Chain Reaction Cycles' own wheel brand Prime launched last year with a wheel for every occasion. How does its RP-28 carbon clincher fare?
Carbon clincher wheelsets can be a horror. In really hot conditions they can overheat or in very wet conditions braking can become terrifyingly bad.
However, I’ve been very impressed with the PrimeRP-28 Carbon Clincher, which has a 28mm-deep rim as the name suggests. They have endured a solid summer and partial winter without showing too much wear and tear despite a little crash at my local criterium.
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Prime is owned by Chain Reaction Cycles and was launched last year as part of a full range of dedicated road wheels including carbon tubular, clincher (like the ones here) and alloy-rimmed versions. As well as the 28mm rim we have here, Prime also offers 50mm and 38mm rim sections along with a mix of hub choices.
Like many other wheelsets on the market, Prime provides a tubeless-ready kit comprising tubeless rim tape and valves. It also includes spare spokes and quick releases.
Prime has followed the trend towards U-shaped rims to help aerodynamics and stability. Although I can’t claim to have noticed any particular aerodynamic benefit, I didn’t get any buffeting from the wind. However, being relatively shallow, these shouldn’t bother anyone in crosswinds.
What the Primes do have going for them is their versatility. I’ve used these in road races, criterium, training rides and really enjoyed my time with them.
The T700 UD carbon fibre rim is light, which means they whip up easily enough in sprints and despite the lack of spokes – 20 front and 24 rear – remain stiff with limited brake rub when out of the saddle giving it the beans, and good for climbing too.
Braking has been decent too, even in the wet. I’ve used Prime’s own pads as well as the yellow SwissStops. Impressively I haven’t had too much concern in the wet, but I did experience some fade in the heat of Majorca last summer. The rims have held up well against some abuse: even after the harsh scrubbing of the SwissStop pads they still look new.
I’ve even had a little tumble on these and they didn’t need a true. Nice and strong.
Prime has done a great job with its first stab at carbon wheels: these 28mm deep sections function equally well as race or training wheels. They are robust, fast-rolling and easy to live with day-to-day. A great upgrade wheel for those seeking some performance at a midweek crit.