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As its name suggests, the Swiss Side Hadron2 All-Road is the company's do-it-all road wheelset, capable of tackling smooth tarmac through to potholed back lanes, cobbles and even off-road sections such as byways or gravel tracks. They are light and stiff enough to be raced on, and over the last five weeks of testing have stood up to all of the abuse I've thrown at them. They are sensibly priced too.
Many brands offer specific road wheels and gravel wheels, but with the Hadron2 All-Road, Swiss Side has combined the two, though at first glance it looks like your typical deep-section carbon road wheelset – the rims aren't even massively wide at 22mm internally, although Swiss Side quotes a tyre range of 25mm to 65mm widths, with 28mm to 34mm being optimum.
Fitted with a set of 32mm Schwalbe One tyres, the Hadron2 wheels rolled perfectly out on the road, and with an all-up weight of 1,530g with tubeless wheel tape included, they feel very responsive.
Tubeless tape usually adds around 20g per wheel, so we're looking at a sub-1,500g wheelset here.
The DT Swiss 240 Ratchet EXP 36 hubs engage instantly, which makes acceleration and sprinting fun and also highlights the lateral stiffness. this is a very tight set of wheels. That lateral stiffness is noticeable in the bends too, especially the high-speed ones where I was banking the bike over or braking heavily.
Wheel comfort is negligible in the grand scheme of things, considering there is a hoop of rubber filled with air wrapped around it, but a harsh wheel will still show through if you know what you are looking for. The stiffness of the 45mm-deep rim can be felt when riding, but there is no harshness or 'buzz' coming through.
With the slick road tyres fitted, I tried a few sections of canal towpath and some hardpacked byways to give the wheels a test and they had no issues.
Fitting some 38mm Panaracer Gravelking EXT TLC tyres to the rims and chucking them on the gravel bike, I spent some time covering my usual testing loop over and over again.
It includes some rough sections of gravel, chalk and tarmac, and dry dirt makes for some unforgiving terrain, and that's before you even think about tackling the tree roots. The Hadron2s took everything in their stride, not missing a beat throughout testing.
They turned up true and remained very so much so even after 600 miles of testing on roads and trails.
Fitting both sets of tyres tubeless was very easy, with both of them popping onto the rim with the use of a typical track pump, so swapping between road and gravel tyres for specific rides won't be a major issue, as long as you don't mind getting a bit of sealant on your hands.
For the majority of us, though, these are probably going to be used as road wheels with the odd foray onto something a little bit rougher.
As I said earlier, you could easily race on these wheels, the 45mm-deep rim giving a little aero nudge, or just use them purely on the road without any weight penalty for the added robustness. Swiss Side says the rims are aerodynamically optimised for minimum drag and to provide the best handling possible in the wind.
Rims of this depth aren't that bad for catching a crosswind, and I certainly didn't have any issues with the Hadron2. There were some breezy days and I could feel the rim take a little hit from the side, but not enough to scare me.
With many brands moving over to hookless rims, I'm pleased to see that Swiss Side has stuck with a more traditional hooked offering. This enables the use of tubed clincher tyres should you want to, as well as tubeless offerings.
The 240 hubs use stainless steel bearings and DT Swiss's Ratchet EXP system where, instead of pawls to lock onto the splines of the freehub, two ratchet rings interlock, spreading the load across all of the teeth and creating smaller load points and less stress, and therefore better longevity.
The engagement is incredibly fast as well, and they don't make a huge amount of noise when freewheeling.
Various options are available, including Shimano/SRAM, SRAM XDR, and Campagnolo.
These are disc brake only wheels, and are compatible with 12mm thru-axles and Center Lock systems for the disc rotors. Swiss Side doesn't supply rotor lockrings, which is a bit of a shame. You can swap one over from your original wheels if the Swiss Sides have been bought as an upgrade, but they might not be compatible.
To attach the hubs to the rims, Swiss Side has gone for DT Swiss Aero Comp spokes in a two-cross build, with a count of 24 front and rear.
When it comes to cost, the Hadron2 wheelset's price of £1,442 compares well with similar offerings from other brands.
The Reynolds AR 41 X DB wheelset that Dave tested are similar road all-rounders and a little pricier at £1,500, and they are a bit heavier, too, at 1,604g.
FFWD's RYOT44 is another road-cum-gravel wheelset and is similar in depth and width to the Hadron2s. I was generally impressed when I tested these wheels a little while back; their price has increased since then, still a reasonable £1,599 but more than the Hadron2s, and they weigh 1,680g.
Taking this all into account, the Hadron2 All-Roads not only perform very well, they are also competitively priced. This is a fast, stiff set of road wheels that will take plenty of abuse.
Light and stiff enough for fast road work with the strength to venture off-road too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Swiss Side Hadron2 All-Road Wheel
Size tested: 700C, 45mm deep
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?
Swiss Side says, "The answer to all-road cycling. No matter what surface the road may offer, this wheelset takes on anything from super smooth Swiss roads through to the cobblestones of the spring classics, thanks to a wide inner rim width with hook, for 25 mm to 65 mm tyre widths. 45 mm deep aero-optimised rims combined with top quality DT Swiss hubs deliver maximum performance on all surfaces."
This is a very capable wheelset that performs well on the road while being tough enough to be used away from it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Swiss Side lists these details:
Carbon Fibre, 45mm deep, 28.5m external width, 22mm internal width
Shimano, SRAM 10&11 speed freehub as standard. 10,11,12 & 13 speed groupset compatibility is provided with freehub options for Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.
DT Swiss 240 Ratchet EXP 36.
Disc Brake Interface: Disc Center Lock; Axle System as delivered: 12 x 100mm thru axle front; 12 x 142mm thru axle rear. Shimano. RD. 11 SP Light S ASLS 11.
DT Swiss aero comp® t-head, Two-cross (1:1).
High end stainless steel bearings
Low friction thanks to single sided seals
2080 N load capacity per bearing
Minimal bearing clearance
Excellent stiffness levels and light enough to feel fast off the line.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, the wheels stayed straight and true throughout the test period.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Fitting tubeless tyres of various sizes was simple and straightforward.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The tape and valves all performed well with no issues.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a fast road wheelset that'll also take on the rigours of gravel.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
No rotor lockrings included.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are priced competitively against other similar wheels, 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
They're very good, in terms of performance and durability, and impressive that this has been achieved at such a low weight and for the 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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 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. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!