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The Deda Elementi Gera Gravel Alloy wheelset is a good all-arounder, with incredibly quick freehub engagement, and an internal rim profile that makes for a very easy tubeless tyre setup. The wheels tick lots of boxes for use with gravel or wider road tyres, but they are expensive for what you're getting – there's nothing groundbreaking here.
The wheels are based around Deda's aluminium hubs, with a freehub that is available in all the major options including Shimano, SRAM XDR and the Campagnolo N3W version tested. The freehub is a 4-pawl system that gives a 5-degree angle of engagement; this means no lag and near instant pick-up when you push the pedals after freewheeling.
The rims measure 28mm externally and 23mm internally, which will be wide enough for most gravel tyres, but with the trend for increasing internal rim width, there's nothing particularly groundbreaking here.
Deda suggests a minimum tyre width of 28mm, so while they are marketed towards gravel riding they would also suit many road riders. If you do use them on the road, the only consideration would be a recommended maximum tyre pressure of 100psi.
The maximum tyre width suggested is 57mm (2.25in), so in theory they could also be used with mountain bike tyres, although they are very narrow for such use and it would affect the tyre profile.
The wheels arrived taped and ready for tubeless tyres, with all the accessories you might need, such as tubeless valves and Center Lock lockrings. While no spare spokes are provided, as some manufacturers do, the wheels only feature two different lengths across both wheels, which makes it easy should you ever need to replace any.
With tubeless valves and tape fitted, the test wheels weigh 813g for the front and 923g for the rear, giving a total weight of 1,736g, which is reasonable for aluminium wheels designed for off-road use. Deda also does not give a maximum rider weight limit.
Getting the tyres set up and ready to ride was very easy. I tested them with some WTB Vulpine tyres which I've found can be tricky to install, but they mounted and inflated very easily with just a track pump.
The rapid freehub engagement was one of the first things I noticed; as I said earlier, it engages in 5 degrees when you start to pedal. In other words, when riding – and especially on tricky or technical uphills with lots of on/off pedalling – you'll be driving the rear wheel almost immediately after you start turning the pedals. There's virtually no lag.
Riding with 40-45mm gravel tyres during testing, it isn't possible to discern just what level of comfort the wheels offer, as the volume of the tyre will have a far bigger impact, but there was nothing to suggest any form of discomfort.
The spoke count of 24, front and rear, might not be the highest, but it didn't impact stiffness either under acceleration or downhill on rougher downhills.
Riding over a mix of terrain, from roads to byways, forest tracks and even blue and green graded mountain bike singletrack, they felt good and on a par with other top aluminium wheelsets. There was minimal sideways flex, even on rougher, more technical trails, and the reasonably low weight helped with accelerations, that rapid freehub engagement making them feel as if every bit of energy expended is put to use.
The elephant in the room is that at £534.99 they are more expensive than most aluminium rim gravel wheelsets, even approaching the base price of some carbon options.
There are many good quality wheelsets available for less than £400 – the Ere Tenaci GR20s that I tested last year, for example, cost £399, and the Scribe Gravel Wide++ wheels are even less, at £380, albeit with a little extra weight.
For another £164 you can have carbon in the form of the excellent Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wides, now £699.
Overall, these Dedas perform well in most areas, with good stiffness, a reasonable weight and fast freehub engagement, but they're expensive, with nothing that really makes them stand out above the rest to justify it.
Good all-round set of aluminium wheels, with little to fault except the price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Deda Elementi Gera Gravel Alloy Tubeless Ready Wheels
Size tested: 700C, 25mm rim height
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?
Deda Elementi says: 'Gera® Alloy wheels guarantees great performance and durability on gravel roads. The 25 mm profile and 28 mm wide rim provides superior stability even in challenging terrains. The asymmetric rim is built with the tubeless-ready technology to be compatible with clincher and tubeless tires. With a 23 mm internal width, the Gera Alloy disc wheels fit tire widths up to 57 mm. The rear hub features a freehub body with 4 independently operating pawls (Leaf system) for only 5° angle engagement to provide an excellent pedal's force transmitting. An independent wider spring, under each pawl, guarantees solid engagement out of each pawl. Available for Shimano, Sram X-DR or Campagnolo Ekar cassette.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Deda Elementi lists:
6000 alloy series
28 mm external
23 mm internal
24 spoke count, front and rear; black
Self-locking ABS® nipples, aluminium, 15 mm, black
6061 alloy hub body, 17 mm axle, 4 pawls freehub mechanism (Leaf system)
Disk brake rotor:
Shimano center lock
- Front 12 x 100 mm
- Rear 12 x 142 mm
Shimano, Sram XD-R, Campagnolo EKAR
Tubeless rim tape, tubeless valves, center-lock lockring
Clincher or tubeless tire; min. 28 mm max. 57 mm
1.690 g set
Aluminium spoke nipples are the only part that might be a concern, should you use them a lot through winter.
Reasonable, but not groundbreaking for aluminium wheels.
Expensive compared with other aluminium wheelsets.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, no problems.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Very good. Tubeless tyres went on easily with just a single tyre lever and inflated with a track pump.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The tubeless tape and valves held air perfectly.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They work well, are easy to set up, and I particularly like the very fast hub engagement. They are good quality, ride and perform well, and everything you need is included.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Quick freehub engagement and easy tubeless tyre installation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Nothing too much – they aren't the lightest, and the 23mm internal rim measurement isn't groundbreaking. At the full price they also cost more than much of the competition.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are expensive for an aluminium rim wheelset, with many options for less than £400 including the Ere Tenaci GR20 (£399.99) and slightly heavier Scribe Alloy Wide++ (£380). For £164 more you can have carbon in form of the excellent Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wides, now £699.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes. Very little to complain about.
Would you consider buying the wheel? No, not at the retail price.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Maybe, if they want a good quality set, and don't mind spending a bit more for a well-regarded brand.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These wheels performed well, with very fast hub engagement and no major issues, but there's nothing particularly groundbreaking here to justify them costing more than most of the competition. They're good, and a 7, but would need to be better value to score more.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding