Help me choose new wheels

So, in brief :joy:.
I have a Basso Palta with Ekar, its uses are as both a gravel/rigid-MTB and a road bike and I’m very happy with it for both. However, I currently only have one set of wheels and I want to move to two.

It is currently on Shamals (35mm front, 40mm rear) and I plan to continue using these as the mixed road/off-road/trails setup paired with Pathfinder Pro/S-Works tyres.

I want a set of dedicated road wheels running 25/28s and I’m pretty much set on either Hunt Limitless or Swiss Side Hadron2 Ultimates.
Basically, anything around the 50mm mark is as much aero as I need, but both are supposed to be quite well behaved in cross-winds, so there is of course the aesthetics issue and that is where I’m stuck. Logic says Limitless 48 / Hadron 50, but deeper often looks prettier.
The Hunts come as only 48s or 60s, the Hadrons have the option to mix and match depths.

I’ve mocked up some photos for the various rim depths (on Pathfinders, bear in mind they’d be on likely GP5000s and lose a tiny bit of tire depth). I’d really appreciate people’s thoughts.
Be prepared for photo overload…

The current Shamals

Hunt Limitless 48 / Hadron2 50 pair

Hunt Limitless 60 / Hadron 62 pair

Hadron 50 / 62 split pair

Hadron 50 / 80 split pair (the “keep it rideable while getting maximum aero” option)

Hadron 62 / 80 split pair (the “yeah, matched 80s starts looking truly wacky but this is deep” option)

Have at it! (And don’t criticise my Photoshopping, this was done in Paint! :joy:)

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It depends on the sort of riding that you are doing and also weight (for crosswinds and their effect on the wheels). A good solid all round options is anywhere between 40-60mm. Personally I run 25-35s for my ‘fun day’ wheels as they make the bike feel lively. For racing, never less than 60mm unless its a summit finish stage :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m more worried about the aesthetics, honestly.
I’m ~73kg and fairly happy in regards to cross-wind control. I cycle for enjoyment more than anything, but I also like seeing those Strava PBs pop up.
The bike is already fast compared to most things on the Pathfinders, I never have a problem keeping up on group rides where everyone else is on road wheels anyway, so this set is about just unlocking the remaining speed from the bike.
That said, I’m going to be racing friends to street signs, not 40-100 mile races.

The benefit of this setup is that I have the freedom to choose based mostly on aesthetics, because on a particularly blustery day I’d just drop the Shamal/Pathfinder combo on and enjoy the ride because I’m not racing anyone.
Anything above the 48/50s is really, really marginal gains territory for the riding I’d be doing, to the point of irrelevance probably, but at the same time I also have the freedom to see the trees moving in the wind and think “yeah, not today”. So, literally any of these wheel sets would likely work for my riding and I think I’m free to make the decision based on aesthetics alone.


Just an opinion based solely on looks is that whatever you choose keep them close to the same depth.

For my eye, I find the off balance distracting.

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If it’s aesthetics only, I can chip in: I like the 48-50 sizing most. After that it turns too Pro for my liking.


Ha, the 50/80 mix is quite the visual… Not bad if you were looking at performance though, far less steering moment in cross winds while retaining most of the aero benefits of a really deep set.

I think I’ve become accustomed to slight offsets due to the 35/40 blend already on, I don’t mind the 50/62.5 pairing, but I’m terrible at personal purchase decision making, a marketers dream, I’d end up buying all of them as options for different days! :smiley:


The 48/50 pair probably would give you the best ‘bang’ for the buck. 80s can be a handful in a serious crosswind. If you are doing Time Trials, you might want to go for a bolt on rear disc and see how that handles rather than have those impossible deep dishes.

Indeed, that’s why I’ve started at 48/50, I think that is the point where all the core aero gain ends and the rest is just marginal.
Everything above that I’ve mostly thrown in for the aesthetic. I quite like the look of deeper wheels, but then you’ve got rideability.

The realistic options are 48/50, 60s or the 50/62 combo.
48/50 makes sense for the best all-round setup as it’s almost all of the aero and the most rideable. 50/62 might be the sweet point for look.
As far as money goes, they’re all near as dammit the same price.

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I would look at riding the 48/50 and the 50/62 setup in ‘normal’ weather. Around here we have mainly East/West winds around 10kph/6 MPH. However, this is not true for two months of the year where winds can get up to 50kph steady with gusts up to 80kph. And rain is sparse…

So, just to revisit this briefly, the “answer” arrived today…

Campag Bora WTO 60s, which allows me to maintain the Campagnolo tri-spoke aesthetic when bouncing between the road and off-road wheels too :slight_smile:
As these are going on Ekar there is a freehub swap (already got the parts and cassette), plus waiting on rotors and one new tyre to let me do a staged switch from my current setup, but hoping to have these running by the end of the week and the bike set-up for quick road/off-road swaps :smiley:


Nice answer…all answers should be so nice. :slightly_smiling_face:

The Campag Bora wheels do look awesome!


And while I’m replying I thought you might like to know that you - pretty much solely you (thank you!) - are responsible for me spending much time recently looking at the Basso Palta 2 and considering whether I should off load my beloved TCR SL0 and have a single superb gravel/ road bike :thinking:. My Felt Breed would remain my “play and not worry too much about” bike.

Do it.
DO IT!!! :wink:

I might be biased, but I really and truly do love mine.
Fitted up the WTOs yesterday and took it out for its first spin today. Nothing too silly as it’s rather hot and I was bouncing between coffee meets and a lunch “date”, but they feel great and I still hit a bunch of PRs when mostly just mooching about.

Now I’ve got the second set of wheels in place, too, I’m really rather looking forward to getting the Pathfinders back on the Shamals and being able to put it back into it’s “crash about off-road” mode too.

I’ve also chucked on a 130mm stem (up from 100), which was always the plan as I was between sizes on the frame, prefer to size down and needed to take the bike as it came if I wanted it in anything like sensible time with stocks as they were last year. Perfect now I can relax into an aero position when riding and doesn’t feel like it’s lost any snappiness either. Switching stems isn’t hard though, so I’m retaining the old one if I want something more mountain-bike at any point in future.

First shots of the WTOs on:


what ring and cassette range are you running Sir. Man that looks FAST!!!

40t ring, you can get a 42 which I had planned to do initially, but I’m really not having any issues with spinning out as it is.

New cassette on this wheelset, so for the pure road setup I’ve gone for 9-36 and with 13 cogs that keeps really tight spacing for all of the gears you care about (9-10-11-12-13-14-16-18-20-23-27-31-36)

The Shamal wheelset that will be used for off-road is keeping the 9-42 cassette, which gives a 0.95 ratio climbing gear. They actually do a 10-44 too if you want an even easier climbing gear, but I’ve only ever hit the 42 when playing cadence battles with people anyway :smiley:


You should be able to do Alpe de Huez with ease with that setup!

You have piqued my interest! And that setup is stunning and no doubt pretty quick.
I’d need to sell my TCR first and I really love it and feel one with it so it would be a huge move. That said, with the move to 12 and 13 speed its value will probably start dropping off quite quick so if I do want to have minimal additional outlay the sooner the better.
Once you’ve swapped the wheels over a few times for different rides I’d be keen to hear (?PM) how you find the swapping over - I would imagine re-indexing as well as B tension adjustment would need to be done, and possibly minor disc brake adjustment. Hopefully within a few swaps it would all be super super quick.

That 40/ 9-36 sounds awesome for the road. On my gravel steed I’m running a 40/ 10-50 and would move to a 42/ 10-50 in order to lessen the spinning out that occurs now (which is not excessive) so I wouldn’t imagine the 9 with a 40 giving you a spinning out issue.

I changed from a 10-42 to 10-50 recently after really grinding up some 20% + gravel climbs on the 42. Having now used the 50 on some super steep climbs I couldn’t imagine not staying with (or close to) my dinner plate granny gear - particularly with my dicky right knee. So it would be a SRAM mullet build for me. I’ll stop now as my bank manager’s on the line …

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Talking about a loan for a new bike, no doubt

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