Vel launches with road and gravel wheels

The brand available exclusively at Sigma Sports has grown its offering

Vel, the component and accessory brand available exclusively at Sigma Sports, has announced the addition of a wheel range alongside the existing bike lights, bottle cages and pumps.

The range includes wheels for both road and gravel riding, with 650b options for those heading off-road.

The Vel website currently sends customers straight to the Sigma Sports website to shop for products, with the address listed at Sigma's Kingston upon Thames HQ.

All of the wheels are disc brake and use center lock standards. Vel has opted to pair the rims within the premium RSL range with DT Swiss hubs - with sealed bearings and 36 tooth ratchet engagement - and spokes from market leader Sapim. All wheels come with a three-year warranty and crash replacement offer.

Vel will offer the RSL wheels at £999, with more affordable aluminium and carbon rim RL options coming between £349 and £699, these feature Vel's own branded 'Rapid Engagement' hubs (with sealed bearings, 102T engagement ring with six pawls) and Pillar Wing spokes.

Vel promises that all wheels are handbuilt, and the weights look to be within the range of competitors. Without looking at every set released, the Vel 50 RSL carbon tubeless disc wheelset comes in at a claimed 1500g, which compares well against the Parcours Strade at 1,520g with a 49 front and 54 rear - though Parcours does notably provide extensive aero testing data alongside its wheels. There are cheaper and lighter options out there: Cero's RC50-D comes in from £799 at 1471g whilst the Hunt 50 aero disc sets riders back £869 at 1487g.

The carbon wheels all use High Modulus Toray 24/30 carbon rims, and all of the wheels are tubeless ready, and sold with tubeless rim tape installed with tubeless valves supplied, as well as spare spokes and nipples.

The carbon road models come with internal rim widths of 20.3mm, the aluminum rim comes in at 21mm whilst the gravel options use a 24.5mm internal rim width. Max rider weights range from 90-120kg.

Vel offer Shimano 11-speed, Shimano Microspline 12-speed and SRAM XDR freehubs for all wheelsets depending upon customer need. Adapters for quick release and 15mm thru-axle frames will be available in all cases.

Ian Whitmore, Product Developer at Vel commented: “Our wheel range is designed to cater for every kind of cyclist - from those looking for their first good upgrade to the next level serious rider, and those wanting to dip their toe into time trials or triathlons and experience the benefits of deep-section wheels at an accessible price.”

Whitmore was previously Own Brand Product Manager at Evans Cycles; Evans Cycles was bought by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley's Frasers Group in 2018 and made headlines earlier this month over reported plans to axe 300 more staff, as well as adding the remaining employees to zero-hour contracts.

Sigma Sports is expanding rapidly, it recently added a new store in the Midlands which opened in January 2021. The South London retailer has seen record sales data since the Covid-19 pandemic which has created a rise in demand across the industry.

In May 2020, Sigma said it was shipping 62 per cent more bikes inside the UK and abroad year-on-year, with entry level bike sales up 677 per cent.

The full Vel wheel range includes:

The Vel RL range:

  • 30 RL Alloy Tubeless Disc Wheelset £349
  • 38 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £699
  • 3850 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £699
  • 50 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £699
  • 6085 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £699
  • 85 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £699
  • 30 GRL Carbon Tubeless Disc 650b Wheelset £699

Vel RSL wheelsets (all £999)

  • 38 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £999
  • 3850 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £999
  • 50 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £999
  • 6085 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £999
  • 85 RSL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset £999
  • 30 GRSL Carbon Tubeless Disc 650b Wheelset £999

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.