Corima is one of the world’s most exclusive wheelmakers. The French company has been designing, manufacturing and hand-assembling carbon-fibre hoops in-house at its factory in Loriol-sur-Drôme for well over 30 years now and has put its wares to the test at the sport’s highest level – adorning the frames of professional outfits Astana-Premier Tech and Delko Marseille for the past decade. Over this time the brand has garnered a formidable reputation and become an object of desire of cyclists the world over.
Owing to the radical shift in contemporary road bike design, Corima has had to pivot and quickly adapt its ethos to cater for disc-brake actuation and tubeless tyre technology. The result? The all-new Corima MCC DX wheels. The model pictured here is the 47mm MCC DX tubular wheels which feature feathery all-carbon construction and a 19mm internal rim width.
We spent some time aboard the all-new MCC DX wheels to bring you an exclusive look into what makes them spin.
Design and aesthetics
Corima is known for its minimalist approach to industrial design and the MCC DX tubular wheels stay true to this fundamental principle. There’s nothing particularly fancy here when it comes to graphic design but the simple-yet-effective use of texture and shape has created one of the most rousing visual packages of all the best road bike wheels. Even the logos and wheel designation monikers are artisanal in application – they’re merely peel-off decals, further emphasising the brand’s non-conformist rhetoric. The decals are offered in 14 colourway options ranging from keyline to gold.
Everything is made from carbon fibre – even the spokes which are undeniably the most intriguing design attribute, taking on a visage not too unlike that of charcoal sticks but more on them later. The rim architecture is constructed from lightweight TeXtreme weave and filled with foam to maximise overall strength and dampen road vibration.
The all-carbon rear hub design takes on a purely function over form approach, distinguishable via a Y-shaped hub flange arrangement Corima calls Double Torque Technology (D2T). What this does is essentially spread the tension across the entirety of the rim ensuring better load distribution. The front hub takes on a more traditional appearance as it won’t encounter the same acceleration and braking forces as the rear assembly.
Specifications, handling and performance
As previously mentioned the spokes are the most impressive aspect of the wheel system and are fashioned entirely from carbon fibre – the result of which has helped boost visuals and reduce drag. Compared to the 2019 MCC wheel iterations, Corima says the new rim profile has culminated in a 9 per cent (front wheel) and 18 per cent (rear wheel) aerodynamic improvement. While we couldn’t put these claims to the test we can attest to the front wheel’s stability when encountering crosswinds. The reduced surface area and aerodynamically profiled spokes mean handling remains predictable and instils in the rider an added sense of control.
Out on the road, the step-up in feedback and responsiveness over other wheels I’ve tested was immediately evident. The communication and road-surface feedback is granular in feel and paints a pretty vivid picture in terms of what’s happening underfoot. Of course, this is much about tyre application as it is wheel construction – the wheels arrived pre-fitted with 25mm Hutchinson Pro Tour tubular tyres. After some experimentation, I found using a 90/95psi front/rear tyre pressure balance yielded the best results in terms of feel and compliance (61.5kg rider weight).
Having spent a considerable amount of time riding tubeless tyres recently, I found the ride quality a little firm but nothing too overbearing. In fact, it’s more the wheel stiffness and responsive that seem to bring things to life. However, Corima’s ‘Torsion Box’ concept has added some compliance to the system by adding structural foam and horizontal unidirectional carbon-fibre strut bracing within the internal rim profile. This, according to Corima, enhances power transfer, wheel trueness and quells road vibrations and imperfections.
The wheels worked well in partnership with the Merida Scultura Disc 10K-E road bike. As a bike aligned more to overcoming gravity than straight-line shove, the MCC DX tubulars helped unlock some extra top-end speed while keeping it nimble through lumpy topography. Speaking of weight, the 47mm MCC DX tubular wheels tip the scales at a claimed 1,340g per set (580g front, 760g rear) – which is over 200g lighter than many of the rolling stock options we’ve recently tested and incredibly impressive for a 47mm-profile wheel.
The wheels come ready-to-ride out of the box complete with nifty protective bags and are compatible with Shimano/SRAM cassettes.
The Corima 47mm MCC DX tubular wheels are not cheap. At $4,295/ £3,100 / €3,570, they’re a seriously pricey proposition (you could buy a second bike for that money) but also an undeniably responsive set of wheels that irrefutably ramp up the communication between bike and rider.
The way they balance attributes such as stiffness, weight and rolling efficiency make them an ideal all-rounder – excelling in all conditions, cross-winds and mountainous terrain included. And while they could be used all season (for both training and racing blocks), given their precious and exotic nature they’re an option we’d reserve exclusively for racing scenarios. They’re hands down the best wheelset we’ve tested here at Cyclingnews.
Tech Specs: Corima 47mm MCC DX tubular wheels
- RRP: $4,295 / £3,100 / €3,570
- Weight: 580g (front), 760g (rear)
- Depth: 47mm
- External width: 26mm
- Internal width: 19mm
- Spoke count: 12 front/rear
- Tyre format: Tubular
- Brake: Disc