This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
BikeRadar Verdict: "Stiff, speedy, well made and well-priced, what’s not to like?"
BikeRadar Score: 4.5 stars
- Highs: Fast, flighty feel and super stiff
- Lows: They’re not suited to larger tyres
- Buy if: You want a set of stiff, fast, well made and well-priced wheels
Vittoria’s star has been rising over recent years. This has been mostly down to its technical advancements in tyres, fusing graphene into the compound to improve the natural elasticity of the rubber for increased grip. Improvements to wear and rolling resistance have also made them a seriously popular tyre. These Qurano 46 wheels are the latest addition to the graphene-infused range.
The carbon rims are strengthened and stiffened by the introduction of graphene (see below), which also helps to reduce weight. The rims are quite flat sided, measure at 24.2mm externally and are, as the name suggests, 46mm deep.
The internal dimension of 16.25mm means these are very much aimed at racers as this width is most suited to a 25mm tyre. I ran them with Vittoria’s excellent 25mm Corsa Control G+.
What is immediately noticeable is the sheer stiffness of the rims, rarely have I experienced a wheel that’s so unmoved by anything in its path. It makes for a feeling of instant acceleration and snappy responses; the downside is that should you experience an unfortunate puncture, getting a tyre off and on requires serious tyre levers and strong thumbs.
- Spelling it out for you, the front and rear rims are 46mm deep
- SwitchIT freewheel design means tool-free servicing
- The Quaranos feature 24 double-crossed Aero spokes
When riding in blustery conditions, the flat-sided rim shape coped far better than I expected, but you do get buffeted on the front wheel more than with the best performers, such as Zipp’s 303s, Roval’s CLX 50s, or ENVE’s SES 4.5s. That said, in adverse conditions, the Quranos are leagues ahead of similarly priced wheels from just a few seasons ago.
The disc Qurano wheels are 46mm deep at both ends, whereas the rim version drops the depth on the front to 42mm to aid handling. At 702g for the front and 812g for the rear, both with 12mm thru-axle end caps, the 1,514g total is impressive for this depth, and at this price.
Build quality is good too, with nicely smooth hubs, a good finish and Vittoria’s very clever SwitchIT tool-less freehub design.
If you’re looking for a slick set of race-orientated carbon disc wheels that are impressively stiff, robust, light, well-priced, and you’re not concerned about running oversized tyres, then the Quranos are a great option.
What is graphene?
Graphene is refined graphite (the same stuff you find in a pencil). The raw mined graphite is put into an expansion ‘system’ where it’s hit with a plasma with a heat range between 6–10,000 degrees Celsius. This leads to expansion of the raw material, so it goes from a solid lump to what looks like black candy floss.
The graphene has an enormous surface area, with 1g having around 2,630m2. When graphene is introduced into carbon fibre, with the platelets run in parallel lines, it provides huge levels of reinforcement for very little weight, so you can build a rim of equivalent stiffness with less material than a standard carbon rim.