- Excellent value
- Wide internal rim
- Tubeless ready
- Loud freehub
The Gravel Wide++ is an alloy wheelset from Scribe with a generous 25mm internal rim well suited to wider gravel tyres. They're not the lightest out there, but they offer good all round performance, instant engagement and are cheaper than most comparable wheelsets.
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Within the alloy range, Scribe offers the Wide (19mm internal rim), Wide+ (21mm) and this Wide++ (25mm) set I have on test. Scribe recommend these for tyres over 35mm, making them suitable for all gravel tyres and perhaps even some wider road tyres.
Tyre installation proved painless with the 38mm Halo GXC tyres I had to hand, not needing excess force and inflating with just a track pump. The rims are tubeless ready with the tape pre-installed, which is good. Tubeless valves are also included as standard.
The wheels are ready for Centre Lock discs, but come with a 6-bolt adapter.
Further options include 12mm, 15mm or QR axle fittings and either Shimano or SRAM XDR freehub fitments.
The Shimano freehub has an anti-bite steel strip, marrying the lower weight of an aluminium freehub to steel's ability to stop the cassette digging in over time. Campagnolo fans, however, are out of luck – there's no option for them.
The claimed weight is 1770g for the pair, but ours weighed 850g front and 965g rear for a total of 1815g – although that includes tape and valves, which probably accounts for the extra 45g.
Even so, for this type of wheel the weight is reasonable, and at no point do they feel heavy or slow.
With some alloy wheels and especially lighter ones, flex can be an issue under hard accelerations or in rocky terrain, but the Wide++ feel stable and secure, climbing and descending rough tracks well.
Freehub noise is something that may be very personal to riders with some no doubt preferring the silence that a Shimano freehub gives and for some a noisy freehub can be welcome, such as the infamous Chris King buzz that anyone who has heard will know. The noise a hub gives will depend mostly on the number of engagement points and also the type of ratchet or pawls used.
The hubs have a unique ratchet disc with leaf spring that gives instant pickup, but one side-effect is a rather loud clicking. Personally I found it a little too much, but you may love it – just be aware these won't roll in Shimano-like silence.
I do like the impressive pickup, though, as it's useful on tricky climbs. I had no problems with durability or performance, either – even in sub-zero conditions, where pawl-based systems in particular can freeze up – during a fairly harsh test period.
The Scribe's biggest competitor is perhaps the Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide, which has a very similar spec (25mm internals and a similar claimed weight), though at £330 the Scribe wheels are £20 cheaper. They're also both cheaper and lighter than the DT Swiss G 1800s that Rachael was impressed with recently.
As a tough, versatile and well designed set of wheels, the Wide++ from Scribe hit the spot. They include everything you need, have most of the key options covered and beat almost all the competition on price – so long as you can cope with a rather noisy freehub, there is little to fault.