If you're after a set of race wheels, the Amp 32mm carbon tubulars are light, well built and very fast.
Let's deal with the weight right at the start because I know that all you weight weenies love that information. Our wheels came with Continental Sprinter tubular tyres already glued on. Including the tubs, valve extenders (but not the quick releases) they hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 795g (f) and 972g (r). That's a total of 1,767g. Amp claim that the wheels on their own weigh just 1,070g. We can't quite see that, but they're certainly light. Amp do a build sub-kilo pimped up build (see below).
So what do we actually have here? The rims are full carbon fibre composite and, as the name indicates, they're 32mm deep (that's about 1 1/4in, grandad). The outside distance between the brake tracks is 19mm. The rims' sidewalls curve down towards a squared off spoke bed and the nipples sit externally. The graphics are simply stickers and you can have the wheels bare if you prefer.
The black anodised hubs are Amp's own Superlights – unbranded hubs that run on sealed cartridge bearings. They're fairly basic but there's certainly nothing wrong with them. It's easy to open them up with a couple of Allen keys to check how the bearings are getting on (and replace them if necessary). The wheels are available with either Shimano/SRAM (including 11-speed) and Campagnolo freehubs, and also as a track model.
The spokes? They're Amp's own too: double-butted Race Blades - 'Blades' in that they're flattened through the central section. The front wheel is 20 spoke, radial laced; the rear is 24 spoke, 12 laced 2-cross on the driveside, the 12 on the non-driveside radial.
The wheels come with quick-release skewers (they're not amazing but they do the job), carbon-specific brake blocks and valve extenders included in the package.
Okay, so that's all the basics sorted; how do they ride? Well, it won't surprise you one bit to learn that these wheels spin up to speed very fast. They give you that lovely responsive feeling when you turn up the power. Put in the extra effort and you get a surge of speed in return to help you get off the front or stop someone else from jumping away. They're very good on that front.
I've known slightly stiffer wheels but these certainly aren't deficient on that score either. It's not like you're paying for the light weight by giving a lot away in terms of rigidity. Get out of the saddle for a tough climb or a sprint and they stay in shape impressively, and the same is true when you chuck the bike hard into a fast downhill corner.
The fairly shallow-section rims really don't catch the wind. Well, not so much that I noticed, anyway. I've used these wheels on some super-windy days and the bike's handling has been absolutely spot on so I'd say they're suitable for virtually all conditions.
As for the braking, it's fine: not outstandingly good, not bad either, just normal for carbon brake surfaces. By that I mean it's not as punchy as you get with alloy, especially in the wet, but you'll adjust. I'd certainly upgrade the brake pads though. The ones supplied were okay but nothing more.
After a month of use, the spoke tension is still very even and the wheels are perfectly true, which is what you'd expect. All good there. There's a little marking from a couple of sprockets on the freehub but nothing unusual - the splines aren't made of cheese or anything! I'm not sure if the stickers are on there for the long haul or not but all the signs are that these wheels will stand the test of time.
That pimp build I mentioned above uses the same rims but built onto Amp Featherweight hubs (as opposed to the Amp Superlight hubs used here), and Amp Performa Blade double-butted spokes. Amp claim that these weigh 440g (f) and 540g (r) for an all-up weight of 980g. This setup is priced considerably more at £1,085.
All Amp wheels come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide they're not for you, Amp will pay your return postage and give you a complimentary box of energy gels for your trouble. Nice touch! You get a 12-month warranty too.
Well-built wheels that are light and very fast.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Amp 32mm carbon tubular wheelset
Size tested: F: 795, R: 972, weight with tyres
Tell us what the product 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?
Amp say, "Looking to shave off that extra gram? Look no further! Our 32mm wheelset clocks in at a wacky 1070 grams – and if you choose to pimp it you're entering the world of the sub-kilo club!
"These hoops are ideal for the climber in you and hold straight in the windiest crit. Truly stiff and unrivalled in the speed they spin up off the blocks.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Front Hub: amp Superlight, black anodized, 20 hole, 100mm spacing, sealed cartridge bearings
Rear Hub: amp Superlight, black anodized, 24 hole, 130mm spacing, sealed cartridge bearings. Available in all cassette compatibilites
Rim: 20/24 hole 32mm structural carbon tubular
Spokes: amp Race Blades (double-butted black aero). Front 20 spoke radial lace, rear 24 spoke 2-cross (DS) radial (NDS) lace
Weight: 480g (F), 590g (R), 1070g (set)
Wheelset comes with QR skewers, carbon specific brake blocks and valve extenders.
All our wheels come with free UK shipping from our North London warehouse
You could buy the various components online but the construction here is good - at least, the wheels came round and true and they've stayed that way.
If you're after lightweight wheels, these are quick.
I'm not convinced the stickers are going to stick around, but I could be wrong. The quick release skewers showed some signs of wear early on.
They're very light, especially for the price.
The various parts are readily available, but this is good value for a complete, well-built wheelset.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Weight and price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Stickers don't look great, in my opinion. The skewers and brake pads are basic.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe, if I was after something light at a reasonable price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, 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 past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.