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The Ere Research Genus II CL45 wheels combine the characteristics that most riders strive for in a set of carbon wheels, including lower weight, claims for improved aerodynamics, and outstanding stability even in strong winds. I had an issue with inflating one tyre, but all the others went on fine, though the lack of tubeless valves is poor for a wheelset at this price. Despite that, they look like serious contenders for our best road bike wheels buyer's guide.
I did the majority of testing with a set of Ere Research Genus Pro CCX Skinwall tyres (full review to come) – a race-orientated design with a 320tpi cotton casing.
The wheels were certainly put to the test from the start, with a Met Office yellow warning for wind forecasting gusts of more than 80kph. It was a baptism of fire, and they came out with flying colours. Even during the strongest gusts on open ground and other areas where wind can be a factor, such as gateways in hedges, they were stable and I never felt uncomfortable or pushed off course.
Wheel stability is not an area manufacturers tend to make claims, possibly because it is difficult to test and measure, yet it is one of the most important factors for riders in the real world. I believe these wheels are more stable than many others I have tested, even those with lower rim heights.
Ere claims the wheelset has "optimal aerodynamics", but makes no claims or measurements for performance benefits, and even if it did, it's not something I could verify without a wind tunnel. They don't feel slow, and I believe the stability that gives you confidence to go faster in all conditions will make them faster than some less stable wheels with aerodynamic claims.
The wheelset felt stiff and responsive while climbing or pushing hard, despite having a relatively low spoke count of 21 both front and rear. The freehub has a 10-degree engagement with a star ratchet mechanism, and while there are freehubs with faster engagement, I had no issues with it feeling slow for regular road riding. There is some freehub noise, but it is nowhere near as noisy as some; it's similar to DT Swiss hubs.
As their name suggests, the Genus II CL45s have a 45mm-deep carbon rim, which is typical for all-around use. The dimensions are comparable with many other modern alternatives, with a 21mm internal and a 30mm exterior width. This isn't as wide as some, such as the Specialized Rapide CLX wheelset at 35mm and the Cannondale HollowGram R45 at 32mm, though the Genus II CL45 does share certain design aspects with that pair, such as a rim shape that curves out slightly from the tyre bead area.
The rim is made for external spoke nipples, which will likely relieve mechanics everywhere should they ever need to replace any or adjust the tension.
Internally, the rims have a hooked profile and are tubeless compatible, and arrive with tubeless tape installed.
Both the front and rear wheels have 21 spokes laced in a 2:1 arrangement, with straight-pull Sapim CX-Ray aero spokes and black aluminium nipples. Ere also makes a CL45-R model that features Aeris PLT carbon spokes and costs an extra £100.
The alloy hubs have a Center Lock disc brake attachment and can be supplied with Shimano HG, SRAM XD-R, or Campagnolo freehubs with 36T star ratchet design, all at the same price point. That covers practically all drivetrain options for road riders.
I tested the wheelset with various tyres, including Schwalbe Pro Ones, Continental GP5000S TLs, and Pirelli P Zero Race TLRs, as well as the Genus Pro CCX Skinwalls. All of these fitted easily, needing just a single tyre lever at the most.
The only tyre I had any problem with was the tubeless-ready Vittoria Corsa PRO Control. This was slack, going on without needing any tyre levers, but wouldn't inflate, even with a compressor.
One disappointment is that the wheelsets do not come with tubeless valves. Many tubeless-compatible wheelsets include valves, which can ensure that the valves fit the rim and provide smoother inflation. Ere manufactures its own valves but doesn't specify if these are required, simply that the valve length must be at least 60mm.
Ere states that the wheelset weighs 1,376g; our test set weighed 1,425g with tubeless tape. Despite weighing a bit more than claimed, they are light compared with other wheelsets around this price (and higher). The Cannondale HollowGram R45s mentioned earlier weighed 1,780g, while the Corima Essentia 40, with hookless rim construction, weighed 1,684g.
Stu was impressed with the Deda Elementi RS4DB, which weighs 75g less but costs £400 more.
If weight isn't an issue, there are plenty of cheaper options, such as the impressive Just Riding Along Mahi Mahi Cores for just £700. These may have some compromises, but the real-world differences will be minimal for many.
Closer in price, the Roval Rapide CL II wheelset that Nick praised is just £100 more, and Roval was among the first brands to use a wider exterior rim, claiming aerodynamic benefits. Factoring in having to buy tubeless valves for the Genus II R45 wheels, the price gets even closer.
While cheaper wheels are available, the total package here is still impressive, with a low weight that few carbon wheelsets can match, a responsive feel, and a great look. They really impressed with their stable and confident feel, even in the strongest winds, and I believe this might result in more speed, in more scenarios, than aerodynamic performance alone. But, please, could we have some tubeless valves?
Great all-round wheelset with low weight and impressive stability in all wind conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ere Research Genus II CL45 wheels
Size tested: 700C, 45mm rim height
Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
ERE Research says:
"Introducing the revolutionary Genus II CL45 aero optimized Classics road wheels, designed with the latest cutting-edge technology to give you the ultimate allround cycling experience. These wheels are crafted with our new Panama SL hubs and weigh in at an impressive 1.376 grams, making them some of the lightest and most durable wheels on the market of deep-section carbon wheels.
In addition to their unparalleled performance, the Genus II CL45 wheels also come with a sleek, modern design inspired on rock legend Eddy van Halen's "Frankenstrat" guitar that is sure to turn heads. Featuring laser-etched logos rather than traditional decals, these wheels radiate sophistication and elegance. A great match to any bike.
The Genus II CL45 wheels boast a 2:1 spoke ratio with 21 spokes per wheel, providing unparalleled stability and strength during your rides. Say goodbye to unnecessary wheel wobbles and hello to a smooth and seamless ride with the Genus II CL45 wheels.
Experience the Genus II CL45 wheels for yourself and take your cycling to the next level. With their lightweight construction, optimal aerodynamics, and stunning design, these wheels are the perfect upgrade for every bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
From Ere Research:
We recommend using Ere Tubeless tires with Ere ProClose sealant for tubeless set-ups.
For clincher tires we recommend using our Tubus inner tubes.
Please be reminded to use valves with a minimum length of 60mm. Have a look at our ProClose range for all your tubeless parts.
Ere Research lists this spec:
High Performance Aero
Total set weight 1376 gram (1-3% tolerance)
Front wheel weight 628 gram
Rear wheel weight 748 gram
Tire compatibility Hooked Clincher/tubeless
Recommended tire width 26 - 32mm
Minimum tire width 23mm
Maximum tire width 36mm
Maximum rider weight 130 kg
Brake System Disc brake only
Race-Ready UCI approved
Crash replacement Lifetime
Rim material full carbon
Rim height 45mm
Rim size (ETRTO) 700C / 28"
External rim width 30mm
Internal Rim width 21mm
Rim type Hooked Clincher/tubeless
Tubeless (ready) Yes
Hubs Panama SL
Hub material Alloy
Bearings 2 x Enduro (F), 2 x Enduro / 2 x SKF (R)
Engagement system 36T Star ratchet
Axle System TA 100 x 12mm (F), TA 142 x 12mm (R)
Brake Interface Centerlock
Spoke Sapim CX Ray Aero Black
Spoke count 21 / 2:1 ratio
Spoke type Straightpull Aero
Spoke length NDS/DS 261/262 (F), 252/260 (R)
Nipples Black / alloy
Spoke tension DS 880-980Nm / NDS 900-1080Nm (F), DS 980-1180Nm / NDS 880-980Nm (R)
They look fantastic, and the finish is flawless.
They feel fast and agile with the best stability in the wind of any wheelset I have tested at this depth.
I have no concerns, and there is a lifetime warranty and crash replacement offer.
For the depth and price, the weight is very good.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, no noise on initial use, and stayed completely true.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
All the tyres I tested them with were easy to fit, although I was not able to inflate the Vittoria Corsa PRO Control tubeless.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
No extras other than tubeless tape, which was already fitted and stayed in place fine.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They felt responsive under power, and the ride quality helped make them feel light, which combined with their impressive stability in the wind makes them a great all-round option.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
How stable they were in the wind from all directions, even when it was really strong.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Not being able to inflate the Vittoria tyre (tubeless) made for some uncertainty initially, but after trying multiple brands this wasn't a concern. The only frustration is that tubeless valves aren't included.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The acclaimed Roval Rapide CL II is £100 more, but also quite a lot heavier, while the Corima Essentia 40 is £100 less, but also heavier. Both of those wheels have a hookless design, which won't suit all preferences.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes, and especially considering they have been tested through winter conditions.
Would you consider buying the wheel? If I had the budget, as they are among the best wheels I have used for all-round performance.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes, and I already have.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Ere Research Genus II CL45 wheels deliver a brilliant all-round performance, feeling fast with good response under power, and they are extremely good at dealing with crosswinds. Tyre fitting could be an issue, depending on which tyres you are considering, but overall this is an excellent wheelset.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.