Review: Oval 733 alloy clincher wheelset

Pro Review Wheels

Overview

Oval Concepts is the “house brand” of wheels and parts for bikes from ASI – Advance Sports International, which owns Fuji, Kestrel, SE Bikes, Breezer, and Terry. Oval has had a history of pretty innovative products, especially with triathlon stems and aerobars. They’ve now turned their attention to wheelsets and the results are impressive.

Here’s specs for our set of test wheels:

  • 20/24 spokes with standard j bend spokes (easy to maintain/replace spokes if needed)
  • Precision bearings
  • 6 pawl free hub for quick engagement
  • Steel spline insert on free hub body to prevent cogs from galling into alloy free hub body. (Galling is a problem if you switch cassettes out a lot.)
  • Tubeless ready (to convert: requires sealing rim tape, and sealant)
  • Spoke tension is equal on drive and non drive – makes for lateral stiffness in cornering and a lively “snap forward” quality during acceleration.
  • Comes as OEM on the Fuji Altamira SL 1.3, SST 1.3, Supreme 1.1 and1.3, Gran Fondo 1.1 and 1.3, Kestrel Legend SL Di2 Ultegra and SL SRAM and Kestrel RT 100SL.
First Impressions

Typically, when you buy a pre-built bike, especially a mid-range or lower cost build, the wheelset is ponderously heavy. As an example, a typical wheelset that comes on Ultegra/SRAM Force bikes is the Mavic Askium which weighs 1735 grams. While the hubs are excellent and the wheelset durable, that much rotational weight lowers performance. That’s why it’s refreshing to see Fuji and Kestrel offer the 1480-gram Oval 733′s as OEM for some of their models. They feature a “wider is better” rim that is 22.5mm compared to the old standard of 19mm. This wider rim spreads out the tire by roughly 30 percent, increasing air volume, which means you can run lower tire pressure. That equates to a smoother ride with lower rolling resistance.

Ride Quality

To be frank, I had low expectations with this wheelset. They are OEM, after all? But boy, was I pleasantly surprised. This wheelset has a very responsive ride; they are vertically stiff and the rear hub engages quickly for rapid acceleration. They truly give the feeling of shooting forward instantly. And while I certainly don’t have wind tunnel data, the 33mm tall rim height cuts a a more aero path than a typical 24mm high rim. The best part? The hubs were virtually silent. The quick releases weren’t exactly visual works of art but they clamped down with secure power.

Summary

This is a really good wheelset based on weight, acceleration, and ease of maintenance. It’s refreshing to see OEM bike manufacturers not cutting corners by providing a solid out-of-the-box wheelset.

Additionally, for those looking to cut even more weight, Oval offers a 24mm tall model (called the 724) for the same price. This wheelset weighs 1360 grams with the same $800 list price. To get either wheelset, contact your Fuji/Kestrel dealer.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Oval 733 Wheelset — Lightweight Aluminum Aero Clinchers Specs
  • MSRP: $800
  • Weight: 640 grams (front), 830 (rear), 1470 total (actual)
  • Front quick release – 59 grams, rear -117 grams (actual)
  • 22.5mm wide rim, 33mm tall
  • Aluminum braking surface
  • 20 spokes front, 24 spokes rear. Rear has 16 spokes drive-side and 8 non-drive.
  • Tubeless ready (to convert: requires sealing rim tape, and sealant)
  • 10 and 11-speed compatible

For more information visit www.ovalconcepts.com/wheels.

Review: Oval 733 alloy clincher wheelset Gallery
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About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein has been a fan of mtbr.com & roadbikereview.com since 1996. After meeting Francis, he became fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling and became one of our first product reviewers. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and was ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group in 2012. He’s recently been learning swimming tips from his 10 year-old daughter who has way more natural talent!


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  • Héctor M mariscal says:

    Send me a bok For bikes

  • FujiAltamira1Point3 says:

    I have been riding this wheelset for a month with about 700 miles. They are fairly light for aluminum wheels with 33mm rims. I can, however, feel it being a bit more heavy and sluggish compare to my previous 1,500g wheelset. The rear hub is not “virtually quiet” as claimed in the article above, at least not as quiet as my Ultegra C24 wheelset. But as it does feel heavier, I have climbed faster than ever before.

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