The wheels of your bicycle are arguably one of the most important components that add to its character and performance. Having good road bike wheels can be the key to enjoying a smoother and more exciting ride. This is because of how they can transform your bike. After looking at the best road bicycle wheelset reviews, we knew that we could do better.
The key is to get a bike wheel that’s stiff but lightweight. This is because it will enable you to enjoy better steering accuracy and the ability to maintain the right speed when going through flat terrain. All this while allowing you to glide smoothly uphill.
Best Value Road Bike Wheelsets Comparison and Reviews
As promised, we’re going to bring you the best road bicycle wheelset reviews based on research and testing.
That’s how we do it here to make sure that we provide you with a super detailed review and useful tips on how to effectively narrow down your options as we did.
1. Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels
First, in our best road bicycle wheels reviews, we decided to explore this full carbon fiber set from Superteam.
With 700c clincher tires made from carbon fiber, this wheelset is one of the most popular on the market. It’s no surprise to learn that it has passed the EN quality standard test and it has been shown to be much stiffer and faster than alloy and aluminum versions.
However, where carbon wheels really shine is in their aerodynamic performance. It’s perfect for the powerful rider. That’s why this is considered to be an incredibly reliable and high-quality wheelset. This wheelset comes with 23mm by 50mm wide wheels. Although heavier than some other options in this category, they’re super durable.
We also found when testing this wheelset that it offered incredible braking performance. This was surprising considering that its rim comes with a 6-laver carbon and a brake track with 12-layer carbon construction.
2. SHIMANO Dura-Ace 9100
The SHIMANO Dura-Ace 9100 Wheelset is one of the best road bike wheelsets to have if you’d like to have a responsive bike that goes from 0 to 100 quickly when you accelerate it.
It features a hub-based center of gravity that makes for a lightweight rim and torque, as well as the ability to enjoy fast cornering and high-speed travel as mentioned. Throughout all of this, its wheels remain stable and responsive which in turn helps with lowering drag force.
A carbon laminate process treats the rims. These give the alloy a stiff texture thanks to the carbon. Also adding to its stiffness is the C40’s use of advanced technology and power transfer.
Thanks to the alloy brake track, it’s possible to go up or downhill in really warm weather without damaging the structure. The improved speed capacity of this wheelset though is made possible by its efficient and aerodynamic design. It makes for a comprehensive and lightweight wheelset.
3. ROL Wheels D’Huez Road Bike Wheelset
The next road bike wheelset review we’re going to make is that of the famous ROL Wheels D’Huez Road Bike Wheelset. Heavy riders will love this wheelset because all it takes is a slight push of the wheels to get the wheels rolling for several minutes. These are some smooth wheels that are perfect for acceleration and cornering in style so that you can climb uphill effortlessly.
This wheelset features a lightweight hub with trademark rims and an aerodynamic profile that will have you doing tricks and enjoying yourself even on the most difficult trails. It has much wider rims than normal so that you can enjoy better lateral rigidity.
It’s important to note that there’s a tubeless version of these wheels that’s available for those who are interested. It provides a better grip and a more comfortable ride overall. It’s also worth noting that the hub is constructed from 3D forged alloy with a unique Aero rim.
This makes for a very strong wheelset that’s both lightweight and wide enough to handle a wide footprint. You’ll find that it’s way better to turn corners with these rims and they’re guaranteed to improve the overall quality of your ride.
4. Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 Wheel Set
This lightweight carbon wheelset features a 35mm deep rim and a stiff texture. It comes with a CULT ceramic cup and cone bearing which is constructed from durable Cronitect steel. This translates to a smoother and more effective system that’s both aerodynamic and more resilient to crosswinds at the same time.
Both the back and front hubs have large flanges that help to improve wheel rigidity and reaction. This also makes the wheels more flexible so that you don’t feel their weight when put under the stress of a lateral load. Thanks to the AC3 Technology, this wheelset is suitable for use in different conditions and will keep you safe no matter the weather, thanks to improved brake control.
Other features worth mentioning include the G3 spokes which are designed to help heavy-set riders to enjoy a smooth ride. All while keeping the spokes balanced to achieve optimal energy transfer.
In addition to performing well under pressure, this wheelset is aerodynamically impressive on account of its lightweight and reactive makeup. That’s why this Boa Wheelset is considered the ideal option for riding and climbing up flat hills.
5. SunRise Bike 25mm U-Shape Wheelset
Like most people who’ve tried it, we can’t get enough of the SunRise wheelset which is made from carbon fiber.
As such, it only weighs about 1,635g making it a lightweight and portable option that’s perfect for a life on the road, whether you need it for the daily commute or trail biking.
However, we found the best all around road wheelset to be especially useful when climbing uphill and racing. That’s because it’s made with 700c carbon clincher wheels and the wheelset as a whole has passed the EN quality standard test. This way, you know that it measures up to the best on the road.
What makes these carbon fiber rims unique is the fact that they’re effective and useful for all riders. They’re also durable and super strong. The great thing about carbon rims like these ones is that they simply bounce back to their original round shape after use so you don’t have to worry as much about maintenance.
6. Whool Alloy Rim Carbon Hub Wheels
Road bike wheel comparisons always mention the Whool wheelset with its carbon hub and alloy rim wheels that measure 26 inches and are perfect for outdoor trail biking and mountain biking.
This wheelset is exactly what you need to maintain sturdiness and reliability under even the most difficult conditions. That’s because they’re constructed from the best and most unique materials that are both long-lasting and light in weight.
If you participate in competition mountain biking races and want a wheelset that will keep you competitive by allowing you to go fast and brake effectively when you need to, then these Alloy Rim Carbon Hub Wheels are going to be ideal.
In our research, we also found that these wheels are incredibly popular with off-road cyclists as well as riders of all different types of experience levels. Not only that, but the wheel itself weighs just 1,800g which means that it can handle a lot more traction than your average wheelset.
7. Yuanan Aero Carbon Wheelset
We’ve seen some pretty impressive bicycle wheelset so far in this article. But none more than the Yuanan Road Bike Wheel. Its features include a Novatec N271 Hub, tubular tubeless compatibility, and carbon wheels to boot. These features, when combined, are what give this wheelset its customizable rim.
Most of this wheelset is constructed from unique high-temperature carbon fiber wheels for road bikes which are known for its ability to remain stiff even in extreme temperatures and abrupt braking.
They’re designed according to a resin system that allows them to maintain an even temperature when braking downhill, especially in wet weather conditions and steep terrain. Although budget-friendly, the Novatec hub is a high-quality product that won’t let you down.
It has a crystal-polished braking surface and noise reduction features that allow it to perform the same over the years even with wear and tear.
8. Aeromax Wheelset Review
When looking for the best road bike wheels under 300, you’ll invariably come across this option from Aeromax. As the name implies, these are an aerodynamic marvel with the ability to give you a smooth, comfortable and competitive ride.
The great thing about Aeromax is that they truly care about what they deliver to you as the consumer. This wheelset comes with DT swiss gauges and has been tested at least three times prior to hitting the market to make sure that it meets all advertised expectations.
Not only that, but we found its double-walled construction to be very conducive to long-term use and durability. This is especially if you’re someone that cares about quality. This wheelset is perfect for commuting as well as training, and it comes with sealed ball-bearing hubs and stainless-steel spokes.
All told, this is a hardy wheelset that offers great value for money. It’s the perfect option for anyone that’s looking to upgrade to a wheelset that is of better quality, durability, and reliability than what you already have. It’s the best road bike wheelset for the money.
How to Get the Best Road Bicycle Wheelsets
There’s so much to keep in mind when looking for a new wheelset. From aerodynamic deep-section carbon wheels to durable alloy wheels that can handle potholes and instant braking, and lightweight climbers.
Here are just some of the features that we prioritized when going through all the different wheels that we tested to bring you the above selection of options.
You should also think about the types of materials of the wheel. Most wheels are made from steel. It’s the most durable and recommended material. Then there are alloy wheels that are lightweight and efficient, perfect for being able to stop on a dime.
While alloy offers impressive acceleration abilities, carbon wheels have been shown to make a dynamic and durable wheel that works better in some respects than alloy and steel.
The only downside is that you can’t ride carbon wheels in rainy weather. This is because they become unsafe and they don’t do well with downhill riding in hot and humid weather conditions.
Rim width is one of the most commonly mentioned features in a lot of best road wheel reviews. That’s because the wider the rims are, the more effective your wheels are at slicing through the air. Thus, leading to a more comfortable ride that runs on lower pressure.
It’s important to understand that there’s a difference between external rim width and internal rim width. For instance, the internal width refers to the tire’s distance across the rim which is designed to ensure that the casing is supported. External width, on the other hand, depends on the internal width and has to do with the tire’s aerodynamics.
We’ve observed over the years that the latest wheel designs don’t really fit into older tire frames. This is because large wheels are becoming broader and wider overall as time progresses.
Another feature that comes up is rim depth. Basically, aerodynamic tires typically feature deeper rims and are different from a low-profile box-section rim.
On the other hand, deep-section wheels are heavier and perfect for anyone that typically traverses flat terrain. But, if you plan on getting a wheelset for your mountain bike or for trail riding then you’re better off with a shallow or low profile rim.
It’s worth noting that crosswinds tend to affect deeper rims because of the amount of sheer material that they possess. But, clever wheel manufacturers are designing their rims to have a V-shaped profile instead of the regular toroidal shape.
Brakes are an important safety component to your wheelset whose design and construction will depend on your bike frame.
Most wheels either come with rim or disc brakes. While certain brands have been known to incorporate several end caps that accept 12mm to 15mm thru-axles.
Tires are essential to the wheelset and the wheelset’s rim will determine the types of tires that are compatible with it, whether that’s tubeless, tubular or clincher tires.
Each tire system has its own caveats and benefits, but we’ve found that tubulars are usually more lightweight and they don’t require a tire bead.
You must also consider weight when looking for a new wheelset because it will affect the quality of your ride. For the most part, low-weight wheels make for a much lighter bike overall thus reducing wind resistance and making it easier to accelerate your bicycle.
Lightweight wheels are always recommended. But if you’re on the heavier side, then you might require a much heavier wheelset to help support your body weight. Otherwise, you won’t benefit from the speed potential of a lightweight wheelset.
Once you’ve found a wheelset that ticks all the boxes we’ve mentioned, make sure that there are compatible brake tracks to go with it.
The good news is that cutting-edge technological advancements make it possible for manufacturers to treat and customize their brakes to handle all types of conditions, regardless of the materials that they’re constructed from.
However, you should always defer to materials that make for a lightweight and durable product overall.
Types of Road Bike Wheels
Similar to the categories into which road bikes are placed, so are the wheels used to propel them. You have adventure, road, aero, endurance, and mountain bike wheels that cater to different types of riders. As soon as you understand what category you fit into the easier it’ll be for you to make a pick.
It’s mostly when climbing uphill that you notice the weight of your bike and that’s why you want lightweight wheels with fewer spokes and a shallow profile rim that can handle going uphill without taking their toll on you. Such wheels make for a good quality ride and a more aerodynamic performance.
Look for a wheelset that’s 1,500g and below as that means that it’s suitable for climbing. If budget isn’t a problem then you can even find a super lightweight climbing wheelset that only weighs 900g to about 1,300g.
Deep-Section Aerodynamic Wheels
For those with a need for speed, you’ll want to look into a deep section rim that measures 50mm or larger. This reduces aerodynamic drag while making it easier to cut through the air effortlessly.
But, the deeper aero wheels are, the heavier they are, thus making it harder for you to ride in high cross-winds. That’s why an increasing number of cyclists are opting for mid-depth wheels instead because they offer the best of both worlds. That is unless you plan on doing fast spring courses and time trials.
If you have deep aerodynamic wheels you’ll most probably have a pair of training wheels aside from them which you can use for more leisurely riding.
Mid-Section Aerodynamic Wheels
Aerodynamic wheels are all the rage right now. This is due to their ability to lend a professional feel to one’s bicycle. They typically come with deep rims that measure about 30mm or more.
Thanks to their aerodynamic design, mid-section wheels offer the perfect balance between wind performance, ride quality, and low weight.
To keep them lightweight, most aerodynamic rims are constructed from carbon fiber. But some manufacturers such as Mavic make aluminum rims with bonded carbon fairings. As a result, these are typically much heavier in comparison to their carbon counterparts.
Although we could write a whole article on the importance of lightweight racing wheels with lower frictions and more speed potential, they’re not realistic for daily use.
For days in between races, you’ll want to have durable training wheels that can handle different types of terrain. Keep in mind that rims tend to suffer wear and tear over time due to frequent braking, especially if you own a rim brake bike. That’s why it’s better to have a separate pair of training wheels to help keep your main wheels in good shape for longer.
Most wheels in this category boast a weight of about 1,500 to 1,800g at a moderate price range. But, if you’re shopping on a budget then the best you can do is probably something that weighs about 1,900g.
Why Should You Upgrade Your Bike Wheels?
Here are some of the advantages that come with upgrading your basic wheels to something better:
Lower Bike Weight
The great thing about a road bike wheel upgrade is that it’ll instantly reduce the weight of your bicycle and the effort required to pedal and use your bike. This can really affect your performance, especially if you’re a professional biker.
Another benefit of upgrading your wheels is enjoying a faster speed, especially when climbing uphill.
A normal and older wheelset won’t offer the aerodynamic features of a newer and upgraded model. Upgraded wheels literally cut through the air due to their ability to reduce drag. As a result, you end up putting less effort to achieve better results.
It becomes so much easier to accelerate your bicycle and climb uphill when you have the right set of wheels on your side. The easier it is for you to control your bike the more confident you will be and the better your performance.
Obviously, newer wheels will be more durable than older ones. Newer tires are also less likely to get flat.
Most people assume that the stiffer a bike’s wheels are the more uncomfortable it will be. However, wider wheels offer less pressure thus reducing the amount of rolling resistance while providing a more pro aesthetic to your bicycle.
How long do road bike wheels last?
Since you’re going to be spending so much money on a wheelset, it’s worth knowing that it’s going to last more than a few rides.
For the most part, road bike tires typically last for about 1,000 to 3,000 miles, while the more high-end models can reach up to 2,500 miles or more before they give up.
But, road bike rims have a more unpredictable lifespan, to say the least. They can last for 1,500 to 12,000 miles depending on how well you look after them.
Maintenance is everything when it comes to them. All you have to do is clean and lubricate the brake calipers and wheel rims regularly and Bob’s your uncle!
Here are some tips to help you effortlessly maintain your wheels rims using simple implements like a scourer sponge and isopropyl alcohol.
What’s the right size of road bicycle wheelsets?
Aside from the size of your road bike wheels, there are some important things you need to know about their measurements.
Manufacturers decided to unify two different systems of standard size measurement in order to cater to the increased popularity of cycling.
For instance, you have the European Tire and Rim Technical Organization or ETRTO for short. This works through a cohesive system under the approval of the ISO (International Standards Organization).
You’ll be glad to know that a vast majority of adult road bikes come with 700c wheels that are part of the ETRTO/ISO measurement system.
As such, they typically feature a measurement of internal width x 622. Most bikes have an internal width of 13mm to 25mm with a regular measurement of 18/19 mm.
Riders with short legs have to make do with small-sized road bikes with 650c wheels that fit under the 571mm category of the ETRTO/ISO measurement system.
When to replace your road bike?
It’s a well-known fact that the older your bike gets, the harder it is to clean and fix and maintain it. Maintenance simply costs more when your bike gets older, especially if it’s taken a lot of abuse during its lifespan.
It typically starts at about 5 years for a bike that sees daily use. You have to replace the cables and chains, put in new tires and brake blocks. You’d also have to make do with the now torn saddles and worn out wheel rims at this point.
Changing these components every month or even every week, it’s better to replace your bicycle when everything breaks down as it all comes down to the same cost anyway.
That was our list of best road bicycle wheelset reviews for your consideration. If we were to pick one option, it would be the Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels. This wheelset is made from lightweight carbon fiber and has 700c clincher tires which are EN quality certified.
Not only that, but this brand offers aluminum and alloy versions. But the carbon ones offer better aerodynamic performance though. You’ll be able to go faster and enjoy a more stable ride with this wheelset thanks to the durable and heavier 23mm by 50mm wheels.
All in all, this is a reliable, durable, and lightweight high-quality wheelset from Superteam that ticks all the boxes we mentioned above.