Fresh out of the box the first thing that struck me about the EDCO Maloja Carbon wheelset was the high quality carbon, topped by cool classic looking hubs and the 21m internal rim - a must nowadays with almost everyone using wider tyres.
The graphics look really cool against the matt black smooth carbon rim, all complemented by the lovely flowing shape of the rims, giving a really solid feel to the wheels. An added touch is the nice tightfitting hole for the innertube valve, which means there’s no need to use the valve nut on the innertube to stop it moving. The whole appearance and feel of the Maloja wheelset gives you the impression these wheels are not at the cheaper end of the market, but surprisingly they are and come in at £849, which are definitely going to give Hunt wheels a run for their money.
I weighed the wheels with Continental 400s tyres and Continental tubes, skewers and 105 cassette 32/11. The rear wheel came up at around 1,538g and the front at 1,049g, so they are lovely and light. That was using my household scales so it may not be a 100% accurate but gives you an idea.
Initial Road Test
The description on the edco uk site is “All day, every day, all weather wheelset”, so it will be interesting to see if they’re up to what edco claim.
First impression, as I rolled out of Delucci Retreat, was that the wheels felt quick and very solid.
The descent I chose to go down from Delucci, was nice and twisty, the perfect test to see how good the braking is compared to other carbon rims.
You could feel the braking straight away, with hardly any pressure, I've honestly never felt a carbon rim being this responsive!
Just by feathering the breaks lightly, you knew you had respected the power of the braking, similar to a disc brake. The brake pads are thicker than the usual carbon pads, they just work perfectly with the rims, nice and smooth as you squeeze the brake levers, you could just feel by the way the pads and rims worked so in tune, this definitely adds to your confidence when braking into the corners.
Normally I use a 45mm rim, but these 50mm though felt fine into the bends, not at all twitchy.
When I hit a long fast section on the descent and let go of the brakes, I flew, the 50mm rims make a difference, felt very fast, complemented by the flat aero spokes.
The hubs sound lovely as I was freewheeling down the mountain, ticking away like a well-made swiss clock sped up.
When I finally hit a lovely fast flat, the wheels felt very rapid, as if I was riding a top end set of wheels.
The next test was on an hour and half climb, reaching 1186m with gradient ranging from 4% to 12%. The Maloja felt great and performed perfectly up the climbs, you could really feel those fast rolling hubs do their job.
After reaching the top of the mountain, I had a quick breather, taking in the view and a few pics. I then started the descent down the mountain and when it started to rain braking was still as outstanding even in wet conditions and the descent was over in 20mins - so a true test.
Another added bonus is they look really nice and to have a deep section wheel of this quality is incredible for this price. These wheels would make any bike look good, I know if I was out with my Portuguese friends riding and I said they were a £1500 wheels, they would not question it.
EDCO say they are a wheel for all day/every day and all weathers, well so far that’s seems to be the case and I would not hesitate to buy these wheels, at this price.
I will do an update on how they are performing in 6 months, but my gut feeling says they are going to do just what it says on the label. Great new wheels for 2020.