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Road Tested: Uccello Ultra Light Wheels

Still resisting to move to disc brakes, Luke Meers test out some astonishingly light rim wheels.

You’ve probably never heard of Uccello Cycles, a boutique, Melbourne-based custom bike and wheel builder. Gavin, the man behind Uccello, selects what he deems to be the best combination of components to make super-light, aerodynamic and high-quality wheels that won’t break the bank as much as the top brands.

These wheelsets are right at the absolute pointy of the weight spectrum, much lighter than most top brands for similar rim depths. 

The rims are sourced from a manufacturer in China. It can’t be disclosed, but rest assured, the factory they come from is also the source of some brands we’d all know. Uccello will also custom-build wheels with other rims and hubs such as Chris King, but have especially chosen the combination of parts for their off-the-shelf options. These include Extralite hubs (made in Italy) front and rear, which live up to their name. 

Classically elegant but with the latest technology and features, expect to see more Uccello wheels out there as the brand gains recognition and support.

The front hub (CyberFront-sp) is just 48g and is notably wide in spoke camber to maximise lateral stiffness. The CyberRear SP-T hub includes aluminium, titanium and carbon components. These hubs are fitted with Abec 5 sealed steel bearings. Not the ceramic bearings one might choose given all the options, but this compromise was intentional, to keep the cost down. The hubs are laced with Pillar bladed (2.0 x 0.9) titanium spokes; a nice touch, which also keeps the weight down and may help with “road feel” a bit too.

The rims themselves are not the widest out there, at 26mm external and 19mm internal. But this is still nice and wide and definitely wide enough to comfortably match with 28 or 30mm tyres whilst also being suitable for rim brake options. The rim profile is that now quite familiar U-shape which seems to be the current choice for aerodynamic optimisation, especially when considering wind as different yaw angles (not straight on). 

I’ve tested here the rim-brake version (yeah I’m still resisting). The rim-brake rims use a grooved-graphene high-temperature brake track which sounded kind of whirry and cool under brakes. This surface definitely seemed to improve braking power, especially in wet conditions, but also may increase brake pad wear rates. The rims are tubeless ready, hooked and use a solid rim bed, which means no rim tape required! For this review, I rode them fitted with Continental GP5000 S TR.

With lightweight components throughout, these wheels pull the scales to a very low 1199grams.

Uccello offers three main “depth options” all available in rim and disc brake options. Tested here is the deepest and heaviest depth, the Road Race wheelset, with 45 and 55mm depths front and rear respectively. This wheelset (in rim brake) comes in at 1195g. My test set weighed 1199g on my scales. That is right, the heaviest rim brake wheels in their range are less than 1200g!! [N.B.1240g for the disc version]. This is very impressive. The lightest option in the range is the Flighweight Climber Disc. These 30mm depth wheels weigh in at a miserly 1020g (1045g for rim)! These numbers are hugely impressive. 

The middle depth option, the Grand Fondo (40 and 45mm front and rear) unsurprisingly weighs in between, at 1130g (rim) and 1160g (disc).

So how do they ride?

In essence, they ride as you would expect. I’ll skip most of the bits that you always hear in reviews. Yes, they “spin up” nicely and “just want to climb”. Yes, they feel great above 40km/hr. All of the things you would hope for in a super light but still deep and aero wheelset.

Importantly they felt comfortable to ride on without any sloppiness. But these are all subjective things. Ride any wheels in a tailwind and they will feel fast. Overall though, I found nothing to fault in the road feel and handling.

“…I’ve tested here the rim-brake version (yeah I’m still resisting)…”

So should you buy these wheels? I would have to be very much convinced by some of the marketing hype of the bigger brands to not choose these over anything more expensive. 

The wheelsets range from $2495 to $2795, which is not as cheap as some of the more “direct from manufacturer” options but is very much at the more affordable end of the spectrum when compared to big brands. You could easily pay twice as much for wheels of similar profiles that are 100-300g heavier. In addition, in the package with my wheels, I received a lovely little book showing all the spoke tensions and wheel balance achieved for my actual wheels, a lovely touch that speaks to the care that you get with quality handmade wheels.

Uccello seem pretty confident in the quality of their wheels, they offer free repair of broken spokes, for the life of the wheels, which says to me, that they don’t expect to see many breaks. As you can see, I’m a fan!! Shame I need to send them back now. 

Find out more and order these wheels via


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