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Verdict: 
Lightness, value & quality — for once you can choose all three
Weight: 
1,640g

If you need a wheelset that can do a bit of everything for a bargain price, the Pave 28s from Superstar Components need to be on your shopping list. Light enough to race on while still managing to be as tough as old boots is a winning combination, more importantly though look how shiny they are.

The weight of 1640g (including rim tapes) is impressive for a sub £200 wheelset and when you ride them it's apparent that the weight is more of a by-product of a quality build and solid components rather than the start point. Solid is the key word in that last sentence as the Pave 28s feel super strong and Superstar Components offer a two year warranty and a lifetime of free truing which strongly implies they've got a lot of faith in their product.

Handbuilt in the UK the 28mm deep Pave wheelset uses 20 Sapim Laser spokes laced radially in the front wheel with 24 two-crossed at the rear. These are mated to Icon Ultra hubs with the rear being 11 speed compatible Shimano with an option of switching to a Campagnolo freehub should you need it.

The cartridge bearings are sealed which they've needed to be considering the last four weeks of testing have been decidedly wet, salty and muddy. Without going out of my way to damage them they haven't been cleaned or seen any form of maintenance and while the bike is creaking like mad the Pave 28s are still smooth and as quiet as a mouse.

The Pave rims have an external width of 23mm which increases the width of the fitted tyre. For instance the 25mm Vittoria tyres used for testing measured 26.9mm from shoulder to shoulder. This brings two benefits: more rubber on the ground for grip and the option of running lower tyre pressures too. I still like the feel of a hard narrow race tyre beneath me and with the Vittorias pumped up to the 100psi rim limit I still got that feeling while having the extra grip.

My only criticism was that the narrow rim tapes provided had too much room to slide around. Even with the tyres and tubes fitted the tape slid over on both the front and rear exposing the spoke hole edges causing some frustrating punctures.

They accelerate well thanks to the low weight and even hard efforts don't see them flex at all. You can feel the stiffness in the rim all the time although they are never harsh even on rough surfaces. A testament to the spoke choice and lacing to allow just enough give to take the road buzz out. Using the same tyres and pressures with a similarly wide wheel highlighted just how comfortable the Pave 28s are.

Overall they have the feeling of a performance wheelset that suits a lightweight race bike but also feels right at home tapping out the miles on a heavyweight steel tourer; I've tried them on both. It's this kind of versatility that makes them such a good buy being able to swap them over between bikes and not having to compromise on ability.

It's the reliability though that is the biggest selling point. I seem to be pretty hard on wheels especially in the winter months and it's not uncommon for me to return test bikes with broken spokes but these are still running as they were when they came out of the box.

The Superstar Components are easily worth the £194.99 asking price and while you can get various entry level wheels from Shimano, Campag etc. for less they just don't compete when you take into account the build quality, ride and aftersales maintenance package. In fact nor do a lot of more expensive wheelsets.

Verdict

UK handbuilts that are a long term investment. Lightness, value & quality – for once you can choose all three

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Superstar Components Pave 28 wheelset

Size tested: 17mm

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?

With a wider rim profile than most the Pave 28s are designed to run larger volume tyres at lower pressures while still giving a feeling of speed and performance. I think Superstar Components have delivered a brilliant wheelset here with a common sense choice of quality components and wheel building knowledge.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

*1640g

*20 spoke front - radial

*24 spoke rear - two-crossed

*Pave 28 Rim - 28mm deep, 17mm internal width, 23mm external width

*Sapim Laser spokes

*Icon Ultra 11spd hubs (Shimano, SRAM & Campag options)

*Sealed cartridge bearings

*2 yr warranty

*Crash replacement discount scheme

*Lifetime free truing service

*Silver, red or black versions available

*0.2mm trueness tolerance

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A brilliant set of wheels that are fast and strong too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The overall ride feel

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Narrow rim tapes

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

The Pave 28s are just brilliant wheels. The quality and durability is easy to feel as you ride and they look great too. For the maintenance package and build quality the price is truly exceptional, you aren't going to need to replace them anytime soon.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

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,

 

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

24 comments

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EarsoftheWolf [75 posts] 4 years ago
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Looks like a decent set of wheels. I'd hardly ever use the stock rim tape that comes with a wheel anyway - too many bad experiences!

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othello [412 posts] 4 years ago
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I bought a pair of the non-Pave version for my sons race bike -- the Elite 30. The same as the Pave but with a narrower rim.

They really are fantastic, especially for the money. Well built and reliable. My sons set weigh 1510g for the same price as the Pave. Granted, he is small and light and doesn't need the extra width.

Oh yes, the stock rim tape are rubbish. I've had a few wheels from Superstar (both road and MTB) and the first thing I do is bin the tape, and use electrical tape instead.

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P3t3 [429 posts] 4 years ago
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Can these do tubeless?

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massspike [138 posts] 4 years ago
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othello wrote:

... I do is bin the tape, and use electrical tape instead.

Just curious...does one layer of electrical tape do the job?

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wrevilo [108 posts] 4 years ago
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I have had my eye on these for a while, as they do look like good value for money. However, I would have liked to have seen brass nipples used in the build.

What kind of noise does the freehub make?

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hanny152 [20 posts] 4 years ago
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I've successfully converted to tubeless using two layers of Superstar yellow tubeless tape, Stans valve on Continental CX King 35mm tyres.

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gbzpto [121 posts] 4 years ago
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massspike wrote:
othello wrote:

... I do is bin the tape, and use electrical tape instead.

Just curious...does one layer of electrical tape do the job?

That sounds pretty dangerous to me ! We had someone stay with us who did this. Cycled down alpe d'huez and both tubes exploded multiple times where the electrical tape expanded and the spokes punctured the tubes.

Even crap rim tape has to be better than electrical tape !

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hanny152 [20 posts] 4 years ago
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I've used electrical tape before, not a good idea as the high pressure will rip a hole on the electric tape at the spoke hole on the rim and puncture the tube too.

I use tubeless rim tape on all my road and cross wheels because:
a) lightest at 6g one layer compare to Superstar rim tape at a 40g
b) if you are running tubeless rims, chances are its a pain to fit tyres on and tubeless rim tape are the best. In my experience, Velux cloth tape is the worst!

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hanny152 [20 posts] 4 years ago
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Agree with gbzpto.

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incog24 [2 posts] 4 years ago
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nice write up but isn't 20 radial + 24 2x built with Lasers a bit of a weak build for a 'tough' wheelset? I know it is to some degree in the building of a wheel, but I'd have thought 2x front and 3x back and/or Sapim Race spokes might be more sensible and worth the weight penalty?

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seven [162 posts] 4 years ago
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incog24 wrote:

nice write up but isn't 20 radial + 24 2x built with Lasers a bit of a weak build for a 'tough' wheelset? I know it is to some degree in the building of a wheel, but I'd have thought 2x front and 3x back and/or Sapim Race spokes might be more sensible and worth the weight penalty?

I got a good 10,000 Edinburgh commuting miles out of a set of Cole Rollens with the same setup before I got my first broken spoke. Anyone who knows Edinburgh roads will attest to their utterly ruinous state and on top of that I'm no stranger to a pie or six.

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Acliffalay [5 posts] 4 years ago
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According to their website, the weight is 1533 grams?
I guess if the rim tape is around 40-50g per wheel?

I have these wheels and they are fantastic. The silver looks great, blows up my 25mm gp4000s to 28mm for comfort and feels strong yet really light.

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LondonDynaslow [264 posts] 4 years ago
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incog24 wrote:

nice write up but isn't 20 radial + 24 2x built with Lasers a bit of a weak build for a 'tough' wheelset? I know it is to some degree in the building of a wheel, but I'd have thought 2x front and 3x back and/or Sapim Race spokes might be more sensible and worth the weight penalty?

And more spokes!

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tandellcycling [40 posts] 4 years ago
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Silver color of the rims and hubs make the wheels good looking,if the spoke and nipples are also silver,will be better in my mind.

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Pifko [118 posts] 4 years ago
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Acliffalay wrote:

According to their website, the weight is 1533 grams?
I guess if the rim tape is around 40-50g per wheel?

I have these wheels and they are fantastic. The silver looks great, blows up my 25mm gp4000s to 28mm for comfort and feels strong yet really light.

Never believe manufacturers weight claims

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andyp [1599 posts] 4 years ago
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Sound a very decent set of wheels for the money and I'm extremely tempted.

BUT.

I've not used Superstar stuff for a number of years since they were having all sorts of disasters with quality - disc pads coming away from their backing etc - the word in the MTB world back then generally involved barge poles.

This is probably long sorted...I've just been out of the loop. Anyone able to confirm if they're now considered a manufacturer of reliable kit?

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fukawitribe [2674 posts] 4 years ago
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Are these the version with SKF bearings ?

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othello [412 posts] 4 years ago
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andyp wrote:

Sound a very decent set of wheels for the money and I'm extremely tempted.

BUT.

I've not used Superstar stuff for a number of years since they were having all sorts of disasters with quality - disc pads coming away from their backing etc - the word in the MTB world back then generally involved barge poles.

This is probably long sorted...I've just been out of the loop. Anyone able to confirm if they're now considered a manufacturer of reliable kit?

From what I have seen, they have worked hard to fix the old problems with quality. There are still some people in the MTB community who are scarred by their past experiences, and still won't touch them. But they seem to have moved from a 'selling from the back bedroom' type of company, to a 'proper' one.

I have bought a range of stuff from them over the past few years; brake pads, tools, MTB seat posts, pedals. It has all been really good. I have also bought 2 sets of MTB wheels and 2 sets of road wheels. They have been excellent. As described, true, well tensioned spokes, good bearings and spot on weights! I know some people have complained about sets arriving out of true or with loose spokes, but that hasn't effected me, and I think that is a thing of the past, and they have quality control under control. Or so it seems to me.

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othello [412 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
gbzpto wrote:
massspike wrote:
othello wrote:

... I do is bin the tape, and use electrical tape instead.

Just curious...does one layer of electrical tape do the job?

That sounds pretty dangerous to me ! We had someone stay with us who did this. Cycled down alpe d'huez and both tubes exploded multiple times where the electrical tape expanded and the spokes punctured the tubes.

Even crap rim tape has to be better than electrical tape !

That never occurred to me! I started using electrical tape donkeys years ago on my MTBs, before I had a road bike. I just assumed it would work fine on road rims. I've never had one blow, touch wood. But as I'm oft the Alps for the first time in the summer, I'll make sure to switch to proper tape.

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andyp [1599 posts] 4 years ago
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thanks Othello, that's really helpful. I was sure that in still being a viable business they must have sorted something out - but it's good to hear that. Much appreciated.

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feeling it [23 posts] 4 years ago
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Have a set of wheels from them that were on offer before Crimbo, which were discounted further with a code from another well known comic. Have to say very impressed, running them alongside some Ultegra wheels and they are holding up better

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LarryDavidJr [392 posts] 4 years ago
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So how does the 'lifetime of free truing' work? Fine if you can take it to an LBS and they pay the bill. Not so great if you have to post em off somewhere ....

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Daipink [9 posts] 4 years ago
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Campag Protons, Neutrons & Nucleons have (or had) the same number of spokes I think, possibly even less although I guess they were pretty standard spokes on the Protons and all are rated as very tough wheels I think. I've never had to true my Protons and used them for racing then as winter hack wheels. The front took a hit from pot hole that dropped my bars but didn't cause any damage to the front wheel.

These seem to have pretty tough rims too which I guess can make up for the lower spoke count?

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ricey155 [9 posts] 3 years ago
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I've suffered 2 failures on these, keep the box they will crack and need sorting under warranty they are good at customer service tbf. But it real hassle and another £10 wasted