Heard of C4 bicycle components? We hadn't, until a couple of weeks ago when we had a call from the nice chaps at Comtat to say they'd be bringing them in to the UK. In case you're wondering, "C-4 Bicycle Components is the result of four industry specialists coming together to design and manufacture lightweight bike components that rival their more expensive US and international counterparts", according to their website.
This year their product range is basically wheels, and they have a range of models using their own hubs with alloy and alloy/Carbon rims. We've got a set of the CA3.0 clinchers, which retail for £499.
So what's to say about these? Firstly and foremostly it's refreshing that the website gives a claimed weight of 1,486g and the wheels tip our scales at exactly that: no more, no less. Well, truth be told it's never less. We like that though. The CA3.0s use a 30mm rim that includes Niobuim as an alloying element; C4 claim that they're 'the lightest rims for their depth possible in aluminum' for that reason and for a 30mm section alloy wheel they're certainly not carrying much extra heft, weighing exactly the same as perennial favourite the Shimano RS80. The hubs include Phil Wood bearings as standard and the freehub is interchangeable between Campag and Shimano without having to re-dish the wheel.
Spoke-wise there's 20 radial ones at the front and 24 at the back, radial on the non-drive side and two-cross on the other. C4 use DT Swiss spokes across their range, these wheels feature bladed Aerolite spokes and they're hand-built in the US; tension seems even and they're nice and taut out of the box, though we haven't given them any miles yet so we'll wait and see on that front. Should you need to true them you'll need tyre levers as well as the supplied spoke key, as the nipples are seated internally.
C4 offer a three-year crash replacement program with their wheels, which goes some way further than most others we've seen. Basically if you bend one they'll rebuild or replace it, free of charge. And, and I quote, "that includes JRA's [just riding along], leaving wheels on your roof rack and driving into the garage, or even backing over a wheel when you head out to a race. We want you to ride and enjoy your wheels, we will do whatever it takes to make that happen." So that's good. On top of that the wheels are warrantied for five years.
All sounds good? It does to us. We'll be testing these hoops over the next few weeks so stay tuned. In the meantime you can check out more of the C4 range at www.comtat.co.uk and www.c-4bicyclecomponents.com
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.