Review: Clément Ushuaia Gravel Wheelset

GRAVELCYCLIST.COM | JOM - “In cycling, the name CLÉMENT is as legendary as the many champions who logged time and wins on our classic silks. Names like Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, and Ole Ritter to name a very few. Ours were bicycle tires known and coveted for their speed, comfort, and performance; with names like the CLÉMENT Paris Roubaix and CLÉMENT Criterium Seta.”

For many years, Clément has specialized in the manufacture of cyclocross and gravel tyres. Late in 2016, the company created a set of gravel specific tubeless wheels featuring, solid, no nonsense construction centered around high quality hubs and rims; the Clément Ushuaia.

 

Interesting fact: USH is the airport code for Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Ushuaia is a resort town on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the southernmost tip of South America and is nicknamed the “End of the World”. The windswept town, perched on a steep hill, is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. It’s the gateway to Antarctica cruises and tours to nearby Isla Yécapasela, known as “Penguin Island” for its penguin colonies – Source, Wikipedia.org

 

Ushuaia also happens to be the southernmost city in the world.

The wheels come pre-taped and measure 23mm internally / 26mm externally.

 

A wider rim allows for increased air volume, and helps to spread the tyre casing. That also helps increase the tyre’s contact patch with the ground. Other benefits are improvements in cornering grip and increased overall comfort.

The 25mm deep Ushuaia rim is a hookless, tubeless rim design, which Clément claims can fit tyres ranging in width from 28mm to 50mm wide. To prevent burping (the loss of air), the rim bed has a small lip to keep the tyre pressed up against the rim.

Keeping with trend set by the Ushuaia’s stout rims, the wheelset is built with 28 double butted J-bend spokes front and rear, brass nipples, and hub flanges angled in line with the spokes to help reduce stress.

The hubs are designed with maximum frame and fork compatibility in mind. They support quick release and thru-axle; 12mm front, 15mm front and 142mm x 12mm rear. You will need to choose your preferred brake rotor standard when buying these wheels – center lock or 6-bolt.

 

Wheel Weights and More Tech Specs

With rim tape and the supplied valve stems / cores installed, the wheelset tipped the scales at 1,614 grams, six grams below the manufacturer’s specified weight. Typically, manufacturers weigh wheels sans rim tape or valves, so this was a nice little bonus. Well done Clément!

 

The rear hub features 36 points of engagement, a Shimano / SRAM 10 / 11 speed freehub cassette body or SRAM XD.

The hubs feature sealed cartridge bearings that can be easily replaced when the time comes.

I decided to pair the Ushuaia wheelset with another bike I have in for review at the moment, the Wilier Triestina Jaroon (a steel gravel bike). Without giving too much away about that future review, the Jaroon benefited greatly from this wheel upgrade.