If your new bike arrived with Vittoria's Alusion Aero Alloy Clincher wheelset, it's unlikely you'd be disappointed (depending on how much you paid). They look good, feel fast and ride well, with a freewheel that's pleasantly noisy without being LOUD. The trouble is, if you're upgrading from stock wheels you can get lighter for less money.
- Pros: Fast, stiff, pleasing freewheel noise
- Cons: Can catch crosswinds if you're not used to deeper rims, not the lightest
At 1,860g (Vittoria claims 1,791g) they're not particularly light – just 70g less than the Easton AXRs they replaced on my Vitus – but they feel fast and responsive. Hardly scientific, but I've noticed on some sections of my regular rides I'm definitely in a higher gear than I would normally be. Those 32mm-deep semi-aero rims do seem to pay dividends.
I've read elsewhere people saying you don't need to worry too much about crosswinds with up to 50mm section rims, but they must be heavier/braver than me. Although the Alusions aren't as sail-like as some I've ridden, strong winds can still catch you out, especially if you're not used to deep (even if not very) section rims.
I'm a fair bit off my fighting weight but still not that heavy a rider, and haven't had any issues with brake rub or any sign that the wheels are anything less than stiff and true. (Vittoria doesn't list a max rider weight.)
Braking hasn't thrown up any concerns either, in the wet or dry. (With old and new Shimano 105 brakes, new pads in both cases.)
The Alusions are built with straight-pull aero spokes, 16 at the front and 21 at the rear, laced radially at the front and non-drive side rear, two-cross on the drive side to Vittoria hubs. Long training rides and one 115-mile day haven't caused anything to go out of true.
The quick release skewers do their job without issue and I think they look great – probably even better if they were lined up...
The rims are 24mm wide (17mm internally), and my 25mm Schwalbe One tyres seem a good fit.
Vittoria recommends its own Corsa or Rubino tyres, but the Schwalbes got a rave review from our Stu, so I've stuck with them. The wheels are tubeless-ready, but I've yet to go down that route. Some Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G2.0 tyres have arrived in the office for testing, so I'll update this review on how easy they were to fit.
I have to confess I didn't fit the wheels (or tyres) myself. While I made my road.cc colleague Liam a nice cup of tea, he got his hands dirty removing my old wheels, swapping my tyres over, and switching my cassette to the new wheels. Then he did that last bit again but this time with the extra spacer as I'm still running 10-speed. Those on test are Shimano/SRAM compatible; Vittoria says they're also compatible with Campagnolo.
All was straightforward according to Mr Cahill, with only his own forgetfulness providing a minor hiccup.
Though we haven't tested them, Hunt's Sprint Aero Wide wheels are the same price as the Vittorias, 31mm deep, and weigh a claimed 1,497g.
Just Riding Along's Lark Light Roads are about £15 more but 400g lighter (but they are only 25mm deep).
The Alusions are good wheels, and weight isn't everything, but if you can either go lighter for the same money or save cash for a similar weight it's unlikely they'll be a first choice for an upgrade. That said, I can't vouch for the performance of those listed above, and I can for these. If your bike comes with them fitted, certainly enjoy them until they need replacing.
Affordable wheels that feel fast and light, even if they're not especially
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vittoria Alusion Aero Alloy Clincher 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?
Vittoria says, "Versatile and fast semi-aero wheels: alloy rims, asymmetric at rear to equalize spoke tension, built on to Vittoria hubs with straight-pull, bladed spokes, make a rigid, durable and reliable wheel fit for sustained performance usage."
They certainly seem rigid, durable and reliable. And feel faster than my old wheels.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Vittoria lists these features:
Wheel Rim: 17-22 mm
Maximum Stiffness: 32 mm deep 24mm wide clincher rims, with asymetrical rear rim profile
Aero spokes: aerodynamic and durable
Tubeless: speedlock® profile
Proven durability: Unique Vittoria hub design with proven durable internal parts
Compared with my old Easton wheels, they're lighter and feel faster.
All OK after many months and hundreds of miles.
Lighter than my old Easton wheels. Just Riding Along's £415 Lark Lights are 1,460g (but not as deep). All Hunt's various alloy rim-brake offerings are lighter (and all bar one are cheaper).
You can get lighter semi-aero wheels for the same money. Or similar weight for less money.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
All true so far, no issues with spoke tension.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Really easy – I let Liam do it! He says it was easy too.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
Skewers work fine and look great!
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They feel faster than my old wheels, are stiff but not uncomfortable, and make a nice audible-but-not-too-loud freewheel noise.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
More speed for the same effort! (Possibly.) Freewheel noise. Lighter than my old wheels.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Being semi-aero, they catch crosswinds more than my old wheels did, but not a huge problem.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Just Riding Along Lark Light Roads are about £15 more but 400g lighter. But they're only 25mm deep... Hunt has tubeless-ready alloy wheelsets from £319-£419; the deepest are 31mm.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes, very much.
Would you consider buying the wheel? Possibly…
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes, but I'd also point out they could go lighter or cheaper.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They feel good to ride, but you can go quite a lot lighter for the same money.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.