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Prime Race Road Alloy Wheelset



Lightweight alloy clincher wheelset that's hardwearing and tubeless-ready out of the box

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Prime Race Road Alloy Clincher wheelset is a lightweight and hardwearing tubeless-ready choice for general road use and even gravel/cyclo-cross riding.

Prime is a new brand from Chain Reaction Cycles with a range that covers everything from £155 alloy clincher wheels up to £879.99 carbon tubular wheels.

The Race wheels feature tubeless-ready aluminium AT01 rims from Alexrims. They have an internal width of 17mm, an external width of 22mm, and a CNC-machined brake track. I used them with the excellent Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres (28mm width), which inflated first time with a floor pump and a little Stan's sealant. No fuss at all. I tried inflating from flat a few times. Sometimes the bead popped into place easily, sometimes it required soapy water to seal the deal.

Prime Road Race alloy wheelset - rim detail.jpg

Prime's R020 hubs are forged and CNC-machined 7075 alloy, very low profile in the case of the front one. They contain sealed cartridge bearings so there's no particular skill required during maintenance. The sealing isn't elaborate but I've used these in all conditions over several weeks and no water has got inside.

Prime Road Race alloy wheelset - front hub.jpg

The alloy freehub body – Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11-speed compatible – is lighter than steel options often found at this price point, while durability is good thanks to an Anti Bite Guard spline insert that stops the sprockets digging in. The freehub has four pawls and 26 teeth.

Prime Road Race alloy wheelset - rear hub.jpg

The front wheel is built with 20 DT Swiss double-butted J-bend spokes and DT Swiss Pro Lock alloy nipples, while the rear wheel is laced with 24.

Prime Road Race alloy wheelset - nipple.jpg

The Prime Race wheels have put in an excellent performance out on the road, offering plenty of stiffness and durability, and braking is as firm and reliable as you'd expect on an aluminium surface. I've been using them for general road riding and I also put them on a cyclo-cross bike and hit the local gravel roads and byways a few times. They've done a great job throughout.

They're light too. Ours weighed in at 662g (front) and 868g (rear) – a total of 1,530g (without skewers or valves). That's exactly the overall weight that Prime claims.

> Check out our guide to the best road bike wheels

> Read our buyer's guide to tubeless wheels

Checking them post-test, both wheels are still as round and true as they were to start with, the spoke tensions virtually unaltered. That augurs well for long-term durability. The brake tracks show signs of wear, obviously, and there are marks on the freehub from the sprockets, but they're not at all deep. I imagine the stuck-on graphics will eventually start to look tatty but they're doing fine so far.

Prime Road Race alloy wheelset - decal.jpg

The wheelset is supplied with Prime Quick Release skewers, tubeless valves (installed), and three spare spokes and nipples. Although the valves on our test wheels are silver, they're black on the production version to match the rim finish. If you want to ride tubeless, all you need are the tyres and sealant and you're good to go.


Lightweight alloy clincher wheelset that's hardwearing and tubeless-ready out of the box

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Make and model: Prime Race Road Alloy Wheelset

Size tested: 700C

Tell us what the wheel is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Prime says, "The Prime Race Road features a super light build and will be the perfect wheelset for everything from daylong rides to cyclocross racing. The Race features our tubeless ready Pro rim with R020 hubset and is hand built with DT Swiss Double Butted spokes and DT Swiss Pro Lock nipples."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?

Prime lists these features:

Prime Quick Release skewers

Tubeless valves x 2 (installed)

Tubeless tape (installed)

Spare spokes x 3: 1 front, 2 x Rear (1 drive side / 1 non drive side)

Nipples x 3

Total Wheelset Weight: 1530g

Rim Specifications:

Material: Alloy

CNC machined brake track

Tubeless ready

Spoke count: 20 hole & 24 hole

Rim width: 24mm (17mm internal width)

ERD: 582

Weight: 440g

Hub Specifications:


Material: Superlight Forged & CNC machined 7075 alloy hub body

Spoke type: J Bend

Bearings: Premium Japanese sealed cartridge bearings x 4

Axle: 130mm x QR

Pawls: 4

Points of engagement: 26

Freehub Body: Light weight alloy with ABG (Anti Bite Guard), Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 speed

Freehub Body Option: Campagnolo freehub body available for purchase separately

Hole count: 24

Weight: 228g


Material: Superlight Forged & CNC machined 7075 alloy hub body

Spoke type: J Bend

Bearings: Premium Japanese sealed cartridge bearings x 2

Axle: 100mm x 9mm QR

Hole count: 20

Weight: 60g

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Rate the wheel for performance:
Rate the wheel for durability:

The Anti Bike Guard spline does a good job of stopping the sprockets digging deep into the freehub.

Our review wheels are virtually as round and true after several weeks of testing as they were initially.

Rate the wheel for weight

This is a very good weight for alloy wheels at this price.

Rate the wheel for value:

The value is very high, especially as Chain Reaction is selling them at £224.99 (a saving of 10% over the list price).

Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?

They've stayed absolutely true. I've not had to get the spoke key out once.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Easy enough. Running them tubeless, they've inflated with some Stan's sealant and a floor pump – sometimes easier than others, but that's the way with tubeless.

How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?

They worked fine. Haven't really noticed them, and that's a good sign.

Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose

No complaints at all. It's a well-built wheelset that cracks on with its job without fuss.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

The light weight, and the fact that they've stayed true.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Not a lot.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes

Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes, for general road use, including rough road use.

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

These are very good wheels at an exceptionally good price. They're a clear 8 out of 10. If value is a key consideration, they're especially attractive.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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