SRAM S60 Wheelset

SRAM S60 Wheelset 246x300 SRAM S60 Wheelset

SRAM S60 Wheelset

If you are shopping for a do-it-all wheelset, and you want something that isn’t just versatile but is fast and robust, then you’ll probably be looking at the tried and trusted wheel merchants. Names like Zipp, Mavic, and Easton should be on your list, but don’t overlook SRAM. After all, if you like Zipp you’ll love SRAM. SRAM liked Zipp so much they bought the company!

Of course, SRAM wheels aren’t Zipp wheels. If you really have to have Zipp dimples, then you won’t find them on the SRAM wheelsets. What you will find though is a lot of Zipp technology, and a very good, stiff, strong wheel with some very intelligent design features.

The most versatile wheels in the stable

The SRAM S60 wheelset is one of the best buys in the SRAM line. Why? Because the 60mm rim depth is just perfect for those who don’t want – or can’t afford – specialist wheels for every occasion. If you want to be aero enough for time trialing or triathlon, if you want to be light enough for road racing, and tough enough for cyclocross, then look no further. These are some seriously versatile wheels.

Right out of the box, the SRAM S60 wheelset is impressive. Not only do these wheels look fantastic, they weigh in at under 1900g. That may not make them the lightest wheelset on the market, but it’s pretty good for a clincher, and after all, we wanted to test these wheels in some tough – even off road – conditions to see if they really could do it all.

Tried, tested, and true

We’ve grown to expect a lot of carbon wheels, since this is a pretty competitive market these days. At under $1400, the SRAM S60 wheelset certainly is attractive to the wallet. On the bike, they were exactly as expected.  The 60mm rims had a conspicuous toroid shape (thanks to Zipp), and certainly cut through the air sweetly. Unlike the S80, there was no perceptible wobble in the swirling air of the pack or in gentle crosswinds. The convenience of a clincher is often spoiled on carbon rims by poor braking surfaces that keep you from trusting your ability to stop, but these wheels give up a little weight for an aluminum braking surface. This means a sharp stop, no slip or squeal, and best of all – no fancy-pants carbon only brake pads (which also makes it a lot easier to swap out for your old aluminum training wheels in bad weather).

The wheels climbed smoothly, stiff enough to transfer power well, and on the descents they stayed remarkably stiff and stable.  They were light enough to climb nicely, although if you have the extra cash and climbing is your thing, the S60 wheelset is noticeably heavier than the much more pricey Zipp 404s. That said, for this money, these wheels came out of a long hard test ride – on the road – rolling like they just went out.

Next it was off to the cross course. Once again, just the right rim depth, the rim width fits most cross brakes just fine, and our rider really appreciated the stiffness and stability of the wheels. Best of all, despite sand traps, mud holes, gravel, drop offs, and some not very pretty remounts, these wheels finished a tough test ride just as true as they started. Not bad for the money, not bad at all.

Any down side?

Of course, these aren’t the lightest mid-section wheels on the market, but they are just about the cheapest you’ll find for this kind of quality. Is there anything wrong with the SRAM S60 wheelset? Yes – the decals peeled on the cyclocross test ride. Decals don’t make you go faster though (although you might feel like they do), so we’re willing to overlook that and say that if you have about $1500 to spend and want one set of wheels that can train, group ride, and compete in just about anything, then the SRAM S60 wheelset might just be the very best wheelset on the market for you.

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