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Verdict: 
Solid performing road disc wheels that are well built and a good weight for all-round use
Weight: 
1,590g

Good news everyone: road disc wheels are becoming more abundant, the price is coming down, and the wheels themselves are getting better. The Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc is a case in point: a sub-1600g wheelset for £400 that's well built, tubeless and thru-axle ready, and great for bigger tyres.

With 28 stainless aero-bladed spokes front and rear, these wheels are sensibly built for the stresses of disc brakes, and of general UK road riding. The rim is a disc brake-specific, 22mm-deep extrusion with no brake track, and it's 24mm wide with an internal width of about 19mm. That makes it spot on for larger road rubber up to cyclo-cross and even monster cross tyres; I ran these wheels with 28mm Schwalbe Pro Ones as well as 35mm G-Ones with no issues.

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The rims are tubeless-ready but they come with a standard non-tubeless rim strip, so to convert you'll need to buy tape and valves: factor that into the cost if you plan to go without inner tubes. It's a simple enough process to get them sealed, and the flattened profile in the middle of the rim means the valve sits nice and snug too.

Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc - rim.jpg

In terms of getting tyres on and off they're reasonably tight, but no more so than other similar wheels I've tried such as the Pro-Lite Revos and Zipp Course 30s; there wasn't any tyre I tried that I struggled to get seated.

> Read our guide to the best road bike wheels

Like those two wheels, the Racelight 700s are around 1,600g. Kinesis states a weight of 1,550g; ours weighed in at 1,590g with rim tape, so that's about right. That's a good weight for an all-purpose wheel. Obviously adding a disc rotor will bump that up a bit. The Kinesis-branded hubs use Shimano's Centerlock rotor mount as opposed to the more dated six-bolt. Centerlock makes discs much easier to fit and remove, so that's a thumbs-up from me.

Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc - front hub.jpg

In use these Kinesis wheels were very good. They're tightly built and there's no sloppiness in them at all, either at the bearings or in the straight-pull spokes. They were true when they arrived, and they stayed that way over the few hundred miles of testing I put into them. They're not super-light but they never felt sluggish and the ride feel is very good; that's probably down in no small part to the types of tyre they were wearing, and the fact that I was running them tubeless. Hard cornering didn't reveal any vagueness and slamming them into the odd pothole didn't knock them out of line.

Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc - spokes.jpg

Switching from quick-release to thru-axle (12mm or 15mm at the front, 12mm at the rear, all supplied) is a simple job that doesn't require any tools; the end caps are push fit. The quick releases that come with the wheels are simple external cam ones, but they're nicely made and effective. Removing the cassette at the end of testing revealed some minor notching of the alloy freehub body, but no more than is usual for a wheel at this kind of price.

Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc - rear hub.jpg

They don't really do a lot wrong, these Racelight wheels. For £400 you'd expect a well-built and reasonably light wheelset and that's what you get, with a forward-looking build that uses tubeless rims and Centerlock disc mounts, and covers all the current axle standards. A good value choice for your road disc or gravel build.

Verdict

Solid performing road disc wheels that are well built and a good weight for all-round use

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: Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc

Size tested: 24mm width, 22mm depth

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?

Kinesis says: "A reliable and fast road disc wheel set, the Racelight 700 disc wheel features wider tubeless ready rims, centerlock compatible hubs, bolt thru axle fitting and 11spd hub body"

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

*Rims: Tubeless ready clincher. 28h, 24mm width, 22mm depth, true disc-specific profile, high strength alloy, T6 Heat treated.

*Hubs: Rear: 9mm QR/142 12mm. 7075 alloy, High quality. 3 pawl alloy freehub. compatible freehub available. 4 large sealed bearings, Centrelock disc mount.

*Front: 9mm QR/15mm/12mm Thru axle. Lightweight 7075 alloy, double sealed bearing, centrelock disc mount.

*Spokes: Stainless steel aero bladed spokes, with black anodised alloy nipples. 28h 3-cross build.

*Weight: Front: 710g. Rear: 840g

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
8/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
8/10

Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?

Performed well throughout testing.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Fitted tubed and tubeless tyres, no real issues. For a tubeless rim they're about average in terms of tightness.

How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?

Supplied without tubeless rim strip but easy to switch. Skewers are good.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

Well built, fairly light, good profile for larger tyres.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

No real issues.

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

The Racelight 700 discs put in a solid performance and they're decent value too.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

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

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

11 comments

Avatar
BikeJon [211 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I've gone for Hunt wheels since. They specify brass nipples and have hardened steel inserts to help minimise sprockets digging into the free body. Also, they also have the correct diameter! They are also light and fast and have all the same tubeless, disc and axle conversions.

I usually like Kinesis products (I love my CXD tapered fork) but I personally wouldn't recommend their wheels based on my experience.

Avatar
schlepcycling [114 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
BikeJon wrote:

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I have the Crosslight Disc wheel and have done 2200 winter miles on them in the last 2 winters and have experienced no problems with them at all they've been excellent wheels.

Avatar
eadipus [4 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
BikeJon wrote:

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I've gone for Hunt wheels since. They specify brass nipples and have hardened steel inserts to help minimise sprockets digging into the free body. Also, they also have the correct diameter! They are also light and fast and have all the same tubeless, disc and axle conversions.

I usually like Kinesis products (I love my CXD tapered fork) but I personally wouldn't recommend their wheels based on my experience.

 

I'll agree with most of these points, got the same wheels and I've killed 1 nipple so far (sheared) and had them trued a few times, that said you can see missing paint on the rim where the MTBer in me has taken over. The freehub is indeed made of cheese, mine is battered, on my third cassette and it gets worse every time. The rim size does feel a teensy bit small, I've never had to use a lever to get tires on and off and seating tubeless on them is a toss up. Hub bearings and freehub are fine though and I treat them like crap (locked up outside, ridden all winter). Will probably be looking at Hunt too when new bike time comes around. At the time they were incredible for the money but better availability of disc specific wheels makes them less tempting

Avatar
StoopidUserName [658 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
BikeJon wrote:

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I've gone for Hunt wheels since. They specify brass nipples and have hardened steel inserts to help minimise sprockets digging into the free body. Also, they also have the correct diameter! They are also light and fast and have all the same tubeless, disc and axle conversions.

I usually like Kinesis products (I love my CXD tapered fork) but I personally wouldn't recommend their wheels based on my experience.

 

I'm generally happy with mine...the rear needs truing after 5k miles which isn't too bad and yeah, the freebody could be better but my main problem is the near impossibility of getting clincher tyres below 32mm on without a huge amount of pain and pinched tubes. Never, ever had this problem with a wheel before...actually quite stunning how hard it is to do. A shame as otherwise I'd really recommend them....or maybe they're telling me to go tubeless  3

Avatar
bikebot [2116 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Whilst the thread is having a little diversion on the matter of the CXD wheels, they do now have a "heavy duty" version, which I think is the one to buy.  32 rather than 28 spokes, with brass nipples for a small weight penalty.

My old set of CXD V3s set having been mostly trouble free, but I had my first nipple break a few weeks ago.  Hoping that's it, but if I lose a few more I'll pay to have the wheels relaced when they eventually need some care at the LBS.

Avatar
bikebot [2116 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

I'm generally happy with mine...the rear needs truing after 5k miles which isn't too bad and yeah, the freebody could be better but my main problem is the near impossibility of getting clincher tyres below 32mm on without a huge amount of pain and pinched tubes. Never, ever had this problem with a wheel before...actually quite stunning how hard it is to do. A shame as otherwise I'd really recommend them....or maybe they're telling me to go tubeless  3

Which tyres? I'm using 28mm GP4000s for the summer, which blow out to 32mm on the wider rim.  It's not an easy combination to get on and off, but nothing like the struggle of a set of Marathon Plus tyres.

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [420 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

> I'm using 28mm GP4000s for the summer, which blow out to 32mm on the wider rim.

Measured with digital calipers? Seems very unlikely. 30mm is more likely.

Avatar
bikebot [2116 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

>Measured with digital calipers? Seems very unlikely. 30mm is more likely.

Actually, yes! 

I was quite surprised myself, but then saw this -> http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/conti-gp4000s-ii-23-25-28

That recorded a real world width of 31mm on a narrower rim. With the wider CXD rim, 32mm matches up well to their result.  Of course the 28c might now be slightly less generous, but the set I have are BIG (which I like on those wheels).

Avatar
BikeJon [211 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
schlepcycling wrote:
BikeJon wrote:

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I have the Crosslight Disc wheel and have done 2200 winter miles on them in the last 2 winters and have experienced no problems with them at all they've been excellent wheels.

 

Good for you. 

My front wheel was fine but the rear wheel is probably the worst I've ever ridden or raced on in 26 years. I did have the wheel re-laced eventually with steel nipples (as I did stuggle on with it for a few thousand miles) but that obviously didn't cure the undersized rim diameter. It's not much good if you cannot get a tyre to seat into the rim properly.

Avatar
BikeJon [211 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
eadipus wrote:
BikeJon wrote:

I hope these are better quality than their Crosslight Disc wheels. I had all sorts of problems with mine. Like a lot of manufacturers they use alloy nipples, which just corrode and snap and the alloy free body seems to be made of cheese. But I had a perplexing problem with my rear wheel as tyres kept bulging. After a lot of swapping tyres, rim tape, innertubes and so on my LBS discovered the rim diameter is under-sized. So this created excess tyre material than had nowhere to sit, thus the bulging. 

I've gone for Hunt wheels since. They specify brass nipples and have hardened steel inserts to help minimise sprockets digging into the free body. Also, they also have the correct diameter! They are also light and fast and have all the same tubeless, disc and axle conversions.

I usually like Kinesis products (I love my CXD tapered fork) but I personally wouldn't recommend their wheels based on my experience.

 

I'll agree with most of these points, got the same wheels and I've killed 1 nipple so far (sheared) and had them trued a few times, that said you can see missing paint on the rim where the MTBer in me has taken over. The freehub is indeed made of cheese, mine is battered, on my third cassette and it gets worse every time. The rim size does feel a teensy bit small, I've never had to use a lever to get tires on and off and seating tubeless on them is a toss up. Hub bearings and freehub are fine though and I treat them like crap (locked up outside, ridden all winter). Will probably be looking at Hunt too when new bike time comes around. At the time they were incredible for the money but better availability of disc specific wheels makes them less tempting

My name is 'Hunt' so it made switching to those wheels an even easy choice for me. But it is a good thing that other decent quality wheels are entering the disc market.

Avatar
BHMRob [1 post] 7 months ago
0 likes

I bought the Clincher version of this wheelset from ProBikeKit.com. The tracking surface was uneven, such that when I braked hard, the front fork vibrated dangerously. The more serious the braking, the worse the shaking.

 

While I realize my problem wouldn't manifest in the disc version of this wheelset, the company (via ProBikeKit) refused to replace the front wheel. Measured with calipers, the variation in tracking surface width was 0.5 mil, which was the exact maximum manufacturer tolerance for a bad wheel. 

 

I mention it here because any company that won't support a faulty product shouldn't be in business. I understand that manufacturing isn't perfect, and sometimes a lemon gets made and sold. When that happens, a company should replace it, no big deal. I would have happily paid the shipping. Instead, I'm stuck with a useless Racelight wheel. 

 

While your experience is unlikely to mirror mine, know that if you have a problem, I wouldn't count on Racelight to make it right.