Borg 31 wheels review

These handbuilt wheels from Malcolm Borg of the Cycle Clinic are meant for all-season riding and have a semi-aero 31mm rim to add an element of speed

Cycling Weekly Verdict

An expertly built wheelset that combines all the qualities most of us are looking for in a set of all-rounder wheels at a decent price.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight for 'training' wheels

  • +

    Slight aero advantage over box-section rims

  • +


  • +

    Handbuilt in the UK

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not as bling as some of the big brands' wheels (if that's important to you)

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A wheelset for all seasons with hints of aero to add elements of speed and handbuilt for strength and robustness, these Borg 31 wheels offer all that you need from a wheelset for under £500 – no nonsense, performance was a no-brainer for Editor’s Choice selection.

Suffolk-based Malcolm Borg handbuilds his own wheels, choosing the rims, spokes and hubs that he considers best for the job.

He calls the Borg 31 “all-weather training/racing wheels” and uses a tubeless 31mm-deep rim from Taiwanese company Kinlin to supply strength, stiffness and a small amount of aerodynamic advantage over a box-section rim.

Borg 31

31mm semi-deep rims offer a slight aero advantage

The rim has an external width of 24mm, so it is pretty wide. A 25mm tyre sits perfectly with no ‘lightbulbing’ at all.

Borg swears by tubeless and set these wheels up with IRC Formula Pro RBCC tyres with MaXalami MaXSeal Sealant (£490 all in).

Borg 31

Miche Primato rear hub has a large non-driveside bracing angle that makes it laterally stiff

Borg likes the robust forged shell of the Miche Primato hubs for this type of wheel, as well as the big 6001 bearings. He says that due to their size they show low rolling resistance (rolling resistance is inversley related to rolling diameter) but also big bearings have a higher load value so wear at a slower rate. Water ingress into the hub is generally stopped by the bearing seals. We haven’t put anything like enough miles on them to be able to comment, but Borg claims 10,000 miles of all-weather use before the bearings get graunchy.

They’re also simple to maintain: the end caps come off with two 5mm Allen keys and the freeaxle design means the axle just pulls out.

On the road the Borg 31 wheels felt super stable with the wide rim, and very fast in corners.

Borg 31

The front wheel uses Sapim CX-ray spokes while the rear is laced with heavier Sapim CX-Force

We ran them at 80psi for better traction on greasy roads with the threat of ice patches and felt very confident.

The Borg 31 wheels use heavier Sapim CX-Force spokes in the rear for extra stiffness while the front is laced with Sapim CX Rays (both types are bladed), and on climbs and out of the saddle there was no hint of brake rub.

The human touch behind Borg’s wheels is a big USP: you’re benefitting from his personal riding experience and wheel-building expertise, and he loves to talk wheels, too. They may not have the Italianate bling of Fulcrum but for no-nonsense riding on British lanes they can’t be beat.

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