When Partington's R-Series wheels launched in 2021, they set a new standard in their class - an incredible achievement given that the average rider isn't exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to demon hoops. But like all great companies, Partington didn't stop iterating when MKI shipped, which is why two years and thousands of miles later, the R-Series is ready to rule the roost all over again, with a newly released 'MKII' designation model and a host of updates set to elevate the performance of these spectacular Aussie-designed and built wheels to a whole new level.
Our original description for the R-Series 39/44 wheels said that looking at them up close brings the wow factor, but getting them on your bike blows your mind. And we're pleased to say that with MKII, you can expect more of everything - especially the wow.
The new version of the 39/44 R-Series wheels now benefits from a full carbon hub complete with CeramicSpeed bearings and an entirely new construction that makes them even more robust. And at 1160 grams, they are 50g per wheel lighter than their MKI counterparts. It's worth mentioning that the R-Series MKII wheels are about as light as we've seen for a non-tubular aero bike wheel - something that was also true in their first iteration. Given the R-series' tubeless clincher nature and disc-only hubs, that's an impressive feat.
We were always struck by how few pedal strokes it took to get up to speed on the MKI. The MKII wheels go even further, with impeccably smooth acceleration a defining characteristic of their performance on the road. Their responsiveness is uncanny in the most delightful way. We love that instant gratification, but the more you ride them, the more there is to love.
If you're new to Partington, one element that separates its wheels from other brands is a revolutionary spoke and hub design. Rather than connecting from rim to hub on either end, Partingon spokes go rim to rim, utilizing a unique U-shaped design, cradling around the hub. This unique approach eliminates the common pressure (and therefore failure points) found in traditional wheel design, with a uniform tension throughout the entire length of the spoke that allows the use of unidirectional carbon instead of standard steel or alloy. Not only is this system lighter and stiffer, but it also allows for a deeper level of tunability to the wheel system as a whole.
Now beautifully crafted from carbon, the hub features channels for each spoke to wrap around, eschewing the traditional flange. This gives the spokes and hubs a massive amount of surface area to interface while reducing the overall mass and surface area, resulting in better acceleration, lighter weight, and improved aerodynamics. In addition, the hubs, as we mentioned, are loaded with CeramicSpeed bearings out of the gate, further ensuring a sensationally smooth ride.
Despite their understated appearance, the Partington's carbon rims are equally feature-rich. An aerospace foam center contributes to the rims' impressive strength and ludicrously low weight. Furthermore, the front and rear rims are individually engineered with optimized aerodynamic profiles, making the R-Series fast in a straight line yet impressively stable when the crosswinds come at you.
While hookless is all the rage, Partington has built the R-Series rims with a more traditional hooked bead. While they're tubeless-ready, Partington wanted to ensure riders could still enjoy their favorite lightweight open tubular tires, should they choose. Even with those hooks, the internal channel is an impressive 21mm wide.
All that performance and technology come together in a genuinely sensational wheel. From the steepest climbs to the fastest descents to all-out sprints, there's no scenario the Partington R-Series wheels will leave you wanting.