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review

Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset

9
£599.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Will make you faster and your bike look great for not much money
Look brilliant
Fast
Stable in windy conditions
Braking is consistent
A little rim deflection on steep climbs
Weight: 
1,470g

At road.cc 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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Prime's RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher wheelset is an accessible way into the world of deep carbon wheels. They look brilliant, are a massive upgrade over stock aluminium wheels, and they perform really well too. At this price, they're hard to beat.

If you are looking for cheap carbon clincher wheels, you've got a whole host of options from overseas, but the danger has always been getting something that doesn't work properly.

If you spend a bit more money then Hunt offers the 50 Carbon Wide wheels at £869, but the reality is that finding good carbon wheels below the £600 mark is tricky, especially if you want a set that you don't need to import and comes from a UK seller for returns. The Prime RR-50 V3 ticks a lot of boxes before you've even put the wheels on the bike.

2021 Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset - front hub.jpg

Speaking of which, getting these set up with tyres is a doddle with the right tyre. Tubeless can be done with a standard track pump and I had them on the bike in a flash.

Once on, they instantly improve the look of a road bike compared to shallow aluminium wheels. That's what I believe many people will be buying these hoops for, and the stealthy grey decals certainly add to the aesthetic.

Thankfully, these hoops don't just look good. Although off-the-line acceleration isn't their strong point, the RR-50s are great for accelerations once you head north of 20mph. The 50mm profile seems to cut through the air, and if you're upgrading from stock aluminium wheels you'll notice the difference in speed.

2021 Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset - spoke hole.jpg

Up at this speed, some wheels can be blown about by crosswinds but I found these wheels to be nicely stable. Sure, if you ride past a gap in the hedge on a windy day there will be some sideways movement, but these aren't twitchy like some wheels.

At some point, you will need to hit the brakes. This is always a crucial part of testing with carbon rim brake wheels, as braking can expose a poorly made rim. The consistent feel of the brakes suggests the rims have been well made, and this results in predictable braking. It isn't the most powerful stopping surface that I've used, but at least you can trust the brakes.

2021 Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset - rime detail.jpg

Their 50mm rim is getting deep for a wheel, and with the weight of 1,470g (bare, no skewers) these are best suited to flat and rolling terrain. When I took them on steeper climbs, the acceleration I wanted was a little dull. There was also a little brake rub when really leaning the bike over during a hard effort. Still, the performance is more than good enough for the money.

> Buyer’s Guide: 58 of the best road bike and gravel bike wheels in 2021 

The actual build of the wheels is good, if not great. There was a tiny hop on the rear wheel, but nothing that you'd notice when riding, and with aluminium spokes and nipples sitting in the carbon rim, you're likely to be replacing a broken spoke at some point as this combination loves to corrode.

2021 Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset - rear hub.jpg

That said, you get plenty of spares in the box along with good skewers and very good brake pads, and tubeless tape is installed for you.

2021 Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset - rim bed.jpg

All in, for the £599, it is a cracking package and one that other brands can't match. In fact, we've not reviewed any rim brake carbon clinchers in the same price bracket.

These wheels are great at making your bike look good, they're great at making it go fast, and they're great value too. You can't get much better than that.

Verdict

Will make you faster and your bike look great for not much money

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset

Size tested: Shimano

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?

From Wiggle: "Whether you're training or racing, the Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Wheelset gives you incredible strength, so you can conquer every challenge on your road bike.

This wheelset features an ultra-stiff carbon fibre construction, which makes it strong enough for road racing as well as training. Coming equipped with a revised wider rim profile, this race-ready wheelset delivers increased aerodynamics, comfort, speed and traction when you need it most. Prime has also ensured that its rim profile is deep enough for time trails and crits, so you can enjoy its versatile performance whatever your discipline.

Built for victory, this clincher wheelset is also engineered to look as amazing as it performs thanks to its customisable design. Prime has kitted out this version with grey stickers already applied, but sticker packs are also available separately in a range of different colours. This means that you can enjoy an eye-catching finish and customised look that matches your ride as you battle for the silverware."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?

From Wiggle:

Rim Material: T700 UD Carbon Fibre

Rim: 19mm internal, 27.5mm external, 50mm deep

Brake Compatibility: Rim brakes

Hubs: R020, CNC machined 7075 Alloy hub body, Anti Bite Guard, Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 speed freehub

Spokes: Pillar PDB 1415, double-butted

Tubeless Tape factory applied

Hub Bearings: Front: 2x 689; Rear: 1x 6802 & 1x 15267; Freehub: 2x 6902

Shimano/SRAM 9,10,11 speed compatible (Campagnolo and XDR freehubs sold separately)

Weight: 1635g

Product Data

Front Axle Type: 9mm QR

Clincher: Yes

Model Year: 2020

Wheel Size: 700c (622)

Tubeless Ready / UST: Yes

Rim Depth: Mid

Tyre Type: Clincher

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
7/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
9/10

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

One little hop in the rear out of the box, but they've been fine otherwise.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Tubeless fitted with just a track pump, but it's all about the tyre.

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

The skewers and rim tape are decent. The brake pads are excellent.

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

Fast, stable and the braking is good, they are excellent.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

The performance upgrade over the basic aluminium wheels that come on many mid-range bikes is brilliant.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

I'd like to have seen a slightly better build. Brass nipples would be ideal for longevity.

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

A lot lower. There's nothing that is really comparable. You have to step up to the Hunt 50 Carbon Wide wheels at £869 to come close to this value.

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

They only drop points for a bit of brake rub on steep climbs and minor build issues.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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