2017 Novatec R3 carbon fiber road bike wheels for disc or rim brakes in clincher or tubular

The updated Novatec R3 Disc wheelset gets a little wider and revised the rim shape to make a stronger wheel. At 38mm deep, it’s their do-it-all carbon rimmed wheel, and it’s available as a clincher or tubular, and for rim brakes, too. And it’ll work with QR or thru axles, too.

As their U.S. distributor put it, they’re an “unofficially” tubeless ready clincher, because they’ve been racing it that way for a while with no issues. Details below…


The old R3 was narrow and symmetrical. These new ones are 18.3mm wide internal (clincher), 26mm at the widest on the outside. For the disc brake model, they also get a new asymmetrical profile, pushing spoke holes off center of the rim to improve the bracing angle on the driveside.



The clincher rims were not available for photographing, but the catalog shows their various shapes. The symmetrical rim brake versions use a high Tg resin combined with their MatriSilk structural mesh and Protex coating molded into the braking surface for improved grip and strength.


The hubs are work with QR and thru axle options front and rear via swappable with axles on the rear and end caps on the front. They only ship with one setup, but other parts are available. XD drivers also available. An ABG (Anti Bite Guard) steel insert on FH body prevents the cassette from digging into the lightweight red alloy.


They use straight pull spokes with milled flange that lets you quickly and easily replace a spoke by just sliding it right out and sliding a new one in.

Claimed weights are:

  • Clincher – 1,500g
  • Tubular – 1,330g
  • Clincher Disc – 1,595g
  • Tubular Disc – 1,370g



  1. JBikes on

    “unofficially” tubeless ready?
    Yeah that’s real nice. Hey, your car is “unofficially” tested to meet safety standards!

    • ryan on

      That’s industry speak for: “We’ve had good luck with this using tubeless tires, but we’re not totally confident about it and don’t wanna get sued, BUT we still wanna sell it to the tubeless crowd, so we’re using mixed messaging on this topic.” I wonder if it’s anything like being “unofficially, kinda pregnant”? I think they should have the nerve to call it tubeless ready or STFU.

      • Veganpotter on

        I don’t see this as a problem. The rim happens to be tubeless friendly, despite not being designed to be. Mavic rims don’t have spoke holes. With lots of coaxing, they work tubeless but they may as well have spoke holes since you need to build up the internal diameter. It sounds like these are probably more than fine. I hate carbon brake tracks on clinchers but otherwise, they may as well say they’re tubeless ready, you wouldn’t know the difference.

    • Antoine on

      If you guy want good road tubeless wheel go see what giant offer. Their wheelset (with DT swiss collaboration for hub and spokes) are superb. Those wheels have true tubeless ready bead (still need tape for holes). And are full carbon construction, modern design.

  2. steve on

    they are “unoffically tubless” like every rim with tape can be tubeless, but without at least a flat section at the ETRTO shelf or even better a flat and bead barb to lock in the bead to work well as tubeless.

  3. myke2241 on

    It’s not like Novatech didn’t know the ETRTO specs in the design and engineering stages of development! Novatech is trying to sell some they don’t have. Btw who even buys their stuff?

    • sad on

      I buy their hubs. They’re f*ing amazing. Lightweight (among the lightest), works perfect and cost almost nothing. You just gotta swap the bearings for 4usd bearings. That’s it.
      Seriously, if you’re on a budge and want something good that’s a really good deal and they’re really solid and reliable. Search forums and you’ll see this statement echo’d everywhere.

    • typevertigo on

      Novatec has a solid reputation as far as hubs go. They’ve been a staple of MTBers looking for solid hubs on a budget, and they’ve held up well. If your bike came with Novatec hubs as stock equipment, you got a great deal, and they’re definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

      They started selling entire wheelsets for road and cross use at least three years ago and so far the reviews are favorable.

  4. Aaron on

    I have some 2014 light-bike rims with the same internal rim bed shape. They worked as tubeless until I had a flat and then I quickly was on the beads of the rims sliding to a stop. I was lucky I was going slow and was also right next to a grass shoulder.

  5. EM2 on

    why do people going crazy for road tubeless when you can have tubular ?
    it’s cheaper , faster , lighter and more safe … like the PROs do

    • Antoine on

      Because all people seriously testing gear measured that tubular are not as fast as best tire. Sorry.
      Also because tubular are a huge pita if you don’t have a car following you with a wheelset on the roof and a full time mechanic to prepare your wheels when flatting, and a sponsor to give you that 100$ rubber that is wasted in 1000km.

    • Veganpotter on

      Easy, if you do get a flat, you either need to get a sewing kit out, or you need to carry an entire tubular with you. Sound fun? With tubeless, you can act as they’re regular clinchers. With the right rims, its not hard at all to change flats. My Pacenti rims are a breeze and my HED rims are nearly as easy to add a tube to for the rare flat.

      And no, pros don’t train on tubulars. Maybe pro cross racers but not roadies


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