Technical specifications: Rim material: Carbon Rim type: Hookless (Tubeless) Rim height: 42mm Rim outer width: 23mm Rim inner width: 19.4mm Front hub: CADEX low friction hub, centre lock Rear hub: CADEX low friction hub, ratchet driver, centre lock Freehub compatibility: Shimano 11 / SRAM XDR 12 Bearing: Precision sealed cartridge Front axle: 100x12 TA (not included) Rear axle: 142x12 TA (not included) Spokes (front): Aero carbon spoke Lacing (front): DBL, 21H Spokes (rear): Aero carbon spoke Lacing (rear): DBL, 24H Nipple type: Alloy Weight (pair): 1,327g Manufacturer’s claims: · Hookless rim design helps reduce aerodynamic loss and, through a continuous carbon fibre structure, enhances overall durability · Custom-tuned aero carbon spokes offer excellent aerodynamic characteristics, superior stability in shifting winds and ultra-light weight · Custom-tuned dynamic balanced lacing (DBL) technology makes a stiffer, more efficient wheel designed for real-world application · Precision reinforced carbon lay-up places carbon fibre only where needed, creating an exceptionally solid structure without adding any unnecessary grams · Low friction hub eliminates bearing friction reducing potential watt loss Giant introduced its Cadex carbon fibre road bike in 1987, and, in 2019 revived the Cadex brand through the formation of a high-profile performance subsidiary. Cadex products currently include wheels, saddles, and tyres. World Tour team CCC run the wheels on their bikes and have previously used the #overachive tag on these wheels. So, do a rich heritage and a respectable resume translate to a better riding experience? To test that, I fitted the 42s on my road bike – a Pinarello Dogma F12 – and set out. I rode almost 1,000km in conditions that included: rain, hail, sunny-skies, strong gusty winds and calm air. And the terrain included: flat smooth roads, steep gnarly ascents and sweeping descents. The wheels were supplied with Cadex 700x25C tubeless tyres. Mid-way through the test I replaced the supplied tyres with Schwalbe 25mm pro one TLE tyres – more about this later. I fitted a Shimano Dura-Ace 11-28 cassette and Shimano Dura-Ace centre lock 140mm brake rotors. My height is 168cm and weight is 60kg. For the most part, a conversation regarding wheels usually debates: (1) climbing, (2) descending, and (3) flat roads. So, how did these wheels perform in the aforementioned areas? Climbing The low overall weight, well engineered hubs and clever spoke tensioning made climbing on these wheels proper fun. The wheels were lively and provided just the right amount of feedback, without too much flexing, while the plentiful carbon fibre didn’t make them too rigid. The proprietary hubs are complemented by high-quality steel bearings. Descending On the more technical descents the wheels behaved predictably, allowing an easy flick into a tight turn or simply railing a long sweeping turn. However, on faster, straighter descents the front wheel was easily unsettled at speeds over 70kph. This occurred while freewheeling and was amplified by crosswinds and/or braking. Experimenting with various tyre pressures within the manufacturer’s suggested range made little difference. So, I changed the tyres. There are a limited number of Cadex approved tubeless tyres for this hookless rim and I chose the Schwalbe because I’m familiar with the tyre. Compared with the Cadex, the Schwalbe has a higher thread-count, is more supple and can run at lower pressure. The Schwalbe tyres settled the front wheel and improved the overall feel and performance of the wheels. I concluded that, for my weight and riding style the Cadex tyre was simply too hard. Flat Roads These wheels roll effortlessly along flat roads and if you optimize your tyre pressure according to your weight you won’t be troubled by rough or uneven road surfaces. The lightweight front wheel permits a soft grip on the bars in windy conditions, which in turn allows the wind to flick off the wheel without dragging the bike sideways. Verdict The wheels are under-stated, but look the part and are well built and well engineered. It’s an all-round wheel that will perform on all terrains and is robust enough to be ridden every day. Paired with the right tyre, you won’t be bothered by wind while gaining the benefits of the aerodynamic characteristics of a deeper rim. And, if you like a noisy freehub, the 30-tooth hardened steel ratchet will please you.