Scribe is a relatively unknown entity when it comes to the best road bike wheels but the Northern Ireland-based company has made significant strides in developing a comprehensive-yet-affordable wheel portfolio. The wheels you see here are the Scribe Aero Wide+ 60Ds – a model which sit just below the range-topping 6565D and 6585D wheels in the family hierarchy. As the nomenclature suggests, the wide 21mm internal profile wheels measure 60mm deep and cater for disc-brake-actuated road bikes. We’ve been using the Aero Wide+ 60Ds for the better part of four months and have thoroughly stress-tested them in a variety of conditions including a cold and wet Rapha Festive 500 – but just how good are they?
Design and aesthetics
When it comes to aesthetics Scribe has gone the minimalist route and while this might not find favour with everyone, we’ve always favoured understated over brazen here at Cyclingnews. Taking centre stage is a matte-treated unidirectional carbon-fibre finish and contrasting gloss-black Scribe-adorned hubs – it all looks and feel very premium. The rim graphics and details are limited to white but they’re symmetrically positioned and line up neatly on opposite ends of the valve stem.
Like its rivals, the rim profiling is toroidal in shape, which is a proven recipe when it comes to recapturing airflow, wheel predictability and cross-wind management. The wheels are manufactured from high-filament unidirectional Toray T700/T800 fibres while the walls, spoke holes and rim bed are reinforced for added strength and durability.
Specification and build
In terms of materials, everything is sourced from Taiwan and assembled either in the Taiwanese or UK factory. All customisation including hub swaps, re-builds and bearing upgrades are carried out on-site in the UK. Scribe also offers a lifetime crash replacement on all its carbon wheel offerings as well as a three-year ‘new year, new bearings’ warranty policy where you’ll receive two sets of wheel bearings for the lifetime of the warranty period.
The wheels are built to accommodate a wide spread of tyre widths ranging from 25- to 50mm. For those looking for outright speed and performance, Scribe recommends 25mm tyres while 28mm rubber is advised if increased comfort and ride pliancy is the priority. It’s worth noting that owing to the wider rim profile the footprint of a 25mm tyre will look and feel a lot bigger, the same goes for other sizes, too.
The rear hub is compatible with both Shimano and SRAM 8/9/10/11-speed systems (Campagnolo and XDR also available) and caters for all major axle standards – front: QR, thru-axle (12mm and 15mm); rear: QR, thru-axle (142×12).
Performance and handling
It’s always tricky when it comes to putting aerodynamic claims to the test in real-world scenarios but the 60mm rim profile means these wheels feel pretty rapid when they get up to speed – they devour rolling terrain and carry momentum with ease. In fact, most of my rides during December and over the Rapha Festive 500 comprised fast, undulating topography and the Scribe Aero Wide+ 60Ds were phenomenal. My non-scientific, anecdotal testing procedure revealed an increase in average speeds per route by as much as 1km/h. Of course, all the extra alacrity does come with a small weight penalty (the wheels tip the scales at 1,579g) but the wheels are all-round enough in application to be used for most terrain situations, and certainly make up for any lost time when things begin to flatten out.
The wheels can be used with both traditional inner-tube-type tyres and tubeless rubber, the latter, however, will only unlock the true talents of this wheel system. Owing to the uber-wide 21mm internal width (30mm external) you’re able to run wider tyres and lower pressures thanks in part to the better tyre profile support. I opted for 28C Pirelli P Zero Race TLR, which actually measure close to 30mm when fitted due to the wider rim bed. The set-up was quick and mounting, seating and inflating the tyres was an easy and painless exercise thanks to the ramped rim bed. While the benefits of tubeless tyres use are still largely up for debate, I’m yet to have any issues with tubeless tyres because of the added sense of surety from the sealant and tyre compound. Besides, I still recommended carrying a spare tube and CO2 canister should anything go wrong. And then, of course, it’s the magic-carpet ride quality you can unlock – at a smidge under 62kg, I found 45-50psi a happy medium in terms of outright speed vs compliance.
They’re durable, too, and despite several blows from unavoidable potholes, the wheels have remained true and have shown no signs of buckling. That said, owing to the super-stiff 2:1 spoking, we do recommend monitoring the spoke tension from time to time to ensure optimal performance.
As far as stiffness goes, there’s very little in the way of perceptible flex thanks to the strengthened walls and 2:1 spoke-lacing pattern both front (21H) and rear (24H). Power transfer is instant thanks to Scribe’s Five4 rear hub design. The hub system operates in much the same way as DT Swiss’ new EXP hubs, which foregoes pawls in favour of a 54-tooth single-disc ratchet drive system which binds immediately for optimal power delivery. This freehub system is also ridiculously loud and, on many occasions, I found myself freewheeling (and backpedalling) for extending periods of time just to hear the trademark ‘ball bearings in a blender’ soundtrack – the noise is very addictive.
Buy the Aero Wide+ 60D wheels at Scribe
Scribe clearly has a winner on its hands with the Aero Wide+ 60Ds. Looking at the specifications, the wheels are comparatively light and come in at a price point well below the £1,000 threshold – £870 to be precise. During our four-month test, they didn’t as much put a foot wrong despite being subjected to a host of challenging weather conditions – rain, snow and muddy country lanes. They also did a sterling job getting this writer safely and swiftly through his first northern hemisphere attempt at the Festive 500.
As it stands, it appears as though the Scribe Aero Wide+ 60D wheels are a genuine alternative to the costlier – read mainstream – options currently flooding the market, especially when you consider the three-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement policy. They’re fast and compliant and, depending on your tyre preferences, can be manipulated to perform to your exact requirements.
- Temperature: -4 to 15-degrees Celsius
- Terrain: A- and B-roads
- Mileage: 1,011km
Tech Specs: Scribe Aero Wide+ 60D wheels
- RRP: $1,200 / £870 / €995
- Weight: 1,579g (actual, 0,000g)
- Depth: 60mm
- Internal width: 21mm
- External width: 30mm
- Spoke count: 21/24 front/rear
- Tyre format: Clincher, tubeless
- Brake: Disc