AX Lightness SRT 24mm
As some of you might know I bought a set of AX Lightness SRT 24mm wheels last October. Since there are one of the latest carbon wheels on the market and considering the weight of these wheels is no doubt there as to be a review. Given the fact that I bought them in October and the long winter / crappy weather I haven’t ridden them very much yet. It is my first set of tube wheels and therefore I was sort of reserved using them. However as soon as I took them for the first ride I started using them more and more often.Technical data
Rims: AX Lightness SRT 24mm
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
Hubs: DT Swiss 240s 20/24
(Tubes: Tufo S3 and Continental Sprinter)
Brakepads: Swissstop Yellow
Testperiod: 3 months
The wheels instantly shine true by there super low weight at 195gram per rim. Next to that the logo’s come in sight. I’m not speaking about the white “SRT 24” stickers but the molded AX logo that is used 3 times at each side of the rim. This unique character truly let these rims stand out, while even without the white stickers you rims is noticeable a AX rim. The fact that you can recognize the rims this way contributes the high-end and stand out position which AX Lightness is known for. The expand of the AX product line by these rims is most certainly more than worth it. While ordering these wheels at the AX Ligthness website or throughout the carefully selected dealers you can chose for either the rims only, or a full wheelset build with Tune hubs. Due to the fact that the rims are build with internal nipples, normal spokes and hubs, it’s relatively easy to maintain these wheels by yourself. The fact that my set is build with the relatively heavy hubs and spokes doesn’t give the credits these rims deserve. However at this point I don’t object any of the used parts for this wheelset. The overall weight is 992grams but it can be lowered easily to 850 while using the suggested lighter parts.
In the reply’s I’ve written over here I described my doubts concerning the mounted Tufo S3 tires. The rolling resistance is just insane as it felt like I’ve been constantly riding a flat tire even without the 6-11 bar pressure I’ve tried. After a phone call with my Friend Frankie-B we replaced these freaking tires by a set Continental Sprinters. Instantly these tires gave me a way better feeling. Compared to the Tufo’s these felt like sliding a hot knife trough butter. I’ll admit there are even better tires but for now these are fine especially until the just recently ordered FMB tubes arrive.Testing period
Given the fact that the winter season was rather long and during the rest of the season the weather isn’t quite convincing yet. Just aprox. a month ago I mounted the wheels underneath my Scott. At the moment I write this review I’m in Toscana Italy, 1300km from my hometown in Holland. I’m here testing these wheels at in the meantime they’ve had some serious testing incl. rides in both sun and rain on the flats and 10+% climbs and descents.
As I’ve already noticed during the first ride in October, it’s a true pleasure riding these wheels. The low weight (992gram), which easily can be lowered by 150grams, can be noticed instantly after mounted them. My sub 6kg bike became sub 5,5kg and that certainly can be noticed while accelerating and turning. The handling becomes slightly more nervous, which demand a certain alertness but always without getting dangerous. The riding
A point of critics for light weight wheels is the stiffness or sometimes the lack of it. I can only speak out my compliments concerning this factor. The wheels are very smooth and both the sideway and lateral stiffness is impressive. There is no option creating brakepad rub are other kind of discomfort from these wheels. Although I’m relatively light at 65kg, Frankie-B tested them as well and whit his respected 85kg he rode the hell out of them, without any kind of negative results. Given the weight this is a result to be proud of within the AX Lightness Facility.
As positive I experienced the stiffness, the braking performance might be even better. The performance is way better than any kind of carbon wheels I’ve ridden before. It’s no secret that carbon wheels brake differently (most likely worse) compared to normal alu one’s but these truly stand out. I ran these wheels with Camilio Negative Gravity brakes incl. the Yellow Swissstop brakepads which are advised by AX Lightness directly. A short intense braking action makes the bike comes to a nice and controlled stop. Even on the 10% downhill sections that I drove in both dry and (very) wet conditions I still was on total control over both the speed and steering abilities. After the 4,5km, 10% descent in wet conditions i checked both the brakes and rims and all of them where fine. Some small wear on the pads was noticed but this wasn’t any different on my friends bike who rode stock alloy wheels. Discussing the spinning abilities of these wheels I once again have speak out my compliments. Most of this is contributed by the DT Swiss hubs but nevertheless the performance is great.
Ain’t there any critical feedback concerning these wheels, yes there are. One is concerning the wheel balance. Given the very low weight of the rims a disbalance is easily to occur. While spinning the (rear)wheel in the standard you can feel and see the bike ‘bouncing’ back and forward. This however is completely neutralized while riding the bike in the open field. This is the penalty that has to be taken from using very lightweight parts. Apart from that the recognition features such as the stickers and laminated logo’s can be criticized. The white stickers get damaged easily letting the black carbon shine’s right true. This of course is a well known problem with using stickers on the rims. Next to that the unique feature, the laminated logo’s, require some awareness. They might be positioned slightly to high on the rim whereas it’s just 1mm on the brake track. This requires the brake pads to be positioned very carefully preventing it from rubbing it. This would result in a ‘bumping’ braking performance. Once’s the pads are positioned rightly you won’t have any problems.Conclusion
In the end I’m all positive about the performance of these wheels. The engineers of AX Lightness have done a amazing job fading away the downside effects of carbon fiber rims. Up to this exact moment I’m still very pleased which these wheels and start to feel more and more confident with both carbon wheels as riding tubes. Of course these wheels deserve a set of light weight hubs and other spokes. This however is going to be a more long term project as up to now I still feel pleased with hit. I’ll keep riding these wheels for quite some miles and will keep you updated concerning, performance, durability and riding over the next months.