Tomorrow’s wheels for use with yesterday’s brakes
These new Ambrosio wheels have one foot in the future and one foot in the past. What’s forward-looking about them is their design and multi-purpose applicability. First of all they’re wider, with a 20mm internal width and a 24mm external width; secondly, they’re compatible with tubeless tyres; and thirdly, they’re ever-so-slightly aero thanks to their flat-bladed spokes and 27mm rim depth. So, although they’re ostensibly road wheels, their suitability for wider tyres run at lower pressures means they could just as easily be run off-road.
What’s anchoring them in the past, however, is the fact that they’re designed for rims rather than disc brakes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least for the time being. But it seems odd given that the rest of the i20’s specs are so in line with the trend for go- anywhere, multi-use, adventure bikes that, typically, use disc brakes.
Nevertheless, these are decent wheels with a lot going for them. Without a cassette, quick-releases, tubes or tyres they weigh 1,775g (818g for the front, 957g for the rear) and their width produces a tyre profile that’s less pinched-in. With 25mm tyres (in this case Michelin Power All Seasons inflated to 100psi) the wheels felt smooth, stable and swift – even over tarmac broken by tree roots.
They may not be futureproof but they’re not too heavy, not too slow and not too expensive. So just right, especially if you’re looking for a great pair of winter training wheels.