Miche are proud of their 'Made in Italy' products and while the SWR RC wheels aren't the lightest or cheapest on the market they certainly make up for it in ride and build quality.
At 38mm deep front and rear the SWR RCs are aimed at the all rounder, with a bit of depth for aero gains but also a sensible weight so they respond well in the hills. In fact they climb so well you wonder where that 1640g weight (exc. skewers & rim tapes) is hiding.
The rims are full carbon fibre though Miche don't disclose what make or grade other than 'high strength'. You don't get the 1k weave finishing layer you see on a lot of carbon components which I think gives these a cool-looking stealth finish while also helping to keep the weight down a touch. Miche haven't followed the latest fashion and gone wide with their rims either. The SWR's measure 20mm across the braking track making them ideal for narrow race tyres.
The Miche hubs are machined from 7075-T6 alloy and fitted with SKF sealed bearings which spin really smoothly for what seems like an age. I've used plenty of Miche hubs in the past on both fixed and freehub and they always last and run smoothly for miles and miles.
The front is laced radially with 18 Sapim Aero spokes with brass nipples hidden in the rim. The rear uses the same components but with 24 spokes in a crossed pattern. All groupsets are catered for to as the freehub is available in both Shimano and Campag versions for 9, 10, and 11 speeds.
So the important bit, how do they ride? Quite frankly the ride quality is absolutely sublime. The SWR CRs are stiff to the point of they don't flex at all but the ride is so comfortable just ironing out road imperfections as if they aren't there.
Acceleration is instant with no feeling of having to get them up to speed, it's just a smooth curve from standing start to flat out. I like to run my brake blocks close to the rim, about 1.5mm and there was no rubbing from flex even when absolutely stomping on the pedals.
Speaking of brakes, the included pads have a carbon element added to the compound which is designed to improve braking. I'd say performance is about the same as most other carbon rims I've used (almost as good as alloy but less modulation) but these pads seem a lot less grabby as the heat builds up. Wet weather stopping is still very much in the hands of the gods though.
The build quality is noticeable not only when you pick the SWR's up but when you're out on the crappy roads, there isn't a single rattle or vibration from any part and the hubs have shrugged off the spring downpours we still seem to be inundated with.
I have a niggle though, the decals. They look great from afar but when you're up close and you realise they are just stickers with a black background a little bit of the magic dies. The wheels feel quality and look it to but all that is cheapened by some 50p stickers from eBay.
Overall, I love 'em. They are built well, ride beautifully and are unbelievably comfortable and on the whole I think good value for money. Included in the £1174 price are a couple of wheel bags, two sets of pads, rim tapes, skewers and a balancing kit for opposite the valve. There are wheels out there for half the price but you're paying the extra here for the refinement and a carbon lay-up that has obviously been designed to provide exactly the characteristics needed by a performance rider and bike.
If you fancy giving them a try before you buy Miche dealers run a test ride program.
Cracking performance, comfort and build quality; shame about the naff stickers
road.cc test report
Make and model: Miche SWR Full Carbon RC Clincher Wheels
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 SWR RC clinchers are designed as an everyday all-rounder for road riding. They certainly do everything well with climbing, sprinting and acceleration all being impressive. The build quality should see them last after plenty of miles in the UK climate
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rims: High strength carbon fibre clincher, 38mm deep
Hubs: Miche alloy hubs with SKF sealed bearings, 18/24
Spokes: Sapim Aero, brass nipples
Freehub: Shimano 9/10/11, Campag 9/10/11
Extras: Wheel bags, carbon pads, skewers, rim tapes, balancing kit
higher than some although they don't feel it. Feel solid though
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great in any terrain, comfortable and well built. What more can you ask for?
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ride quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The naff decals.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With a background in engineering dabbling as a CNC programmer/machinist, draughtsman and product development engineer how a bike is made is just as important to Stu as how it rides.
He knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and has been chucking bikes around the west country ever since and the only reason he climbs is so that he can descend like a nutter down the other side. After years as a competitive time triallist Stu is on the lookout for a new form of competition after realising that the choice of a few glasses of wine in the evening versus riding up and down dual carriageways at 5am was becoming very one sided.