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review

Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset

9
£510.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Light, stiff and durable aluminium disc wheelset that is suited to racing or training
Light
Durable
Stiff
Lots of additional items in the box
Noisy freehub (if that's a problem)
Weight: 
1,448g

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The Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset is an evolution of the Race-D wheelset we reviewed in 2020 and loved, again proving that aluminium wheels can be more than just training wheels. They are light, weighing in at just 1,448g (31g lighter than previously), with lots of stiffness, and durable, too. Overall, this is a great set of wheels that can be used for both training and racing. Note, the base price for this wheelset is £440; our set came with a £70 ratchet system upgrade (more on that below).

If you're interested in these Scribe wheels, also check out our guide to the best road bike wheels for more options.

> Buy now: Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset for £440 from Scribe Cycling

Starting with the unboxing, the wheels arrive with tubeless tape fitted, as well as an additional bag of goodies containing tubeless valves, spare spokes, spare nipples, a six-bolt adapter (converts Center Lock to six-bolt), a lockring for 15mm axles, a slim-fit lockring for forks with tight clearance, and a 10-speed spacer. Many alternatives won't include these extras, so this is worth bearing in mind to avoid large hidden costs.

At the checkout, you can also select to have tubeless tyres and sealant fitted by Scribe free of charge (the fitting, not the tyres and sealant), and all Scribe wheels come with a three-year warranty.

The Scribe Race-D wheelset is still available, but this Wide+ option increases the internal rim width by 2mm to 21mm, giving you the option to fit wider tyres.

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset - rim bed.jpg

They also feature a 27mm-deep aluminium rim and are tubeless-ready.

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ - spoke nipple.jpg

I had a go at setting them up tubeless, using the tubeless valves provided and the rim tape already on the wheels, and they inflated fine. For most of the testing, though, I opted for tubes and fitted a set of 28mm Hutchinson Challenger road tyres, which was a simple process with them popping on easily without the need for tyre levers.

The front wheel has 21 spokes laced in a 1x pattern on the disc side and radially on the drive side, and 24 on the rear, again laced with a 1x pattern on the disc side and 2x on the drive side. They are Pillar Wing 20 spokes, which offer some minor aerodynamic benefits and, in my experience, lots of stiffness and high durability. They are said to be 4.3g each, which contributes to keeping the overall weight of this wheelset down. The Pillar Patented TG Lock square head nipples further add to the strength at the anchor point.

Next up, the freehub body immediately grabs your attention but sadly, the candy apple colour won't be visible once a cassette is fitted. The freehub is made from aluminium to, again, keep the weight of this wheelset down, and since aluminium is a soft metal, the Shimano/SRAM freehub body comes with an integrated steel bite guard, preventing the cassette from digging into the soft metal. Campagnolo and SRAM XDR options are also available.

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ - rear hub 1.jpg

In use

Moving on to riding the wheels, it is worth noting that the freehub is quite loud. This isn't something I have a problem with, but you won't be able to hide the fact you're freewheeling while sitting on the back of a group ride!

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ - rear hub 2.jpg

The Ratchet Drive hub system that Scribe uses is very similar to the DT Swiss ratchet system. It uses a single ratchet disc and leaf spring that aims to minimise the number of moving parts to improve durability. The ratchet ring has a 36-tooth (10°) engagement as standard, although ours featured Scribe's new 54-tooth (6.7°) system that is a retrofittable kit across the full range (you'll need a ratchet tool for the job). If you choose the 54t kit when buying the wheels, Scribe will fit it for you.

This £70 upgrade continues to use Scribe's leaf spring and ratchet disc, with the addition of a second disc with a coil spring. In use, it's noticeable just how quickly these engage when you start to pedal.

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ - front hub.jpg

Inside the hubs, you have the choice of endurance or race bearings. Endurance bearings come as standard but there is no additional charge to swap for race bearings. The wheelset I tested had endurance bearings which I was more than happy with, and they've coped well in mixed weather conditions, but if you intend to use these wheels for racing and in drier weather, the race bearings could be worth swapping to.

Value

This Wide+ option is priced at £440, so £20 more than the Scribe Race-D wheelset, plus another £70 if you go for the 54t upgrade. For the extra £20 you get all the things we previously loved at a lower weight and with the option to run wider tyres.

2022 Scribe Race-D Wide+ - rim detail 1.jpg

What sets these Scribe wheels apart from other aluminium disc brake wheels is their low weight, but they have some tough competition.

The Prime Baroudeur V2 Disc alloy wheelset, for example, has a claimed weight of 1,585g but costs £249.99. We haven't tested these but Liam tried the previous model, the Prime Baroudeur Road Disc wheelset, and gave them 10.

The Hunt 4 Season Disc wheelset (we tested the Mason X Hunt models in 2020) also comes in cheaper at £359, but again they are heavier than the Scribes, weighing a claimed 1,588g (the Mason X Hunts were 1,593g).

Also, these cheaper but slightly heavier alternatives feature a narrower rim, with an internal width of 19mm rather than 21mm. Also, though the Scribe Race-D wheelset costs a little more, you do get lots of additional items that you would have to buy separately for many other wheelsets.

Conclusion

Overall, the Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset features all the things we loved about the Scribe Race-Ds – durability, robustness, lightness and speed – but with a wider rim, making them a comfortable set of wheels when running wider tyres, all while managing to weigh less.

Verdict

Light, stiff and durable aluminium disc wheelset that is suited to racing or training

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheels

Size tested: One Size

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?

They are aimed at those wanting a performance alloy wheelset that is suitable for racing. Scribe says that they are an excellent upgrade for those not interested in carbon, which I would agree with as they are very light for an aluminium wheelset (1,448g). Scribe also claims that the Ratchet Drive hubs mean these wheels respond fast, and they are noticeably fast when riding and accelerating from lower speeds. The extra width of the internal rims (21mm) gives you the option to fit wide tyres. Paired with 28mm tyres this wheelset was comfortable to ride, feeling both fast and smooth.

Scribe says: "The Scribe Race Wide+ wheels were designed to be race-ready! Our super wide, yet lightweight design places them amongst carbon alternatives and by using hardened alloys these hoops are robust. The Race-D's are an excellent performance alloy wheelset for those chasing a lightweight edge and with the Wide+ rim design (21mm internal), these wheels offer increased aero benefits, as well as increased comfort due to the increased width. An excellent upgrade for those not interested in carbon.

"At only 1,448g in weight, the Race wheels are exceptionally lightweight and pound-for-pound feature amongst the best performance alloy wheels out there. Partnered with lightning fast Ratchet Drive hubs, these wheels respond FAST, offering unrivalled levels of performance.

"The Wide 21mm internal profile gives you the option to fit wide tyres for increased stability when cornering, and increased speed due to improved rolling resistance - especially when ran as tubeless. With Centre lock disc as standard, you can ride with confidence knowing the stopping power is there when it's needed."

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

This wheelset is made of hardened, super-lightweight alloy featuring a 27mm deep aluminium rim that is clincher and tubeless-ready. The internal rim width is 21mm making them 2mm wider than the Scribe Race-D wheelset so suited for wider tyres. The external rim width is 25mm.

The front wheel has 21 spokes laced in a 1x pattern on the disc side and radially on the drive side, with 24 on the rear again laced with a 1x pattern on the disc side and 2x on the drive side.

Scribe lists this tech data:

Depth 27mm

Material Hardened, Super-Lightweight Alloy

Type Clincher - Tubeless Ready

Rim Width (external) 25mm

Rim Width (internal) 21mm

Spoke Pattern/Hole Count Front (2:1) 21H, Rear (2:1) 24H

Weight 1,448g

Weight Limit Total combined weight limit is 105kg

Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
 
9/10

My first impressions when unboxing them was that they were built well.

Rate the wheel for performance:
 
9/10

The Ratchet Drive hub system is exclusive to Scribe, featuring a ratchet ring that has a 36t engagement as standard, although ours were fitted with Scribe's new 54t system which engages in 6.7° when you start to pedal. I found the wheels to be noticeably fast when riding and accelerating from lower speeds. Overall, it felt like a fast wheelset and could be mistaken for carbon wheels.

Rate the wheel for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheel for weight
 
9/10

They are very light for an aluminium wheelset, weighing in at just 1,448g which is 31g lighter than the Scribe Race-D wheelset – the previous model with a narrower rim.

The weight of this wheelset places it among carbon alternatives.

Rate the wheel for value:
 
5/10

There are cheaper aluminium wheelsets available, but the Scribes often come in the lightest even with an increased rim width, and you get lots of added goodies in the box to help convert this wheelset to tubeless, which would be an additional cost to most wheelsets.

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

The wheels ran true when they arrived and have stayed true for the duration. No issues with spoke tension.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

I opted for a clincher setup and the 28mm Hutchinson Challenger road tyres I fitted went on easily without the need for tyre levers. The whole process was quick and simple.

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

They arrive with tubeless tape installed, and tubeless valves are provided to easily convert these to a tubeless setup. I rode them as clinchers.

A big positive is that this wheelset comes with a lot of additional items – tubeless tap already installed, tubeless valves, six-bolt adapter (converts Center Lock to six-bolt), lockring for 15mm axles, slim-fit lockring for tight clearances, 10-speed spacer. This is more than you get with most wheelsets.

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

This wheelset had no problems on multiple 100km+ rides, not in the best of riding conditions or road surfaces. They are designed to be race ready and definitely handle and ride well enough to be a performance wheelset, combined with being light.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

I was immediately impressed with their weight when I unboxed them, and the overall build quality was very good. They felt fast to ride and handled well even in mixed-weather conditions.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

The freehub dragged a bit but this is anticipated with a ratchet drive hub system with high engagement. The freehub is also very loud, which some people may find a problem.

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

The Wide+ option is £20 more than the Race-D wheelset, providing you with all the things we previously loved at a lower weight and with the option to run wider tyres.

What sets these Scribe wheels apart from other aluminium disc brake wheels is their low weight, but they have some tough competition against the Prime Baroudeur V2 Disc alloy wheelset which costs £249.99 with a claimed weight of 1,585g, and the Hunt 4 Season Disc wheelset at £359 but weighing 1,593g.

However, these cheaper but slightly heavier alternatives feature a narrower rim, with an internal rim width of 19mm rather than 21mm.

There are cheaper alternatives out there but I'd say this Scribe wheelset is priced competitively for its low weight and wider rim – they could be mistaken for a carbon wheelset – and for all the additional items you get in the box that you would have to buy separately with many other wheelsets.

Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes, they handle and ride well (and I like a noisy freehub!).

Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes

Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Overall, the Scribe Race-D Wide+ wheelset features all the things we loved about the Scribe Race-D wheelset – durability, robustness, lightness and speed – while offering an increased rim width, making them a comfortable set when running wider tyres, all while managing to weigh less.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 175  Weight: 64

I usually ride: specialised tarmac sl6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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