Dandy Horse Hyperion 30 GRX Wheel Review: Getting Wide in Warsaw


Dandy Horse Hyperion 30 GRX Wheel Review: Getting Wide in Warsaw

With a 28-millimeter internal diameter, a 30-millimeter rim depth and marketed for gravel riding, the Dandy Horse Hyperion 30 GRX is a unique offering in the crowded field of carbon gravel wheelsets. After riding these wheels extensively on her True Love Cycles Heart Breaker, Hailey Moore shares her review and writes about how they fit into the growing “niche-ification” of cycling trends.

Though designers themselves may audibly sigh at the following, I’ve heard people say that good design disappears. From a coffee maker to navigating an unfamiliar airport, the sign of success is sometimes, in fact, the user overlooking the design altogether—it’s only when friction, pain points, or downright failure, impede the user’s experience that you know you’ve got a problem.

Perhaps this stems from the most basic user assumption that design—in whatever form it takes—should work. I don’t buy a coffee maker (or, because it’s 2024, a fancy coffee brewing apparatus) thinking, you know, I won’t really be annoyed if this doesn’t work. I don’t walk into an airport thinking it’s no big deal if the signs don’t clearly and expeditiously guide me to the gate I need to get to. It’s a fundamental principle in capitalism: a transactional exchange that results in value for value. But at some point, the binary metric of success/fail shifts and a user may begin to ask how well does it work?

Things like expectations based on personal interest, intended use and/or how much you’ve paid for said product/service/experience start to nudge that threshold of satisfaction further out. Technically speaking, grabbing some Taco Bell on the road and sitting down to a Michelin-starred restaurant both still constitute dinner, but I’m going to be much more critical of how well I feel my money was spent on the latter. This is probably a good time to introduce the product that’s at the center of this review: Dandy Horse’s Hyperion 30 GRX carbon gravel wheelset.

Admittedly, I danced around getting to the point in the intro because I think that wheel reviews are hard. At least on the surface, I remain a bit stuck on that aforementioned pass/fail test: 1) Does it roll? 2) Does it stay true? 3) Did it break? But, since I’m talking about a costly good that should perform equal to, or better than, its peers, I’m also staring down the question: how well do these wheels perform? And, are they worth it?

Quick Hits

  • Bead type: Hookless
  • Brake mount: Center Lock
  • Rim material: Carbon
  • Rim weight: 375 g
  • Hole Count: 28
  • Rim size: 700c /29″
  • Rim depth: 30 mm
  • External rim width: 34 mm
  • Internal rim width: 28 mm
  • Recommended tire width: 40-57 mm, based on ETRTO guidelines
  • Max pressure: 60 psi / 4,1 bar
  • Axle standard: 12×100/12×142, 15×00/12×142, 5×100/5×135 (QR)
  • Hubs offered*: Dandy Horse TCN, Dandy Horse RTC, DT Swiss 350 SP, DT Swiss 240 SP                                                            (*Dandy Horse also allows customers to send in any hubs to have the wheelset built around)
  • Spokes: Sapim CX-Sprint
  • Nipples: Sapim Polyax alloy
  • Weight limit (with bike):115 kg / 253 lb
  • Rims manufactured in China
  • Price: €1 299 – €1 669 / $1387 – $1815

Dandy Horse Wheels: A Little Backstory

Dandy Horse was started in 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, as a side project with long-term aspirations by Rafal Hornberger. Like many eventual entrepreneurs, he’d grown frustrated by the product offerings available and thought that he could put his own ingenuity and time to work to create better performance wheelsets. While hand-built wheel culture was already present in the United States and United Kingdom, he also wanted to bring this element of bicycle-related craftsmanship to Poland.

At that time, he was riding a lot on the road and competing in marathons and triathlon races, and he’d personally experienced the disparity in quality between mass-produced and hand-built wheels. In terms of achieving improved performance, precision, customization and durability, it seemed to him that hand-built was clearly the superior method.

While he laced and trued the first Dandy Horse wheelsets in his living room, Rafal soon started working at a local bike shop, upgraded his living-room production to a truing stand in a corner of the shop, and began pursuing the craft in earnest. Not long after, Rafal and two other friends (also mechanics) had enough business building and servicing wheels—including non-Dandy Horse brands—that they moved the project to a dedicated rental space. Fast-forward to 2020 and Dandy Horse had continued to grow their brand name, expanded their product line and established themselves as wheel specialists such that they stopped servicing wheels that were not their own. As Rafal put it:

“We were tired of fixing other people’s mistakes. Most wheels that came to us were poorly designed and carelessly trued without attention to detail. Our policy was that all wheels, regardless of whether they are for a top road bike, track tandem, children’s bike or wheelchair, should be assembled, trued with perfectly even spoke tension and stabilized with the utmost care. Thanks to this approach, our wheels have gained a reputation for being exceptionally durable and trouble-free while also being light and strong.”

In 2021, the company was able to move to an appreciably larger work space—which they share with the framebuilding brand True Love Cycles—and hire more employees. Today, Dandy Horse builds approximately 1,000 wheelsets per year, each one made to order. They see each wheel as a singular project, adhering to truing standards of 0.15 mm lateral run-out and 0.25 mm radial run-out, and a 10% spoke-tension tolerance (for one side). Their product line includes models for Track, Triathlon, Road, Cyclocross, Gravel and MTB.

Hyperion 30 GRX Gravel Wheel: A Wider Standard

While there was a lot of headache involved in the (dual) build process for the True Love Heart Breaker I reviewed earlier this year, sourcing the wheels was wonderfully simple, even if the wheels themselves are anything but off-the-shelf. Jan Lutyk, founder and designer of True Love Cycles, wanted to display as much made-in-Europe componentry on the custom build project as possible, and his workspace neighbors at Dandy Horse generously built up a pair of their Hyperion 30 GRX carbon wheels for the bike to roll on.

The front wheel was custom built to accommodate the specced RockShox RS-1 short-travel fork—innovative for its 15x110mm hub spacing a decade ago when it was first launched, but also critiqued for the proprietary Predictive Steering hub that necessitated 27 mm endcaps to bolster the inverted fork’s (lacking) torsional stiffness. For my build, Dandy Horse built the front wheel around a modified DT Swiss hub and the rear around a 12x148mm Dandy Horse RXC hub (one of three house-brand hubs), both laced with 28 aero-bladed Sapim straight-pull spokes. The RXC hub uses a ratchet engagement mechanism and has 60 points of engagement.

The Hyperion 30 GRX sits second in the carbon Hyperion line (GRV, GRX, GR—in descending order, based on price and weight; there’s also the Hyperion 20 which is an alloy rim). Among their other notable features—competitively lightweight, hookless bead and reinforced rim—the Hyperion’s wide profile is what most sets it apart from other gravel-marketed wheelsets: the internal diameter is a niche 28 mm.

As it becomes more broadly accepted that a wider rim profile offers a host of benefits for appropriately-paired tires (though there is still a lot of debate on exact rim-to-tire-width ratios)—such as improved aerodynamics, the ability to run lower tire pressures without compromising sidewall support, increased traction/better cornering and a more uniform contact patch with the ground—many brands invested in gravel, but also road, wheel development seem to be converging around internal widths of 25 mm. But, few have ventured past. In fact, aside from Curve’s Dirt Hoops (i30 for the “WIDER” model) and Zipp’s 101 XPLR (i27), I couldn’t find a mainstream example of a carbon, wider-than-25mm, non-boost* complete 700c wheelset marketed for gravel.

If this is all starting to sound quite hair-splitting, I’d say you’re not wrong. But, I’d also say that sub-genres and ‘tweener classifications are the trend du jour as different disciplines of the sport continue to advance. “Downcountry” and “All Mountain” are now further subdividing the MTB sphere; people are pairing micro-travel forks with gravel frames; and bikes like the Otso Fenrir and Sklar SuperSomething are challenging my powers of taxonomy.

Interestingly, I think we’re seeing this genre-blurring tendency in disparate scenarios across much of the gravel, etc., space: Riders like Lachlan Morton and Cole Paton achieving podium performances at Grand Prix races by running XC tires on gravel bikes and Dylan Johnson pulling a Tomac by running drop bars on his hardtail at Leadville last year and earning a course PR in the process. Simultaneously, brands like Otso and Curve and True Love (and more) are releasing adventure-focused platforms that ride the liminal divide between the Gravel and MTB designations. In short, if there’s a case to be made that justifies 45 mm of travel on a gravel bike, I’d argue there’s a case to be made for running 28-millimeter rims instead of 25—if the alleged gains are worth it to you.

Worth It?

So there’s that evasive question I started with again: Are these wheels worth it? From a pure numbers standpoint, these wheels are on par in weight for their class of strong-and-light carbon counterparts (375-gram listed rim weight) and the rim depth of 30 mm seems to be median measurement based on competitor offerings. Dandy Horse was a bit tight-lipped about the specifics of the design but did provide that:

“The rims we offer are designed by us in accordance with the ISO 2021 standard and produced in China. After years of gathering experience with various manufacturers, we found a company that is able to meet our demanding standards […] We also cooperate with a Polish company that plans to start production of carbon rims in Poland soon. We have the opportunity to learn about the secrets of their creation and at the same time to see that it is not an easy task at all. Our rims are made of T700 and T800 fibers, with layers of carbon pieces arranged at different angles – 0, 45 and 90 degrees. We cannot disclose all the details.”

In terms of price, which will vary based on hub choice, a Hyperion 30 GRX wheelset will fall within the $1400-$1800+ range shared by wheels of similar caliber.

But when it comes to making a case for the more nebulously quantifiable benefits that Dandy Horse credits to the Hyperion GRX’s wider profile, I turn again to the apparent niche-ification of off-road riding. Although Dandy Horse lists compatibility with 40-57 mm tires for the i28 mm rims, I see this profile being most relevant for the 50-57 mm tranche of that range. Perhaps this is my own riding bias at play, but I see a wheel like the Hyperion 30 appealing most to the rider who wants to run the size of tire that occupies the very narrow Venn Diagram overlap where there are both gravel and MTB options—the width of tire where analogues exist in both 700c and 29er measurement fields (e.g. Panaracer’s 50 mm Gravel King; Rene Herse 55 mm Fleecer Ridge; Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.1; Ultradynamico Mars 29 x 2.2?, Teravail’s Sparwood and Rutland 29 x 2.2, etc.). Think: gravel racers finding gains from running XC tires on aggressive drop-bar frames or a dedicated bike-tourer who wants to make the most of their 700c x 55 mm traction.

A quick aside: My own set of Hyperion 30s are not the best example here, though they do illustrate a benefit to working with a boutique wheelbuilder like Dandy Horse. As I wrote earlier, my test wheelset was built up boost-spaced to accommodate the Heart Breaker’s drop-bar MTB frameset, but this is not a hub standard that Dandy Horse actually offers on the website for the Hyperion 30 line. Still, customization is a core tenant of the brand so I imagine that a request of this nature would be honored by the brand’s customer service channels in the future. But this kind of “off-the-menu” ordering is another perk of buying from a small, high-end brand.

If I were to have purchased my Hyperion 30 GRX wheelset direct from Dandy Horse, I’d undoubtedly have bought the listed non-boost-spaced option and promptly put them on my Sklar Bikes SuperSomething. I’ve ridden that bike with both 700×55 mm tires and 29×2.35/2.2” XC tires and greatly prefer the latter setup as the bike’s character invites sidestepping onto moderate singletrack and chunk. The Hyperion 30 GRX would also be readily at home on my partner’s Crust Evasion, a high-clearance, dedicated bikepacking bike.

But is a 28 mm profile vastly superior to the 700c x i25 wheelsets I already own? Hard to say. If you skew toward running sub-50-mm tires, maybe not, but if your preference lies in that elusive Venn Diagram overlap, then they’re worth considering. I can say that for all my time on the Heart Breaker, the Rene Herse Fleecer Ridges have looked satisfyingly filled out and proportionate to the Hyperion 30 GRX rims and I have had no punctures after 1500 miles of riding this setup. I think this could also be a case where Dandy Horse may be operating slightly ahead of the trend curve and only time will tell if there’s more demand for this rim profile. For now, only you can tell if they are worth it based on your needs.

As for the ride? I found the rim depth refreshingly predictable in handling, compared to deeper-section gravel rims. And while it’s hard to parse the effect of the wheels from robust tires from riding them on a steel frame, the Hyperion 30s ride as smoothly as any other comparable carbon wheelset I’ve tried. They disappeared beneath me.


  • Lightweight, durable construction
  • Customization offered by Dandy Horse
  • Intriguing internal diameter for adventure riding
  • Dandy Horse offers a lifetime warranty on carbon wheelsets


  • Less suitable for the skinnier end of gravel tire sizes
  • Not as deep as others (maybe not a con for some)

See more at Dandy Horse.