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The Token DHuezz Zenith wheelset delivers low weight, plenty of stiffness and a durable ceramic coating in what looks to be a very competitively priced package, especially for those who want all the benefits of carbon fibre without any of the drawbacks. Only those with rim brakes need apply though.
As the DHuezz Zeniths go to show, the rim brake is still very much alive and, more importantly, is still to be found on many high-end race bikes.
These wheels are only available in a rim brake option, and are designed to work primarily with 23mm and 25mm wide tyres.
Some of you may be up in arms worrying about the limited rubber capacity on offer, but at the end of the day your brake callipers are only going to allow you to run 28s anyway, so it's not exactly a huge issue in the first place.
With 25mm Bontrager R3 Hard Case Lite tyres fitted and pumped up to 100psi, the Tokens delivered a very comfortable ride. They're smooth along the majority of road surfaces, with little in the way of harshness passing up into the bike.
With an internal width of 18mm (22mm external), various 25mm tyres were easy to get on and off, both when using an inner tube or running them tubeless. The DHuezz wheels come with tubeless rim tape installed, all you need to do is add valves and sealant.
With a name like DHuezz linking to Alpe d'Huez, one of the most famous ascents in Tour de France history, it's no surprise that these wheels are designed for climbing. A 1,400g weight on our scales is impressive, especially when you consider that that includes the tubeless tape.
It's no good being light if that means sacrificing stiffness, though. I'm no lightweight and can deliver a fair old chunk of power when climbing hard, and I had no issues with flex or brake rub when running the pads just over 1mm away from the rim.
Coating the 22mm deep AL+ rims are ceramic particles, which is what gives the wheels their greyish appearance. It increases durability by reducing rim wear from braking.
Token supplies carbon-specific brake pads in the box and with these fitted I found the stopping performance to be very good. There was no grabbing of the rims when temperatures increased, and I had plenty of confidence that they were going to pull me up quickly in wet weather too.
I tried various other carbon brake pads too and they all worked just as well, so when it comes time to replace the Token ones you aren't necessarily tied to using the own brand specifically.
The ceramic coating means the DHuezz wheels stay looking fresh and clean for a long time too, and the fact that the braking surface remains the same colour as the rest of the rim (apart from a bit of pad dust) gives a neater finish.
The one gold nipple and corresponding logo give a premium look to the wheels, and the Token logos are reflective too.
For the rest of the build Token has used Pillar Wing aero spokes laced in a radial pattern of 18 on the front, and 24 on the rear in a 2x pattern on the drive side, radial on the non-drive.
The hubs are Token branded which it calls Z1, and I found them to run smoothly, straight out of the box. Give the front wheel a spin in the air and there's basically no resistance whatsoever.
The freehub is quick to engage and is available in either a Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11-speed option or SRAM's XRD.
The DHuezz wheels are priced at £799.99, which isn't exactly cheap for an aluminium alloy set of wheels, but not ridiculous either.
If you don't mind a bit more weight you could spend a lot less – the Scribe Race wheelset is a touch heavier at 1,520g, but only costs £360.
Just Riding Along's Lark Light Road wheelset is £414.80 and weighs just 1,460g. I'd say that the Tokens have the edge on stiffness, though.
Both of those companies are 'direct to consumer models', which does enable more aggressive pricing against some of the distributor-led rivals.
And don't forget, the Tokens have the added benefits of the ceramic coating, which gives them extra durability and that impressive braking performance.
If those are your priorities, you're going to be looking at something like Mavic's Ksyrium Pro Exalith wheels to compare with the Tokens. They do well on the weight front at 1,475g (claimed), but will set you back a cool £1,050.
Overall, if weight vs cost is your only concern, there are plenty of cheaper wheels out there to choose from. The Tokens deliver more than that, though. The ceramic coating adds plenty to the braking performance and also means they look like new for a very long time. The ride quality and overall build quality of these wheels is also up there with the best.
Lightweight, stiff wheelset that excels in the hills while looking the business too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Token DHuezz Zenith Alloy 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?
Token says, "DHuezz is an wheelset crafted to be unconventional. The denim-blue ceramic layer which entirely covers the welded AL+ rim is not only for aesthetics, but also for extreme durability. Ceramic particles are applied using advanced high-speed thermal spray technology without overheating the rim which some other treatments do. Built with Z1 hubs and differential front and rear aero spokes for optimal stiffness and weight, DHuezz is the ultimate alloy wheelset for mountains."
They offer very impressive levels of weight, stiffness and braking performance.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
TYRE TYPE Clincher
WEIGHT 623.5 g (f) / 782.5 g (r), total: 1406 g
RIM DIAMETER 700c
RIM MATERIAL Alloy
RIM WIDTH (EXTERNAL) 22 mm
RIM WIDTH (INTERNAL) 18 mm
RIM HEIGHT 22 mm
CASSETTE COMPATIBILITY Shimano / SRAM 10-11s or SRAM XDR
SPOKE LACING Radial (f) and Diametric (r)
SPOKE COUNT 18 (f) and 21 (r)
SPOKE TYPE Pillar Wing 14G Straight, Differential
HUB TYPE Z1
BEARING COUNT 2 (f) and 4 (r)
BEARING TYPE Premium
DISC BRAKE COMPATIBLE No
INCLUDED EXTRAS Skewers
Carbon Specific Brake Pads
PRODUCT CODE C22AX
Maximum Tyre Pressure: 115psi (700x25c)
Recommended Tyre Size: 700x23c - 700x25c
Recommended Weight Limit: 100kg
For such a lightweight set of wheels they are impressively stiff, especially when climbing hard out of the saddle.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
The wheels were true out of the box and remained so throughout testing.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Various tyres were very easy to fit in both tubed and tubeless format.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The brake pads work well with the coated rims, and the skewers, although lightweight, hold the wheels firmly in place on the bike.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Designed primarily as climbing wheels, this is where they excel because of their light weight and impressive stiffness.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
The coating gives them a very premium look.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
If weight is your only concern there are some much cheaper alternatives on the market.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Non-coated wheels at this sort of weight can cost £300 to £400 less, but similar offerings such as Mavic's Exalith are much pricier.
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
Not the cheapest lightweight alloy clinchers out there, but solid all-rounders with very good build quality, and very good as a complete package.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!