep it is slightly narrower at 20.5mm and weighs in at 1260g.
At £1899 the price of the Airstreeem Team SL 33s is right up there with the best but with the low weight, wide aero profile, special braking surface and impressivley low temperature figures, if you are in the market for a new set of race wheels, then the Team SL 33s may well be worth a look.
As Winter is still raging outside and more snow is forecast for this weekend, we may not be the best conditions for such refined hoops as the Team SL 33’s, but we’ll do our best. Keep an eye out for our full review soon.