This wheelset by Gray is pretty cool. I remember as a kid watching my dad put aero wheels on his triathlon bike thinking “Those look so sweet!” From then on I dreamed of doing the same.
My first ride on the Gray 45/80 carbon clincher wheelset was on a bike recon of IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka. My first impressions were “I look fast,” then “Wow, I am fast.”
Coming from a light wheelset, the Dura-ace C24, I noticed how much more an aero wheelset carries your momentum on the flats and descents. Even on the gentle rollers, the wheels moved well. Getting out of the saddle on the punchier climbs, I found the bike to be stiffer with these wheels. This stiffness allows for all that power to go into propelling you forward.
The engineers at Gray pride themselves in creating a structurally sound wheel. One that can withstand the elements you throw at it in a race and your local group ride. I tested just how sturdy these wheels are by using them on my 40-kilometre commute into the office. On the weathered roads of Toronto, these wheels hold. Despite accidentally hitting a few potholes, the wheels proved they are strong.
What helps the wheels hold up is the RX Stainless Steel Spokes. Gray manufactures the spokes with durability and aerodynamics in mind. All the nipples are internally mounted, this makes for a more aerodynamic ride.
The sidewalls of the Gray 45/80 wheelset are what give these wheels an aesthetic appeal. Made of seven independent layers of carbon, the sidewalls also offer additional strength to the wheels.
The overall shape of the rims is toroidal. This shape allows for better airflow, improving your experience in the crosswinds and enhanced aerodynamics. Despite not having ridden an aero wheelset before, I was impressed with how comfortable these wheels were in the high winds. So, not only are they strong and look great, Gray is committed to providing the best in aerodynamics.
A detail that I found pretty cool was the skewers. Yes, the skewers. At 43g per set, the axels are not only light but durable. Made from 6/4 titanium alloy and 7076 Aluminum, the skewers are suitable for both road or Xterra triathlons.
Though I did put in hundreds of kilometres on these wheels, I did not test a fraction of the braking Wear-Thru-Rate of over 40,000 kilometres. What gives durability to the braking surface of this wheelset is Basalt. Basalt is a solid rock and has excellent friction/thermal properties, making it ideal for braking.
All in all, these wheels were a pleasure to train and race with.
You can purchase this wheelset online from a starting price of $1995.00. This wheelset weighs 1800 grams.