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The updated Prime Baroudeur budget wheelset still rolls very nicely even though it's put on a little bit of pork since the first version.
If you're interested in the Prime Baroudeurs, also check out our guide to the best road bike wheels.
The Prime Baroudeur V2 wheels spin up and roll along very easily. They're not instantly impressive like some very light or very aerodynamic wheels, but after a few dozen kilometres you realise that there's just something very pleasing about the way they bowl along. For a £250 wheelset (and currently just £220 at Wiggle and Chain Reaction) they're very good indeed.
I'm always really sceptical of people who claim to be able to feel big differences between one wheelset and another, and I'm not claiming this is a big difference. It's subtle, but these wheels are just *nice* even if it's just down to confirmation bias on my part because I like the way they look.
In a few hundred kilometres of riding I've had just one problem with the Baroudeur V2s: a spoke came loose, and that allowed the rear wheel to go a little out of true. Easily fixed, and almost certainly a result of my being a fat bastard rather than any obvious fault with the wheels. If you're also a fat bastard, these might not be the wheels for you (they have a rider weight limit of 110kg). Go for something with a beefier rim and more spokes.
Prime makes a feature of the new freewheel design lurking in the rear hub: it's a dual-sprung star ratchet with 36 points of engagement so you only have to turn the sprocket through 10 degrees before the transmission engages.
Freewheel engagement is something mountain bikers seem to have developed a bit of an obsession with. For off-road riding, the faster that pedalling starts turning into motion, the better, so you don't stall tackling technical trails. It's less significant on a road bike, but if you really like the feel of low-pickup hubs you can fit a 54-tooth star ratchet kit.
The only thing I can find to complain about with the Baroudeur V2s is that they've put on weight since V1. They're 1,706g compared with version one's 1,586g, and while that's still not a bad weight for budget wheels, it's a bit odd.
It's not obvious where the extra mass is lurking. I thought perhaps Prime had switched version one's aluminium freehub body for a steel one, but poking at it with a magnet reveals it's still aluminium (so make sure you tighten the cassette lockring nice and tight to reduce the chance of the sprockets digging into it).
The new star ratchet mechanism could be the culprit as it involves two fairly substantial steel-toothed rings.
This also gets us into the question of just what does a pair of wheels weigh anyway? That 1,706g is with the hub end caps for old-school 9mm quick releases, and the tubeless rim tape Prime installs for you.
Use different end caps and you'll get a different, lower, weight. The headline weight in this review is with end caps for 12mm thru-axles, but it's no surprise the 9mm version's heavier; there's quite a bit more metal there.
For their modest price, the Baroudeurs are impressively well built. They're straight and round, with even, high spoke tension.
With butted J-bend spokes and conventional brass nipples, the core elements of the Baroudeur V2's construction are pretty old school. There are 24 spokes front and rear, and aside from grey or white logos everything's been painted black for currently trendy stealth looks.
The main change from the version one Baroudeurs that Liam raved about a couple of years ago is that the rim is now 26mm deep versus the originals' 30mm. On paper this might make the new wheels a tiny bit less aerodynamic, but you'd need a wind tunnel to be sure; the difference is very unlikely to be one you can feel.
The Baroudeur V2s could really do with a marker on the rim by the valve hole to help you find it when you're fitting a tube. At the moment you're searching for a black hole in a black background. Silver Sharpie to the rescue.
In the box you get end caps for 9mm quick release and front 15mm thru-axle, a spacer for 10-speed cassettes (and 11-34 11-speed), spare spokes, and tubeless valves. No quick-release skewers, though; it's nice that Prime is still accommodating what looks increasingly like an outmoded technology, so it'd be churlish to complain too much about not getting skewers in the box. A set of Lifeline skewers from Wiggle will set you back £12.99.
Your disc rotor mounts on Center Lock splines – less hassle than having to faff with six bolts, especially if you're removing and refitting rotors for travel.
Prime offers a big range of spares and the star ratchet freehub body is very easy to remove if you want to switch to SRAM or Campagnolo sprockets; there's even a 13-speed Campagnolo option for Ekar gears. That means if you break a drive-side spoke out in the wilds you can just pull off the cassette and freehub body to get at the flange and replace it. It's also easy to swap the end caps if you get a bike with different dropouts; they literally just pull out.
I think WiggleCRC is missing one trick with the Baroudeur wheels, though: why not make a version that works with both rim and disc brakes? All that would be needed is to put the rims from the rim-brake Baroudeur V2s on the hubs from these wheels. Maybe there just aren't enough of us with fleets that mix legacy and modern bikes, but it'd sure be handy for me to have wheels that'll fit all my bikes.
There aren't many tubeless-compatible disc-brake wheelsets for around £250 to compare these against. Shimano's 105-level WH-RS370s fit the bill, but at a claimed 1,980g they're quite a bit weightier than the Baroudeur V2s. Similarly, Fulcrum Rapid Red 900s are just £200, but 1,950g, while a pair of Mavic Allroads is £280 and 1,890g.
Perhaps the biggest rival comes from Prime itself. The Attaquer V2 wheels have an rrp of £374.99 but are currently £300 and weigh just 1,457g when set up for 9mm quick-releases. Review coming when I've got some riding time on them.
This is a very decent pair of wheels at a very, very good price; a solid if not huge upgrade on the wheels your stock £1,000-£1,500 bike probably came with and well worth getting as everyday wheels for a bike that came with spendier hoops.
While they're decent commuting and training wheels, the Prime Barouduer V2s aren't light enough to be much of an upgrade over your typical stock wheels. You'd buy them if you needed inexpensive replacements for damaged stock wheels, or you were putting together a disc brake road bike and didn't want to blow too much of the budget on wheels.
Fine wheels at a very fine price, albeit a bit heavier than their predecessors
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Prime Baroudeur V2 Disc Alloy Wheelset
Size tested: 700C
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 general-use disc-brake-compatible wheels.
Designed for both training and racing, the Prime Baroudeur V2 Disc Alloy Wheelset combines KLM41 Super Alloy rims with tubeless ready technology and Centre Lock disc brake compatibility.
Engineered for the demands of modern road cycling, this versatile wheelset benefits from a strong and dependable KLM41 Super Alloy rim build for excellent durability on every mile. Thanks to its 19mm internal rim width and 26mm rim depth, it offers smooth-rolling properties and is aerodynamic as you put the power down. Whether you're clocking up the miles on a training ride, racing for the finish line in an event or exploring new routes on the road, the updated Baroudeur V2 is designed for performance.
Tubeless Ready Alloy Wheelset
Boasting a tubeless ready design, this wheelset allows you to run lower tyre pressures and enjoy increased traction, lower rolling resistance and fewer risks of flats. Prime has also equipped it with Star Ratchet hubs for superior reliability, due to each of the ratchets engaging simultaneously every time. Featuring an incorporated notch, the newly developed shape of the end caps simplifies disassembly significantly and therefore makes maintenance even easier. It also offers tool-free freehub conversion.
Centre Lock Disc Brake Compatible
Developed for a smoother and more consistent ride, this wheelset is kitted out with Centre Lock disc brake mount compatibility. This makes it easy to install your favourite hydraulic disc brakes and benefit from powerful stopping power wherever your next ride takes you. The Prime Baroudeur V2 Disc Alloy Wheelset is a perfect upgrade for taking your road performance up a notch.
In The Box:
10 speed spacer
15mm thru axle end caps
QR end caps
Spares (available separately)
54 Tooth Star Ratchet Upgrade Kit Black One Size
SR Hub Bushing Black 12mm
Star Ratchet Grease Neutral <100ml
SR2D 12mm Front End Caps Black 12mm
SR2D 12mm Rear End Caps Black 12mm
SR2D 15mm Front End Caps Black 15mm
SR2D QR Front End Caps Black QR
SR2D QR Rear End Caps Black QR
SR2D Disc Brake Rear Hub Grey 12 x 142mm
SR2D Front Axle Silver 12 x 135mm
SR2D Rear Axle Silver 12 x 142mm
SR Freehub Body - Campagnolo Black 9/10/11 Speed
SR Freehub Body - Campagnolo 13 Speed Black 13 Speed
SR Freehub Body - Shimano Black 9/10/11 Speed
SR Freehub Body - XDR Black 12 Speed
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Rim Material: KLM41 Super Alloy
Use: Road, Gravel
Rim Width: 19mm (internal); Rim Depth: 26mm
Hubs: SR2D, 36T Ratchet System, CNC machined 7075 alloy hub body; Hub Bearings: Front: 2x 15267, Rear: 1x 6902, 1x 17287, Freehub: 2x 6802
Freehub: Anti Bite Guard, Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11 speed
Spokes: Front: PDB1415 JB, 286mm (Disc Side), PDB1415 JB, 288mm (Drive Side); Rear: PDB1415 JB, 282mm (Drive Side), PDB1415 JB, 288mm (Disc Side)
Brake Type: Disc Brake; Disc Mount: Centre Lock
Rider Weight Limit: 110kg
They're straight, round and tight. Can't ask for more than that really.
They're a decent weight for the money, even if they are heavier than the previous version.
Very good value for money, and even better at the current £200 special offer.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
One rear wheel spoke came loose, but I'm putting that down to operator lardiness.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
No skewers included. Hub axle end caps are easy to swap out.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Looks, overall quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There aren't many tubeless-compatible disc-brake wheelsets for around £250. Shimano's 105-level WH-RS370 fits the bill, but at a claimed 1,980g it's quite a bit weightier than the Baroudeur V2. Similarly, Fulcrum Rapid Red 900s are just £200, but 1,950g, while a pair of Mavic Allroads is £280 and 1,890g.
To get under the Baroudeur V2's weight, you're looking at £329 for Hunt's 4 Season All-Road Disc wheels (we rated the previous version very highly) or £330 for Scribe's 365-Ds.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes, especially at the current discount.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Version 2 of the Prime Baroudeurs is as fine a pair of wheels as you're ever likely to find in this price bracket. Being heavier than version 1 and nevertheless still being less suitable for heavy riders pulls the score down a little.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.