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Planet X 52mm Carbon Clincher Wheelset – Full Review

August 21, 2012 - Triathlon Gear

The wheels arrived in a huge box and where well packaged and secure. With the Planet X logo on the rim tape peaking out of the top of the box I already had a sense of quality product inside.

With 20 standard J-head bladed spokes on the front wheel and 24 on the rear and the white decals on dark carbon these wheels really do look the business and should certainly be strong enough to carry my 13st and a bit weight around the Oxfordshire countryside!

With weight in mind it’s worth remembering that the weight stated on a manufacturers site is going to be the wheel without tubes or tyres etc. and these were stated at 821g front and 975g rear.

For my set I fitted them out with specialized road long valve inner tubes. I could have gone with a short valve and then used a valve extender, but again for ease of use I just plumped for the longer valve to start with.

Rubber wise I shod each wheel with Continental Grand Prix 4000s tyres as they seemed a good all round training and race tyre

Then just out of curiosity I weighed them again. The front came out at 1,145g and the rear 1,299g. So all told 324g extra for each wheel with, tube, tyre and air!

Next job then was to get the cassette off my old rear wheel, fit it on the new one and drop the two onto the bike. To do this you’ll need the correct cassette removal tool and a chain whip tool.

The cassette needs to be removed carefully as I discovered it’s made up of lots of different bits. Thankfully I managed to ease it off in two parts. Heavens knows what I would have done if I had dropped the lot on the floor! For my SRAM cassette there is small spacer at the rear and this must crucially be fitted onto the hub of the new wheel behind the cassette. One of the ‘teeth’ on the hub is smaller than all of the others so the cassette has to be lined up in exactly the right place before it will slide on. Then it was just a case of torqueing it up. The torque setting was helpfully marked on my cassette so literally 5 minutes later I was dropping the wheels onto the bike.

An added bonus being that the white decals on the wheels actually go really well with the white Boardman decals on my bike so overall I reckon it’ a good look too!

First ride

The thing I noticed straight away was the completely different sounds I had from the wheels. The ‘click’ of the freehub on the rear wheel is noticeably loud compared to my previous wheel. Not that this was a worry though as these wheels spin with such ease it’s almost beyond physics!

The second difference in sound is when changing gear. As the chain drops down the cogs, again the noise is much louder. I’m wondering if the carbon rim is acting about like an amplifier.

Then finally the rolling sound. They start off very quite indeed and then as you wind up the pace you begin to hear a gentle whirring sound. Even as a really high speed (and I’ve really gunned in these wheels) they are still pretty quiet and lets face it, you’ll be going so fast with these the most you will hear is the wind whistling past your ears!

Overall

Overall I’m hugely impressed with these wheels. I flew around Blenheim Triathlon 2012 in a nearly 4 minute gain on the previous year. Obviously my increase strength and fitness made a difference too but the wheels sure as hell helped.

In fact, as of mid-August, they’ve not come off the bike since going on in June and I’ve ridden with them on just about every road surface and every type of weather the good old British summer could through at me. Even in some pretty gusty winds they’ve stood the test. So it’s 10/10 for these.

Any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Update 25/11/12
A close look at the carbon on the rear wheel.

Close up of wheel

2 thoughts on “Planet X 52mm Carbon Clincher Wheelset – Full Review

jason

hi,im thinking of getting a pair of these,a mate of mine has seen a pair and thinks they are badly built ‘carbon flairing is tatty’as i have not seen them up close could you give me your thoughts thanks…i ride a boardman team carbon…..jason

    admin

    I’ve never been one to really criticise other products. Undoubtedly some of the top of the range Mavic wheels look stunning but will cost a shed load of cash. I’ll upload a closer shot of the rear wheel from when I’d just got back from a ride . See what you think but they look all right to me. At the end of the day hopefully you’ll be going so fast nobody will get much change to inspect your carbon.

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