Halo seems very proud of its new Evaura Universal 6D 700C wheelset, and quite rightly. These are well-made wheels that can be adapted for a variety of cycles and purposes. The ride quality is excellent, the weight modest and – despite the dishing needed to make it disc-brake compatible – it proved impossible to provoke them into twisting or flexing.
The idea behind this wheelset is to make it as adaptable as possible to the new rash of wheel and braking standards that is spreading across the industry. While most conventional road frames take a 130mm rear axle, disc brake-equipped bikes are commonly adopting the 135mm found on mountain bikes. (Mountain bike rear axles are themselves now getting longer, but that's another story...)
Additionally, running a 135mm rear axle on a short-chainstay bike can lead to chainline problems when conventional road cranks are fitted. SRAM and others have developed offset cranksets for such bikes and Halo has developed hub adapters that work with both conventional and offset cranks, to allow any combination of axle length, chainstay length or crank offset. And Ison says there are adapters in the pipeline to allow these hubs to be used with a thru-axle.
The rear hub came fitted with an 11-speed Shimano-compatible freehub, which took my 10-speed cassette with the help of an adapter, but all other freehub flavours are also available. In fact, all that's missing is a Shimano Center Lock rotor option, which may rule these out for you. It's actually a slightly bewildering array of options but there's helpful advice on the website, and the nice people at Ison are also happy to help if you are in doubt.
My test wheels came with adapters for switching between a 130 and 135mm rear axle length. This is very easy to do and requires only a couple of 5mm and one 10mm hex keys to unscrew the end caps and swap them over. Repositioning of the rotor is achieved with a simple plastic shim and some extra-long disc bolts. With some combinations of axle length and cranks it would also be necessary to re-dish the wheel, which gives you an idea of the levels to which you might need to go to get the maximum versatility out of these wheels.
While you are in there, it's a simple matter to pull off the freehub for a clean and grease. The six pawls live inside the hub rather than being part of the freehub itself. The freehub proved smooth, with a light buzz that rose to a high whine at speed, prompting me to get off and look for a leaf stuck in my wheel the first time I rode downhill. A smear of grease inside the hub calmed this down a bit.
June is hardly the most demanding month for kit testing, especially wheels which may get soaked with salty winter spray, so all I can report on the quality of bearings and internals is that everything was as good as new when I opened the hubs up at the end of the test.
Most of the cleverness is in the 6D Road Disc rear hub, but Halo has combined this with a conventional non-disc brake rim to allow the wheels to be used with either disc or conventional brakes. It argues that if you are in doubt about whether to adopt disc brakes you can future-proof yourself, should you wish to make the change later. Certainly the quality of these wheels is such that they are worth hanging onto and may well be better than anything supplied with a disc brake-equipped road bike up to around £2,000.
You will find the rim surfaces have plenty of bite – I use Swiss Stop pads and they work really well on the Halo rims, even in the wet. I did find a slight manufacturing defect in one brake surface that manifested itself as a click when braking on the first ride, but I got rid of this with some wet and dry paper. It annoyed my inner perfectionist to look down and see a disc mount spinning uselessly on a rim brake-equipped bike. Disc brake users may be similarly unsettled at the idea of using a rim with a braking surface.
Each wheel is laced with 24 straight-pull (non-aero) spokes, 2-crossed on both sides. This helps deal with the twisting forces exerted by disc brakes and transferred into a very solid, flex-free build. Even at the rim, with the pads set close, I couldn't provoke any rubbing despite wrenching the bike up the steepest local hills, out of the saddle and in the highest gear I could turn. No flex means no wasted effort, and I had no difficulty matching or beating some of the Personal Bests set on the same bike with my regular wheels.
Straight-pull spokes are not loved by all bike mechanics because, should a spoke get seized into the nipple, there's nothing to stop the spoke turning at the hub end. This is worse with non-aero spokes, as you cannot get a grip on the spoke to prevent it turning. Added to this, aluminium nipples are prone to corrosion (I've known them crumble to dust at the turn of a spoke key), so if you plan on running these wheels through the winter you will need to be meticulous with your cleaning and maintenance. For this reason I've marked these wheels down a little for longevity.
The modestly aero rims measure 22mm deep, nowhere near enough to be troubled by crosswinds, and the 19mm internal width worked fine with a 25mm tyre and would accept wider if you have the room. The rim hook is bona-fide tubeless-ready, allowing a tubeless tyre to snap into place with a very satisfying crack. It was easy to get a tubeless tyre inflated with a compressor. The rim tape is tubeless-ready but easy to pinch if you have to use a lever to get the tyre on – which I did. Tyre fitting itself was tight but not impossible, and actually proved easier with tubeless than the non-tubeless tyres I fitted.
The all-black scheme with red spoke nipples looks good, the white graphics are understated, and the whole package looks and feels like quality kit, as the ride seems to confirm.
Good quality wheels with highly adaptable hubs that make them suitable for a wide range of bikes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Halo Evaura Uni 6D 700C wheelset
Size tested: 700C, 22mm deep x 24mm wide rim
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?
Halo's importer, Ison Distribution, explains the thinking behind the Evaura Universal wheelset:
Currently – if you want NEW wheels – you've got to decide if you are going to run Disc brakes or not....
If you buy conventional caliper brake type road wheels... they can't be used in a Disc frame and similarly... if you buy Disc wheels – they won't fit into a classic road frame
The standard rear end dropout spacing of a standard road frame is 130mm... and all of the gear mechs, hubs and cranks used are designed around that proven standard.
Whereas the New Disc type road frames are based around the MTB tail ends of 135mm.
This means that the rear hubs aren't cross compatible...
(and interestingly... if you want a short fast handling chainstay... the crankset needs to be offset by 2.5mm to allow the acute cross over chain angles to work correctly... hence... many Disc Road bikes with rear 135mm spacing have longer chainstays that perhaps a similar classic road frame can allow... to enable their conventional road cranksets to still work)
Halo's UNIVERSAL fitting rear hubs effectively have an adjustable rear spacing (and an adjustable chainline for the cassette.)
This universal fitting hub comes supplied as standard to fit 130mm or 135mm QR frames – using conventional 130mm road standard cranksets with a chainline of around 45mm.
This means you can run conventional 130mm 'road' chainline cranks and drive train on a 135mm frame that has short road length chainstays, or of course, on a 130mm frame.
An optional adaptor is available to allow SRAM and other cranks using the wider MTB spaced 135mm chainline of 47.5mm
The UNIVERSAL part is that it can be used to fit:
130mm Standard – non-disc.
130mm 6 bolt IS Disc.
135mm 6 bolt IS Disc with regular MTB chainline (FD +2.5mm)
135mm 6 bolt IS Disc with classic 130mm chainline.
All with Shimano/Sram or Campag compatible formats (9,10 or 11Spd -or EVEN SRAM XD).
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Suitable for 130mm, 135mm or 135/130mm chainlines.
IS 6 bolt disc mount for 135mm or 130mm frames.
11spd Shimano/Sram or Campagnolo compatible. Spacers available to convert to 9 or 10spd.
22mm deep x 24mm wide rim.
Tubeless-ready, supplied pre-taped.
24H straight pull DB spokes front and rear.
CNC alloy braking surface.
Front hub - Sealed bearing, IS 6 bolt.
Rear hub - Sealed bearing, reversed 6-pawl 12 point simultaneous engagement (30 click), IS 6 bolt.
Weights: Front: 732g, Rear: 865g. Combined: 1597g.
Colours: Black anodised.
Solid wheels, well finished. I found a little metal "blib" on the front rim braking surface that had to be removed with wet & dry. The wheels have stayed true and the hubs are simple but effective.
No sign of any lateral twist, despite setting the pads as close as possible. Stiffness and acceleration at least on a par with my regular Shimano RS80 set.
Early days, but straight-pull spokes have a reputation among bike mechanics for being difficult to work on should any spoke seize into its nipple. All okay so far. The sealed bearings are smooth and easy to service. The freehub isn't especially well sealed but is very easy to remove and clean.
Ison claims 732g front, 865g rear, total 1597g. On my scales, not including skewers, they came in at: 770g front, 895g rear, combined 1665g. A reasonable weight and on par with others in the same price range.
There are many wheelsets in this price range, many of comparable quality but few as versatile as these – so if you're looking for a wheelset that does more than one job, this offers very good value.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
A very minor true needed on the rear wheel out of the box but have remained true since.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Fair to middling. A tubeless tyre actually fitted more easily than a non-tubular which wouldn't go on without a lever. I noticed this put a small rip in the rim tape, though this didn't impair its ability to hold air and can be easily taped over. Tubeless tyres inflated first time using a compresor and seated with a satisfying crack.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
No skewers supplied with my set. The tape is tubeless-ready but a little fragile and easily damaged by a tyre lever. The supplied 135mm conversion kit was tidy and very easy to fit.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I was very pleased with these – very tight and solid with minimal deflection at the rim and well able to soak up the potholes of the Durham back lanes. Smooth-running bearings, no draggy, weighed-down feeling when accelerating up hills.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Well built, stiff, easy maintenance, versatile.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
It's an aesthetic thing really – the slightly Frankensteinean combination of disc brake-equipped and dished wheels with a conventional rim.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes, if I were considering disc brakes.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's not for me to say whether there's a market for a "fit any bike" wheelset at this price. If you want a wheel that can be set up for road, gravel, cyclo-cross, or commuting on a 29er, either disc or non-disc, then this is what you've been waiting for. Otherwise there are plenty of conventional wheelsets (including from Halo) that will do a similarly good job at a similar price. However, the performance and execution is very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking