One of the benefits often associated with road disc is the ability to redesign the rim since it no longer has to act as a braking surface and withstand the clamping forces of the brake. This may be true, but a number of wheel manufacturers are still offering carbon disc brake wheels that are built with rims designed for rim brakes. In the case of Xentis’ first road disc wheel, the rim isn’t entirely new but it is reworked to be a disc brake specific rim. In the process, they were able to take out 30g from the 4.2 rim while retaining the crazy looking Active Tubulator – the wavy lip around the edge of the rim. The swirl lip is claimed to create turbulent air behind the wheel for improved aerodynamics and better handling in cross winds.
Initially the Squad 4.2 Disc will be offered in a clincher with a tubular model soon to follow. The 135mm rear hub has nice straight pull, nail head spokes for a stiff wheel that resists wind up, even under hard braking. Even though the rim is lighter than the XBL 4.2 below, the hubs are heavier making the wheels slightly heavier at 1475g. The clincher disc model will retail for $2699.
The XBL 4.2 is essentially the same wheel as last year’s Squad 4.2, though it lacks the Active Turbulator on the rim, and comes in at $500 less. The carbon rims still feature the reinforced spoke bed section and nice touches like Xentis’ embedded spoke magnet and valve grommets. Pricing for the XBL 4.2 is set at $2199 which includes wheelbags, valve extenders, and skewers.
While Nick is testing the Squad 5.8s, the new Squad 7.5s round out the line up with a 75mm deep aero wheel. Measuring 24+mm wide at the brake track, the 7.5s do include the Active Tubulator and Xentis’ treatment for rim brakes. In order to improve the pad’s grip on the brake track, Xentis machines down just the outer layer of resin on the rim to expose the actual carbon fibers for a smooth, uniform brake track with better grip. The Squad 7.5s are offered in two versions with both steel and ceramic bearings.