Amp 32mm carbon tubular wheels  £785.00

8/10

Well-built wheels that are light and very fast

Weight 1767g   Contact  www.amphoops.com

by Mat Brett   January 10, 2014  

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.

Verdict

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?

Amp say:

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

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

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.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

If you're after lightweight wheels, these are quick.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

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.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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.

Overall rating: 8/10

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,

 

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Generic hubs, rims and spokes that can easily be sourced off the web for about £350 - that's some mighty expensive stickers you got there Thinking

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [369 posts]
10th January 2014 - 8:32

51 Likes

Got any links and prices for wheels similar to these for £350 Monty Dog?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4151 posts]
10th January 2014 - 8:37

51 Likes

"That's a total of 1,767g"

Is that with or without air inside??? Wink

posted by Paul_C [198 posts]
10th January 2014 - 9:00

37 Likes

hubs can be found at BHS and the rims can be sourced from the likes of hongfu/farsports.

posted by usernameforme [52 posts]
10th January 2014 - 9:02

50 Likes

wow - these look really good. I'm don't think that comparisons with self-building and sourcing cheap parts off the web from China or wherever is a fair one - (possibly not warrantied either)

Comparing like with like, these seem to undercut in price and weight competitors like Reynolds, Zipp, Enve, Mavic etc by a fair margin. I wonder if they skimp on anything e.g. crash protection scheme, braking performance or warranty?

Even so, seem like a bargain, such that 4 stars seems a bit mean!

posted by 700c [564 posts]
10th January 2014 - 10:58

57 Likes

monty dog wrote:
Generic hubs, rims and spokes that can easily be sourced off the web for about £350 - that's some mighty expensive stickers you got there Thinking

Good luck setting up your rival company with that business model then - hope you like visiting food banks.

posted by ficklewhippet [42 posts]
10th January 2014 - 13:34

56 Likes

ficklewhippet wrote:
Good luck setting up your rival company with that business model then - hope you like visiting food banks.

I just wanted people to be able to make a value judgement on exactly what Amp are offering - remember the component prices I'm quoting are retail for single items whereas wholesale you'd pay half that. Beside's there's nothing sustainable about this business model, so the chances of them being around to deal with in the long term are pretty low - I guess they'll be needing the food bank.

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [369 posts]
10th January 2014 - 16:45

39 Likes

ficklewhippet wrote:
Good luck setting up your rival company with that business model then - hope you like visiting food banks.

So, which 90's era MTB name to rip off to start this company with? Parkpre, MachineTech, Grafton; all sound like good names to add 'Hoops' to.

posted by jimc101 [59 posts]
10th January 2014 - 18:18

34 Likes

I've always wondered about carbon wheels..

"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."

Got to be worth a punt...I like energy gels Smile

posted by ronin [151 posts]
11th January 2014 - 1:01

38 Likes

Great if you like fiddling around on wheel jigs building your own wheels, then have at it.
But for a pair of decent spec wheels, for the given weight, the price they quote will be appealing to many. I'd imagine they're charging a price which they think their market can bear. Might not have that much to do with what the raw components cost.
Maybe in the future they'd design and tool up their own wheels but to get a foot in the door the assembly model is often the route to go.

posted by ficklewhippet [42 posts]
13th January 2014 - 13:08

37 Likes

Not sure I can see the point in these. Weight is not everything but at 1700g they would be a bit porky for a clincher but they are tubulars! I have 32mm aluminium clinchers that are lighter than these and cheaper. My 32mm carbon tubulars are 700g lighter. They were about £700 more expensive so I guess you get what you pay for. But still I don't see the point.

posted by earth [93 posts]
25th January 2014 - 19:53

21 Likes

Ah, 1700g with tyres. Must be some heavy tyres though to add 700g.

posted by earth [93 posts]
25th January 2014 - 21:27

22 Likes

How they compare to planetX 50mm tubs or Mavic SLE (clinchers)?

posted by andrius [1 posts]
15th May 2014 - 20:29

17 Likes

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