Borrowing cues from their ride-proven hubs and bang-up-to-date carbon and aluminium rims, Acros’ latest wheelset collection looks like a strong road-worthy offering. Acros claim that they’re competitively priced and promise to be stiff and robust, so where better to test their mettle than on the hallowed cobbles of the Spring Classics? Then for the ultimate test, the Acros RD Disc Carbon wheels encountered the Hell of the North, so how did they fare?
Acros Komponenten have been active in the cycling industry since 1999, and are visibly proud of their Made in Germany principles. Based in the south of Germany close to Stuttgart, Acros have more than just their own experience on their side; the brand is actually a subsidiary of a bearing manufacturer, which gives them unbridled access to a wealth of technology that complements their own know-how. Very much a consumer-facing company, Acros introduce each of their employees on their website – a welcome human touch that reinforces their passion for cycling.
Despite their prevalence for off-road componentry, Acros aren’t unfamiliar to road riding essentials and produce a host of hubs and components, including headsets. Right now, it looks like their wide-ranging experience is an asset: with gravel and all-road blurring the boundary between road and off-road, Acros’ ability to draw on their off-road experience is a good foundation for a successful wheelset to which they’ve given the tagline ‘stiff and robust’ at a fair price.
The Acros RD Disc wheelset were set to face the ultimate test of toughness as they lined up on the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Paris-Roubaix Challenge, with unforgiving cobbles and steep climbs ahead of them. Aesthetically, our first impressions of the matte black 45 mm rims in their progressive ‘U’ shape are very positive. At 19.1 mm, the rims have a super big inner width, which makes them the ultimate partner for the 28 mm wide Vittoria Corsa tires. As soon as you get on board, you can tell just how plush the ride is going to be. If we’d used these tires on a narrower rim, we’d have run the risk of wallowing on the corners but the increased volume essentially eradicates this and makes the handling more direct. This naturally elevated the ride so we could really enjoy those winding Belgian backroads.
On and off the cobbles, this wheelset got our approval by aiding accelerations and showing superb responsiveness. Over the more tempestuous cobbled sections, there was never any shortage of compliance. Asymmetrically laced, the tried-and-tested Sapim CX Ray spokes tick all the boxes for stiffness, durability and comfort. It’s also worth mentioning that an inopportune crash took far more of a toll on the rider than the wheels, which sailed out unscathed.
The Acros hubs have that sought-after acoustic melody that will appeal to anyone who appreciates a loud freehub. Forget shouting ‘attention’ as you careen over the cobbles. If it’s too loud for anyone, the volume can be adjusted cleverly into one of three settings.
Given Belgium’s propensity for sidewinds, we were pretty taken aback by the lack of sidewind susceptibility shown from these wheels, which despite being 45 mm, kept poised when buffeted from the sides.
Acros only produce 6-bolt disc brake mounts, which is a shame; despite not needing any special tools, it’s a design that’s not quite up to date these days–and rightly so, the advantages of the more popular Centrelock mount technology are fairly indisputable. The wheels also have some branded stickers that aren’t visually the most pleasing decals, but obviously don’t affect the great performance.
The ACROS RD-Disc Carbon Wheelset in detail
Tested: the RD Disc Carbon facts
Hubs: Acros Nineteen RD-Disc
Rims: Duke Baccara
Rim depth: 45 mm
Interior width: 19.1 mm
Front wheel axle: optional quick release (QR9) or thru-axle (TA15)
Rear wheel axle: optional QR10, TA10, TA12 or X12
Freehub: Shimano 10-/11-speed
Spoke count: 24/24
Spokes: Sapim XC ray
Weight: 1,451 g
Price: € 1,350 inc VAT.
Prices & Weights
For their road collection, Acros have chosen to rely on their tried-and-tested Acros Nineteen RD hubs as well as Sapim CX ray spokes. Rims come in either aluminum or carbon, and there’s also a choice between conventional rim brakes or disc brakes. For weight and price sticklers, Acros have come up with some appealing options:
RD Aluminium 1,355 g, € 749
RD Disc Aluminium 1,405 g, € 749
RD-SP Carbon 1,434 g, € 1,350
RD Disc Carbon 1,451 g, € 1,350
Acros deliver on their promises with a super robust and fairly priced wheelset in the shape of the Acros Nineteen RD Disc. Teaming 28 mm tires with those wide rims generated a bulletproof grin over the cobbles of Paris–Roubaix, and if you’re a fan of loud freehubs, these wheels have a satisfying purr.
For more information: acros.com
Words: Manuel Buck Photos: Jochen Hoops, Valentin Rühl