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review

Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset

8
£749.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Real world speed boost on a sensible budget, with reliability added in
Good value for money
Real world speed boost
Solid build
Lighter alternatives out there
Weight: 
1,810g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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If you want aero on a budget, the Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc wheelset should be on your wish list. Their deep-section carbon rims give a real-world boost to performance, and they are solid and reliable too. They might not compete on performance with the best road bike wheels if money's no object, and they aren't the lightest out there, but for this sort of money that's hardly an issue – they're certainly good value.

There is nothing hugely special about the Vels. There is no new technology, no 'out there' design, no 'unobtainium' new material that is going to change wheel design as we know it. This isn't a criticism, though. Vel has taken all of the current thinking and quality components on the market, and used it to create a well-built, durable wheelset that gives your speed a boost on the flat or when descending.

The 60mm-deep carbon fibre rim tapers from 27.5mm wide externally into a v-shape with a small radius where the nipples are seated.

2022 Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset - rim detail 2.jpg

The rims certainly aren't as bulbous as some on the market, and the 60 RLs don't feel as fast as something like the Hunt Limitless range, which are hugely wide, and very rounded.

Saying that, the Vels do still give a noticeable aero advantage once your speed gets above the low 20mph mark. As you get to around 22-23mph you can feel your speed increasing without the need to put in extra power – and you get a bit of a swooshy noise as they roll along, which we all know is worth an extra couple of watts.

They handle well too. Some deep-section wheels can feel fast in a straight line but once you start to lean them over or turn through a corner they can feel sluggish and a bit cumbersome. These don't.

They can catch a crosswind as you pass a gateway or something on breezy days, but not so much that it stopped me fom riding in the drops or made me save them for still days only. They feel very stable overall.

At 1,810g (with tubeless tape fitted) on our scales, the 60 RLs aren't what you'd class as lightweight, but then again if you are looking for aero gains, weight is a secondary concern. You aren't going to be buying the Vels to head off to the mountains, after all; they're not climber's wheels.

They are still quick enough off the line without feeling draggy, and thanks to plenty of stiffness from the 24 spokes, front and rear, mating the rims to the Vel-branded RE (Rapid Engagement) aluminium alloy hubs, you don't need to worry about any of your effort being wasted.

2022 Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset - front hub.jpg

The RL's freehub offers 102 teeth, or engagement points, mated to six pawls, so lock-in is instantaneous.

2022 Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset - rear hub.jpg

Internally the rim width is 20.3mm, which makes them ideally compatible with 25mm to 34mm tyres according to Vel.

2022 Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset - rim bed.jpg

I tried them with both a 25mm and a 32mm pair, and fitment was relatively straightforward, whether using an inner tube or running them tubeless.

Vel stands by its workmanship with a three-year warranty (up from two years if you register within three months of purchasing), and while the test period has only been a couple of months, they are showing no signs of not being able to deal with the weather or the poor finish of my local roads.

They have a maximum pressure limit of 120psi, and a maximum system weight of 110kg. That means bike, rider and any kit can't be more than 110kg.

Value

Price, though, is where the Vels really stand out. At just £799 (and £590 currently) the 60 RLs are some of the cheapest you can buy with this depth of rim.

Hunt is rarely rivalled when it comes to value, but even its 65 Carbon Aero Disc wheelset (I tested the 40/50 combo a couple of years back) is more expensive at £849. They are a fair bit lighter, though, at 1,596g.  

And Scribe's Aero Wide+ wheels are available in a 60mm depth, with a claimed weight of 1,579g, for £870.

Conclusion

The 60 RLs are a quality package for the money. There are lighter and faster options out there, but not for this sort of money. If you are a time triallist or road racer looking for some free speed on a budget then these can't be overlooked.

Verdict

Real world speed boost on a sensible budget, with reliability added in

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset

Size tested: 700C, 60mm 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?

Vel says, "For riders wanting to maximise their speed on flatter courses, Vel's 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset is a rapid, reliable and great value choice.

The 60mm deep Toray carbon rims have an external width of 27.5mm, offering good sidewall support to tyres up to 34mm wide and presenting a nice, blunt profile to the air for the least wind resistance. Suitable for use with tubeless-ready or tubed tyres, the wheels are supplied ready taped, with tubeless valves in the box ready to go.

Sealed hub bearings help the wheels roll smoothly and Center Lock rotor fittings provide simple and secure braking and with six pawls and a 102 tooth engagement ring, the rear hub offers near-instant responses to any inputs, so will not be found wanting when accelerating out of corners or initiating the finish line sprint. In the spirit of longevity and serviceability, the bladed Pillar Wing PSR21 spokes have been fitted with brass nipples to make truing and replacement simpler and extra spokes and nipples are supplied with every wheelset."

A solid set of wheels if you want aero on a budget, although they aren't the lightest.

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

From Vel:

Clincher / tubeless-ready tyre compatible

Double wrapped with tubeless rim tape

Wheel Size: 700c

Rim: Toray 24/30T carbon

Rim ERD (Effective Rim Diameter): 519mm

Rim Depth: 60mm

Internal Rim Width: 20.3mm

External Rim Width: 27.5mm

Spokes: Pillar Wing PSR21 straight pull, 14g, two-cross lacing with brass nipples

Spoke Count: Front - 24 / Rear - 24

Hubs: Vel RE Rapid Engagement, AL6061 CNC machined shell, sealed bearings, 102T engagement ring with six pawls

Bearings: Front 6902 x 2, rear 17287 x2, 6902 x 1, 6903 x1

Disc Standard: Center Lock

Front Axle: 12x100mm

Rear Axle: 12x142mm

Recommended Tyre Size: 25-34mm

Maximum tyre pressure: 120psi

Manufacturer Claimed Weight: Front - 760 grams / Rear - 930 grams / Wheelset - 1,690 grams

Compatibility: Shimano/SRAM / SRAM XDR / Shimano Microspline

Includes: Spare spokes, nipples and tubeless valves

Maximum system weight: 110kg

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
 
7/10
Rate the wheel for value:
 
7/10

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

The wheels stayed true throughout testing, with no issues whatsoever.

How easy did you find it to fit tyres?

Fitting tyres wasn't an issue, whether tubeless or clinchers with an inner tube.

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

The extras were decent quality and performed just fine.

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

They don't feel as fast as something like Hunt's Limitless wheels, but they are noticeably aero once the speed rises above 20mph.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel

A good balance of performance and weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel

Heavier than some at this price point.

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

The Vels are well priced for the specs. Scribe's Aero Wide+ 60s are around £70 more, though lighter, while Hunt's 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels are also lighter (and arguably faster), but pricier by quite a chunk.

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

There are faster, and lighter, wheels out there, but for their price the Vels are very good – well made, a sensible weight and providing good real world aero advantages for less than their rivals.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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!

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