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31st May 2018 / Comments (3)

First Look: Halo get on the Gravel Train with Halo Vapour GXC wheelset

Halo Vapour GXC

Our first look at the Halo Vapour GXC alloy tubeless-ready wheels for gravel riding. Priced at £410, these promise some solid value.

Available in both 700c and 650b version, the Halo Vapour GXC looks to be another step in the right direction by the UK wheel brand Halo. The original Vapour clinchers were an excellent choice for budget conscious riders, these promise to be even better.

The GXC uses the same 21mm internal (26mm external) diameter rims as the standard Vapour. A new 120 point engagement GXC Supadrive rear hub and GXC front have combined to produce the lightest wheels in the Halo range so far. Features include J-bend spokes, centre lock, sealed bearings to shake off the worst of the UK weather, and wide spaced flanges for increased stiffness. The Vapour GXC promises to be ideal for gravel and road-plus. as well as XC and Marathon MTB disciplines.

Halo Vapour GXC

Halo Vapour GXC in 700c guise.

Weights are a none-too-shabby 1,720g for 650b and 1,805g for the 700c versions. Axle end caps for all the usual ‘standards’ are available along with Shimano HG and SRAM XDR freehubs.

Halo GXC Supadrive internals

Instantaneous 120 point pick up via a wedge pawl mechanism in the GXC Supadrive freehub. 12 micro teeth per pawl transfer drive efficiently and can cope with huge torque loads.

Pre launch testing

ADVNTR were lucky enough to bag a set of the 700c Vapour GXC wheels prior to launch and the team have been seriously impressed with them so far. The pickup on the new GXC Supadrive hub is near instantaneous with none of that hesitation that you sometimes feel when equipped with fewer pawls in your freehub. It’s almost singlespeed engagement!

Halo Vapour GXC

Cassette bite guard protection. Halo double up on these as they found one is not enough to protect the alloy freehub from steel cassettes.

Our test rides have consisted of everything from long fireroads, sinewy singletrack and some seriously rutted, pot-holed farm tracks. Equipped with Panaracer Gravel King SK 35c rubber,  nothing has phased the wheels in the slightest. We’ve been giving them a good ragging too! After all this, they are still running true and tracking into corners like heat seeking missiles.

Halo Vapour GXC

The Halo Vapour GXC wheelsets come with tubeless ready tape as standard.

Switching from a set of carbon wheels and straight onto the Halos, which are less than half the price, you might expect a considerable difference in ride quality. Maybe even a little more lateral flex into corners. To our surprise we noticed precisely…nothing. In a lot of ways is exactly how you’d want a new set of wheels to be. So well designed that you don’t notice them, and just get on with your riding.

Halo Vapour GXC

Centre-lock as standard. Kiss goodbye to sheared rotor bolts.

Give them a beasting!

Failing to spot anything of note, James handed the Vapour GXC’s over to our Big Hitter, John. Towering over everyone on the ADVNTR team, John has a reputation for putting all 6 feet 4 inches of his frame into the contact patch of a tyre and spotting the weaknesses of a wheel build! After an evening beasting the wheels, all he had was praise for the new wheelset.

Halo Vapour GXC

All the usual axle standards are covered. GXC front hub shown here with 12mm endcaps.

We’re still a long way off giving our full verdict on the Halo Vapour GXC wheels. Initial excitement will fade as the miles rack up and then we will find out just how good these new Halo wheels really are.

For more info, visit www.halowheels.com

Last modified: 31st May 2018