I bought my latest Giant endurance bike about 8 months ago and have been riding on the stock Giant PR2 disc wheels. I’ve never been totally happy with these wheels, especially when it came to fixing flats on the road and finally decided that it was time for a change. I was actually horrified when I weighed the wheels, complete with cassette, tires, tubes, skewers and stock 160mm rotors and came up north of 7.30lbs! Since buying the bike I had suffered a number of pinch flats and swapped out the stock tires with Michelin Pro 4, however I felt that the bike was slow to accelerate and climb when compared to my older Specialized with lightweight aluminum wheels.
Initially I started looking for lightweight aluminum wheels, but decent wheels were costly and similar in price to cheaper carbon wheels. While the weight difference between expensive aluminum wheels and cheap carbon wheels were minor, carbon could be molded in to more Aero designs and this began to appeal to me.
I started to research carbon wheel sets and kept coming back to some of the more reasonably priced Chinese manufacturers. One in particular interested me, not the cheapest, but they had a well-designed website and some interesting technology, including SAT (Special Assembly Technology) which is a building technique that produces a wheel with no spoke holes on the rim! No need for rim tape and less chance of a pinch flat. Genius. Also it promised additional strength and rigidity, not a bad thing with all of the lousy roads where I ride.
Unfortunately I knew no-one who had purchased these wheels locally. I sent some emails out to Leo and received answers and finally decided to buy a set of the 38mm wheels which are 25mm wide and have a U profile. Leo actually custom built my wheels by replacing the stock hubs with Novatec hubs so that I could use my 6 bolt disc system and laced front and back with 20 aero spokes to keep weight to a minimum (I weigh 160lbs).
I confess that I was a little apprehensive after placing the order, however the wheels arrived extremely well packed and suffered no damage traveling all the way from China through USA customs and on to me. I removed the wheels and my first thought was wow! Initially I chose the glossy, ghost finish, however these were not in stock and rather than wait, I chose what was in stock, blue matt wheels. I was pleasantly surprised, the build quality was superb. I now realized why I needed to wait for my color options, instead of using decals (stickers) on the rims; the branding is actually ‘built’ in to the wheel! Not a problem for me, but good to know for all riders who might want to remove decals from their rims. The first thing I did was weigh the wheels. Yeoleo states a weight of 1625gms for this wheelset and according to my scales the supplied wheels were slightly under 1600gms. Good start. While 1596gms is not especially light for carbon wheels, it was still 445gms lighter than the stock wheelset. I checked both wheels and they were perfectly true, no issues with either hub. I built the wheels up using 160mm Ashima rotors and continental tubes and Grand Prix 4000S ll tires (my preferred setup) and with lightweight titanium skewers I dropped a total of just under 1000gms or just over 2lbs in weight from my stock wheelset. I’m not a weight weenie, but 1000gms less rotational weight should make climbing a little easier!
I wanted to wait before posting my review as I had a couple of century rides this summer and as I have now completed 2 and have around 600miles on these wheels I thought this would be a good time to post my review.
So where to start? Well the wheels are still perfectly true, no issues with hubs, spokes or rims, even after 100 plus miles along terrible Buffalo roads (Can-Am Century Ride). The 38mm deep and 25mm wide rim allows me to ride with 25mm or 28mm tires comfortably and the U section has been fairly good in allowing me to ignore strong crosswinds. I found the wheels extremely responsive, stiff and easy to accelerate. Even though the wheels were stiffer than the PR2’s they never felt uncomfortable and to be honest I appreciated the extra stiffness when out of the saddle accelerating. Breaking was not an issue as these are disc version wheels so I had no reason to be concerned about carbon rim breaking. As far as performance is concerned my Map My Ride statistics show that I am faster since swapping out my wheels, my last century I averaged 15.5mph. And while this is not all that impressive for professional riders it is still around 0.8mps faster than the last century I rode on my PR2 wheels. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not.
I think that these wheels sit in a perfect sweet spot, a good weight for climbing and endurance, not too aero for riders concerned with side winds (I ride usually in Las Vegas where there are strong winds year round and open roads), reasonably priced and they perform well.
Yoeleo builds many different wheelsets and complete frames and although I was initially skeptical, after 600miles of road riding I have no problem recommending Yoeleo. I will buy again from Leo. His wheels are extremely well built, look terrific, ride exceptionally well, can be custom built to order (if you ask nicely), are stiff so accelerate well, come with a U profile so not adversely affected by cross winds (well 38mm anyhow), built with SAT, so no rim tape needed and much, much cheaper than the big brands.