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Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset



Good set of wheels with an excellent set of hubs at the centre of them
Amazing freehub sound
Great build quality
Good ride quality
Not super-aerodynamic or light

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset lives up to the renowned Halo name, with a wonderful freehub, and a great build quality. At 35mm deep, these are do-it-all wheels that ride well in strong winds, up and down hill, and sprinting. They aren't as aerodynamic as deeper wheels, and aren't superlight, but as a package they make an impressive wheelset, all coming in at a reasonable price.

Halo wheels are perhaps better known in the mountain bike world, where they have a reputation for strength and super-high-engagement hubs, which also happen to sound amazing (if you like a noisy freehub). The Carbaura RCD 35mm is a great demonstration of all these qualities.

> Buy now: Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset for £849.96 from Winstanleys

The hubs at the centre of this wheelset are the RD2s, made by Halo, with the rear boasting a 120-point engagement; that's incredibly fast, giving only 3 degrees between engagement points. That means as soon as you get on the pedals, it's transferred through the bike. This is noticeable if you are racing a criterium, for example, and need to get on the power straight out of a corner.

2022 Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset - rear hub.jpg

The high engagement of the hub means the noise it makes when freewheeling is excellent. It's a high-pitched buzz, which isn't so loud as to be annoying, but gives a lovely soundtrack to descend to.

Weighing in on our scales at 1,450g, this isn't a crazy light pair of wheels (that weight was with the rim tape but nothing else), but compared with a previous generation Carbaura RCD wheelset, albeit with 50mm rims, this pair has lost nearly 200g, so it's significantly lighter.

2022 Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset - front hub.jpg

This weight loss means they accelerate really well and respond excellently to any effort I've given.

Personally, I prefer a deeper rim, but the 35mm depth here means these ride really well in crosswinds, and I found them much more enjoyable in strong winds than deeper rims. I don't know how the deeper offerings from Halo perform in strong winds, but for lighter riders, or those who don't like the wind, these are a good option.

The great build quality also means I haven't felt the need to be delicate and have been able to ride them comfortably over anything British roads have thrown at me, and they've stayed true and buckle-free. I'm filled with confidence that they will be able to withstand whatever comes their way.

Their stiffness is good, too. While it's hard to notice any lateral flexing without a rim brake to rub, it never felt as though these flexed much, when sprinting or cornering.

With a 21mm internal rim width and a 28mm outer width they are nothing ground-breaking in the width department, but they give ample width for most uses. I tried them with both 28mm and 25mm tyres, and while the 28s tyre sat nicely on them, I thought the 25mm tyres were better, sitting perfectly in the rim, matching its width excellently and providing a lovely ride.

2022 Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset - rim bed.jpg

They were super easy to set up tubeless, too, the tyres just needing to be pumped up with a regular floor pump not a special tubeless blaster. They come with tubeless tape fitted, so all they need is tubeless valves, tyres and sealant, and you're away.

Setting the wheels up with discs and a cassette was a breeze, too, with nothing out of the ordinary, and being well machined with good tolerances. They have very similar offsets to other wheels I have, meaning it was easy to switch between them, not needing to readjust anything.

The wheels use bladed spokes, helping to increase the aerodynamic advantage, but the only downside of this is that if they do happen to need to be trued then a spoke holder is needed to stop the spoke from spinning. It's hard to quantify any benefits, but they definitely won't be a drawback.

2022 Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset - spoke nipple.jpg

Although more affordable than some, at £999 this wheelset is up against some stiff competition, such as Hunt with its 30 Carbon All-Road Disc wheelset at £799, with a similar spec and a three-year warranty, and Zipp with its 303S, now up to £1,090 since we tested it, with a lifetime warranty.

Scribe's Core 32D wheelset is also about £200 less, and about 50g lighter.

Halo offers a two-year warranty on its wheels (non-transferable), which covers manufacturer defect but not user error. This isn't quite the same level as Zipp's lifetime warranty, but for a smaller brand it is admirable.

You are also getting Halo's excellent flagship hubs.


Overall, I really enjoyed using these wheels with their good ride quality and the amazing sounding freehub. If you want a reasonably priced set of wheels, with top-notch craftmanship, I can happily recommend them – especially if you like a louder freehub.


Good set of wheels with an excellent set of hubs at the centre of them test report

Make and model: Halo Carbaura RCD 35mm Wheelset

Size tested: 35mm

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?

Halo says: "The latest version of our Carbaura RCD wheels have been designed to maximise aerodynamic benefit and with excellent linear compliance and lateral stiffness these wheels will keep you a bike length ahead of the competition!

Built around an optimised, Computational Fluid Dynamics tested, aerodynamic profile in a Carbon Fibre chassis, low weights, linear compliance, and lateral stiffness were our primary aims with the Carbaura RCD wheelsets

Developed with a 21mm internal and 28mm external rim width which allows you to run a wide range of traditional or tubeless tyres. Optimised for a modern compliant and supple 28c tyre, delivering enhanced comfort and ultimate grip in any situation.

At the centre of the Carbaura RCD wheelsets are our RD2 hubs equipped with centre lock, to accept disc brakes for consistently powerful braking in all weathers and to eliminate rim wear.

The RD2 hub set also incorporates Supadrive, which offers a 120 point near-instant engagement with the ability to withstand substantial torque loads. With multiple World Championship titles across a range of disciplines, the Supadrive system is tried and tested to the very highest level and is our most advanced and reliable drive system to date.

Handcrafted with lightweight bladed aero spokes to decrease resistance and widely spaced hub flanges, the Carbaura RCD wheelsets have been built to reduce any possible lateral flex and increase power transfer. Both front and rear wheels use a 16/8e lacing pattern to balance spoke tensions and withstand torque and braking forces from the centre of the wheels.

Now available in three depths:

35mm – a classic climber and all rounder

50mm- a midweight racer option

80mm – an ultimate speed set for crit racer or time trial specialist."

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:

Halo is known for its build quality, and this pair is no different.

Rate the wheel for performance:

Being 35mm these aren't super aerodynamic, and they aren't the lightest on the market, but they do everything well, and feel quite stiff.

Rate the wheel for durability:

After being ridden on lots of rough roads, these are still as true as when they were brand new.

Rate the wheel for weight

They are a decent weight for disc brake wheels at a reasonable price, but not crazily light.

Rate the wheel for value:

Not the cheapest on the market, though a lot less than top-end wheelsets.

Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?

I had no issues with any dings or spoke tension, they still run true.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Easy enough to fit Schwalbe Pro Ones; tight enough to get a tubeless seal but not a nightmare to mount.

How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?

The rim tape was airtight from the off and hasn't caused any issues.

Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They performed well, holding up over British roads and feeling comfortable. They also felt snappy and responsive, and were a pleasure to use.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

I love the freehub sound, being reasonably loud but not annoyingly so, while also offering almost instant engagement.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Nothing really, though I prefer a deeper wheelset, so would love to try the 50mm and 80mm on offer from Halo.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

It's up against some tough competition from the likes of Hunt, Scribe and Zipp, but cheaper than a lot of top-end wheelsets.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Definitely

Would you consider buying the wheel? With a deeper rim yes, the hubs are excellent.

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a solid wheelset with great manufacturing, which rides well and has some awesome hubs. It's challenged on value by some, but is definitely a safe option if you're looking for a new set.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 174  Weight: 72

I usually ride: Canyon Aeroad   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

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Surreyrider | 1 year ago

Your approach to marking is bizarre/random. These get marked down for not being the lightest (so 7/10) but are pretty much the same weight (40g difference) as the Parcours Ronde wheels that get 9/10 and given a plus...for being light.

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