Review: cSixx All-Road 40 Wheels

Bicycles are almost always defined by the name on the downtube. However, the wheelset alone is often a better indicator of the pedigree as it has the ability to make or break the bike.

The wheels of a bike are the cardiovascular engine that drive the whole system.  Wheels weigh more than the frame, contribute more to the aerodynamic efficiency than the frame and have a significant impact on the compliance and comfort of the ride.

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review
With these wheels I managed to get my gravel bike weight to under 8kgs (with pedals) which is a respectable road bike weight.

LOOKING BACK | After years of evolution, the rim-brake carbon wheel had arguably reached a plateau. The rim width was heavily constrained by the need to fit inside mechanical brakes. Additionally, the rims needed a lot of material — which added excess weight — to provide adequate heat dissipation under braking. In the interest of better performance, manufacturing disc-brake specific carbon rims was a no-brainer. The irony is that many of the early disc-specific carbon rims, (from many brands), used the same profiles as their rim-brake counterparts. This is largely no longer the case and needless to say these new cSixx all-road carbon rims have been designed without any of the aforementioned constraints.

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review
Tubeless tyres are a relatively new thing for the road community but coming from a mountain bike background I am very happy to go tubeless. The cSixx All-Road rim is of the hooked variety which means that it has a traditional rim profile that hooks the tire bead in place enabling riders to use higher pressures. I like this detail as it gives a wider range of usable tyre pressures and greater tyre compatibility than a hookless rim.

ABOUT THE ALL-ROADS | The cSixx All-Road rim was designed to be a vertically compliant, horizontally stiff and aerodynamic rim. The focus was to provide a wheel that would enable riders to mix road and gravel riding without feeling any compromise in each application. In other words, the wheels should not be too aerodynamic that they become overly harsh, they should provide an adequate level of comfort on uneven surfaces and they need to be durable to withstand wild off-road affairs. The test set featured DT Swiss 240 center-lock hubs, DT Swiss Aerolite bladed spokes and DT Swiss brass nipples. They were built by Marc Carr at East City Cycles and the complete wheelset came in at 1492g.


csixx carbon bicycle wheels on a santa cruz stigmata
cSixx All-Road 40.

cSixx All-Road 40

RIM MATERIAL: cSixx 9Series Carbon
RIM: cSixx All-Road 40
HUBS: DT Swiss 240
SPOKES: DT Swiss Aerolite Bladed 
NIPPLES: DT Swiss Brass
WARRANTY: Lifetime
WEIGHT: 1 492gr
PRICE: From R21 999 a set



csixx carbon bicycle wheels review
My Swartberg Pass setup.

I have easily clocked over 1 000km’s on the wheels, covering every possible use of the wheels including speedy bunch rides around the Cape Peninsula and a 6hr solo-mission over Swartberg pass. This is my take on the wheels.


A no-compromise fast race wheelset that is stiff, light and responsive. 

The magic of these wheels is that they achieve these characteristics while still being comfortable on the square edge bumps. They do a real good job at damping out the road buzz one often feels on road bikes.  This translates to an appreciable improvement in the riding experience.  A standout quality that I experienced is their aerodynamic efficiency whilst still providing stability during the gusty Cape Town crosswinds.  At 40mm deep they are shallower than what I’m used to but somehow feel faster than deeper section rims I have ridden. 

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review
I mounted a set of 32mm Continental GP5000 TL tires that are known to have a very low rolling resistance.

The on-road performance is very impressive and I do not feel that the all-road capability of these compromises the on-road performance at all.  If you can get the lightweight, acceleration and aerodynamic gains of a deep section carbon wheelset while also getting a road buzz damping comfort improvement – then why not, right?


I had the joy of riding these wheels across the Karoo on all types of surfaces and can say with hand on heart that I loved these wheels.

With a 25mm internal width, these rims are wider than most MTB rims from just a few years ago.  This means that they will give any tire a wider stance and allow you to run lower tire pressures without compromising sidewall stability.  Why is that important? – Well if the sidewall is deforming the tire will feel “squirrelly” and can send you off your chosen line very quickly. 

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review
I used foam inserts in the tires so that we could run low pressures without fear of breaking a rim. The cSixx rims do come with a lifetime warranty but I didn’t want to risk being stranded on my solo-missions.

I was super skeptical of a deep section rim for gravel. We all know that a deep section is going to be stiffer vertically due to the shape of the cross-section of the rim.  The deeper the rim the more material there is that needs to vertically deform to give the rim compliance. In years gone by carbon rim manufacturers would simply make the rim “strong” which created a super stiff, super rigid wheel that would bounce along on their 23mm tire delivering a “lively” aka; bone-jarring ride. In recent years that has steadily been changing and rims now exploit the dynamic properties of carbon to truly unlock the potential of the material.

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review

I had the joy of riding these wheels across the Karoo on all types of surfaces and can say with hand on heart that I loved these wheels.  They are fast and responsive on the harder surfaces. They are smooth and compliant on the softer gravelly surfaces. Reliability wise I cannot fault them and I found them to be real asset on my solo mission into the Karoo. The feeling of soft-pedaling at 40kph back down to Oudtshoorn at road bike speeds after summiting the Swartberg pass put a massive smile on my face. Tire compatibility ranges from 28mm road tires to mountain bike tires.  Your only constraint will be your frame clearance.  You can run the rims with tubes if you would like.


cSixx have put together a no-compromise wheelset that can be used for all drop bar riding.  By merely swapping the tires, you’ll go from a three-hour Cycletour time to a six-hour gravel mission, with confidence.

csixx carbon bicycle wheels review

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin | WORDS: Gary Barnard |