SRAM S30 AL Race and Sprint Wheelset

sram SRAM S30 AL Race and Sprint Wheelset

SRAM S30 AL Race and Sprint

For those of you that haven’t heard, SRAM makes wheels. And not just any wheels. They bought Zipp after all, and SRAM wheels aren’t just made to carry SRAM’s reputation from the groupset to the wheelset, they have a taste or two of Zipp technology. But just as SRAM had to pay for Zipp, you’ll have to pay a bit for this new marriage of some of the best names in bike components.

The SRAM S30 AL wheels are the entry level race wheel in the new SRAM stable, and SRAM thankfully doesn’t fool around when it says its wheels are for racing.  Unlike many manufacturers’ entry level ‘race’ wheelsets, these really can sweep you to the front of the peloton. Best of all, depending on your riding style and your budget, you’ve got two models to choose from.

SRAM S30 AL Sprint

The Sprint wheelset is the cheaper of the pair, although at $750 it assumes you are pretty serious about lining up for a race. You do get your money’s worth though – at only 1495 grams these are superlight for the price, yet ride amazingly stiff. SRAM have added Zipp’s ‘toroidal’ rim design, which give more stability than a traditional v-shape rim, diminishes the drag of cross winds, and when you’re leading the pack the air rolls sweetly over the rims. Don’t be fooled by the 30mm rim depth; the SRAM S30 AL Sprint is a pretty aerodynamic wheelset. At this price you’d expect – and get – bladed spokes and recessed spoke nipples, so a headwind shouldn’t give you any trouble.

SRAM S30 AL Race

For a little extra money - $1000 for this wheelset – the SRAM S30 AL Race takes a little weight off. At 1430 grams these wheels compete with much higher prices wheelsets, and can put some carbon wheelsets to shame. The weight advantage over the Sprint wheelset comes only from lighter spokes, otherwise you get all the joy of the SRAM S30 AL Sprint.  Only you can say if 65 grams is worth that extra $250 to you.

Even more features…

The alloy hubs have sealed cartridge bearings for easy maintenance, but they also have a preload adjustment so they'll roll smoothly without any extra play or binding. Knurled axle ends eliminates and worrying creaking under the pressure of a sprint finish or a tough climb. Both the Race and Sprint wheelset versions are compatible with SRAM and Shimano 9 and 10 speed components. Have I got anything else to say about how good these wheels are?  Oh yeah – they look great too. Is there anything that would make them better? Just one thing – a Campagnolo compatible model. Maybe next year.

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