The Acros Road Disc C 28 wheelset offers plenty of performance thanks to huge levels of stiffness and a lightweight build. They're tough as old boots too – the perfect set of wheels for road rides with excursions onto gravel.
At just 1,490g (810g front/680g rear) the weight of the Acros C 28s is impressive for how stiff and durable they are. It also means they accelerate easily, and climbing on them is an absolute joy.
Acros has designed these wheels for road, gravel and cyclo-cross use and they'll take a whack or too without fuss. I fitted them to the Litespeed Cherohala SE, a bike intended for similar usage, and headed off to the gravel tracks.
With plenty of hidden potholes to crash through and small rocks littering the path, there was plenty there to take out a weak wheel but the Acros shrugged everything off. Even a little blast through the woods clattering the odd exposed tree root did little to spoil the ride.
Spoke tension is equal throughout and while they are stiff, the wheels don't feel harsh even with narrow tyres pumped up to high pressures.
With a 45mm rim depth there is a little bit of aerodynamic benefit going on too, once you hit speeds above 25mph, but the rim is just shallow enough that it barely feels affected by crosswinds which is good, especially if you are a light rider yourself.
They aren't just deep, though, they are wide too. With an internal measurement of 19mm and an external one of 24mm, they follow the current trend of rim design, finishing in a rounded u-shaped profile. The widths will stretch the profile of your tyre out a bit, so if you fit a pair of 28mm tyres they'll measure up at a smidge over 30mm.
The wheels can be run tubeless and you get the tape and valves provided when you buy the wheels; all you'll need is some sealant and you're good to go.
I found various size tyres very easy to fit. The wide rim made getting a pair of 25s on a bit of squeeze but I could still just about manage it using my thumbs.
These wheels are handbuilt in Germany, starting with Acros' Nineteen RD-Disc hubs which use stainless steel angular contact ball-bearings.
The rear has spun smoothly throughout the test period and although the front felt a little rougher to begin with, it soon bedded in. I never noticed it on the bike, to be fair, only when I spun the wheel in my hands.
Acros provides full instructions on how to adjust and service the hubs in the package, and you get a pack of spare grease too.
On the rear you can even tweak how loud you want the freehub to be by choosing one of three settings – how's that for customisation?
The hubs are laced to Duke Baccara C rims by Sapim CX-Ray spokes, with 24 front and rear. The rear wheel uses a two-cross pattern on both sides, as does the front on the disc mount side, with the other having a radial pattern.
While I'm mentioning disc mounting, probably the only downside to the wheels is that they come in a six-bolt option only, rather than the largely more common Centerlock system designed by Shimano. It's not a major issue, but if you do want to use Centerlock you'll need to factor in the cost of adaptors, another 20 quid or so.
When it comes to value, the Acros aren't the most expensive we've seen but nor are they the cheapest with their £1,549.99 price tag.
The pretty excellent JRA Gecko carbon wheels don't have the same rim depth but they are built to offer the same performance on multiple terrains. They're £850, so quite a bit cheaper, and are a bit lighter too at 1,400g.
When we are talking keenly priced wheels we've got to include Hunt, a company that constantly delivers quality, high performance wheels at sensible prices. Its 30 Carbon Gravel disc wheelset costs £879 and weighs the same as the Acros.
Overall price isn't the only indicator of value, and there are cheaper wheels out there that don't perform anywhere near as well as the Acros, but those two mentioned above do, and look to offer the same levels of quality and reliability too.
The Acros Road Disc C wheelset is very good for a whole range of riding, especially if you are a rider who gives wheels a hard time. My only criticism is that they are up against some tough, cheaper opposition and I'd like to see a Centerlock version.
Lightweight wheelset perfect for high-speed road use and forays onto gravel tracks
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Acros Road-Disc C 28
Size tested: 28in
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?
Acros says, "New road, gravel, cyclocross or asphalt - the Road Disc Race Carbon wheel set is the perfect weapon for all your adventures. For us, the new generation of road bikes is not a marketing gag but offers you the freedom to ride off the beaten track and discover new routes. The modern rim geometry with 19,1 mm inner width, 45 mm rim height and an asymmetric rim profile sets new standards. In combination with hand installed Sapim CX Ray spokes and our RD-DISC hubs made in Germany, the wheel set only sports a weight of 1451 g but at the same accelerates with ease and offers perfect lateral stiffness at the same time."
I think Acros has delivered the package it intended.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
HUB NINETEEN RD-DISC
AXLE SYSTEM FW QR09, TA09, TA15
AXLE SYSTEM RW QR10, TA10, TA12, X12
RIM DUKE BACCARA C
INTERNAL RIM WIDTH 19,1mm
SPOKES Sapim CX-Ray
MAX. TYRE PRESSURE 8,5bar
MAX. RIDER WEIGHT (NAKED) 95kg
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
No issues at all, solid.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
No issues whatsoever. Tyres were no tighter than on most wheels with rim widths similar to the Acros.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The Acros tubeless tape fitted easily, as did the valves. Various end caps are available to convert the 12mm thru-axle hubs to 15mm thru or 9mm quick release.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great on or off road.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Lightweight without sacrificing stiffness and durability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
No Centerlock option.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are a few wheels out there with similar credentials, but the likes of the Just Riding Along Gecko and Hunts offerings are much chepaer.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Possibly, but there are cheaper alternatives out there.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A really good all-round package that covers everything from performance through to durability, but pricier than some very good competition.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!