Deda SL4DB review

Designed for high-speed usage on various terrain, Deda say the SL4DB are ideal for road racing, Fondo, sportives, or fast-paced rides with friends.

Let’s dive into the specifications of this new wheel set. The SL4DB, a new offering for 2023, boasts impressive lightweight and aerodynamic features. Crafted from high modulus, unidirectional, and 3K carbon fibre, the 45mm deep rims possess an asymmetric design with dimensions of 26mm external and 19mm internal width. The wheel incorporates twenty-four sleek black straight-pull spokes to minimise weight. These tubeless-ready rims can also accommodate conventional clincher tires.

Deda's SL4DB wheelset
Deda’s SL4DB wheelset

The SL4DB hub boasts a 7075 aluminum hub body with a 17mm front axle and a 15mm rear axle. The freehub employs a twenty-tooth, two-ratchet assembly, designed to enhance the wheel’s smoothness for superior speed. Deda’s new RS hub design employs engraved lines to amplify the Magnus effect, generating added downforce for heightened high-speed stability. The hub-flanges are also aerodynamically shaped to minimise drag.

These hubs are compatible with through-axles (12x100mm front and 12x142mm rear), with a conversion kit available for quick-release axles. The wheel set, weighing 1530g, comes with rim tape, tubeless valves, disc-brake lock rings, and ratchet grease. The DB4SL is available with Shimano, Sram XDR, Campagnolo, or Campagnolo 13S freehub options.

How do they ride?

Transitioning to the riding experience, I finally set up the wheels tubeless with GP5000 28mm tyres, though the setup proved challenging! Once mounted on my Colnago V3Rs, the wheels impressed with their appearance. A freehub check, however, left me underwhelmed. During several rides encompassing hills and flats, I aimed to assess overall performance.

On local hill climbs the wheels offered a smooth roll, but struggled compared to my other wheel sets, particularly on steeper gradients. The wheels seemed lacking in responsiveness. Contrarily, on flat surfaces, the wheels excelled once they gained momentum. They maintained speed well, emitting a delightful sound that encouraged acceleration. Surprisingly stable in crosswinds given their 45mm depth. Sprinting revealed subpar engagement and slower acceleration compared to alternative wheels.

To sum up, these wheels present an attractive aesthetic and excel on flat roads once up to speed. However, considering the price, I would recommend exploring other options if you’re in the market for new wheels. Check them out on the Deda website.

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