Road disc and gravel wheels are getting better, lighter and cheaper, and right at the forefront of that trend are the Pro-Lite Revo A21s. At 1,650g, with a Centerlock option, thru-axle compatibility and a wide track rim, they're a bargain at £349.99, and pretty future-proof too. (Check out the video here.)
Pro-Lite builds all its wheels by hand and the Revos arrived nice and true, with even spoke tension. The spokes are bladed and triple butted, and Pro-Lite uses a brass washer at the spoke head to better distribute the forces there.
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The Revos use a 21mm deep rim (hence the name), which is 23.8mm wide externally and 19mm internally. That makes it ideal for 28-32mm tyres, although 25mm rubber and bigger chamber tyres will be fine too.
It's tubeless-compatible, too. You don't get the rim strips and valves with the wheelset but once you have them it's a simple enough job and I had no trouble fitting the tyres I tried (30mm Schwalbe S-Ones and 35mm G-Ones). Mostly I used the wheels tubeless. Road tubeless has been waiting in the wings for a while but the new tyres and sealants that are popping up in 2016 are likely to give it a boost, so it's great that the Revos are ready.
They're ready for thru-axles too. The wheels come bundled with decent external-cam quick releases, but also a kit to swap to thru-axles front and rear. For the 15mm front caps it's just a case of popping off the end caps and replacing them; at the back you need to replace the whole axle, but it's a simple enough job. Our wheels didn't come with the newer 12mm front axle end caps but they will be available too. That's you fairly well future-proofed if you're thinking of buying another frame.
The wheels we tested also came with Shimano's Centerlock disc mount. The Revos are available in 6-bolt configuration, but Centerlock is set to take over in my opinion, because it's just better.
I fitted the Pro-Lites to my Kinesis Tripster ATR, in place of a set of Zipp 30 Course wheels. They're very similar in many regards: the weights are within 20g of each other, and the rims have a similar profile (although the Zipps are 2mm wider internally). Both are solidly built and have plenty of lateral stiffness.
I was pretty impressed with the Zipps, the only really stumbling block was the £800 price. These Revos don't look quite as classy but to all intents and purposes you're getting comparable performance, and they're just £350.
I've used them for faster road riding with 30mm tyres, and lane bashing and a bit of off-road on 35mm rubber, and they've been excellent. They're a really good all-round option, solid enough to cope with some abuse without being over-heavy – 1,600g is probably the sweet spot for an all-purpose alloy road disc wheel in that regard, so they're right in the zone.
> Thinking about going tubeless? Here's everything you need to know
They've worn well. The hubs use sealed EZO bearings (two at the front, four at the rear) that have stayed smooth, and the freehub has survived some dousings with no issues. This is alloy, and there's no anti-bite strip so there's a bit of notching on the splines now, but it's no worse than others I've used. Make sure you do your cassette up nice and tight.
I have very little negative to say about these Pro-Lites, really. If you're looking for a future-proof set of wheels for a new road disc/gravel/cross build then these are an excellent choice, and they're also a highly recommended upgrade if your bike came with heavy stock wheels, or you're looking to convert to tubeless. The shouty graphics might put a few people off but the performance certainly won't.
Great value and performance from these future-proofed 700C all-purpose disc brake wheels
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Make and model: Pro-Lite Revo A21 Disc Clincher Wheelset
Tell us what the wheel 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?
Pro-Lite says: "Coming in either 6 bolt ISO or Center lock disc settings, or run an adapter on the center lock hub to give you the best of both worlds. Running super smooth Japanese EZO bearings and a tubeless ready rim. With interchangeable axles (135mm and 142mm), these wheels will keep up with current specs now and to come"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Rim Type: 21mm Sleeved 6061 Clincher
Rim Finish: Anodized Black Spokes 28 32
Spokes: Triple Butted 2.2mm Aero Sandvik Stainless Steel
Freehub Material: Alloy
Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Handbuilt to a high standard from good components.
Rate the wheel for performance:
Really nice wheels to use, easy to run tubeless, stayed true throughout testing.
Rate the wheel for durability:
Wearing well. Some notching in the freehub.
Rate the wheel for weight
For the money, really good.
Rate the wheel for value:
Can't fault the value here.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Tension was even, wheels stayed true.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Pretty easy, including tubeless.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
Skewers are good, swapping axle caps is easy.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Well built, good profile, light for the money.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
These wheels put in an excellent performance.
Age: 43 Height: 189cm Weight: 92kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
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