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First Look: Praxis RC21 carbon tubeless road and gravel wheelset

Praxis expands into wheel market with wide rim carbon wheelset for road and gravel purposes

Praxis Works has built up a good reputation over the past few years for its high-quality and reliable chainsets and chainrings, and it has now added wheels to its product range.

The company has been going since 2007 when it was founded by the experienced David Earle, who has stints at Bontrager, Santa Cruz and Specialized on his CV. 

We’ve just taken delivery of its new RC21, a carbon fibre wheelset aimed at road, cyclocross and gravel riding, so here’s a first look at the important details before we test them. 

Praxis has chosen a carbon fibre rim with a 30mm depth and 27mm external and 21mm internal widths, so they’re right on the money when it comes to embracing wider tyres, and bodes well for use with very wide gravel tyres. 

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There’s no brake track, the rims are designed specifically for disc brakes so it’s a smooth rounded profile from spoke hole to rim edge. Praxis says the rims have “broad shoulders” which it claims better supports wider tyres especially useful at lower pressures. 

Praxis Works RC21 wheelset - rim bed.jpg

The rims are tubeless-ready using a hookless rim design, an approach we’re starting to see more from wheel manufacturers with the latest disc brake carbon wheels. A hookless rim offers the advantage of a stronger rim with lower weight compared to a hooked rim design.

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To make going tubeless easy the rims are taped and valves are installed, just add your own tyres and sealant and away you go. Praxis boldly claims you only need a track pump to seat tubeless tyres. We hope that is the case and will definitely be testing that claim.

Praxis Works RC21 wheelset - valve.jpg

The rims are drilled for 32 spokes front and rear with external alloy nipples. To produce a “more stable wheel” the spokes are offset 3mm. The hubs are laced to the company’s own aluminium hub shells with large flanges conceal no-nonsense DT Swiss internals, so expect reliable bearings and the fast engaging 36 Star Ratchet freehub body with Shimano or SRAM XD Driver compatible versions.

The hubs use DT’s replaceable end caps, our wheels have come with a 15mm front and 142x12mm rear thru-axle because they’re destined for the Open UP I’ve been testing ahead of Dirty Reiver next month.

Praxis Works RC21 wheelset - rear hub 2.jpg

There’s no adoption of the increasingly standard CentreLock, a system of attaching the disc rotor to the hub developed by Shimano. Instead, it’s a 6-bolt system that has been around for many years.

On the scales, the wheels weigh 1,557g (711g front, 846g rear) and cost £1,549, available from Upgrade Bikes now. We'll let you know how we get on with them soon.

The new Praxis RC21 wheels join a growing number of carbon tubeless disc brake wheelsets that are making a play for the wide road tyre and gravel/adventure market. There are the Hunt  30Carbon Gravel wheels, Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc All Road wheels, Enve SES 4.5 AR, the new 3T Discus Plus C25 wheels, the Prime RR-28s,  to name but a few. The new Praxis offerings have a lot going for them, on paper at least, and we look forward to seeing how they perform. 

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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