CES Sport’s new premium disc brake wheels are made with T800 carbon, which they say makes them 11% stronger and lighter than their RC50 with T700 rims. The rim itself is open mould, but quality components such as Sapim CX-Ray aero spokes, plus assembly in Wales with a two-year warranty, make buying from CES a safer bet than going direct to the Far East.
The combined weight of 1,670g isn’t the lightest, and an internal rim width of 18mm and external width of 25mm is fairly narrow by 2020 standards (while not optimised for 28mm tyres, they work just fine).
On the road, they’re noticeably stabler than the RC88s we tested in early 2020 (no doubt due to the shallower rim depth of 50mm), and this was further aided by quality DT Swiss 240 CL hubs that engage quickly when accelerating. When sprinting or riding over rough roads, there was harshness from the rear wheel, which suggests they were too radially stiff for us. Swapping to 28mm tyres improves comfort, but we were looking for a more refined ride.
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Yet, with CES Sport’s reputation for affordability, we were expecting more. We’d like to see them come up with something proprietary with wind-tunnel data to back up their aero credentials. Other brands such as Parcours and Hunt now offer meticulously developed carbon wheelsets that are lighter and cheaper, with increased rim widths optimised for wider tyres. Even so, the RC50 Elite Disc isn’t a bad wheelset by any means, aided by those quality components and warranty.
Verdict: Solid and fast racing wheels, but facing stiff competition elsewhere, 70%