Irwin Cycling Arlo GX 27 Wheels: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
Wheels are important and they can make or break your experience on a bicycle. Especially on gravel roads where wheels get tested in a way that is unique. Rocks are one thing, but crushed rocks, basically irregularly shaped marbles, can be a handful and that can be made worse by a bad pair of wheels. In this final post on the Irwin Cycles Arlo GX 27 wheels I will give my verdict on these wheels and whether or not they represent a good way to make an upgrade to your gravel bike. You can see my previous post on the Arlo GX 27 wheels here where I compare them to the Irwin Cycling Aon 35 carbon wheels we tested.
Right up front I am going to say that these wheels are a good deal. They cost $600.00 MSRP, and they come with exchangeable end caps which make the wheels adaptable to any current gravel bike based on the road bike standards. They come ready to go tubeless. That’s more than you get with many stock wheel sets for any gravel bike these days. Irwin Cycling has your bases covered, but how do they stack up against your stock wheels on most gravel bikes?
First, let me tell you a “dirty little secret” about the bicycle industry. The people tasked with spec’ing bicycles for brands have a tough job. They cannot go nuts and throw on every cool, great part due to cost limitations placed on the bicycle they might be spec’ing. So, some “not so great” or “not quite right” parts make the cut on production bikes. You may not pay attention, but those sub-optimal parts are there. Bottom brackets, head sets, and yes- wheels, are often targets for cost-cutting spec. This is why upgrading your wheels can make such a big impact on your ride.
I think the Arlo GX 27 wheels here could be a huge improvement over what you are on, if you have stock spec wheels. Their weight is right on from the standpoint of performance wheels. Their performance on gravel is great. These wheels are stiff enough for most anyone. You will get excellent tubeless performance and tires will set up well. But this isn’t the only reason to consider these wheels.
The focus for performance for many wheels is on the rims, but the hubs have a big effect on your ride. The Arlo GX 27’s hubs are the very same found on their higher end Aon GX wheels. High engagement, super smooth bearings, with pretty bullet proof performance, means an upgrade to the Arlo GX wheels gets you some hubs that are on par with the very best out there now.
At The Finish: So, as I said, these wheels are a really good deal. Both from a value standpoint and from a performance standpoint.They have done everything I’ve asked of them without fail. While Irwin Cycling may not be a company you have heard about before, they have had years of experience manufacturing wheels for other brands you have heard about, so making a killer wheel set isn’t anything new to them. These wheels should put their name on a lot more people’s tongues when it comes to great wheels for gravel bikes. I really cannot find fault in them for the asking price.
Note: Irwin Cycles sent over the Arlo GX 27 wheels for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will try to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.