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Verdict: 
Strong enough to train on, light enough to race on
Weight: 
1,520g

Scribe has delivered a double whammy with its new Race wheelset. Not only are they light enough to compete with similar depth carbon fibre wheels, they'll cost you at least half the price. And to achieve the numbers on the scale, Scribe hasn't sacrificed on strength or stiffness either.

  • Pros: Impressive weight and build quality; a lot of wheels for the money
  • Cons: Not much, as long as you don't mind a pretty loud freehub

If you're searching for lightweight wheels as a general upgrade for riding or even racing, carbon fibre rims are typically the go-to option. But the Scribe Race wheels show that you can have pretty much all of the performance and stiffness of carbon in alloy guise without the price tag.

> Buy these online here

For your £360 you're getting a set of wheels that weigh just 1,492g (without rim tape), and under hard acceleration or sprinting up short, sharp climbs the Scribes don't flex at all, so brake rub isn't an issue. Scribe has achieved this performance by using a hardened, heat-treated alloy for the rim design.

Scribe Race wheelset - rim 2.jpg

The rims themselves are 26mm deep with an internal width of 19mm, which gives an external measurement across the brake tracks of 24mm. This size works well with the 25mm and 28mm tyres I used them with, leaving a smooth transition between tyre and rim.

Scribe Race wheelset - rim bed.jpg

The Race wheels are tubeless ready and also have a ramped rim bed to aid the fitting of tubeless tyres. It helps the tyres slide up into the rim bead to hook onto the wheel. The design also has a 'bead lock' which stops the tyre separating from the rim when being ridden at low pressures.

For the spokes Scribe has used Sapim's CX-Rays – 20 on the front wheel and 24 on the rear.

The CX-Rays are tough spokes, used by a lot of wheelbuilders. On the thousands I've miles I've ridden them on various wheels, I've never had any issues.

Scribe Race wheelset - spokes.jpg

This build has proved itself to be tough and robust. I don't go out of my way to wreck wheels but I'll certainly put them through much more abuse than if they were my own.

I whacked a fair few potholes during testing and even tried them out on a bit of gravel with no problems at all other than them going a tiny bit out of true. It wasn't by loads, though – I didn't need to adjust the brakes or anything.

Scribe Race wheelset - rim.jpg

Hubs

The rear hub is exclusive to Scribe and uses a ratchet drive system rather than the more usual pawl system.

You can find full details here in our First Look piece, but basically it uses a 54-tooth ratchet ring in the freehub which engages a 54-tooth plate threaded into the hub shell thanks to an internal leaf spring.

Scribe Race wheelset - rear hub.jpg

There is just 6.6 degrees between tooth locations so drive is instant, and just how instant is clear when you are moving from a standing start after track standing at the lights.

When freewheeling, the hub has quite a buzz to it which will certainly get you noticed if you are trying to take it easy on someone's wheel.

Scribe Race wheelset - rear hub 2.jpg

Ride quality is also excellent: plenty of stiffness without any harshness making it through. You can control comfort levels with tyre pressure, but on a like-for-like basis with other similar wheels I have in my shed they are a pleasure to ride.

The bearings run smoothly and spin effortlessly when you have the wheels in your hands. Scribe offers the build with two options: endurance bearings and race bearings. The endurance option is the default and is what we have here. They come with better sealing so ideal for all-weather use.

Scribe Race wheelset - front hub.jpg

If the wheels are going to be kept for sunny days only then you can go for the race bearings, which are non-contact for quicker and smoother spinning according to Scribe. There is no cost for the upgrade.

Value

Adding all of this up, the Scribes offer very good value for money.

A similar design from Miche, its Neon Black on Black wheelset, weighs in at 1,598g and costs £534.99. We had a few issues with those, too, straight out of the box.

> Buyer's Guide: 37 of the best road bike wheelsets

Two sets of wheels that I have been very impressed with are the Pacenti Forza Rim Brakes and the JRA Lark Lights.

The Scribes sit neatly in the middle. The Pacentis cost £350 with a weight of 1,414g, and the JRAs are £414.80 with an upgrade to CX-Ray spokes and weigh 1,460g.

Both are excellent wheelsets, and it shows how good the Scribes are to be able to list them as direct competition.

Conclusion

If you want a performance set of do-it-all wheels, the Scribes are excellent and well worth considering. They offer plenty of stiffness, durability and performance at a cracking price. The only thing you might be sacrificing over a deeper carbon fibre offering is the aero advantage.

Verdict

Strong enough to train on, light enough to race on

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Scribe Race 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?

Scribe says, "The Scribe Race wheels were design to be just that: Race-ready! Our lightweight design places them amongst carbon alternatives and by using hardened alloys, these hoops are robust. The Race's are an excellent, performance alloy wheel set for those chasing a lightweight edge. An excellent upgrade for those not interested in carbon.

"The Race Alloys are exceptionally lightweight and pound-for-pound, feature amongst the best performance alloy wheels out there. Partnered with lightning fast Scribe Five4 hubs (54-tooth / 6.6 degree engagement), these wheels respond FAST, offering unrivalled levels of performance.

"The Wide 19mm internal profile gives you the option to fit wide tyres for increased stability when cornering, and increased speed due to improved rolling resistance - especially when ran as tubeless."

Scribe has delivered a very good wheelset at a great price.

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

Scribe lists these features:

Depth 26mm

Material Hardened, Super-Lightweight Alloy

Type

Clincher Tubeless Ready

Rim Width (external) 24mm

Rim Width (internal) 19mm

Spoke Pattern / Hole Count Front (1:1 - Radial) 20H, Rear (2:1 - Radial, 2x) 24H

Rims

Hardened, heat treated rim design - super lightweight and responsive

20 hole Front | 24 hole Rear

Tubeless ready design gives you the option to have increased puncture resistance, faster-rolling wheels and improved weight (works with standard tube also)

4-D precision drilled spoke holes - directs spokes exactly to hub anchor point

Ramped rim bed for easy tyre fitment

Bead lock design for secure tyre binding, even at lower pressures

Hubs

Unique, high-speed Ratchet Drive system Exclusive to Scribe. Check out our latest hub blog

54-tooth engagement ring with super-fast drive rate (6.6 degree)

Heat treated stainless steel drive ring

Enlarged drive-side flange for increased torsional strength

Fully CNC'd rounded design with 4-D precision drilled spoke holes

Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11 speed freehub body fitted (SRAM XDR Driver also available

Bearings

You choose! Bearings are an essential component of wheels and it's important your bearings perform as you want them to. All of our wheels come with a fast Endurance bearing as standard but we also offer a Race bearing for those racing, or riding in drier weather. If you would prefer Race bearings, please tell us in the notes section when purchasing and your wheels will arrive with this standard. *there is no additional charge for bearing swop

Endurance bearings: these bearings are fast, and designed to stand the test of time so you can ride as much as you want, with confidence your bearings will keep spinning smoothly

Race bearings: incredibly fast, sealed, non-contact bearings. Spin up effortlessly and allow you to glide at speed. *not recommended for long periods of wet riding

Spokes and Nipples

The Scribe Race wheels use the Sapim CX-Ray as it's considered to be the most aerodynamic spoke on the market. At 4.25g each, and almost as light as Titanium, we can build you a super-lightweight wheel set that allows you to get up to speed faster

The unique drawing, and specifically pressed process produces fast, bladed Aero spoke (2.0mm - 0.9/2.2mm - 2.0mm)

By using fatigue-resistant 18/8 stainless steel, CX-Ray spokes have exceptionally high durability properties and will stand the test of time.

Straight-pull for increased torsional strength

20 hole front / 24 hole rear

Read more about Sapim spokes - Sapim.de

For nipples, we use Alloy Sapim double square head

Quick Release (QR)

Super-light alloy QR

Alloy pivoted cam plate for smooth action, but with strong locking bind

Stainless steel springs for anti-rust (weather) protection

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for performance:
 
9/10

Great stiffness levels mean these wheels perform very well indeed.

Rate the wheel for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
8/10

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

They went a little out of true, but less than a millimetre so not really an issue and that took some abuse to cause it.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

No issues at all with fitting tyres, either with a tube or tubeless.

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

The included rim tape worked spot on with a tubeless setup and the skewers did their job without issue. You also get a pair of tubeless valves and spare spokes included in the box.

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

They cover pretty much every aspect of road riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

The balance of weight versus stiffness.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Nothing really stands out.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Cheaper than a lot of the big brands like the Miche wheels I mention in the review, and pricing is very competitive against some of the other excellent wheels from the likes of JRA and Pacenti.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes

Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

An excellent all-round package of a set of wheels that are just as at home on your training bike as they are on your race bike.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

10 comments

Avatar
sammutd88 [127 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes

I went to the Scribe website not too long ago and only saw their carbon offerings available. I had thought maybe they'd discontinued alloy offerings. 

Avatar
Scribe Cycling [14 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes
sammutd88 wrote:

I went to the Scribe website not too long ago and only saw their carbon offerings available. I had thought maybe they'd discontinued alloy offerings. 

Hi sammutd88,

Alan here from Scribe. Guessing you are outside of Europe? We had to switch our Alloy range off temporarily as the programme we use to convert to native currency (as in your native currency) kept automaically adjusting incorrectly. This only happened when we added 2 additional collections (Alloy Disc and Alloy rim brake). This has been fixed and if you check back now, you should see the ranges, along with pricing :-). I hope this helps sammutd88 and if you have any further questions, give us a shout on team [at] scribecycling.com 

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [131 posts] 4 days ago
0 likes

Very tough market in that price area with so many options including handbuilt, you could get brand new Dura Ace on Open Pros for not much more not that long ago. I bought a pair of lightly used DA9000 hubs on Velocity rims in the summer in 28/24, cost me £250, lovely wheels.

Avatar
iandusud [179 posts] 4 days ago
1 like

Are replacement rims available? My gripe with so many wheels is that replacement rims are either not available or cost more than a new wheel. Rims wear out. If replacement rims are available at a reasonable price I would jump at these.

Avatar
Scribe Cycling [14 posts] 4 days ago
0 likes
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

Very tough market in that price area with so many options including handbuilt, you could get brand new Dura Ace on Open Pros for not much more not that long ago. I bought a pair of lightly used DA9000 hubs on Velocity rims in the summer in 28/24, cost me £250, lovely wheels.

Hi CyclingInBeastMode, thanks for leaving a comment and very good points. I completely agree and the market is tough around this price point :-). Our single goal at Scribe is to offer the best pound-for-pound wheels possible to give riders amazing wheels for the money. With the Race wheels for example, we're offering a 54-tooth Ratchet drive hub system that's new technology to the market, and is very similar to DT Swiss' New EXP. I did a quick search on Google there now and a just a rear DT Swiss EXP hub costs ~£370, with the matching fornt ~£200. For only £360 (price of Race wheels), riders are getting this level of hub technology and they're still very lightweight, comes with Sapim CX Ray spokes, and has 3-year warranty as standard. We also offer an array of low cost spares that are readily available if/ when customers need these. Yes, we are of course very biased () but we like to think they're worth every pound. We've been getting amazing feedback from customers on these wheels also and have riders atually choose them as their race wheels over carbon which is pretty cool :-).    

Avatar
Scribe Cycling [14 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes
iandusud wrote:

Are replacement rims available? My gripe with so many wheels is that replacement rims are either not available or cost more than a new wheel. Rims wear out. If replacement rims are available at a reasonable price I would jump at these.

Hi iandusud, thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, replacement rims will be available in the near future. We don't have these on site yet as we haven't really needed them; yet. As with all of our spares, these will of course be priced at a low cost. Our objective at Scribe is to create the best wheels possible for the money and we will NEVER try and sting customers with expensive aftermarket parts when they need them most! We've been there too when you try to buy a replacement part, only to find the price is probably more than you could get for your winter bike. Our customer service, and after service care is excellent iandusud and we'll look after you :-). We're too new of a company for this to be mainstream news but we go above and beyond for our customers. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions at all, give us a shout on chat/ email - Alan.  

Avatar
iandusud [179 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes
Scribe Cycling wrote:
iandusud wrote:

Are replacement rims available? My gripe with so many wheels is that replacement rims are either not available or cost more than a new wheel. Rims wear out. If replacement rims are available at a reasonable price I would jump at these.

Hi iandusud, thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, replacement rims will be available in the near future. We don't have these on site yet as we haven't really needed them; yet. As with all of our spares, these will of course be priced at a low cost. Our objective at Scribe is to create the best wheels possible for the money and we will NEVER try and sting customers with expensive aftermarket parts when they need them most! We've been there too when you try to buy a replacement part, only to find the price is probably more than you could get for your winter bike. Our customer service, and after service care is excellent iandusud and we'll look after you :-). We're too new of a company for this to be mainstream news but we go above and beyond for our customers. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions at all, give us a shout on chat/ email - Alan.  

 

Hi Alan,

That's really good to hear and will ensure that you get my business when I need my next set of wheels (simply because the rims have worn out!). It's not just a financial issue - it's an ecological one, where we've created an economic model where we just throw stuff away and replace instead of repairing. Well done to you. Ian 

Avatar
Scribe Cycling [14 posts] 2 days ago
0 likes
iandusud wrote:
Scribe Cycling wrote:
iandusud wrote:

Are replacement rims available? My gripe with so many wheels is that replacement rims are either not available or cost more than a new wheel. Rims wear out. If replacement rims are available at a reasonable price I would jump at these.

Hi iandusud, thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, replacement rims will be available in the near future. We don't have these on site yet as we haven't really needed them; yet. As with all of our spares, these will of course be priced at a low cost. Our objective at Scribe is to create the best wheels possible for the money and we will NEVER try and sting customers with expensive aftermarket parts when they need them most! We've been there too when you try to buy a replacement part, only to find the price is probably more than you could get for your winter bike. Our customer service, and after service care is excellent iandusud and we'll look after you :-). We're too new of a company for this to be mainstream news but we go above and beyond for our customers. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions at all, give us a shout on chat/ email - Alan.  

 

Hi Alan,

That's really good to hear and will ensure that you get my business when I need my next set of wheels (simply because the rims have worn out!). It's not just a financial issue - it's an ecological one, where we've created an economic model where we just throw stuff away and replace instead of repairing. Well done to you. Ian 

Hi Ian, thanks for getting back. 

Awesome and thank you for the support! :-). Yes, absolutely agree and we're definitely on the same page as we're fixers at this end too. I've blown a few rims out in the past through wear & tear and there's nothing worse than not being able to get a replacement at a sensible price! We know the pain.

Thanks Ian and if you need help with anything Scribe, just give us a shout. Alan.  

 

  

Avatar
sammutd88 [127 posts] 2 days ago
1 like
Scribe Cycling wrote:
sammutd88 wrote:

I went to the Scribe website not too long ago and only saw their carbon offerings available. I had thought maybe they'd discontinued alloy offerings. 

Hi sammutd88,

Alan here from Scribe. Guessing you are outside of Europe? We had to switch our Alloy range off temporarily as the programme we use to convert to native currency (as in your native currency) kept automaically adjusting incorrectly. This only happened when we added 2 additional collections (Alloy Disc and Alloy rim brake). This has been fixed and if you check back now, you should see the ranges, along with pricing :-). I hope this helps sammutd88 and if you have any further questions, give us a shout on team [at] scribecycling.com 

 

Exactly the issue. Good work, will be looking into these when I need new wheels, sooner than later.

Avatar
HLaB [291 posts] 2 days ago
0 likes

I got these as winter wheels, I only fitted them last month though but so far I have been very impressed. They might be the previous version though as the free hub is relatively quiet.