Rolf Prima Ares4

A fast and versatile clincher wheelset for hilly and technical courses

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£2,199.00
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The first thing that strikes you about these wheels from the Oregon-hailing Rolf Prima’s latest range is the ultra-low spoke count. Coming in with an extremely minimalist 14 upfront and 16 at the rear, they tip the scales at a very impressive 1,435g. That weight is especially impressive for a clincher wheelset.

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The 46mm rim isn’t super deep so, in combination with the low spoke count, there
are potentially concerns about rigidity and durability. Once riding, though, these concerns
are blown out of the water. Our 80kg weight couldn’t get them to flex; even with brake blocks set tight and muscling out of the saddle, there’s no rub. Equally they came out unscathed from hard riding on rough country roads but there’s a degree of harshness to the ride. We’ll live with this harshness, though, as these wheels fly – especially when you hit a climb.

On long flat drags, they obviously don’t punch through the air as well as deeper section wheels, but you’d more than make up lost time accelerating out of bends and whenever the
road kicks up. If you wanted a deeper rear wheel you can mix and match. They also behave impeccably in crosswinds, which allows you to stay aero and relaxed for longer.

The coated brake track delivers reliable stopping for carbon wheels, so you can descend with confidence, too. The price is the obvious stumbling block and, with Reynolds’ Forty Six/Sixty Six clincher wheelset coming in almost £250 cheaper, they do drop a few points.

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