The Prime Primavera 44 Carbon Disc wheelset is easy to recommend, competitively priced, and everything a modern wheelset should be. The wheels are light, stiff, wide and handle very well on hills, on flats and in crosswinds alike. This is a wheelset that I would happily use year-round, and promises easy maintenance with readily available parts such as common bearing sizes and DT Swiss spokes and nipples.
Prime has recently overhauled its wheels, with the new carbon Primavera road range sitting at the top of the pile. There are 32, 44, 56 and 85mm depth options to suit a range of riders, and we've had a chance to put the 44 Carbon Discs through their paces ahead of launch.
Prime is very proud of the fact that its latest wheels are designed and developed in-house. It says that compared with the outgoing Black edition wheels, the rim profile has been improved to be more aerodynamic as well as being structurally stronger owing to its T800 UD carbon fibre construction.
Unlike some of Prime's gravel wheels released at the same time, the entirety of the road range retains a hooked tubeless approach, with Prime saying that this is to offer riders the greatest choice of tyres. I found a multitude of the best road bike tyres, including Vittoria's Corsa Control G2.0s, Goodyear's Eagle F1s and Schwalbe's Pro Ones, easy to set up both tubeless, with the provided tubeless valves, and with tubes.
> Buyer’s Guide: The best road bike tyres
The rims in question follow recent trends of getting wider with a future-proof 23mm internal width and 30mm external width. These days, I choose to race on 28mm tyres and train on 30mm throughout most of the year, and the new wider rims paired well with both these sizes.
The wide rim helps to reduce the lightbulb effect, which we're often told is not only more aero but provides better support for tyres when cornering.
I found these 44mm-deep wheels handle crosswinds excellently, and like many wheels of this depth are manageable year-round.
We weighed our set with tape and valves at 1,530g, which is very competitive, though not class-leading. For example, the ever so slightly cheaper (£849) and equally deep Hunt 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset weighs 1,468g, while the Scribe Inception Aero Wide+ 42-D (cheaper at £720 and still very good) is slightly heavier at 1,640g.
During testing, we often find that stiffness has more of an impact on climbing performance than outright weight; just take Hunt's 1,690g 48 Limitless wheels, for example, which we've found to be one of the fastest even on rolling terrain.
The Prime 44s also impress as the road angles up – they feel direct, tight and, most importantly, that your power is being transferred efficiently.
Part of this could be down to Prime's choice to go with 24 spokes at both the front and rear – more than we sometimes see for a front wheel. The new wide rim means that on older disc brake bikes with less clearance there's not a lot of space between the fork leg and rim, and any lateral movement when out-of-the-saddle climbing would be easy to spot, but the Prime wheels perform admirably.
The spokes in question are straight-pull DT Swiss Aerolites both front and rear, with DT Swiss Pro Lock Squorx nipples. There's not a lot to say here other than this is a sound choice for the wheel's purpose. The wheels arrived true and have remained true despite my abuse, which might sound like a simple thing, but many wheels do rock up unbalanced and with a wobble.
The rest of the ingredients are also bang up to date and on the money. The Primavera wheels receive a new dual-sprung star ratchet hub engagement system with Japanese steel sealed bearings, similar to the design we've seen in Scribe wheels and DT Swiss ratchet rear hubs.
The wheels roll well, and the 36 points of engagement system results in a 10-degree engagement angle.
I was also very impressed to see that a 54T ratchet upgrade kit will be available to purchase. I think Prime has played this absolutely right by shipping the wheels with the more durable system and offering the minority of riders who will notice the difference – crit racers accelerating out of slow corners – the ability to switch it out at a later date.
Speaking with Prime's engineers, it was reassuring to hear about some of their design choices: using heat-treated carbon steel ratchet rings and a steel freehub body for durability, the heat-dissipation qualities of the 6063-T6 hub shell with aluminium axle, and the fact that the wheels use standard sized bearings. I really get the impression that the wheels are designed to be serviceable, rather than usability being sacrificed in the name of marginal weight savings.
Loads of you are going to want to know what those bearings are now... Prime has gone for 6902, 17287 and a 15267 in the freehub. You can find decent quality replacements for all of those for about a fiver, as well as parts such as freehub bodies.
As standard, the Primavera range comes with a Shimano/SRAM HG 11-speed freehub but there are also Campagnolo and XDR options available.
So, it's an impressive list of ingredients put together using a tried and tested recipe, and the result is a set of wheels that can compete with the very best. Prime has a reputation for its value-for-money upgrades and while £899.99 might sound like a lot for a set of Prime wheels, these stack up very well.
I've already mentioned some of the 44's main competitors – the £849 Hunt 44 Aerodynamicists use a similar T700/T800 Toray carbon rim and scored 9/10 back in January, and are not only cheaper but also 62g lighter. I'd be hard-pressed to choose between them, though, as Prime's offering features a 23mm internal width rather than 20mm, which suits my choice of 28mm tyres better.
They're also wider and lighter than the Scribes mentioned earlier – which, by the way, also scored 9/10 in our review. These Prime wheels are taking it to the very best in the business.
> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best road bike & gravel bike wheelsets
Personally, I think that the Primes are better specced for the money, along with having the option of upgrading to a 54T ratchet system, and with easily replaceable parts.
My only small grudge with the 44s is that whereas most brands seem to differentiate their prices depending on the depth, you can get the 56mm Primavera Discs for the same price. I haven't used those, but they share all the same tech, but you get more carbon for your money...
They're also lighter, wider and cheaper than more expensive options, such as the Fulcrum Wind 40 Disc Brake Wheels that Stu tested in 2020, which are now £1,149.99, and as good as Vel's 38 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset, which has gone up to £1,099 (though currently unavailable).
> Prime overhauls its entire wheel range
Overall, Prime has hit the nail on the head with the 44s. They have all the features a modern set of wheels should, from the ratchet freehub to the super-wide tubeless rims that perform well just about everywhere – flats, mountains, crosswinds, you name it. If you're in the market for a new carbon disc wheelset and are considering spending more than this, then take a long hard think about where the money would be better spent. You won't be missing out on much with the new Primavera wheels.
Wide, fast and competitively priced carbon disc hoops
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Make and model: Prime Primavera 44 Carbon Disc
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 that the new Primavera range is its "new, top-end carbon wheel range" designed for "road riders and racers who want to upgrade their ride.' I think the new wheels offer excellent value for money for riders looking to upgrade a stock wheelset, as well as racers looking for a competitive advantage.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Improved rim profile (more aerodynamic and structurally stronger)
Tubeless ready Clincher
Dual-sprung star ratchet engagement system
36 points of engagement (54t upgrade option)
Straight pull spokes (24/24)
XDR and Campy freehubs available (supplied with HG)
Disc and Rim options
DT Swiss Aerolite spokes with Prolock Squorx nipples
Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Rate the wheel for performance:
Rate the wheel for durability:
No issues, and very readily available parts from bearings to spokes and nipples.
Rate the wheel for weight
Bang on the money for the price.
Rate the wheel for value:
They're certainly well worth the money – spend more and the gains are seriously diminishing.
On road.cc we judge value on whether you're getting more or less for your money compared with similar products... The Primes are a similar price to some excellent wheelsets from Scribe and Hunt, but as I've said in the review, I think they are marginally better – wider, and lighter. And when you look at more expensive wheelsets, the Primes are more than their equal.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, the wheels came and stayed true despite being smashed through plenty of Somerset craters.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
No issues, performance-wise. They come with different axle ends, and even with skewers which is a little odd for a disc wheelset these days. Tubeless valves and tape all worked very well.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very, very well. These hold speed well on the flat and climb very well too. It's an excellent all-around wheelset.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
They just didn't cause me any trouble. Many wheels we test have issues from dry bearings, arriving untrue, being hard to set up tubeless, valves aren't provided... the list could go on. The Primes came out of the box and were on the bike in 10 minutes and thanks to their excellent performance they haven't come off since.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
The 56mm version costs the same...
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As mentioned in the review, these are right up there with the best; cheaper wheels are likely heavier, and many more expensive wheels struggle to beat the performance these offer.
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 absolutely excellent product. Being wide, stiff, light and fast at a very competitive price means they're battling with the very best in the category. An excellent balance of performance, usability and durability, with good design choices and parts used throughout.
Age: 23 Height: 6ft Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
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