At a pound under a grand the Cero RC45 Evo carbon clincher wheelset is a great upgrade option – lightweight, stiff, robust and fast.
A little sluggish at slow speeds
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Cero is CycleDivision's in-house brand that focuses on providing quality cycle componentry without the prohibitive price tag. Items such as bottle cages, Garmin mounts and wheelsets are what the UK-based company specialises in. We're testing the latest in affordable carbon road wheels, the Cero RC45 Evo carbon clincher wheelset.
Video: wheels buyer's guide
Cero says the Cero RC45 Evo carbon clincher wheelset is built purely with speed and performance in mind. It says all of its wheels are designed and tested by professional and ex-professional riders, who help in every stage of the wheels' life cycle – from the idea to the first prototype to what we have here today.
And the British brand has got it right – it has produced a very well balanced wheelset that favours fast and performance-demanding rides and races.
As a deep-section carbon wheel I can forgive Cero for being a little lacklustre at low speeds, though compared to wheels of a similar depth such as the Zipp 404, the RC45 Evos do a stellar job thanks to their light weight.
At just under 1,500 grams (1,475 grams to be precise) Cero's race wheels come into their own when pushed, giving a nice surge running off the bottom of descents. They hold speed nicely and feel lively when it counts.
Spoke counts are 20 each, front and rear. That's relatively low for the rear but quality components like the CX-Ray spokes from Sapim and Cero's own alloy hubs help them remain stiff and robust. The Japanese bearings are also double sealed to protect them from the British weather.
Engagement from the hub is quick; they produce a loud ratchet noise and I like that.
I've not felt any undue flex from the front or rear and no brake rub – even with the brakes set close to the rim – and set with Vittoria's Corsa G tyres they've been a joy to push up and down hills.
Braking is fairly decent too. OK, it isn't as good as that of the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon, although for a pair of wheels that is £700 cheaper you can't have everything. Braking is predictable, though I've yet to truly test the Ceros in hot temperatures.
Cero has done a great job here with the new RC45 Evo carbon clincher. If you want a deep carbon upgrade wheel, you'd be foolish not to consider these. Cero isn't a household name but the British brand is doing all the right things to ensure good quality components at really wallet-friendly prices.
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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