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It's been a while since we saw Giant-branded hoops; but they're back in the upgrade market with wider rims and tubeless capability

World's-largest-bike-maker Giant from Taiwan has entered the upgrade road wheel market with four models to cover most road cyclists' requirements from fast commuting and training to high-performance sport. They are doing things their way too with three tubeless capable models and all the rims being 21mm wide.

Giant are making a big thing of the 21mm rim width, the latest thinking being that the slightly lower pressures afforded by a wider rim and tyre combo can improve speed and performance with better control and certainly greater comfort. The hubs all have what Giant is describing as "high-quality Swiss internals with sealed hub bearings."

The three pricier sets are also designed to accommodate tubeless tyres, which is another development set to grow once a better choice of tyres are available and which will help smoothness, speed and comfort.

The speediest but also most expensive wheel will be the P-SLR1 Aero which combines Scandium - a high-strength aluminium alloy - with carbon-fibre in a 50mm section designed for time trials, triathlons and maybe even less blustery road races and sportives. The aero-bladed straight-pull stainless steel spokes number 20 at the rear and 16 at the front, with concealed nipples. Weight is a very reasonable-sounding-for-aero 1,575 grams and will sell for £1,249.99 when they first arrive in September.

For £749, the 1,390 gram P-SLR1 is a lightweight, non-aero version with an all-Scandium rim and the same spoke configuration using forged and machined 6061-aluminium hubs.

The new P-SL0 wheels feature rims made from 6061 aluminium instead of Scandium which costs a bit of weight bringing them to a still pretty reasonable 1,595 grams but saves some money; £449.99 also seems reasonable as long as they hold up as well as the likely competitors. "Light enough to race and tough enough for everyday riding," as Giant put it.

Finally, for £224.99 Giant will be offering the P-SL1 wheels which the Taiwanese giant says are "for performance road riders who are considering racing." You get DT Champion spokes (18 front, 24 rear) as well as the same 21mm rim width but only for standard clinchers. Weight is 1,775 grams for the pair. The company is bigging up the large asymetric hub flanges, straight pull spokes and careful construction as the means by which these new wheels will be not just light but also stiff and strong.

It's been a few years since Giant offered self-branded wheels although they make quite a few carbon rims for other brand names, we hear. We reckon it was 1997, although we're prepared to be corrected, when Giant offered their first distinctive aero-spoked wheels designed by British carbon guru Mike Burrows and fitted to the first carbon and alloy TCRs.

5 comments

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Cooks [492 posts] 5 years ago
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be nice to see some reviews of the cheaper ones...

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nick_rearden [436 posts] 5 years ago
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They're on the way, Cooks, apparently. Quite excited to see them because they do look good value and Giant don't generally put out stuff that isn't thoroughly sorted.

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limitingfactor [17 posts] 5 years ago
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I may be missing something but I'd have thought that a 21mm rim width (what's that gonna be, about 19mm internal?) would result in the tyre beong too stretched out, resulting in less comfort not more. (I'm assuming Giant aren't intending us to run 28c tyres on these???)

Or am I missing something - someone who knows about wheels please post!

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nick_rearden [436 posts] 5 years ago
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limitingfactor wrote:

I may be missing something but I'd have thought that a 21mm rim width (what's that gonna be, about 19mm internal?) would result in the tyre beong too stretched out, resulting in less comfort not more. (I'm assuming Giant aren't intending us to run 28c tyres on these???)

Or am I missing something - someone who knows about wheels please post!

We'll be running the calipers over these when they arrive Mr LF but the trend towards a wider rim isn't new. Zipp, to pick on one, have been banging on about this for some time in promoting their Firecrest thingie and it's not just about the faster-through-better-tyre-contact-and control-not-to-mention-comfort issue. Wind tunnel testing has been suggesting that the properly matched package of rim and tyre can be faster and more controllable across a wider range of wind-yaw-angles and one of the factors that keeps popping out of the clever maths is slightly wider rims than we've traditionally seen on race bikes. It doesn't mean you need to run 28mm tyres although 25mm has become much more popular for general road work especially if you're a big lad. Anyway, the issue of what tyres actually measure in relation to what they're named and which tyres suit which rims has been one of the perennial topics at club-run coffee-and-cake stops and that won't be changing any time soon. By the way, Giant are launching a range of tyres to suit these wheels along the lines of what Mavic is doing with its tubeless package. Needless to say, we're hoping it will halve the cost of a wheel-and-tyre combo as long as the quality is there.

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limitingfactor [17 posts] 5 years ago
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Cool - thanks for reply  1