Tried out: Tune TSR35 Wheels
Aluminum and brake pads haven’t spoken their last word yet: a high standing match!
Tune and Wheels… an Expert at work
TSR 35: Aluminum version 2019
Tune is a German company that is well known of our readers (reread about our visit to the Black Forest). They owe their reputation to extra light components. Among their leading products, their hubs have always been wearing the crown! Through the years they pushed the boundaries of weight and in despite of their “exotic” status they sure knew how to seduce the most demanding customers… even winning some mountain stages of the Tour de France.
To complete its quest for the lightest wheel, Tune has always associated their hubs with ultra-light rims, essentially from other German artisanal carbon producers. Over time, Tune has also gained expertise in assembling the most unique wheel sets! The wheels are hand-assembled in Germany by an expert operator and assisted by high-precision measuring devices. But hold on, this is not the good old gauge of tension found in home editors, but a specific workstation, controlled by computer, which assures a never seen, to our knowledge, assembling quality.
Not the kind of bench-mounting you may find at your local bike shop…
Those last couple of years, they grew their wheel offer even more. Including, à-la-carte assembling program, equally fast (only a couple of weeks), from best quality and on top of that at a very good price to performance ratio. Apart from the lightest hubs and the lightest rims therefore evolved a very broad offer that includes every field and every budget.
TSR35: Dream specs, wise price!
To try out, we received the brand new TSR35, a wheel that brings together everything that you would look for in an aluminum wheel!
First of all, a fairly condensed price (815€), we will come back to that, but above all gorgeous homemade hubs, an innovative rim, Sapim CX-rays spokes (simply the best).
Even better, thought this wheel is displayed in “the catalogue”, as it is a production to order system it can be customized (hub colors, spokes, tubeless or not).
With a weight of only 1499 grams, the TSR35 wheels are setting a strong competition for carbon wheels.
On paper, the main attraction factor is the particularly pioneering rim, as it offers specs that are usually reserved to carbon (aerodynamism and all black look), while preserving the huge advantages of Aluminum (braking, internal width, price).
The rim offers a 35 mm high profile (for aluminum), an internal width of 20 mm (24 external), a black anodized finish and on top of that they are tubeless.
The weight of the rim is 480 grams which is around 30 grams more than the average aluminum rim, but this is largely offset by the famous hubs Mig 70 (70 grams) and Mag 170 (170 grams). Despite their impressive weight, these hubs are kind of the wise choice for tune and the outcome of crazy years of R&D. On one hand they are a bit lighter than the previous hub generation, but above all they are more reliable. Combined with the CX-ray flat spokes, tune ends up with a final weight of 1499 grams (on our own scale) … Roughly under the symbolic 1500 grams milestone!
With 170 grams the rear hub Mag 170 remains a standard for every lightweight assembling!
Built on Continental GP5000, we are not disappointed by the TSR35… It got us blown away by its quality-price ratio!
The internal width of 20 mm serves its purpose: on the TSR35 the GP5000 25 are only…. 28mm large.
Even though the final global weight is rather « standard » for a high-quality wheel, the initial sensations are very nice. The speed gain is very good as is the stability in line with the latest generation of „modern“ rims (19mm internal and more). The hubs are very fluid and constant, and the freewheel is much more discreet than most “exotic” hubs. In short, the first couple of miles are exhilarating.
On flat ground, the wheels maintain speed very well. The slight stoutness of the rims brings an extra inertia compared to carbon rims of the same height. Which in context, ends up being significant and useful. Tested on a windier day, the TSR35 did pretty well facing those strong and tricky gusts. If their profile is somewhere between “V” and “U”, the TSR35 clearly don’t perform like a “U” profile when the wind is swirling and/or coming from the side… However, with headwind or tailwind, there is hardly no difference in terms of deviation of aerodynamics between those two architectures.
A profile between the old “V” and the new “U” …
Uphill … There is nothing to blame them for. For this weight, the performances are quite fair. You will not take off, but the low number of spokes (20/24) is effective and the moreover the wheel remains easy. Even though, powerful cyclist racers will find a certain laziness to them in kick-starts, standing up on the pedals, they are doing pretty well. Overall, everything they concede in dynamism is in favor of versatility, a character trait that will allow them to adapt to every frame.
Downhill… It’s a revelation.
The acceleration, the hold on edge, the gyroscopic stability… yes but above all braking! Not because it’s Aluminum… But because it is one of the best braking experience we had so far. The finish of the flanks of the wheel (processed and anodized after the assembling) offers at the same time a very honest and progressive touch. The test has been realized with Swiss Stop Bleus brake pads (provided with the wheels) and shows outstanding performances that we do not see often.
Sadly, the gorgeous black anodization that brings a huge esthetic plus to the wheels seems to fade through braking. Time will tell how the treatment withstands …
The machining of the flanks, yet discreet, provides particularly powerful braking. Obviously incomparable to carbon but significantly over average for an aluminum rim!
It is always difficult to make choice when it comes to buying a new pair of wheels, even if in this case their price makes them very competitive. Of course, if we had to compare them to two immediate alternatives, we would consider the following two cases:
Compared to a 35mm carbon wheel, we are winning regarding braking but also in internal width. The weight is the same. Concerning margin, we do lose a bit of stability with side winds…
Compared to a low aluminum rim, we are also winning regarding braking (because that braking track is incomparable). We gain 30-40 grams per wheel, but performances are significantly improved on flat terrain…. In a nutshell we do win mostly in adaptability.
Those TSR35 do have serious assets…They are incredibly versatile wheels…and perform on every ground. Their price, especially given the quality of the hubs, the spokes and the assembling, is very attractive.
If it does not have any weak spot, it sure has two huge main strength: the braking, and the assembling-expertise of Tune, hand-made in Germany …
In one word: a perfect wheel set for the one that wants the one and only set of wheels.
Clearly studied to compete with carbon, Tune has been meticulous with the TSR35’s finish!
Price: 815€ (including 4 brake pads Swiss Stop)
Weight VDR: 1499 grams (608gr at the front / 891 gr at the back)
Distribution for France by Blue Caps