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VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50 Wheels Test – Wheelsets – Wheels

The CarbonWide 350-50 wheels autologously named VeloElite are aimed squarely at the value-centric upgrade market. The deep section wheels are an ideal step up for anyone looking for performance (or just aesthetic) upgrades for their bike, and the £1000 price tag is a common arbitrary expense barrier.

The 50mm depth is a popular all-round option, chosen as a fast wheel for a flatter ride, yet usable for hillier rides.

Triathletes, time trialists and riders looking for upgrades for group rides are among those who prefer this kind of depth, if they prefer to buy a single set of wheels to cover a list of uses.

However, they’re not just good for riders looking for all-out sport performance; recreational riders benefit from the aerodynamic optimization as the improvements take effect at any speed. Any cyclist can get from A to B with less effort.

Details and specs of the VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50 wheels

A deep and wide rim profile for crosswind stability.
Steve Sayers / Our media

With a maximum width of 30.1mm, it is, as the name CarbonWide suggests, one of the widest rims currently available.

The rim measures 28.5mm outside on the bead, 21.2mm inside and, as the “-50” in the name suggests, is 50.1mm deep.

The profile features a blunt spoke bed, which creates a flattened leading/trailing edge (depending on the rotation point of the wheel).

This is to create an improvement in stability at higher yaw angles – aka crosswinds, for those of us who aren’t fully acquainted with aerodynamics.

It’s worth noting that VeloElite doesn’t build with name-brand third-party hubs – it offers a range of quality brand-name hubs, including Chris King, Aivee and Industry Nine, alongside the brand’s DT Swiss base wheels.

The CarbonWide range includes 38mm and these 50mm deep rims, but the narrower profiles are available in widths ranging from 30mm to nominal 88mm depths intended for triathlon use.

All are available stock with DT Swiss hub options, and custom builds are available.

This pair was shipped already configured to the specs we requested; 12mm bolt-on axles front and rear, with Centerlock rotor fitting.

A set of DT Swiss 350 hubs graced this build.
Steve Sayers / Our media

At 722g in the front and 853g in the rear, they aren’t the lightest, but are among the heaviest in their class.

No optional end caps were included, presumably because the hubs are supplied to VeloElite in a given configuration, and that is how they are built and shipped.

Although the rims arrived pre-taped to accept a tubeless setup, no valves were included.

The build quality is very good; the roundness and trueness out of the box are up to the aspirational precision standard, and the spoke tension is fairly even across each wheel.

The rim graphics are simple, appear to be under lacquer, and are allegedly available in a range of colors. However, there doesn’t seem to be an option to choose this on the website.

Both valve holes match the hub graphics – a widely accepted clue to a wheel builder’s attention to detail.

Performance of the VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50 wheels

The bare carbon weave finish may sparkle.
Steve Sayers / Our media

Mounting the tires is not too complicated; the overall rim diameter is 632mm, while the depth is 8.2mm when glued. This all relates to a reasonable amount of space to use when mounting the tires, making it a relatively easy job.

The bead seat is a 622mm ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) standard, so the seat tires will produce a satisfying sound as well as a good seal in the tubeless setup.

The aero flattened spokes are J-bend Sapim CX-Rays spokes, considered one of the strongest on the market and widely available should a couple need to be replaced. 24 of them per wheel are laced in a two-cross pattern.

DT Swiss hubs have push-on caps, making cleaning and greasing operation a tool-free affair up to the point where bearing replacement comes into the conversation.

Even then, a regular bearing puller and press will suffice to replace the moving parts, and the only specific tool needed would be the ring puller in the extreme case where the toothed driven ring that screws into the hub shell should be replaced for any reason. .

This DT Swiss ring drive system relies on two toothed rings rotating against each other, one being the previously mentioned captive driven ring in the hub and the drive ring being suspended and rotating with the freewheel body.

The spokes are tied to the DT Swiss 350 hub in a two-cross configuration.
Steve Sayers / Our media

Pedaling force engages both rings with 36 points or 10 degrees of engagement. This delivers a distinctive sound, appreciated for its affirmation of moving physics by some and frowned upon by others as intrusive.

The carbon rim it’s bonded to acts like an echo chamber, amplifying and slightly altering the tone.

Sound aside, the 350-50 offers a stable and predictable ride. The improvement in crosswind performance is tangible, causing less jolt when making quick changes, such as crossing walkways between hedges.

That’s not to say there’s no shrinkage, it’s just easier to manage than older, sharper rims. Speed ​​hold is as expected, the handful of watts saved means the speed is carried a bit further on the climbs and a bit longer after the descents have flattened out.

Our test wheels came with a Shimano HG freewheel.
Steve Sayers / Our media

Momentum is also carried into the corners, but the width of the rims means that any given tire also goes wider, and grip is improved as a byproduct. It also means that braking performance improves, providing more confidence and ultimately more speed.

The only place I can really fault the VeloElite wheels is that the stiffness doesn’t quite match the other performance areas. Accelerating hard out of the saddle reveals a slightly vague feeling, almost as if the tires were soft.

They don’t feel flexible in the same way the cooked spaghetti some wheels used to have, but they’re not going to knock your teeth out.

Part of that is due to the increased width and size of the air cushion that the higher tire volume provides, but after adjusting the air pressures in an attempt to make the ride a bit harsher, the flex remains noticeable and unchanged.

The VeloElite wheels performed well in most conditions.
Steve Sayers / Our media

I’m not talking about a day and night difference here, it’s a subtlety that only a rider with lots of miles on lots of different wheels will notice.

However, none of this seems to have any impact on cornering. On the contrary, the subtle lateral compliance means that changes of direction are the strong point of the VeloElite.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a long, steady curve or quick slalom-like switches, the 350-50 feels planted and unflappable.

Late tightening tops can be tackled with more confidence. This is thanks to a combination of the inherent stability and the grip offered by the large contact patch of the tyres.

VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50 Wheels Bottom Line

VeloElite uses subtle water transferred graphics.
Steve Sayers / Our media

Overall these wheels represent good value for money, combining high quality components with a progressive rim shape and great handling for an option that must be considered.

They aren’t quite perfect, but you would sacrifice the value of the spokes and hub to get a stiffer rim. However, for many riders, the high build quality and long-term serviceability of the hubs will trump outright performance.

The VeloElite CarbonWide 350-50 wheelset would be a great buy for someone’s first deep-section wheelset, or an ideal selection as a heavy-duty set if you don’t want to shell out for a name brand. costing more than the bike, they will be put.

How we tested

We rated seven pairs of road bike wheels around the £1000 price tag over months of grueling testing.

From varied endurance rides to short but hilly high-intensity explosions, we put these wheels to the test.

Each set of wheels had a list of measured parameters – including trueness, roundness and spoke tension variance – out of the box, with measurements taken again at 500 km.

Test wheels

  • VeloElite Carbon Wide 350-50
  • Fulcrum Racing Zero
  • HED Ardennes RA Pro
  • Bontrager Aeolus Elite 50
  • Scribe Aero Wide 42 D+
  • Vision SC55 DB TLR
  • Zipper 303S

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