- Aerodynamic but stable in crosswinds
- Good value for money
- Clincher tyres don't always seat easily on tubeless rim
- 17mm internal rim width is quite narrow by modern standards
Price as reviewed:
Giant is one of the big players in cycling with an R&D budget to match, and in the case of its excellent ‘Wheelsystems’ it has spent wisely.
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Like Shimano with its C40, Giant highlights its unique approach to spoking its disc-brake wheels – which unlike rim-brake wheels have to take into account braking forces applied at the hub as well as pedalling forces. The SLR 0s are radially spoked on the non-disc side front, which may gain it a very slight aero advantage over many of its rivals’ two-cross fronts. Both sides at the rear are laced two-cross. Both wheels use DT Aerolite bladed straight-pull spokes.
The Giant SLR 0 rim is on the narrow side by modern standards with an internal width of 17mm, which means that for best aerodynamics you’d need to stick with narrower tyres – in the absence of wind tunnel data it looked like 25mm at widest – and sacrifice a bit of comfort.
On the subject of tyres, in the past we’ve had an issue with getting a standard clincher to seat properly on Giant’s tubeless-ready rim – specifically with the SLR 1 wheel that sits below this one in the range. Giant suggested using a tyre installation lube or soap solution to get a brand new clincher to seat, as you would with a tubeless tyre. This time a set of Panaracer Race C Evo 3s went on easily without needing lube but for the rear to seat evenly with no low spots it took a blast from a compressor.
On the road the Giant SLR 0 wheels felt crisp and fast. Their lovely low weight – at 1.46kg the lightest of six in our ‘fastest deep-section carbon wheels’ grouptest in the April 11 issue – took them up hills very quickly, matched by a lateral stiffness that perfectly countered the biggest efforts and highest torque in a low gear.
Unlike deeper wheels, they weren’t too affected by gusting crosswinds, just requiring a little bit of extra attention on windy, fast descents.
With its 42mm rim Giant has found a sweetspot in which the SLR 0 is incredibly fast both on the flat and on climbs.
The freehub is one of the quietest we’ve ever come across – in contrast with Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc‘s swarm-of-angry-bees inspired noise – which makes it perfect for launching unexpected attacks as well as making chatting easier on the clubrun.
However, the Giant SLR 0 rims were slightly clattery on rough surfaces, possibly partly because of the narrower rim. Using tubeless tyres at a lower pressure would resolve this.
Lastly, if you’re worried you might lose style points for pick-and-mixing Giant SLR 0 wheels with your Pinarello or similar Italian superbike, the SLR 0s can be easily de-stickered.
The Giant SLR 0 42s are impressively light wheels with a precisely judged rim depth that performs in all scenarios, but to get the very best out of them they ought to be run tubeless.
Spokes: 21 front/24 rear
Internal rim width: 17mm