We test the new Oquo road wheels
The Oquo brand has just presented to the public its new road range, a complete collection of wheels that we were able to see and test first-hand from the brand's headquarters in the Basque Country. In addition, before getting to ride with the new Oquo, we attended the complete assembly process and the demanding tests to which each wheel is subjected.
Oquo: a new way of doing things
In these times of dependence on Asia for almost everything, Oquo was born with the firm intention of changing the rules. In its factory in the Basque Country, all its wheels are designed from scratch and assembled using the highest technology combined with the human touch.
We were able to visit their factory and see, first hand, their assembly process, which combines the skill and dedication of their personnel with the efficiency and accuracy of the robots designed specifically by them for each task.
There we witnessed the entire assembly process, from the first spoke being inserted into the hub to the placement of the tape, once the wheel has passed all the exhaustive controls to which it is subjected.
For final approval, the wheel has to go through a series of checks where minimum tolerances are allowed, so that until a demanding level of accuracy in terms of rim centering and stress balance is reached, the wheel is not considered good.
They also showed us the laboratory where they "mistreat" the different models of wheels to check how far they are able to withstand until a breakage occurs. And for each model of the range, the resistance to the passage of kilometers is tested. When each individual model passes this test, it's the turn of the field test, where its "Wrecking Crew" abuses and pushes them to the limit.
If, nevertheless, you have a problem with your wheels, the Keep on Rolling program will keep you fully covered.
Oquo's managers are people with a lot of experience in the world of wheels and they explained to us all the processes and their conviction to grow as a brand. The truth is that they transmitted passion for what they are doing and a firm intention to end up making the best wheels on the market.
We test the new Oquo wheels RP35 LTD and RP35 TEAM
After the visit to the factory it was time to test some of the new models in the range and the chosen ones were two of the lightest and most climbing ones, the RP35 LTD and the RP35 TEAM.
Test of the Oquo RP35 LTD
We start with the RP35 LTD which, as its LTD nomenclature says, are the most advanced of the range and, in this profile, they are also the lightest. They are mounted with Zipp Cognition hubs, the same ones used by the Zipp company itself for the assembly of its most exclusive wheels. These hubs are a real jewel, with their lightened shapes with recesses in their wings between each hole.
They also have self-adjusting preload bearings and a proprietary 54-point ratchet system.
They are spoked with 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes, both front and rear. These spokes are of traditional angled anchorage, since, for the moment, Oquo is committed to this system.
Oquo's Road Performance rim, as mentioned above, has a 35mm profile and 21mm internal width, equipped with the Oquo designed mini-hook.
The RP35 LTD wheelset weighs 1,360g
In our tests, 25mm thick tyres were mounted on the rims, dispensing with the use of tubes. A really light combination.
The first meters of the test were on a really uneven cobblestone road, where caution made us slow down, but the guys from Oquo did not hesitate, which makes it clear the confidence they have in their product.
Once on the asphalt, we did a mountain stage, where we were able to test the virtues of such a light wheelset.
Two long climbs in which we rode at different paces. It is really palpable the agility that gives the bike a set of wheels like this, not only for its lightness, but also for the transmission of forces, thanks to its studied spoking with a tension typical of competition wheels.
Standing up and feeling the bike move forward with every pedal stroke without any loss of watts along the way is something that engages, and we ended up giving it all we had almost without intending to.
But they not only climb well. In a set of wheels like this, it is equally important the improvement they offer in climbs as the confidence they give us going downhill, and in this aspect they also stand out.
On the descents we traced every turn with a confidence that is not usual. We went down pretty fast and the bike was very firm following the line we were going for, making things a little easier for us.
Not only did we have to face long passes, but there were also some sections with ondulated terrain, where the lightness and reactivity of the Oquo RP35 LTD made us take advantage of the inertias with a few pedal strokes to overcome each slope in the most enjoyable way.
In short, the Oquo RP35 LTD wheels seem to us to be a flawless wheel. If you are willing to pay for quality, this set of wheels is a serious candidate, with the added bonus of being able to customize them and add a touch of color to match your bike.
Riding with the Oquo RP35 TEAM
During the second day of testing we were riding the Oquo RP35 TEAM wheels. These wheels are quite similar to the previous ones but with more affordable hubs and spokes.
The hubs are Zipp ZR1 hubs, very similar to their bigger brothers but somewhat lighter and a 6 pawl hub system that engages 3 by 3. This way the gearing is very fast with 66 engagement points.
The spokes are also different. They are still Sapim, but the Sprint model, with a taper of 2/1.7/2.
The rim is exactly the same as on the LTD model.
With these component changes the final weight of the assembly is 1,465g.
In this case the test was done with a 28mm tyre also mounted tubeless.
The "mistreatment" began as in the previous day because of the initial cobblestones, but things did not stop there. In the planned route there was a stretch of several kilometers on a road with a fairly bumpy road surface, where we had a high speed. There was not the slightest mishap in the whole group.
Although it is still a high performance wheel, it offered us a more than correct comfort, which undoubtedly had something to do with the higher balloon tyre.
We also had to climb a couple of small mountain passes where, as on the LTD model, the Oquo RP35 TEAM showed outstanding power transmission and a very firm feel on the trail.
We found the Oquo RP35 TEAM to be a very smart buy, considering the price difference is quite large and it is very difficult to notice a big difference in performance, which is largely reduced to the perception we may have of the 100 gram weight difference between them.