New Northern Ireland-based brand Scribe has just visited us at road.cc HQ, dropping off its Aero Wide 50-D wheels and talking us through the rest of the range.
The brand is led by engineer Alan Graham who has formerly worked for both Prime and Hunt. Rather than simply buying generic rims and hubs and lacing them together, Scribe focuses on the technology.
For example, the range – which includes both carbon and alloy rims and disc brake and rim brake wheel designs – features Scribe's exclusive Five4 rear hub design, using a 54-tooth ratchet drive system that engages in 6.7° (well, 6.6666..).
The design is similar in concept to DT Swiss's Ratchet System and new Ratchet EXP in that instead of pawls locking into ratcheting teeth, a 54-tooth ratchet ring in the freehub engages a 54-tooth plate threaded into the hub shell thanks to an internal leaf spring. When you coast the tips of the teeth glide over one another.
"The biggest advantage of a ratchet drive system is that ratchet faces engage simultaneously, every time," says Scribe. "This offers an incredibly strong bind and therefore improved power transfer. With pawl systems, only a couple of pawls engage at any one time which creates smaller points of loading, and generally less power transfer."
The system sounds more complex than it actually is – check out the pictures and you'll get the idea of how it works – and the fact that there are relatively few moving parts bodes well for durability.
The hubs are CNC machined and feature sealed stainless steel bearings. A Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10/11-speed freehub body is fitted as standard, although Campagnolo and SRAM XDR are also available. The hubs are available in all major standards.
As the name suggests, the Scribe Aero 50-D wheelset uses a 50mm deep rim. Made from unidirectional carbon, this is U-shaped as opposed to a V-shaped, with a blunt inner edge. Scribe says that this helps cut through the air across a wide range of yaw (apparent wind) angles.
The tubeless ready rim has an internal width of 19mm and an external width of 26mm. Loads of brands are going with wide rims these days, the idea being to accommodate wide tyres better for increased stability and improved rolling resistance. If you want to go even wider, Scribe offers 21mm internal width and 30mm external width on its Wide+ rims which are available in 32mm and 42mm depths.
Scribe uses Japanese Toray carbon fibre with reinforcement at the spoke holes. It says that the wheels have been spoke tested to a super-high 280 kgf (kilogram-force) and that it uses a resin with a high Tg (glass transition temperature – the point at which it softens) of 180°C for its disc brake wheels. A different resin with a Tg of up to 240°C is used for its rim brake wheels where brake pad friction can drive the temperature up.
The spokes are Sapim CX-Ray, 21 at the front and 24 at the rear.
The Scribe Aero Wide 50-D has a claimed weight of 1,438g although our scales say they are a touch heavier at 1,449g – that's 655g (front) and 794g (rear) without rim tape or skewers.
As mentioned, Scribe offers carbon disc brake wheels in other depths: 32mm and 42mm as well as in a 50mm front/ 65mm rear set. Its carbon rim brake wheels come in 38mm and 50mm versions and in 38mm/ 50mm and 50mm/ 65mm combos. All of these are priced £870, including tubeless valves and spare spokes/nipples.
There's also a range of alloy wheels – both disc brake and rim brake – with prices starting at £280 per pair. These are all tubeless ready too.
The Race wheels, for example, use hardened, heat treated, 26mm deep rims (19mm internal width) with the ratchet drive rear hub and Sapim CX-Ray spokes. These have a claimed weight of 1,454g and are priced £360.
Look out for a review of the Scribe Aero Wide 50-D wheels on road.cc soon.
For more info on the range to go scribecycling.co.uk.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.