38mm Carbon Wheels from VeloElite
We gave Jack Godfrey a set of VeloElite 350 Carbon 38mm wheels to play with; safe to say he was impressed. Read his review and see why.
Marketed as an “entry level” carbon racing wheelset the VeloElite 350s specification is anything but! Hand built in the UK, the carbon rims are laced onto DTswiss’ 350 Hubs with Sapim CX ray spokes. This wheelset is designed for racers!
Out of the box these wheels look fast, gloss black with minimal branding or text they have a real stealthy race look to them.
The other noticeable thing was the rim width. Joining the trend of super wide disc wheelsets, these measure 30mm externally and 21mm internally and came fitted with 28mm GP5000s that really “balloon” on the rim.
The 38mm rim depth is a bit of an all-rounder. Sitting between super lightweight climbing wheels and aero deep section wheels. When out riding you really feel the aero advantage giving you a noticeable boost on the flats – without that snappy wind sail effect 50mm+ wheels give. On my first ride I was impressed with how easy maintaining speed felt in comparison to my previous 28mm deep wheels.
They also roll incredibly fast. Thanks in part, to super smooth rolling bearings combined with the DTswiss hubs. Ride quality, however, is not compromised for speed. The super wide rim profile and wide tyres make for a lovely, cushioned ride. Even riding through the pothole smeared country lanes of East Sussex they absorbed the worst of the bumps, with little of the shocks and vibrations travelling up to the handlebars.
As mentioned, one of the advantages of these 38mm rims is weight (1438g) meaning these wheels are no slouch on the climbs. Whilst climbing, they feel stiff and respond well to surges of power. Especially when standing up dancing on the pedals.
Having ridden these wheels over eight weeks through a very unseasonable and wet May to a blazing hot June, this wheelset performed well in all weathers. The best part when used in the rain? Thanks to the gloss black finish, you can just wipe them clean!
My one criticism of this wheelset (and trust me I had to look very hard). Is that the freehub out the box is virtually silent – which I guess could be a safety concern for some? Though this soon got louder as the factory grease wore off and left a nice hrum when freewheeling.
The 38mm wheelset for me is the perfect all-round depth for a racing wheelset in the UK. Aero with no sail effect on those blustery U.K days and fast up the hills. The spec, though marketed as “entry level” is far beyond the £950 price tag. The ride quality is smooth, handling is sharp, and acceleration is rapid.
I would not hesitate to recommend this wheelset – In fact… I am thinking about asking to keep them for myself!
Who are VeloElite?
VeloElite started in 2018 doing primarily service, repairs and bike fitting. Then in 2020 they started specialising in wheel building. They saw that there were a lot of “entry level” wheels at the £1000 point that didn’t quite hit the mark. The build quality and particularly the hubs often let them down. So VeloElite set about building their own wheels.
In conjunction with their master wheel-builder – Tom Scott-Collins – VeloElite spent hours selecting components. A lot of that time was spent on choosing the right hubs, the heart of any wheel. In the end they went with DT Swiss and Aivee hubs for their main ranges and Industry 9 and Chris King for custom builds. Spokes are from Sapim and DT Swiss. These are all built by Tom at VeloElite’s HQ in Northamptonshire.
Check out the Velo Elite range of wheels.