The Cero CRD38 carbon clincher wheelset is competitively light and offers high quality for its price, particularly when discounted. You can get adapters for different wheel standards. But it’s quite narrow, not tubeless ready and more prone to crosswinds than the best in class.
Well priced for a carbon wheelset – particularly when discounted
Adapts to all road hub standards
Not tubeless ready
Rims are narrow by modern standards
A bit heavier than claimed
Twitchy in crosswinds
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The CRD38 is a disc-brake wheelset with a disc-specific carbon clincher rim without a brake track. This allows the rim to be built lighter, saving weight and inertia when accelerating.
Although at 38mm deep it’s a good depth for all-round aero carbon clinchers, the rim’s 16mm internal width is quite narrow for a modern rim. The trend is towards widths closer to 20mm which support wider tyres better and lead to more air volume for a more comfortable ride. The rims are also not tubeless ready – another current trend they’ve missed.
But the CRD38s share the same hubs as the ARD23s. These give a lot of adaptability, allowing you to run Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo cassettes and thru-axles with 12mm or 15mm front widths and 12x135mm or 12x142mm rear. They can also be set up with conventional quick releases. The hubs use four sealed bearings, which provide smooth running. They take centerlock brake rotors, although the wheelset is supplied with six-bolt adapters too.
>>> Buyer's guide to road bike wheels (video)
Cero uses high quality Sapim CX-Ray J-bend elliptical spokes and the CRD38s are laced two-cross with 24 spokes front and rear, with a recommended maximum rider weight of 100kg.
Out of the box the rims are true – not such an issue with disc-brake wheels, but still nice to see. There’s none of the pinging from the spokes reseating themselves that you get with some wheels, indicating that Cero has pre-stressed the wheels during their build. The spokes have external nipples so they can be realigned without too much faff and Cero ships its wheels with spares in case you do break one.
Watch: Aero wheels buyer's guide
As you’d expect from a medium section carbon wheel, the Ceros spin up and climb well. There’s no feeling of flex, again indicating a solid build. The inner edge of the rim is quite pointed and I did find the CRD38s significantly more prone to blustery crosswinds than the best in class at this rim depth. Our set also came in 50g over the quoted 1,545g weight.
At its current discounted price of around £600 (dependent on spec and extras), the CRD38 wheelset continues Cero’s line-up of quality products at sharp prices and you can buy it on credit too. Paying closer to £1,000, there are other options you should consider.
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