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Orbea’s Oquo brand launches its first road and gravel wheel range using ‘mini hook’ system

‘Mini hook’ design is intended to keep tyres securely in place while improving aerodynamics

Orbea’s Oquo brand has unveiled its first road wheels which are aimed at both high-performance and gravel/endurance riding and use a ‘mini hook’ system that’s intended to increase tyre security while maximising aerodynamic efficiency.

The Oquo brand launched last October with a range of mountain bike wheels and it has now added two road lineups: Road Performance, which is focused on weight and aerodynamics, and Road Control, aimed at gravel and endurance “with a focus on comfort on rougher surfaces".

2023 Oquo road wheels  - 1.jpeg

Oquo says that the same teams that develop Orbea bikes work on its rims and that it intends to build a position in the market as a premium wheels brand. As well as the in-house developed rims, Oquo wheels use spokes from Sapim, Zipp’s top-performance Cognition and ZR1 hubs, and they can be personalised.

Oquo says that it uses a 21mm internal width on the Road Performance (RP) carbon wheels (Oquo RP57LTD wheels pictured below) because “this gives the widest choice of tyres for modern, high performance, road bikes”.

2023 Oquo RP57LTD - 1.jpeg

“This allows riders the choice of wider, more comfortable tyres with lower rolling resistance or, for the climbers, narrower tyres for the lightest overall system weight,” says Oquo.

It suggests tyre widths from 25mm to 35mm.

On its Road Control (RC) tyres, Oquo focuses on rough roads or gravel riding and goes for a wider 25mm internal width.

“That increases compatibility with wider tyres to offer better comfort and grip,” it says.

Oquo recommends tyre widths from 32mm to 50mm here.

2023 Oquo road wheels - 1.jpeg

Has Oquo gone with a hooked (crochet type) or a hookless system? Well, they’ve opted for hooked… but it’s slightly more complicated than that. The designers have come up with a mini hook system where the hook is as small as possible while complying with ETRTO standards

“Oquo has worked on an optimised mini-hook design, that increases security and robustness, and helps the fit of the tyre to the rim maximising aerodynamics,” says Oquo.

“For high-performance wheels such as the Road Performance and Road Control ranges, the mini hook system offers the best balance of tyre width compatibility, pressure range and tyre options. Allowing more tyre choice helps riders to set up their wheels to suit their riding and gives the possibility of a lower overall system weight.”

Oquo says the use of the mini hook allows you to use higher tyre pressures – up to 6.5 bar/95 psi with a tubeless system compared with 5 bar/72 psi for a hookless system.

2023 Oquo wheels - 1.jpeg

How does the mini hook affect aerodynamics? Oquo says that it causes less of a ‘balloon effect’ than a standard hook design; there’s a smoother transition between the rim and the tyre and this reduces drag.

2023 Oquo road wheels - 2.jpeg

Oquo hasn’t published wind tunnel data relating to its wheels’ performance other than a couple of charts that compare the power required to maintain 50km/h with that of an unnamed hookless 53mm-deep wheel. According to Oquo, it’s 45mm-deep RP45LTD is more aerodynamically efficient in the conditions tested, but that really doesn’t tell us a lot.

Oquo offers its Road Performance wheels in three different profiles. The 57mm rim depth “maximises aerodynamics, adding efficiency at high speeds” and is intended for time trial and aero road bikes.

The 45mm profile “offers a balance of aerodynamics, weight and control” while the 35mm profile “offers the best performance in windy conditions and the lowest weight”. You’d probably have guessed all that.

The number in the model name of the Road Performance wheels refers to the rim depth. The RP45LTD, for instance, has a rim depth of 45mm. Nothing unusual there.

2023 Oquo RC25Team - 1.jpeg

Slightly confusingly, though, that rule goes out the window when it comes to the Road Control wheels. Here the number refers to the rim’s inner width – so the RC25Team (above), for example, has a rim height of 30mm, just to keep you on your toes.

As well as the different rim profiles, Oquo offers its wheels in three different levels: LTD, TEAM, and PRO. They’re all built up with Sapim spokes and hubs from SRAM’s Zipp brand, although the exact components vary.

  • LTD is the top-of-the-range wheelset with carbon rims, Zipp’s top-line Cognition hubs, and Sapim’s CX-Ray spokes.
  • TEAM is the second-tier. It uses the same carbon rim as you’ll find on the Ltd wheels but matched with Zipp’s ZR1 hubs.
  • PRO is the entry-level. Again, you get Zipp’s ZR1 hubs but this time the rims are aluminium alloy.

The Road Performance wheels come in all three levels, the Road Control wheels in just TEAM and PRO.

2023 Oquo RP35PRO - 1.jpeg

Oquo says that it uses higher spoke tension in its Road Performance wheels (Oquo RP35Pro pictured above) to maximise power transmission and lower tension in its Road Control wheels for more comfort and control.

The weights of its new wheels are “competitive” considering their rim depths, according to Oquo. It says that rather than chasing a low weight at all costs, it wanted lightweight wheels that offer good levels of stiffness and reliability.

2023 Oquo road wheels colour options - 1.jpeg

Oquo offers a crash replacement policy for its carbon rims that gives you money off if you damage yours beyond repair. It also says that in the near future you’ll be able to personalise Oquo wheels, choosing from 14 different colours to match your bike. Orbea already offers customisation of bikes through its MyO online app and the wheels system will be similar.

Here are details on the entire eight wheel range:

RP35LTD £1,999
Rim material Carbon
Rim inner width 21mm
Rim height 35mm
Hubs Zipp Cognition
Spokes Sapim CX-Ray
Claimed wheelset weight 1,360g

RP35TEAM £1,299
Rim material Carbon
Rim inner width 21mm
Rim height 35mm
Hubs Zipp ZR1
Spokes Sapim Sprint
Claimed wheelset weight 1,465g

RP35PRO £599
Rim material Alloy
Rim inner width 19mm
Rim height 35mm
Hubs Zipp ZR1
Spokes Sapim CX-Sprint
Claimed wheelset weight Not supplied

RP45LTD £1,999
Rim material Carbon
Rim inner width 21mm
Rim height 45mm
Hubs Zipp Cognition
Spokes Sapim CX-Ray
Claimed wheelset weight 1,380g

RP45TEAM £1,399
Rim material Carbon
Rim inner width 21mm
Rim height 45mm
Hubs Zipp ZR1
Spokes Sapim CX-Sprint
Claimed wheelset weight 1,495g

RP57LTD £1,999
Rim material Carbon
Rim inner width 21mm
Rim height 57mm
Hubs Zipp Cognition
Spokes Sapim CX-Ray
Claimed wheelset weight 1,520g

RC25TEAM £1,299
Rim material
Carbon
Rim inner width 25mm
Rim height 30mm
Hubs Zipp ZR1
Spokes Sapim CX-Sprint
Claimed wheelset weight 1,390g

RC25PRO £599
Rim material Alloy
Rim inner width 25mm
Rim height 25mm
Hubs Zipp ZR1
Spokes Sapim Sprint
Claimed wheelset weight Not supplied

Get more info from Oquo's website.

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. 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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2 comments

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Off the back | 11 months ago
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Yey, another 'standard' 

Avatar
OnYerBike replied to Off the back | 11 months ago
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No new standards, just marketing spiel. They all comply with the standard for hooked rims.

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