The Miche SWR 50/50 is a great-looking, beautifully made, precision-built wheelset that has a performance to match. Lightweight for a deep-section rim, stiff but not harsh-feeling and, in our experience, super fast on flat and rolling parcours, we’d happily ride these all the time.
Light for the rim depth
Classy, understated look
Exquisite machined hub flange
Aero bladed spokes would be nice
Nipples are not internal
By Simon Smythe published
The Italian company has widened its rims in line with the current trend for bigger tyres and the Miche SWR 50/50 wheels have a 17mm internal diameter paired with a 24mm external.
Miche offers the SWRs as a set with 50mm front and rear, a mixed 36mm front/50mm rear or both at 36mm – aimed at climbing.
However, the 50/50 wheelset at a claimed 1,610g (1,607g on our scales) only gives away 30g to the 36/36 version so we would be inclined to go for the deeper rims for all-round performance.
The graphics have been toned down so that the SWR’s formerly white stickers are now black, giving a much classier look.
Miche has used Sapim Aisi stainless spokes, 18 front and 24 rear. These are very thin and round in profile compared to the flat spokes of, say, the Zipp 302s, which are possibly better suited to an aero wheelset, but you can’t argue with their weight.
The rear hub has a large and handsome-looking machined 'skeleton' flange on the driveside to shorten the straight-pull spokes and stiffen up the wheel under load.
The Miche SWR 50/50 rims are tubeless ready but we set them up using Panaracer Race L Evo3 25mm clinchers and standard inner tubes and it was a relief to be able to get the bead over the rim without the wrestling match that some tubeless rims require. With the wider rims the 25s sat evenly with no suggestion of lightbulb profiling.
Miche machines the high-temperature brake track using a trade-secret process. It says it’s tested them on its test rigs at temperatures in excess of 250°C, as well as wet testing them using its supplied brake pads. We found braking to be quiet and consistent – inevitably not as reassuring as an aluminium brake track, especially in the wet, but as good as you can realistically expect from carbon rims and in feel at least on a par with braking from the other major manufacturers of carbon wheels.
The front Miche SWR 50/50 actually sings once you get up to speed so that you think you’re hearing the sound of a distant car alarm – appropriate because they feel so fast that you do want to ride them like you stole them. I recorded a year’s fastest on a regular hilly loop on the Miches on my first time out on them – not a scientific test by any means but proof enough that you can put these wheels straight into any bike and go faster.
I've put a few miles on them since, and they've stayed perfectly in true. I've been very impressed.
At over £1,000, the SWR 50/50 is a high-end wheelset with a premium spec but is one of the best priced in its category. We tested it in Cycling Weekly magazine against Cole C40 Lites, Roval CLX 50s, Zipp 302s and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL USTs and only the Zipps were cheaper at £1,299.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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