Review: Rolf Prima Ares 4 race wheels
Durable, light and fast wheels for all courses and conditions
With just 16 spokes, we had some trepidation riding the hand-built Ares 4 wheels on rough winter roads, but they positively thrived.
The paired spoking pattern increases strength and the low spoke count it allows – in conjunction with the 42mm deep and 27mm wide tunnel-tested Delta rims – make them feel fast through the air, even when paired with our decidedly un-aero 27mm Vittoria Open Pavé winter testing tyres.
In extremely stormy Peak District conditions, they’re incredibly stable and, despite our scales clocking them at 30g over their claimed weight of 1,375g, light enough for hitting the hills with too. There’s no noticeable flex when muscling up climbs and the Swiss Stop yellow pads ensure that braking performance in the wet is solid.
There also appears to be no overheating issues under hard and sustained braking, which can be a concern with some carbon clinchers. The silky-smooth ceramic bearings, titanium hub body and titanium QR skewers complete an impressive package from the Oregon-hailing brand.
The £2k price-point, however, does put the Ares 4 up against some big-hitting deeper-section wheelsets (check out the stellar offerings from Zipp, Reynolds and Enve in issue 296’s race wheels grouptest). But, if you’re after a truly versatile race day wheelset that’ll be as much at home on an Alpine race, in windy conditions or on a drag-strip triathlon course, these American beauties should definitely be on your shortlist.