There was once a time when the choice was clear – either you were training or you were racing. For racing, you’d have your pristine set of lightweight or deep-section carbon wheels, complete with freshly glued tubular tyres. For training, you would have a trusted winter wheel. Nowadays, things are a tad more complicated.
Clincher rims and tyres began to change things, where a racing wheel could double as a training wheel, and disc brakes sealed the deal. Suddenly even a deep section carbon rim could be ridden all year around without wear on the braking surface or rims. Yet, when the conditions get tough, and the weather gets terrible, alloy wheels once again show their merit, and this is a fine example of why.
Dutch brand Ere Research was founded by a group of designers who between them had accumulated stints at brands including Trek, Specialized, Colnago, Pinarello, Shimano, and Sram. Starting in the world of tyres, the brand expanded into wheels last year. Initially specialising in high-end carbon disc wheels, it has more recently expanded into alloy with the Tenaci GR20 – the brand’s heavy-duty gravel racer.
The wheels come with a 24-spoke front and rear wheel, straight-pull hubs and sealed industrial bearings (with an upgrade option to Japanese EZO or ceramic). Add to that a considerable on-trend 24mm inner rim width, making them efficient when coupled with wide tyres, these are well pitched for tough use.
What really caught our eye, though, is the matching Ere tubeless tan-wall tyres. Made by Ere Research, which started exclusively in the world of tyres, the Tenaci TLR Skinwall tyre is a premium gravel-focussed addition to the wheelset in both performance and aesthetics. Hitting a race-ready sweet spot of 34mm, this pair offers enough speed on tarmac but will prove wide and supple enough for testing gravel tracks.
For those broaching into more challenging tracks and trails, the Tenaci TLR tyre is available up to a 44c diameter. That’s aided by the tubeless set-up, meaning you can run the tyres at ulta-low pressures without fear of pinch flats. The wheels themselves are best coupled with tyres between 30 and 48c in width.
Crucially, it offers an opportunity to have neatly matching tyre and rim logo (in any of 6 colours) – just make sure you mount the tyre in the right place.
Despite all the heavy-duty finishing, the wheelset is far from heavy – weighing only 1625g. On top of that the wheels have a maximum weight of 130kgs. which has us confident that when you huck the gnar on a local gravel track, they’ll be able to survive the abuse unscathed.
The Tenaci GR20 comes in at €399, putting them on the pricier side of a training wheel, but fairly competitive for their racier gravel features.
For more details on the Tenaci GR20 visit Ere Research.