Here’s a nice-looking set of aero wheels. You can tell that’s what they are because it says ‘aero wheels’ in big letters on the rim. In much smaller letters it says ‘xtreme’ - the in-house brand of the large European on-line retailer Rose.
So you might not have heard of this brand, but the wheels are worth a look. Most noticeably, they’re quite light - the manufacturer’s stated weight is 1620g. On the scales in the road.cc lab we clocked them at 1644g, but this is still on a par with Fulcrum Racing 3s and Mavic Ksyrium Elites. (All weights without QR skewers.)
Rims and hubs are aluminium, spliced together with DT flat black spokes. Picking them up, and spinning them round, the bearings felt very smooth - but then they usually do on new wheels.
The V-profile rims are just over 30mm deep; the Rose website says they’re made from 6061 aluminium - a fairly standard material in bike construction, derived from the aircraft industry - but stickers on the rims themselves say they’re made from 2014, which is usually lighter for the same strength (or stronger for the same weight) compared to 6061.
There are 20 spokes in each wheel (radial in the front, crossed in the rear) with large flange hubs - except the flange on the cassette side of the rear hub which is more standard in size. Following the current vogue, the hubs are red anodized, and with their big circular holes they’re reminiscent of some Specialized Rovals.
I tested the wheels on two long rides. The first was in southern Scotland, including a long ascent of Lowther Hill - the highest tarmac road in the UK, and the finish of the Radar Ride sportive - and the second was the Verenti Dragon Ride in South Wales. Both outings were over 100 miles, and both on a real mix of surfaces, some main roads as smooth as glass, some narrow lanes as rough as old boots. And with a mix of steep climbs and more gradual ascents, plus a fine selection of swooping downhill too. Everywhere the wheels were fine. Stiff and true throughout, even when I was throwing the bike around out of the saddle in a big gear, but not too rigid to be uncomfortable. Inevitably, they went down a couple of pot-holes, but stayed true. It's probably still too early to make a proper judgement, but after these testing rides the bearings still feel very smooth.
The freewheel is Shimano compatible, and will take 8, 9 or 10-speed cassettes. It’ll take a 7 too with a couple of spacers.
The manufacturers recommend inner tubes with a minimum valve length of 51mm, so I fitted tubes with 60mm valves. These looked a bit long though, and you could probably get away with 50mm valves, depending how deep your pump has to go to work properly.
The only problem I encountered was fitting tyres. These rims seem a tad on the big side, meaning a pair of Michelin ProRace 3s were a real struggle to get on. I then went for a pair of Vittorias - which are usually a bit on the loose side - and even these were an effort. That was in workshop conditions; I wouldn’t like to change a tight tyre on these wheels at the side of the road on a cold wet day. But at least I knew they weren’t going to pop off when I pumped them up to 115psi.
Overall, this is a great set of wheels, ideal for racing or fast sportive-riding. They retail for £359 - compared to around £400-450 for Fulcrum 3s or Ksyrium Elites - making them good value in this price bracket.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Xtreme Aero wheelset
Size tested: 700c
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 49 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,