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Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road/CX Disk Brake Wheelset



High-quality handbuilt wheels with a stunning ride
Great ride feel
Remained true and well tensioned throughout
Plenty of finish options
Understated logos
Not the lightest build for faster riding

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 Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road/CX Disk Brake wheelset is an excellent example of a solid and durable set of handbuilt hoops created by someone who knows how a quality wheelset should ride. It's a very good set of all-rounders, at a sensible price.

If you're in the market for a new set, check out our guide to the best road bike wheels for more options at a variety of prices, from £250 to over £2,500...

> Buy now: Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road/CX Disk Brake wheelset for £455 from RBW

Ryan Builds Wheels (who will be known as RBW from here on in, to save the battery life on my keyboard) is based in Bristol and offers a range of handbuilt wheels, in a range of options.

The build

These Club Road/CX wheels are specced with 30mm-deep Club Sprint 6066 T6 aluminium alloy rims with an external width of 24mm, measuring 20mm internally between the hooks that are there to hold your tyres in position.

Anodised black, they look smart, and the finish is durable too. Plus, if you're not into gaudy logos then you'll like the understated clean look. The only place you'll find the RBW logo is on the Bitex BX106 hub body, which is available in plenty of anodised colour options; ours is red, with a 24-spoke J-bend spec, and Center Lock mounting for the brake rotor.

2023 Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road-CX Disk Brake Wheelset - rear hub 3.jpg

Straight-pull builds are on offer too, and you can also go for 28 or 32 spokes if you are a bigger rider or want to carry kit on your bike. RBW says if specced correctly its wheels can accommodate a rider weight limit of 120kg.

Sapim CX Ray spokes with a bladed profile complete the build, alongside Sapim's 7075 T6 alloy nipples. Again, there are plenty of options on offer, giving you a near-custom build.

2023 Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road-CX Disk Brake Wheelset - valve.jpg

All freehub systems are offered, including Shimano HG, SRAM HD and HDR and Campagnolo's standard fitment, though its N3W offering carries a £12.50 premium.

The freehub you see here is a lighter Bitex offering, highlighted by the orange body, as there was limited stock of the standard model at the time our set was built. The standard aluminium model is a few grams heavier but offers longer service intervals and better wet weather performance.

2023 Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road-CX Disk Brake Wheelset - rear hub 1.jpg

RBW also offers a steel-bodied freehub at no extra charge, to suit heavier and more powerful riders.

As you'd expect with a set of handbuilt wheels, these arrived absolutely spot on straight out of the box. RBW works to build tolerances of a minimum of 0.1mm lateral and 0.2mm with regards to trueness in any direction, although it claims this is often exceeded with ease, with 0.05mm and 0.1mm respectively being more common.

Fitting tyres was a reasonably straightforward affair, with a 28mm pair sitting sweetly once fully inflated to get the beads to locate under the hooks of the rim.

I also tried some 25mm tyres, which were a little tighter to fit, and some 30s that were easier overall, but none of the sizes were difficult to install, and removing them was fine too.

Tyres can be run with both inner tubes or tubeless; RBW supplies tubeless valves for £8.


Well rounded is a good way to describe the Club Road wheels, I think. They'll suit those who don't want to focus on any one area, but who want a wheelset that can be relied on to tackle all sorts of riding – weekend jaunts, winter training, commuting, the club run and so on.

At 1,680g including valves and rim tape they aren't lightweights, but that doesn't stop them from feeling responsive under acceleration. In fact, even from a standing start they get a shift on without feeling sluggish, and it's the same when you hit the climbs.

Things are good on the stiffness front as well. Climbing out of the saddle or sprinting for the village sign showed no signs of effort-wasting flex and the freehub engagement is rapid. There's no 'slop' either when trackstanding at the lights.

2023 Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road-CX Disk Brake Wheelset - rear hub 2.jpg

From a speed point of view, a 30mm-deep rim isn't going to bring a huge aero advantage but they do roll well, and the weight means that rolling roads don't take the shine off their performance.

What I liked the most, though, is the stunning ride quality. Some wheels feel a bit buzzy, some hollow, some don't feel anything at all... but these RBWs just feel great. There is plenty of road feedback, and a smoothness to them even with the tyres pumped up to my preferred high pressures.

When riding on rough back roads they take everything in their stride, absorbing the bumps and potholes without complaining, and I definitely didn't feel the need to treat them with respect as I took the odd detour down the local canal path.

At the end of the review period they were still running just as sweetly and true as when they arrived, so I was definitely impressed with their overall durability.


The wheels are £455 in this build, though you can add to the cost with various upgrades – the rainbow effect Oil Slick hub finish is another £30, for instance, or go for straight-pull hubs, or coloured nipples to match your hub finish.

One thing that boosts their value considerably is RBW's warranty: a minimum five-year guarantee for wheelsets made with butted spokes, and 10 years for high-end bladed spoke builds.

And should you crash, or your wheels are stolen, RBW will offer trade pricing on a replacement set.

Looking at how they compare with rivals, they are a little more expensive than the disc brake version of CES Sport's PT26 wheels (I reviewed the rim brake version last year). Those use the same Bitex hubs, although the rims are shallower, being similar to the Club Road Disc rims available as a choice on these RBWs. With Sapim Leader J-bend spokes and brass nipples, the CES set weighs a claimed 1,670g, and costs £400.

We've reviewed many of Just Riding Along's (JRA) wheels over the years and have always been impressed. They are handbuilt in York, and while we haven't tested its MAP Center Lock J-bend wheels, they have a 25mm-deep aluminium rim, Sapim D-Light spokes and black brass nipples, and look to be good value at £390.


Overall, these Ryan Builds Wheels Cub Road wheels are hard to fault. The quality of the components is high, as is the build itself, and as that is the main reason for going down the route of handbuilt wheels, it's very reassuring. It's hugely dependable, a set of wheels that is going to last you a very long time. All of which is backed up by a great ride quality.


High-quality handbuilt wheels with a stunning ride test report

Make and model: Ryan Builds Wheels Club Road/CX Disk Brake Wheelset

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?

Notes from Ryan at Ryan Builds Wheels:

Bitex BX106 Centrelock series hubs - Much better quality than other commonly used OEM hub brands, excellent freehub design (2 sets of 3 pawls for increased pickup), steel anti bite guards, all axle, freehub standards catered for, high quality, TPI bearings (2RS seals on outside faces, non-contact seals on inside faces), great quality anodised colours available. lightweight yet long-lasting.

Too many manufacturers save weight by spec'ing a cheaper / lighter hub; I see these breaking far too often or their cheap freehub internals dying a death / causing premature bearing wear.

Please note, you've been supplied with the lighter-weight Bitex freehub (you can tell, because it's Orange). The FH saves a few grams at the expense of a shorter service interval due to smaller bearings. We spec the standard version as we prefer longer service intervals and poor weather performance but there's no stock right now. We also offer a steel freehub at no extra charge which is more suited to heavier, more powerful riders. This comes with oversized and additional bearings.

RBW Club Sprint rim - A 30mm deep alloy rim with super specs (485g a rim, VERY strong spoke bed for high spoke tension / long fatigue life) that I share alongside several other UK Custom Builders.

They have come out of a factory in Taiwan, capable of working with 6066-T6 alloy – naturally stronger than the traditional 6061 used in most rims. They have a welded joint and can take a tubeless tyre. Appropriately spec'd (32 spoke) they have a rider weight limit of 120kg. 30mm semi-aero profile.

Sapim CX Ray spokes - the gold standard, high-end, bladed spoke of choice for any serious builder.

Light, huge fatigue life, a mild aero benefit where it matters. Bladed spokes are chosen to more closely match the spec of generic wheels from re-badging competitors. A butted build can be requested for those that still want kick-ass wheels but want to bring the price down a bit.

Sapim's 7075 T6 double square heat-treated nipples - FAR better quality than most any other alloy nipple out there. Double Hard Anodised, weatherproofed here in-house during build. Saves weight at the extremes of the wheel, and adds bling!

Double Square means I can avoid using a spoke wrench on the external faces which means less chance of scratches to the surface that's on display (although with well-kept tools scratches are never a thing).

Potential custom upgrades/downgrades available - Customers could switch to a 25mm deep rim for those that want a lighter wheelset. Custom spoke count options to suit all riders, Bitex Straightpull hubs are slightly lighter / look a bit more tech for those that want em, ltd edition oil slick finish hubs. Your choice of spoke, nipple and hub colour.

Build Process - These have been built using over a decade of experience. Standard tolerances kept are a minimum of 0.1mm lateral and 0.2mm true in any direction; SO VERY OFTEN this is exceeded with ease; 0.05 and 0.1mm being more common. Please note that spoke tension can drop with a tubeless setup (as with all wheels).

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

From Ryan Builds Wheels:

Intended for Road, leisure, audax, credit card touring, sportives, etc

1665g (excluding minus valves and tape)

Bitex BX106 Centrelock series hubs

RBW Club Sprint rims

Sapim 7075 T6 double square heat-treated nipples

24/24 spokes

Price as specced £455 + £8 for tubeless valve

These wheels start at £455 and custom options are available.

Loads of customisation options - including hub, spokes, nipples and valves custom colours.

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Rate the wheel for performance:
Rate the wheel for durability:
Rate the wheel for weight
Rate the wheel for value:

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

The trueness and tension was spot on out of the box and remained so throughout testing.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Tyres were a reassuringly snug fit in a range of sizes.

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

The rim tape and tubeless valves did the job they are designed for.

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

A capable set of wheels that work for a wide spectrum of riding styles.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

Very solid build quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

There was nothing to really dislike.

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

Not a hugely pricey wheelset, though you can find better value options that'll save you around £55-£65, as mentioned in the review.

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

There really is little to dislike here. Ryan Builds Wheels has specced a solid-performing wheelset with a build that feels tight and durable, and their very smooth ride quality elevates them to an 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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