Handsling TLR Alloy G Wheelset Review
Nimble and stealthy alloy wheelset, that you might just mistake for carbon.
I’ve put a few rides into these now, and have been pleasantly surprised as to how little difference I’ve felt between them and the carbon gravel wheelset I’ve been riding for the past year. The “G” in the name stands for Gravel, they have a sister wheelset, the Handsling TLR Alloy R (for road). They have the same spec but the R has a slightly narrower rim for road tyres.
The TLR Alloy G wheels are built on Bitex BX106 hubs, with 24 CX-Ray spokes, and weigh in at 1.8kgs for the pair. The rims are 32mm deep, with a spacious 25mm internal rim width. You can run them with inner-tubes or tubeless. I’ve gone for the latter, with the excellent Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H 40mm tubeless tyres, which went on without fuss. The tyres come out to 42mm wide once mounted (as they did on my previous wheels).
My bike is also from Handsling, a CEXevo with SRAM 1x Groupset. The best word to describe the look of the wheels once on the bike is “stealthy”. The plain black finish will match any frame or groupset. Let your competitors wonder about what advantage your new wheels will give you. With only a logo on the hub they won’t give the game away!
“Gravel” riding in the UK covers a wide range of surfaces. Everything from road to rocky single track and occasionally even some actual gravel! My own gravel bike is used as a commuter, a winter road bike and spring/summer adventurer.
What’s the ride like?
On the road, I found the Handsling Alloys very responsive, especially considering the size/weight of tyre I had on them. Perhaps it’s because of those beefy tyres that the additional 300g of wheelset weight (vs my carbon wheelset) didn’t feel like it mattered. They get up to speed quickly. Cross winds, as you’d expect, are a non-factor. They don’t really offer much as far as aero advantages go, but nor would I expect them too.
Off road, they keep their responsiveness, and feel nice and stable. I’ve not ridden them enough to comment on how tough they are over the long haul, but they certainly “feel” tough. I’ve hit a few rocks, and the wheels still run completely true. I dare say these would be fine as an entry level CX race wheel, although I’m not the right person to judge that.
If I’m honest, I’m left wondering if I even “need” my carbon gravel wheels back. The Handsling TLR Alloy Gs add around 300g compared to a set of carbon wheels, but for my use (commute, winter road, summer adventure) I think they are spot on.
On a road bike, the lighter weight and/or deeper rims of carbon give a noticeable advantage. However I’m not sure I’d get the same advantage on gravel. Personally, I’d go for these, and either pocket the savings or invest elsewhere on the bike.
The Handsling TLR Alloy G wheelset are not yet available for individual sale, but are as part of a custom build bike on their site.