Home
Verdict: 
Lightweight and durable set of wheels that offer real bang for your buck, with just a bit of flex under load
Weight: 
1,335g

The Novatec Jetfly SL wheels are light, relatively cheap, and responsive. They're great for training and day-to-day use, although you do notice a bit of flex when really pushing hard.

  • Pros: Cheap, light, responsive
  • Cons: A bit of flex

The Jetfly is Novatec's mid-range training wheelset, with a 32mm deep rim, a 21mm wide outer and 17mm inner. They're narrower than a lot of modern wheels, so you may not be able to run super-wide tyres. I used them with both 25s and 28s without any issues. The rims are also tubeless ready, although I used them with clinchers throughout the review.

> Find your nearest dealer here

At the front Novatec has used 20 spokes laced in a radial pattern, and 24 at the back in an 8/16 split, with a three-cross pattern on the drive side. These provide a decent amount of strength and responsiveness; they don't swallow up bumps and potholes, but even when I hit something big I was never worried that I might damage them.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - rim.jpg

Novatec has also included an innovative 3-in-1 hub that can be used across Campagnolo, Shimano, and SRAM. I used Shimano throughout the review and found that it worked well, with instant engagement and reaction to pressure on the pedals.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - rear hub.jpg

The hubs themselves spin up well and hold their speed well for a 32mm rim. This was one element of the wheels that I was particularly impressed by, given their weight and classification as training wheels.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - front hub.jpg

One area where they could potentially be improved is stiffness: when I really pushed the pedals there was noticeable flex, and as somebody who likes to run hair-trigger brakes I found a little bit of rubbing when I was putting in the most effort. Once I loosened my brakes slightly this was less noticeable.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - valve.jpg

The rims have a machined braking surface, and they provided reliable and firm braking in both wet and dry conditions.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - rim detail.jpg

Novatec includes rim tape with the wheels, which is something less to worry about.

Novatec Jetfly SL wheels - rim bed.jpg

The wheelset comes in at 1,335g for the pair, which is very impressive for the money. Other mid-range wheels – Pacenti's Forzas, Fulcrum's Racing 4s, Campag's Zondas – all come in 100g+ heavier. Even the RSP Calavera Carbon CC35s that Stu looked at a couple of months ago that come in at over double the price are almost 200g more. This is the one element of the Jetflys (Jetflies?) that is the most impressive – simply that they are so light for the price and quality. To put that into perspective – the famously featherweight Lightweight Meilensteins are only 200g lighter.

> Buyer's Guide: 37 of the best road bike wheels

Overall I was very impressed with these wheels: they spin up well and hold that speed, and have a very impressive weight for the price. They do have a bit of flex when you really put the power down, but it's not that big an issue when you can just open your callipers a little.

Verdict

Lightweight and durable set of wheels that offer real bang for your buck, with just a bit of flex under load

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: Novatec Jetfly SL wheelset

Size tested: 700C, 32mm deep

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?

These are training wheels designed to be both lightweight and hardy for everyday use.

Novatec says, "The perfect wheel for a training ride, Jetfly's 32mm-deep section rim feels like riding on a knife-edge."

I don't know about the knife edge element, but the rest is accurate.

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

Novatec lists:

CATEGORY: CLINCHER

TYPE: ROAD RACING/TRAINING

RIM TYPE DEPTH: CLINCHER ALLOY 32MM

ETRTO ERD: 622-17 572.1MM

RIM FINISHING: BLACK MICRO PEEN

WEIGHT: F:630G R:825G

SPOKES NO.: 20/24 J-HOOK

SPOKES TYPE: STAINLESS DOUBLE BUTTED

SPOKES FRONT: L:10 x 277 R:10 x 277

SPOKES REAR: L:8 x 268 R:16 x 284

LACING: F:RADIAL R:RADIAL/3X

NIPPLE TYPE: BLACK/2 RED 14MM DSN ALLOY

EYELETS/VALVE HOLE: NO Ø6.2MM

HUBS: XA561SB, XF562SB

HUB FINISHING: BLACK ANO. POLISHED

AXLE F/R: AL 9X108X100, AL 10X140X130

CONVERTIBLE TO TUBELESS: TUBELESS READY

CASSETTE SHIM/SRAM/CAMP: SHIM. 11 UNIQUE 3IN1

MATERIAL OF CASS.BODY/COMPATIBILITY: ALLOY ABG [D2]

RIM VENDOR/RIM MODEL: RWA32C

RIM WEIGHT: 465G

BEARING SIZE: F:#689x2 R:#6802x1, #6902x3

HUB WEIGHT: F:65G R:235G

QUICK RELEASE: QR249

PARTS: 4 SPARE SPOKES AND NIPPLES

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
7/10

They seem well made with excellent hubs and an effective braking surface, but they lose a couple of marks for the slight flex.

Rate the wheel for performance:
 
8/10

They perform very well, holding their speed well, spinning up quickly, and making climbing a cinch with their low weight.

Rate the wheel for durability:
 
8/10

Took them on some pretty pock-marked roads without any issues.

Rate the wheel for weight
 
9/10

For their price their weight is impressive, with even considerably more expensive wheels struggling to match them.

Rate the wheel for value:
 
8/10

Really good value for what they are; try to find a lighter pair of wheels for under £500 and you'd really struggle.

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

The wheels stayed true throughout, although the flex suggests they might need attention more frequently than others over time.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Very easy. I used clinchers throughout and had two punctures during the review which were simple to fix by the side of the road due to the simplicity of fitting.

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

Very well, the rim tape didn't slip throughout the review period and the skewers worked well, with a particularly pleasing easy-to-grip machining making them easy to tighten.

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

Very well, great for day-to-day riding, training rides, and you could probably even sling these on for particularly hilly races too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

Their weight is easily their most impressive element.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

The slight flex when climbing or sprinting.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Pacenti Forzas are £80 less, but are 80g heavier. Similarly Stu took a look at the Just Riding Along Lark Light Road wheelset at £414.80, which come in at 125g more.

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 overall score

Great bang for your buck – they are lightweight, spin up well, and hold their speed. The only thing that knocks a couple of marks off is that bit of flex during hard efforts.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

3 comments

Avatar
othello [422 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

They look good. A fraction lighter than the CERO AR30 EVO and tubeless compatiable. 

Avatar
mtbtomo [293 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I have a pair and I'd say they flex less than my Mavic Kysriums which are a little heavier. Is a bit of flex not inevitable on such lightweight aluminium clinchers?

Not sure if it's my brake pads or the cheapo calipers I've used with these wheels but they don't seem to break as well.

Avatar
EdMartinez [1 post] 3 months ago
0 likes

This review is a little mixed up.  It shows pictures of the Jetfly SL but quotes figures for the Jetfly.

Jetfly and Jetfly SL are two different wheelsets.  Jetfly SL are essentially a rebranded Sprint wheelset.

Jetfly  32mm deep  1,455g/pair

Jetfly SL (formerly called Sprint) 23.4mm deep 1,335g/pair

 

I have run Jetfly (not the SL or Sprint versions) clinchers for over 4 years now which is 13,000 km according to my Strava figures.  Still true and smooth running as they were when new.  I live in the Yorkshire Dales where hills regularly reach 20% gradient in places so carbon clinchers would be worrisome going downhill due to overheating of the rims.  Never experienced brake rub on them and they are a stiffer wheelset than my wife's Dura Ace C24s.  The C24 are slightly more forgiving over rough roads.  I regularly get into the top 20% on the up hill segments (at the age of 57) so these wheels are fast up hill.

Novatec spend very little money on marketing hence reviews are hard to come by.   Would be great to have a side by side comparison of the Jetfly and the Jetfly SL to see if the added stiffness but greater weight of the Jetflys over the SL make a real life difference in performance.