Suppose you want performance wheels for a gravel bike at a reasonable price. In that case, the Ere Research Tenaci GR20 wheelset delivers a good blend of weight, stiffness and strength with a wide internal rim profile suitable for wider gravel tyres.
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Ere Research Tenaci GR20 wheelset technical details
The Tenaci GR20 wheels are aimed primarily at gravel bikes with a construction and rim profile designed to maximise the benefits of wider tyres with 24mm internal diameter and a 22mm rim depth. The hubs are designed around 100x12mm front and 142x12mm rear axles, meaning they will fit all current road or gravel bikes with disc brakes.
The hubs feature centre-lock rotor mounts and 24-bladed spokes front and rear and are secured to the rim with black alloy spoke nipples. The GR20 rim is relatively low in height at 22mm with an internal rim width of 24mm. The wheels will suit tyre sizes from 30-48c. However, the recommendation is 34-44c, and for the majority of test rides, I have used the Ere Research Tenaci TLR 700x44 tyre.
The rims are tubeless-ready. Tubeless tape is supplied and fitted, although tubeless valves are not provided. The wheels tested feature olive-coloured accents, with five other colours available, which means you should be able to find a version to match your bike. One big positive is the number of spares included. With eight spare spokes and spoke nipples for a complete wheelset and a spacer, should you wish to run an eight, nine or ten-speed Shimano cassette.
The wheelset weighed in at 1,685g (765g front, 920g rear) with tubeless tape pre-installed, a little above the claimed weight of 1,625g, but still a competitive weight for the style and price. A Shimano compatible freehub is standard, but there are options to fit either SRAM XDR or traditional Campagnolo, but not the Campagnolo Ekar compatible N3W version.
How they feel on test
I have been using these wheels in all conditions, covering big distances, on everything from roads to smooth forest tracks and trails, to rougher byways, as well as some red-graded mountain bike trails. The wheels feel agile and direct, and when riding down rough, rocky descents, they have been stable with no lateral flex noticeable, helping keep a straight and direct line when needed.
Reliability has been faultless throughout testing, with no problems at all. The bearings have remained smooth, and the freehub continues to engage securely, even under high power efforts.
Tyre installation has been easy, without the need for tyre levers. The 24mm internal rim diameter gives a broad tyre profile, measuring the claimed width or, with some tyre brands, a little larger than the stated width. They also inflate quickly, indicating a great, reliable bead seat within the rim.
The 27-tooth ratchet, 4-pawl engagement setup delivers a quick pickup, even under higher power efforts, without any noticeable slip at any point. The freehub noise is quiet, almost silent when freewheeling. Access to the freehub is simple for any maintenance needed – just two 17mm cone spanners required for access to re-grease the freehub. Once removed, the freehub springs hold the pawls in place, avoiding the nightmare on other designs of pawls and springs all over the floor. The bearings feel smooth front and rear, and while they are not branded, they spin freely and have not developed any play while testing.
The hubs use straight-pull, pillar bladed aero spokes and have remained true, although the spoke tension does vary a little across the build. The spoke nipples within the wheelset are alloy, which for a wheelset like this is disappointing, as they are much easier to round-off and can corrode with salt. Brass nipples would be preferable, as they handle rain and our salted British roads far better for little weight disadvantage.
Ere Research Tenaci GR20 wheelset verdict
At £349, the Ere Research Tenaci GR20 are at a similar price, design and specification to several other well-regarded wheels, including the Scribe Gravel Wide++ at a very impressive £330 and Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide at £369. Both alternative options are designed for broader gravel tyres, featuring a 25mm internal rim diameter, tubeless-ready design. Still, both are heavier at 1,765g for the Hunt wheels and 1,815g actual weight for the Scribe wheels as tested, although both are built with a higher 28-spoke count and brass spoke nipples used.
For riders looking for a lighter, gravel-specific build wheelset with a performance angle, the lower weight of the Tenaci GR20 wheelset may be appealing as, for the money, they will be among the lightest. The broad rim also allows easy tubeless setup, although the lack of tubeless valves is disappointing. Performance is impressive, though, this wheelset remaining stiff under acceleration and on rougher descents. However, riders looking to use them year-round in typically British conditions may be wary that they are built with less durable alloy spoke nipples. With a choice of six colour accents, you’re sure to find one to match your bike.
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At first glance anyway. But on their website the price is actually 399. Not 349.
These look like good value for money!