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The Scribe Aero Wide 50-D carbon disc wheels are all about speed according to the manufacturer, and they don't disappoint. Matching a wind-cheating 50mm-deep rim to smooth-running hubs, an instantaneous freehub engagement and plenty of stiffness makes for a set of wheels that delivers for those who want to put the hammer down. The impressive weight and a sensible price finalise the deal.
Over the last 12 months I've tested a lot of wheels and there have been some crackers, especially from the smaller and emerging brands. Companies that are taking quality components and building them into a great all-round package. Scribe has followed that route, and these Aero Wide 50-Ds show the company knows what it's doing.
A wheel weight of 1,449g (1,438g claimed) is impressive full stop, but when you consider that's including a wide and deep carbon fibre rim, plus the extra spokes needed for a disc build, it is truly awesome and something you really notice when fitting them to your bike.
The rim has a U-shaped profile which is less pronounced than those earlier aero offerings that were pointy in design ten or so years ago, and they certainly feel fast. We haven't got the room in the road.cc office for a wind tunnel so I'll have to go on how the wheels respond out on the road, and I can say that once you are above 20mph these things really start to fly. You can almost feel them dragging you along without much need for any extra input power-wise.
I've got another test bike that's wearing a set of Campagnolo Bora 50 Disc wheels, which are pretty old school: a narrow rim and that V-shaped profile I mentioned earlier. Fast yes, but much more twitchy in a crosswind compared to these Scribes.
The Scribes do offer quite a firm ride, although I wouldn't say they are overly harsh, and if my focus was more on speed anyway then I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort.
When it comes to spoking, Scribe has gone for a 2:1 build front and rear (twice the number of spokes on the rotor side). It's Sapim CX-Ray spokes throughout, with 21 at the front and 24 for the rear. It's a common setup for a disc wheel and, in my opinion, one that works well when it comes to balancing weight versus strength.
Stiffness is impressive, too, with these wheels giving little away when you are stamping on the pedals or braking hard at the front. Flex isn't an issue.
The overall build quality is top notch, and I had no issues from the moment I took them out of the box. It's worth noting that Scribe has placed a 105kg weight limit on the Aero Wides, which includes rider, bike and luggage.
The Scribe Five4 hubs run smoothly and have dealt with the worst of the weather that we have seen over the test period, though it has been warm and pretty dry. The sealed stainless steel bearings are still running as smoothly as the day they came out of the box, although a full year-round test in winter conditions would work better to confirm this.
All options of axle fitment are available on Scribe's website, from quick release through to 15mm thru-axle, and while Shimano/SRAM is the default freehub option, Campagnolo and XDR are also available.
The freehub has a 54-tooth engagement which the pawls can locate every 6.6 degrees, giving instant acceleration. I love a trackstand at the lights and one thing I can't stand is a gappy, sloppy freehub as I rock fore and aft. The Scribes work brilliantly – I know that as soon as I press lightly on the pedals, drive is engaged.
In the box Scribe had supplied us with a set of Schwalbe Pro One tyres and they fitted easily. They are tubeless ready, as are the Scribes, and the seal was very good. I tried them with a few other pairs of tubeless and tubeless-ready tyres and had no issues with fitting them to the 19mm internal/26mm external width rim.
Buy these wheels and included in the package are a set of tubeless valves and four spokes and nipples, alloy Sapim ones.
When it comes to value, the Scribes are pretty impressive at just £870 when you consider what you are getting.
The excellent Pacenti Forza C 30mm Disc wheels are lighter at 1,378g but they are 20mm shallower. Apart from that, they are a very similar offering: a great all-round package of light weight and stiffness.
Compared to something like Pearson's Hoopdriver wheelset at £1,300, the benefits are obvious. Over 200g lighter and £430 cheaper!
Overall, the Scribe Aero Wide 50-D wheels are a very complete package, and with full-on race bikes now coming with disc brakes they have their marketplace. If your bike has rotors and you want to go fast then these are the wheels to achieve that.
A wheelset that offers plenty of stiffness and aero benefits without breaking the bank
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Scribe Aero Wide 50-D
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 Aero 50s were designed to be the ultimate, go-to Aero option for those looking for speed. The deep section rims utilise every millimetre of the U-shaped Aero profiles to cut through the air across a wide range of yaw angles; gliding effortlessly at speed.
"At only 1,438g, the Aero 50s are exceptionally lightweight and pound-for-pound, feature amongst the best 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. With Centre lock disc as standard, you can ride with confidence knowing the stopping power is there when it's needed."
They deliver right across the board.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Disc specific design.
High filament (12K/18K) Japanese Toray T700 / T800 carbon fibre. Unidirectional for strength with additional reinforcement at spoke holes. (spoke tested to 280 kgf [single spoke load])
Scribe Carbon T:Tech used to strengthen rim walls, and rim bed - offering incredible long-term strength, even under high pressure
Optimised TG (Glass Transition) resin used to produce a super lightweight, responsive, low void carbon for increased performance
Wide 19mm internal (26mm outer)
21 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 with Hook offers incredibly secure tyre binding, even at lower pressures
Patented, high-speed Ratchet Drive system Exclusive to Scribe. Check out our latest hub blog
Super fast 54-tooth engagement with 6.6 degree drive rate
Heat treated stainless steel drive ring
Centre-lock disc standard (6-bolt adapter available)
Fully CNC'd rounded design with 4-D precision drilled spoke holes
Sealed Stainless Steel Precision bearings with Scribe Race Grease (light, high speed)
Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11 speed freehub body fitted - Campagnolo and XDR also available.
Available in all major standards - Front: QR, Bolt thru (12, 15 and 9mm); Rear: QR, Bolt thru (142x12, 135x12 and 135x12). At basket stage, just tell us which option you want and we'll fit for you
Spokes and Nipples
The Scribe Aero 50-Ds 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
21 hole front / 24 hole rear
Read more about Sapim spokes - Sapim.de
For nipples, we use Alloy Sapim double square head
Front: disc side 1x, drive side Radial
Rear: disc side 1x, drive side 2x
*we use the above lacing pattern as we can build strong wheels (due to the high spoke count - 21 front / 24 rear), and by lacing this way, we are able to add strength to the areas that need them most. For example, when you apply braking on disc brakes, wheel speed is slowed by applying force only on the disc side of the wheel. This is where support is needed.
Additional items in the box
Spare spokes x4
Spare nipples x4
A really solid build throughout.
Very stiff indeed and respond well to hard efforts.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, no issues with spoke tension at all.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The included valves worked really well and I haven't needed to use the spare spokes or nipples yet.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This is a fast wheelset, which is exactly what Scribe has aimed for.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Weight, price, aerodynamics and impressive build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
I didn't really dislike anything, though personally I'd like something a little stronger in the graphics department.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are right up there with other brands that have delivered quality wheelsets at this price, like Pacenti and JRA.
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
A blend of sorted components deliver a stiff, quality wheelset that definitely offers an aero advantage for an excellent weight and price.
About the tester
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!