OCT20 Coupon—Save 20% on One Full Priced Item (Exclusions Apply) »

AX-Lightness Ultra 28C Extralite Hub Clincher Wheelset


Item # AXL000D

Select options
  • Select options
  • One Color, Shimano ($3,815.00)
  • 100% Guaranteed Returns
Item # AXL000D

Bringing the lightness.

AX-Lightness is a one of those rare, boutique operations that operate on the fringe of the mass-produced cycling industry. It brings unrivaled Bavarian meticulousness to bear on each individual piece it manufactures, and the entire process — from conceptualization to construction — takes place under the same roof in Creußen, Germany. The Ultra 28C wheels, served up here with Extralite's hubs, are lightweight and safe with all the efficiency you'd expect from carbon wheels and a healthy dose of secure, confident braking that you might not.

The rims' shape is informed by the same fluid dynamic considerations the German Manufacturer pours into its motor sport designs. The rims swell to 26 millimeters at their widest external point and a generous 18 millimeters internally. This means you can run a lower tire pressure for a more comfortable ride, all while decreasing rolling resistance and increasing cornering confidence. After all, what good is a fast, aerodynamic profile if you have to slow down to tip-toe through corners?

Aerodynamics also typically hurt when a crosswind gets ahold of your rim, but the Ultra 28Cs terminate in a blunt, round shape rather than a point. This keeps unruly laminar air in check as it travels across the rim's surface, eliminating drag-inducing pockets of dead air in the rim's wake. It also refuses crosswinds any purchase, so handling remains consistent and predictable under changing conditions.

While that combination of aerodynamics and handling in crosswinds eliminates the typical drawbacks of deep rims, stiffness and weight are still important aspects of any racing wheels. AX uses a carbon weave for the Ultra rims because, unlike the ubiquitous unidirectional fibers of late, a woven fabric has load bearing properties that recommend it for the dynamic load angles experienced by a wheel's rim throughout its rotation. This means efficient power transfer and torsional stiffness can be achieved with less material, which in turn results in less weight.

The Ultra 28Cs feature the universal construction technology that defines AX's wheels, including the Seamless Brake Surface (SBS). SBS uses high-pressure autoclaves to combine the wheels' layers with gas, eliminating any imperfections down to the smallest edge for a one-piece brake surface that's both seamless and virtually free of imperfections. It may look like a typical, mass-production rim, but the Ultra rim is nearly perfect on a microscopic scale, so there's no shuddering while braking during descents. After curing, the wheels are tempered, which realigns the resin crystals to drastically increase the braking temperatures that they can withstand before the carbon softens and deforms.

The wheels' reliability is also boosted by Spoke Reinforcement Technology, which creates the spoke holes during the manufacturing process itself. There is no post-production drilling once the rims come out of the autoclave, so there's no additional structural weakness. As a result, the Ultra 28C can bear five tons of nipple pressure, which AX takes advantage of by tensioning the spokes to 1300 N.

While the rims are purely the result of meticulous German engineering, the hubs come from Italy. AX-Lightness uses Extralite's Ultra Front SP and Cyber Rear SP hubs, which maintain the focus on lightweight climbing. The oversized flanges are specially treated to self-align under spoke tension so they better handle that high tensioning stress. They also increase the spokes' stiffness, and therefore the lateral stiffness of the wheel. An oversized axle results in even less watt-losing flex while gliding up gradients in the mid-teens, and the over-sized bearings complement the rims' aggressive climbing profile by reducing the amount of mechanical friction you experience during punchy attacks.

  • 26mm cross section
  • Blunt, round shape
  • Seamless Brake Surface
  • Tempered after curing
  • Oversized flanges
  • Oversized bearings

Tech Specs

Rim Material:
Wheel Size:
700 c
Tire Type:
clincher, tubeless
Rim Depth:
28 mm
Rim Width:
26 mm
Brake Compatibility:
ax.Quicky evo Road quick releases
DT Swiss Aerolite
Max Rider Weight:
220 lbs 100 kg
Recommended Use:
road race
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year limited
Actual Weight:
One Color, Shimano: 1050g

Reviews & Community


Write a review

    Add a:
  • Photos
  • Videos

No file chosen

Rather attach a photo from your computer?


Only jpg, jpeg, png, gif or bmp files please.

Submit ReviewCancel

No service from AX

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

While the wheels are incredible, there is no service from AX, they are completely unresponsive to anything. I had to return the wheels for a defect, and after almost 2 months, I am still waiting to hear back from them and yet even worse to get some replacements. Just unacceptable for wheels that cost so much. AX time to step up to the plate....

Unbalanced feel

    Im a campagnolo Bora ultra 2 and Hyperon user, Enve 3-4 and Enve 8-9, riding over 10 k km a year. I got the "lets lighten the gear a bit mood" just before I hit 50, And the wobbly feel of these wheels made realize its better to loose a couple of pounds with a diet, and go back to basics, very disappointed with the performance and feel of the only part of the bike that makes the tire have good contact with the ground.
    Btw yes, they are uselessly light.

    Extremely hard to mount tires

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Pro- These are as light as advertised, about the same as Zipp 202s in crosswind (very good), holding up very well to rough roads, seems to give a slightly wider tire profile than 202s

    Con- braking is marginal/fair despite trying several different pads. Have not ridden in rain.

    Ungodly difficult to mount tires Pre-stretched Continental 4000s I put on by hand onto 202s and 6 flatted tubes and 3 broken levers still have not gotten onto these, although I originally only flatted 3 tubes putting on first tire. Specialized Cotton tires were impossible for me or my LBS to mount. First, the rims probably have a very very slightly larger diameter than the 202's. Second, whereas most rims have a large, deep bed between the walls of the rim, these have only a very narrow grove and then high "shoulders" underneath the rim walls. This means that the bead of only one side of the tire can fit in the grove, so the other bead is higher, taking away any slack to the tire bead on the opposing side of the wheel, causing the extreme mounting difficulty.

    Overall an excellent special day wheel set if you can afford it but you must carry multiple break-proof tire levers when you ride or you will never change a flat.

    I also incurred significant tire rubbing on left chainstay (actually wore a little bit of the carbon chainstay away) that did not occur with the 202's so these are clearly not as laterally stiff, although I did not notice it when I was riding.

    Up-date - braking getting noticeably better and more consistent with use.

    Thanks for posting the real life experience. You have to really want these to pay the premium, and they need to be about as flawless as imaginable, which they are not. So it appears that the better value is the Zipp 202, unless money is no object and for that matter, you should buy two pair and give one to your SAG vehicle that always follows you when you train.

    Great review. Thank you for posting. Any update on braking performance? Are you using the manufacturer's pads? Also, would you say these wheels are reliable for daily training? Also, have you tried other tire brands to see if they are easier to mount?

    Swisstop pads worked a bit better. Did not try other tires as the Conti 4000s are the easiest mounting tire I have. Do not use frequently but they do seem to hold up well