Handsling TLR Alloy R wheels review

Handsling TLR Alloy R wheels, offer exceptional value while delivering performance above expectations.

Not all wheels are created equal, but with their TLR Alloy R Handsling have managed to build a set of alloy wheels that exceeded my expectations. These have 25mm deep rims with an internal width of 23mmm and twenty-four spokes front and rear. The hubs are Handsling badged Bitex BX106 items, which have a very good reputation amongst wheel-builders for quality, reliability and easy maintenance. Weight for these wheels is 1.52Kg, which is good for an alloy wheelset. Rubber of choice for the test ride would be 30mm Schwalbe Ones inflated to 70psi.

Schwalbe One tyres on the TLR Alloy R wheels
I ran Schwalbe One tyres on the TLR Alloy R wheels

Handsling say their TLR Alloy R wheels are an ‘entry-level’ wheelset. They come fitted as standard to their A1R0evo 105 Di2 and A1R0evo SRAM Rival AXS road bikes (read the preview of the 105 Di2 version here). So I decided to put their claims to the test with a 120Km ride around East Hampshire and West Sussex. The route includes 1,400m of climbing and I would be completing it on a Handsling A1R0evo equipped with Shimano 105 Di2 12-speed. There would be some less than perfect roads with plenty of gravel, potholes and crumbling tarmac: your average UK road! I’ve done this route previously on the same bike, but with deep-section carbon wheels: so it would make for a good comparison.

TLR Alloy R first Impressions

Setting off and the TLR Alloy R wheels were quick to spin up to cruising speed. They weren’t as easy to keep spinning as a set of deep-section carbon aero rims, but that’s hardly surprising given their shallow depth. However changes of speed were easy and they felt more more agile than my usual deep-section wheels.

Handsling have selected Bitex BX106 hubs for their TLR Alloy R wheels
Handsling have selected Bitex BX106 hubs for their TLR Alloy R wheels

That nimbleness also helped when sprinting up hills on the route. There was no noticeable flex under power, they don’t feel like they’re holding you back at all. I might not use them in a race, but they would make an excellent choice for training or a sportive. Saying that, I got eleven personal records, including Stoner Hill at a 4.4% average gradient on the test ride. That’s pretty impressive for a set of ‘entry-level’ wheels.


As I said the road surfaces on the test-ride were not great, which would make for perfect testing! I rode, at speed, across the roughest parts of the route, through gravel mounds and into holes: I showed the TLR Alloy R wheels no mercy and came away impressed. They offered good feedback and an assured feeling on sketchy gravel turns: great for my confidence. Overall the wheels felt solid and apart from a couple of spoke-pings at the start performed flawlessly, without even any disc-rub.

The shallow rims handled crosswinds easily

Cornering and crosswinds

I took a few corners at speed – purely in the interest of research – and they handled nicely. There was no wobble or that sluggish feeling you sometimes get with cheaper wheels. The wide internal rim obviously gave the Schwalbe Ones a good shape for cornering. During the ride I experienced some 20mph gusts that blew between the hedgerows: not a problem for the TLR Alloy R. With their shallow depth they coped brilliantly, with none of the twitchiness you’d get with a deeper rim.


At the end of my test ride I came away impressed with Handsling’s TLR Alloy R wheels. I really enjoyed their agile, nimble feel, they felt very much like a set of shallow carbon wheels, which is impressive. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for a set of climbing/training/touring wheels. They even look good: their matte finish giving them a look similar to carbon wheels. So in conclusion, they get the big thumbs up from me: well done Handsling!

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