Elitewheels Low Inertia Aero Gravel Drive G45

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Elitewheels G45

Elitewheels are a quite a new entrant into the world of direct to market wheels. They have been an OEM for a large number of manufacturers for many years, and they join the ranks of 9Velo, Farsports, Winspace and Magene in moving from the OEM to the direct-to-consumer market.

Technical Points

Copied from the elitewheels page:

  • Elite’s proprietary UNI carbon used in G45 rims, offering a balance between lateral and vertical stiffness, and strength at spoke holes while retaining lightweight​​.
  • U-shaped rims with aero advantages, suitable for 30-50mm tires, ideal for road and trail riding​​.
  • High gloss, marbled finish for aesthetic appeal and easy cleaning​​.
  • Double-sealed hubs with NBK ceramic bearings for less rolling resistance, lighter weight, and longer service life​​.
  • Replaceable high modulus carbon fiber spokes, offering higher tensile strength, increased lateral stiffness, and improved fatigue resistance compared to steel spokes​​.

Wheel Rims

The rims are approximately 24mm wide internally and 31mm wide externally. They will accommodate tyres up to 700x50C, the test tyre was a Maxxis Rambler 45C tyre. Mounting the tyre was straightforward and the combination with inner tubes proved faultless across the test period. The rims are tubeless compatible.

A standout characteristic of these rims, and the wheelset overall, is their remarkably low rotational inertia. Even with my selection of heavier tires, the decrease in rotational inertia attributable to the wheels is distinctly perceptible. This results in a noticeably quicker acceleration from a stationary position, such as at traffic lights, compared to other wheelsets. A low inertia wheel generally requires better balancing (see here for more information), and the wheels were found to be well balanced by the factory. They were not quite at the level of Magene, but nonetheless, a respectable performance.

Elitewheels G45
Elitewheels G45

The set reviewed was measured at 910g for the rear wheel, 815g for the front wheel. Giving a combined weight of 1725g.


This wheelset is equipped with a 4 pawl ratchet system, a mechanism that mirrors the widely adopted standard in the cycling industry. This system is designed to provide reliable and efficient power transfer from the cyclist’s pedaling action to the wheel’s motion. The ratchet system operates by engaging four pawls, which are small, toothed levers, into a toothed ring (the ratchet ring) to transmit torque. When the rider pedals, the pawls engage with the teeth of the ratchet ring, propelling the wheel forward. During coasting, the pawls disengage, allowing the wheel to rotate freely without resistance from the drivetrain.

Throughout the testing period, the ratchet system of this wheelset demonstrated remarkable durability and reliability. Notably, there were no instances of the pawls freezing or seizing, a common issue in lower quality hubs, especially in cold weather conditions.

In some less expensive hub designs, the female recessed ring, which houses the ratchet ring, can contract slightly in cold temperatures. This contraction can lead to a failure in the ratchet system’s ability to disengage when offloaded, meaning that the mechanism remains engaged when it should be idle. This issue can hamper the free rotation of the wheel and potentially affect the rider’s control and efficiency. However, in the case of this particular wheelset, such issues were not observed.

Arguably, the absence of contraction-related issues in this wheelset’s hub design is more advantageous than a scenario where springs (used to push the pawls into the engaged position) fail. Spring failure can lead to a complete loss of drive, as the pawls would not engage with the ratchet ring. In contrast, the issue of ratchet disengagement due to contraction, while inconvenient, does not result in a total loss of propulsion, maintaining some level of functionality in the wheelset. This comparison highlights the superior reliability and functionality of this wheelset’s hub design, particularly in comparison to lower-end models where such problems are more prevalent.

Elitewheels G45
Elitewheels G45

Spokes and Tension

The Elite series of wheels boasts a standard feature of carbon spokes, a hallmark of quality expected at this price range. The craftsmanship of the wheel builder shines through in these wheels, evident in the attention to detail. The consistency in spoke tension is remarkable, with minimal variance across both the front and rear wheels. This precision in construction ensures that the tension deviation remains well within the industry-accepted threshold of 5%. This level of uniformity is not just a testament to the wheel builder’s skill but also the design and manufacturing. It contributes significantly to the wheels’ overall performance and durability. The balanced tension in the spokes ensures a smoother ride and longer lifespan for the wheels and the bearings.

The spokes are very similar to those manufactured by Stren and feature an inverse taper on the threaded section to prevent the threaded section from separating from the carbon spokes, as was famously found on the Ascent Polaris.

Out of Balance

The out-of-balance was good and well above average. it compared well with it’s peers from Magene, 9 Velo and Farsports. You can find the limit values in this technical document.

Photo Gallery

Spares and Warranty

All of the supplied wheels come with spare spokes and a tubeless valve fitted. The wheels have a 2 year warranty.


These wheels are a solid effort from Elitewheels. They are very low inertia and this is noticeable when riding with abrupt changes in speed. Whilst it isn’t strictly unsprung mass, the ride quality on rough surfaces at higher speeds is smoother than with other wheels, and this is almost certainly due to the low inertia. The wheels are quite stiff laterally so they are unforgiving in sideways impacts.

The wheel build was very good, there was little in the way of uneven tension. The hubs are acceptable and feature standard ISO bearings.

The market for “aero” gravel is growing, and these wheels are a solid choice for that discipline.

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Discount Codes

HAMBINI15 will give you a 15% discount code at Elite Wheels

You can find additional discount codes here

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  1. Hi Hambini, not related to your content here, but when I type FLO Cycling LLCs address into google maps, I arrive at a strip mall in LV, Nevada. In this mall, amoung other things, is a pet store, nail salon, hair cutting place, subway sandwiches, and a dentist for kids. I even did street view on google, no sign of FLO anywheres! WTF?

    Their address is: 11700 W Charleston Blvd #170-539 Las Vegas, NV 89135 according to a promotional email they sent me.

  2. Hi. I am really impressed by what I’ve seen on your and other sites about Elite wheels. I’m also mindful of your warnings about hookless. I wonder what you make of the new reduced hook design of the new Elite Drive Helix wheels and how safe those are going to be vs a traditional hook – especially for clinchers.