A well-built and smooth set of wheels ideal for hitting the hills with some nimble and responsive feel. They feel slightly draggy on the fast flats, but a netural handling a good braking make these decent all-rounders.
Responsive on climbs
Draggy on the flats
Narrow rim width
The Edco ProSport Pillon wheels are one the Swiss brand's top-end carbon clincher/tubeless ready wheelsets, with this 35mm deep offering aimed at performing on the climbs.
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Having never used Edco wheels before, I was intrigued to see how these would compare to wheels I'd be using recently, like the Roval CLX 50s - the latter a much more highly priced wheelset.
The Pillons came set-up tubeless for us, with Edco saying on its website that all wheels will come with Continental Grand Prix 4000SII clincher tyres. Since Continental are yet to make tubeless tyres, I used Schwalbe Pro One tyres in size 25c.
While we're on the tyres, they came up feeling quite narrow with the 17mm internal rim width on these wheels. I actually don't mind narrow tyres at all having used Mavic wheels for years, but with the modern trend to go wider at 19mm it felt quite strange going back to a narrower set up.
I also tend to use shallow rims for the most part, and having used 50mm rims for some time now, was really pleased at how sprightly these felt when accelerating and getting up to speed.
That translated nicely to the hills as well, where Edco ProSport Pillon wheels really came into their own. They felt nimble and responsive on short punchy climbs and I really enjoyed riding these up some of the longer draggier climbs on my usual riding routes.
These kinds of climbs tend to me to be where deeper rims start to lose some of their appeal, but these 35mm rims felt light enough and balanced ideally for this terrain. It'd be good to see how the feel on some proper mountain climbs as I can see them coming into their own even more there.
The drawback is riding on the flat. These wheels quite notably felt like they didn't hold the speed as well as wheels I'd just been using. It was by no means bad, and the hubs really kept things smooth, but it was noticeable that these wheels just weren't ideal for long high-speed flats, particularly if you were trying to coast along.
That applied to descending as well, where these wheels didn't quite feel in their element if you were trying to hold speed down a long straight section.
The caveat that to that is that they were very good when cornering on descents. They felt really stable and don't suffer significant buffeting, so there wasn't an issue with any wobbles.
Edco offers its 'Integrated Low Temperature Braking Surface (ILT)' on these wheels, which it says should mean the carbon brake surface perform as an alloy brake track would in both wet and dry.
This prolonged dry spell (and an aversion to riding in anything close to a drizzle) meant I didn't get the chance to test them in the wet, but the braking eventually felt very good in the dry. I say eventually, because it did seem they took some time for the pads and brake surface to bed in properly. It didn't feel great on the first couple of rides, meaning I checked my pads' set up four or five times to make sure they were correct.
After one or two longer outings though they started to feel good in the corners and in sharp stopping. I can't say there was anything exceptional about the braking in respect to wheels I've used previously, but I had no concerns using them on the descents and that peace of mind is what I'm primarily looking for.
At £1400 these wheels are priced about where you might expect if you're looking for some shallower carbon rims for your bike. I definitely would recommend these for longer distance and hillier rides but they will perform well as all-round wheels for most occasions.
Richard began working with Cycling Weekly in 2013 alongside the then web editor, Nigel Wynn. Taking over as digital editor or Cycling Weekly and mbr in 2014, Richard coordinates site content and strategy with the team.
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