We were recently sent this review about our Neon clincher wheelset written by George Wallis-Ryder, who was impressed by the speed, ride and outstanding value of our wheels.
George has spent a number of years working in the cycling press and the wider industry and is a well known bike officianado, so you can trust him to give an honest and informed opinion. Did he like them? Read on to find out!
"We’ve never had it so good. The market for carbon wheels has never been so broad and the customer so dazzled with choice. However, unless you’re pulling in a six figure annual salary or your kit is covered by sponsors, splashing out on a fancy set of hoops will likely be a carefully thought out decision. A decision where value is no doubt an important factor.
Au Wheels are a UK based wheel building outfit, operating with the goal “To create superior wheels, backing them up with great service and market-leading warranties.” The staff behind Au have experience in some of the world’s biggest wheel manufacturers, which will be a reassuring thought the first time you find yourself hurtling downhill at 70+kph!
Au offer three different wheelsets, based around three rim depths; 30mm, 50mm and 80mm.
Wheels are available in both disc and rim brake configurations, as well as clincher and tubular setups.
Au supply their wheels with lightweight titanium skewers (much nicer than most brands I might add), as well as brake pads specifically designed for their rims. I couldn’t pin down the exact technology being used, as its all a bit hush hush, however I was assured that it was a method in keeping with the biggest names in carbon wheel production.
These wheels are fast! Carbon wheels are favoured by pros and racers alike for their stiffness and low weight, and these are both characteristics found on the Neon wheels. Deep section rims really come into their own above 35kph. I found however that even at lower speeds, the hub design and bearings gave them a smooth rolling feel that contributed to a general feeling of ‘quickness.’ Whilst on the topic of hubs, it does take a few kilometres before the freehub really develops it’s growl.
On the road I found the ride characteristics of the Au wheels a pleasant surprise. Deeper rims tend to offer up a harsher ride, amplified by carbon construction. The Neon wheelset is built around a 16mm internal rim width which, although by current standards isn’t super wide, does mean that your tires will take a pleasantly wide profile.
Whilst I wouldn’t go as far to say that the Neon wheelset was ‘comfortable,’ it certainly didn’t rattle my teeth out. These wheels span up quickly, and felt as though my efforts at the pedals were certainly being rewarded.
Their low weight also means that performance along the flat didn’t cost me dearly when the road pointed uphill.
So why buy Au wheels? Quite simply, for the price-point you will struggle to find any better value options. Much cheaper than £1000 and carbon wheelsets usually offer little benefit over their alloy counterparts. Customer support and warranty issues are also a big factor when considering carbon wheels. Au offer a three year warranty; a year longer than Zipp and just as long as Mavic.
With the smaller set up of Au, you get the feeling that they would probably remember your name (definitely remember your bike!) and make sure you were back on the road as soon as possible.
A set of Au Wheels Neon 50mm clinchers make a great upgrade to a ‘proper’ road bike. When you’re ready to take the next step to a ‘proper’ set of performance wheels, you’d do well to keep Au Wheels at the front of your considerations."
Note: George tested Neon Carbon clinchers with rim brakes and white decals priced at £1050. For more information and to order, please go to our product pages here.