The Gipiemme Carbon H6.0 tubular wheels are a good aero option suitable for most conditions, and they come in at a reasonable price for this kind of wheel.
Gipiemme make these wheels in Italy using 100% carbon fibre monocoque rims that are 60mm deep and 20mm wide. The hubs are Gipiemme's own GPMClights, made from forged aluminium, and they spin on sealed bearings – although you can get DT Swiss 240 hubs for £100-£150 more. When I say Gipiemme make these wheels in Italy, they make both the hubs and the rims in their own factory.
Everything is held together by Sapim's excellent CXRay stainless steel aero spokes, 20 in each wheel. They're laced two cross at the rear and radial at the front.
We've been testing a model with a Campagnolo freehub body, although a Shimano/SRAM version is available too. As well as the wheels, you get quick release skewers (116g the pair), valve extenders, carbon-specific brake pads and a padded wheel bag included in the package.
The wheels themselves (without QRs or valve extenders) weigh 694g (front) and 880g (rear). That compares to 620g (front) and 735g (rear) for Zipp's 58mm deep 404 Firecrest tubulars (Zipp's claimed weights). The Zipps would, though, cost you £2,300 – virtually twice as much.
The H6s accelerate up to speed pretty quickly but it's once you hit top speed that they really earn their stripes, cleaving their way through the air to keep you moving at pace. They feel pretty tight with just a small amount of flex when cornering hard on fast descents, but it's certainly not enough to be an issue.
I wouldn't say that braking is any more or any less effective than with the majority of other carbon rims, feeling a bit 'grabby' especially in wet conditions. Braking performance is certainly not as good as on aluminium, but it never is in my experience.
The majority of the time, the 60mm rims don't adversely affect the handling. I was quite surprised at how little they were affected by crosswinds. It varies between wheels but I'd say that it's rare that a rim up to about 45mm is a handful in crosswinds, while at 50-60mm deep wheels can get caught a little on a blustery day.
I'm just back from a really windy ride using these – I went up on to the top of Salisbury Plain for the full blowy experience – and I had to be on my guard for sideswipes from sudden gusts in order to make sure I stayed in a straight line, but I was never in any danger of losing control. You might have to go with something shallower occasionally, so these couldn't be described as all-condition wheels, but they're stable enough most of the time. I'd certainly be comfortable using them on a road bike as well as a TT bike.
In terms of build quality, the self-locking ABS nipples have held the spokes firmly and a quick check on the wheel truing stand reveals that these are pretty much the same shape as they were when they came out of the box – there's certainly not enough deviation to cause concern. The rims and hubs are disgracefully dirty after plenty of winter use but the sealed bearings are running as smooth as you like, so that's another positive.
Well-made 60mm-deep wheels that handle well in most conditions and come at an okay price too.
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Make and model: Gipiemme Paia Ruote Carbon H6.0
Size tested: 700
Tell us what the product 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?
Osporto, Gipiemme's UK importers, say:
The Carbon H6.0 are seriously fast! A 60mm deep tubular rim that weight only 1431 grams and still costs less than £1200, this is one amazing wheelset. They are light enough to take on the most demanding road races and crits, and deep enough to make a big difference in Time Trials. A real all round carbon wheelset for every aspect of road racing at a great price. Pure quality.
Deep section carbon tubular wheelset, ideal for Road, Time Trial and Triathlon
Versions: Campagnolo, Shimano/Sram
Rim: 100% carbon fibre monocoque, 6.5mm valve hole
Spokes: Sapim CX ray spokes, 20 stainless steel aero spokes front and rear
Nipples: Self Locking ABS L 13 Ergal with washers
Hub: GPMCHlight, forged aluminium, ergal cassette on sealed bearings
QR: Forged Aluminium – weight 110g
Weight:1431g (631g front, 800g rear)
RRP: £1185 (Pair)
It's all really good. I've had no issues despite extensive use.
Everything is looking good so far. The freehub body shows just the smallest of markings from the cassette.
These aren't incredibly light - but they're a decent weight for the price.
These are half the price of Zipps, Shimano's C50 50mm deep tubulars, and Bontrager Aeolus wheels. You can get much cheaper wheels of similar depths from the likes of Planet X, but they tend to be heavier. On the whole, I'd say these offer good value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're quick and well made and they're reasonably stable in a crosswind.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good parts, good build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The braking performance isn't spectacular - but it's no worse than with most carbon-rimmed wheels.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I'd consider them if I was after something in this price band.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above.
Age: 41 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: time trialling, 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 road.cc 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.