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Swiss Side wheels arrive in UK

Three new sets of road wheels from Switzerland

Road wheels from newly formed brand Swiss Side are now available in the UK through Synergy Action.

As the name suggests, Swiss Side are based in Switzerland, the company being run by former Formula 1 engineer Jean-Paul Ballard and industrial designer George Cant.

The range comprises just three models, all 700C clinchers.

The top model is called the Franc. The 27mm deep rim is made from 6066-T6 aluminium with CNC machined sidewalls. The hubs are CNCed with ceramic hybrid bearings (steel races, ceramic balls) and the cassette body is hard anodized. That cassette body is Shimano/SRAM compatible although you can buy a Campag model separately for another £30. The spokes are aero bladed with hidden nipples.

Swiss Side give the Franc’s weights as 693g (f) and 840g (r) – a total of 1,533g (without quick release skewers). Assuming that checks out, it’s about the same as a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elites although we haven’t tried out the Swiss Side wheels so we can’t comment on their performance.

A pair of Francs will set you back £585. That includes QRs, rim tape, a padded double wheel bag, a computer magnet, replacement spokes and spoke adjustment tools.

The next model in the range is called the Heidi and it’s designed, as the name suggests, for the mountains. At £425 this wheelset is £160 cheaper than the Franc but just 6g heavier. Swiss Side’s wheel weights are 688g (f) and 851g (r) for a total weight of 1,539g.

This time the rims are 23mm deep and both the rims and the hub bodies are made from 6061-T6 aluminium. It runs on ceramic hybrid bearings and is laced up with Sapim CX straight-pull aero spokes. Again, you can go down the Campag route if you buy the freehub separately, and you get all the same extras as with the Francs except for the wheel bag.

The entry-level Swiss Side wheelset is the St Bernard. It comes with 27mm-deep 6066 aluminium rims, CNC-machined aluminium hub bodies, sealed steel bearings and Sapim Leader J-type spokes. With a claimed weight of 1,700g it’s not an especially light wheelset but you’re looking at £219 the pair.

That’s a wood effect finish on the St Bernard which we guess is going to be one of those love it or hate it designs.

All three of the Swiss Side models are available now and we’ll hopefully have some in for review shortly.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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