The deep-section carbon fibre clincher wheel market is a crowded place and the latest to join the fray are these British-designed wheels from Dymag. They're fast, solid and durable and provide a good alternative to the many other choices.
If you have a motorcycle background, then Dymag will be a familiar name. If you're not, then Dymag are British, based in Chippenham. They've been producing wheels for various motor racing disciplines from F1 to Superbikes since the 1970's and have a reputation for carbon wheels.
They've brought this expertise to a range of road cycling wheels. Dymag developed their own rim profile, a v-section shape with a rounded leading edge. Dymag are not breaking any new ground here, but it's a tried-and-tested shape – there are only so many rim profiles shapes you can opt for, and it appears Dymag have played safe with their debut wheels. That's no bad thing, they returned very good results even compared to more ground-breaking aero wheels, so they've done something right.
On offer are a choice of rim depths from 24 to 88mm. They allow you to mix your rim depths, something I took advantage of and tested a 50mm front and 60mm rear rim combination.
Dymag offer a choice of high quality hubs from Hope or DT Swiss. I'm a fan of DT Swiss hubs, especially the 240s the test wheels arrived with. They're silky smooth, durable and the freehub (10- and 11-speed compatible) makes a bloody nice sound. It's so good you end up freewheeling more then you really should.
The wheels were built up with 24 Black Sapim Aero Bladed 'CX-Ray' Black Sapim spokes in both wheels, radial in the front wheel and rear wheel non-driveside, two-cross on the driveside.
Weight on the scales is 1,538, which breaks down as 690g for the front and 848g for the rear. That's about par for the course for a carbon clincher; lighter than the Velocite RT50, Reynolds Aero 58 and Strada Rail 52.
Out of the box the wheels came ready to ride, pre-fitted with Michelin Pro 4 23mm tyres. All I had to do was fit my cassette and install the supplied Reynolds Cyro Blue blocks, and away I went. And my they're a quick feeling pair of wheels. They're not the quickest wheels to spin up to speed, especially from dawdling pace, though at a faster lick they accelerate noticeably more quickly.
Where they really excel is in maintaining a high speed. They really zip along and feel as rapid as something like an Enve SES or Zipp 404. Get them up above 35kph and the aero benefits become clear. They fly. You'll be breaking PBs on every flattish or undulating road section. They'd make a very good time trial wheel, or equally a road race wheel on a fast open circuit without the tight corners of a criterium circuit.
Testing aero wheels for speed without access to a wind-tunnel is tricky. We can only tell you how fast they 'feel' in real-world riding conditions, and in comparison to other wheels. Dymag are currently conducting their own wind-tunnel testing. It'll be interesting to see the results of that, and we'll report back with them. I certainly had no qualms about their speed and aero efficiency.
Pushing them hard around the road, through corners and sprinting wildly reveals the merest hint of flex. It's not enough that you're going to notice all the time, in fact I bet a lot of people probably wouldn't even notice it at all. I was really exaggerating my inputs to detect the flex. They don't have the same stiffness and crispness that the excellent Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40s demonstrated during aggressive riding and racing. The Dymag's have the edge on outright speed though.
Braking performance is always a compromise with carbon wheels, but the Reynolds Cyro Blue brake blocks provide consistent and reliable braking with no squeal or fuss. The performance was impressive right from the first time I touched the brake levers. There's a decent amount of power with a good level of feel and they're nicely progressive, with no snatching.
However, I did manage to highlight some pulsing feedback through the brake levers when dragging the brake on a very steep descent. This was due to the narrowness of the road and being stuck behind several vehicles, with no overtaking opportunity. Forced to feather the brakes, and alternating between front and rear brakes to reduce the temperature build up, the wheels began pulsing towards the bottom of the descent. I'm a light rider too, about 67kg, so if you're substantially heavier and make a habit of heading down very steep descents regularly, this could be a concern.
Considering their depth, especially the rear wheel, I didn't find them too much of a handful on blustery and windy days, which is a surprise because I usually get pushed around on the road in such conditions on deep-section wheels.
They're strong too, something I can attest to during an early season race where I used the wheels. I hit a pothole of substantial depth at about 45kph, unsighted because I was following the wheel in front very close, and the loud crack that accompanied the impact turned out to be my handlebars rotating in the stem, though I naturally feared it was the front wheel at first. Turned out the front wheel was just fine, and I carried on with my race, but I half expected the wheel to show some sign of the considerable impact. Inspection after the race showed no damage, and they're still straight. I've been riding them happily since.
Dymag may have limited experience in the cycling world but they do have years of knowledge from developing motorsport wheels which is a far higher demand and pressure world compared to racing bicycles. These wheels are an excellent debut from the company, and it sounds like they have a lot more up their sleeves the results of which we can't wait to see.
These are commendable carbon clincher wheels that, while not offering any significant advantage over many of the other good carbon wheels available, are at least on the same level. They're very fast and will flatter any bike they're fitted to, but there are lighter and more responsive wheels for the same money.
Dymag carbon cycle wheels can be purchased from www.dymag.comand appointed dealerships such Mud Dock and Psyclewerx.
Fast and very solid carbon clincher wheels from a British company.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Dymag 50 and 60mm DT Swiss clinchers
Size tested: n/a
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?
The 50mm profile Dymag rims offer the perfect mix of light weight, aerodynamics, smooth handling and great acceleration. They will allow you to attack even the very stiffest of climbs and once you have reached the summit and start to descend, the built in aerodynamic stability of these carbon fibre wheels will let you simply slice through the air. The 50mm profiles can be used in front and rear matching applications or as a mixed set for example, 38mm front 50mm rear or 50mm front with 60mm rear.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Discipline: Road / Triathlon
Rim: 50mm Deep Section K3 Carbon Tub 403gr or
Spokes: Black Sapim Aero Bladed 'CX-Ray' Black Sapim Double Butted 'Super Spokes' Aluminium Nipples Silver
Lacing Pattern: 20 or 24 Radial Front, 24 or 28 Cross Drive, Radial Non-Drive Rear
Hubs: Hope RS Mono or
DT Swiss 240 Colour Black
Both 10/11 speed Shimano/ Campagnolo
Brake Pads: Reynolds Cryo Blue included in set package
Weight on Hope build: Tubular 635gr front, 841gr rear, total = 1476gr
Clincher 708gr front, 914gr rear, total = 1622 gr
Weight on DT Swiss build: Tubular 625gr front, 787gr rear, total = 1412gr
Clincher 698gr front, 860gr rear, total = 1558 gr
(in Package only) Wheel bag Black with Dymag Logo to carry set
Decent aero performance with good speed. Good in cross winds too, and braking performance mostly very good.
Damn strong wheels.
They stack up well against other similarly priced carbon wheels.
Reasonably good for a deep-section carbon wheel.
You can spend a lot more, but equally there are a growing number of decent circa-£1,000 carbon clincher wheels around these days. Compared to their competition, they're not expensive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
All-round performance was good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fast and strong.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pulsing during heavy sustained braking.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,