BIKING

Best Road Bike Wheels: Keeping you Safe and Improving Performance

Bicycles on grass in park
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

If improving your performance is in the cards, the best road bike wheels could make this process happen much faster than training. Bike riding is an exciting sport and while the tires might be one of the cheapest upgrades you could make, the heels can really become expensive to replace and to improve each time you have a race.

Most bike wheels feature a lot of intricate features, but these features will be very expensive and you might need to prioritize the importance of these features to ensure that the wheel matches your goals. Not only will the best wheels increase your performance, but over time the spokes on older wheelsets might begin to wear and this could become a dangerous hazard while you are riding.

Bicycle wheel on street

To find the best bike wheels is no easy task as there are many extremely expensive wheelsets available on the market, but once you manage to find the best value, you should be happy for many years to come. We have set out to see if we could manage to find the best value for money so you do not have to dole out a fortune in search of your bike wheel upgrades.

But, before we look at our selection of the top bike wheels, you will need to know what the key features are and how they could be beneficial to you. This could have a big impact on the type of wheel you buy and the amount you pay for that wheel:

Key features in Road Bike Wheels

Having all of these features in your wheels will certainly cost you a fortune and while there are ‘jack-of-all-trait’ wheels available, they might not always be the best for your needs and sometimes, it is important to look for the specific features to help improve your performance and you could have extra cash for additional upgrades.

Bike on green grass in park

But, these are the features we believe will have an impact on your decision:

Weight

The weight is really important, especially for climbers or if you like taking on a few hills. With the lower weight, you will need less force to propel them over the hills, but should you be riding for speed or time trials, the weight could help with momentum and give you extra seconds.

Digital bike scale

Spokes

The spokes are usually light, but they could hinder the aerodynamic feel of the bike. Many professional choose the solid base without spokes, but you could go for fewer spokes in your wheel to ensure that it is more aerodynamic.

Bycicle spokes

Thickness

The thickness will allow you to fit a thicker tire to the wheel. This needs to be looked at and the thickness of your tire will be determined by the route you are riding. Should the road be smooth, a thin wheel will do the trick, while a larger and thicker one might be needed for muddy puddles and off-road areas.

Bike tire

Rim type

Just like the tires, there are three different rim types for individuals to choose from. The clincher is the most common type, while the tubular and tubeless are for more professional riders. These two are also more expensive to buy, but they are lighter.

Bicycle rim types

These four features should really allow you to excel in your road bike division, but we would like to recommend that you define the purpose and look at the route first to make sure you are buying the correct combination of features.

Aerodynamics should always trump weight when it comes to sprinters and time trial riders, while weight will be significantly important to riders who need to climb over steep hills. The ‘jack-of-all-trait’ tire might not be the best choice for its diversity and you might lack quality in some of the more intricate and specialized areas of the race.

With that being said, let’s look at the top road bike wheels to ensure that you get the best possible quality and to make your choice a little easier:

Best road wheels – our top picks

Aeromax Alloy Wheelset Road Bike Comp 700c Wheels

Aeromax Alloy Wheelset Road Bike Comp 700c Wheels

Weight: 7lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: 24 spokes, aerodynamic wall alloy rims, stylish black Saturn finish, lightweight, designed specifically for rim brakes

The Aeromax alloy wheelset for road bikes offers you significant value for your money. Unlike most other brands, you will receive both wheels for a reduced price and they have been handmade from alloy materials.

This not only signifies the lightweight of the wheels, but it also adds to the durability of the wheels and you could be using them for a long time.

The wheels are light, but they have been designed for time trial experts and a lot of emphasis has been placed on the aerodynamic capabilities of the wheel. The wheel features 24 spokes to lighten it up, but also provide more stability and this will also increase the forward momentum you get while riding.

Furthermore, the wheels have been designed for the clincher tire type and it is only compatible with rim brakes. Additional adjustments must be made for the wheels to be effective with disk brakes. The wheels also feature a stylish black Saturn finish to ensure that the wheels are stylish and match the color of the tires.

These wheels are highly recommended for sprinters and the small rim has been designed for the Presta valve type to fit comfortably, but you should be able to fit other valve types with a few adjustments.

Check the price on Amazon

Mavic / Shimano Road Bike Wheel Set Mavic CXP22 700c Rims

Mavic -Shimano Road Bike Wheel Set Mavic CXP22 700c

Weight: 11.4lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: Made from durable aluminum alloy, 32 stainless spokes, 2 added tires for value, great for heavier riders

The Mavic/Shimano road bike wheelset has been specifically designed for heavier riders, as the durable aluminum alloy frame will be capable of easily carrying up to 250 pounds.

The wheel is a little heavier, but it has been designed to be aerodynamic and strong to get you off to some great speeds on time trials.

The wheels have been created for clincher tires and you will receive two free high-quality continental clincher tires that will fit perfectly on the frame. These added tires could be great for testing out the frame before adding your own customized tires and it will also allow you to vary the tires for more prolonged use and less wear and tear.

The tires are compatible with 7-10 speed bikes and this should give you plenty of opportunities to choose them. The tires will also be great for switching between bikes and they can be a welcome upgrade to your bike. As for the price, they are a little expensive, but you will receive quality and an added bonus of tires to give you real value.

We highly recommend these wheels for sprinters and heavier riders to have a more durable and longer lasting tire. Climbers might find the tire aerodynamic, but the extra spokes for durability do add some weight.

Check the price on Amazon

Pure Fix 700C 40mm Wheelset

Pure Fix 700C 40mm Wheelset

Weight: 11 lbs

Tire compatibility: All

Special features: compatible with all tire types,16T fixed and freewheel cogs pre-attached for one-speed riding, Nylon rim strips for added protection from sidewalks and stones, available in multiple colors

The Pure Fix 700C wheelset is not only available in multiple colors, but it does bring a new dimension of style to your bike and you will be able to choose any color to help bring your bike to life. The wheels all feature 32 spokes and they will provide a lot of added support for riders, but this can be costly on climbs with the added weight.

These wheels will be much more effective for sprinters and time trial riders to ensure that you have support. The added weight will also help with the velocity to create momentum and propel you forward with less effort needed. Furthermore, the wheels are compatible with any tire type and this should provide great value in itself. The 40mm depth should be great for tubeless tires.

The outer edges of the tire have also been fitted with nylon strips to improve the durability. This should make the tire much more resistant to common punctures and also reduce the wear and tear from any sidewalks.

We highly recommend these tires for sprinters and time trial riders, but the durability will be great for bigger riders as well. The different types of tires it can take will also provide youth multifunctional use.

Check the price on Amazon

Road bike Wheelset Campagnolo

Road bike Wheelset Campagnolo

Weight: 8.8lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: Extremely lightweight, 24 alloy spokes, great for 9, 10 and 11-speed bikes, stylish design

The Road Bike wheelset Campagnolo should be one of the most effective upgrades for climbers and the wheel is extremely lightweight. The durability does, however, take some punishment from heavier drivers, but with the right tire, these should be great for everyone.

The wheels have been designed for 9, 10 and 11-speed bikes, and so you will need to make sure that you order the right cassette to go with your bike. The wheels have also been stylishly designed to match most bike colors and you should also be able to get multiple years of use from the durable alloy construction.

Furthermore, the wheels feature a wider rim for thicker tires and this should also be of use to people riding through unfamiliar terrain. You will now be able to take on those rough roads without having fear of any wheel damage.

We not only recommend this to people riding unfamiliar roads, but we also recommend them highly for climbers. The wheel is extremely lightweight and as a climber, this should help you get to the top much faster.

Check the price on Amazon

ICAN 50mm 700C Carbon Wheelset Road Bike Clincher

ICAN 50mm 700C carbon wheelset

Weight: 6.5lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: Extremely lightweight, 55mm deep carbon rim for clincher tires, designed for pro riders, full carbon construction, 24 carbon bladed spokes

Designed for the professional riders and considered to be a wheel that can do everything, the ICAN 50mm 700C carbon wheelset should be one of the most versatile upgrades you make to your bike.

The wheels feature 24 carbon bladed spokes and this significantly reduces the weight, but carbon will also reduce the drag from the air and the spokes should help increase the speed significantly.

Since the entire wheel is made from carbon basalt, it should come as no surprise that it is extremely lightweight and very durable for heavier riders to use as well. The tire bead hook of the rim also makes this wheel up to 73% stronger than most of its competitors and you will be able to go through much tougher terrains with the tire.

Finally, the cassette compatibility is Shimano 10 and 11 speeds and will work great with them for improving your time trial times and climbing performances. This wheel is highly recommended for climbers and even though it is expensive, the carbon design will ensure great durability and value.

Check the price on Amazon

Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 700C Clincher

Superteam carbon fiber road bike wheels

Weight: 7lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: Full carbon fiber design, extremely durable and lightweight, 50 mm deep rim design, added quick release skewer, only 20 spokes

Climbers should enjoy the lightweight and durability of the Superteam carbon fiber road bike wheels. The wheels are really light and they only feature 20 spokes to help reduce the weight and the drag while climbing.

The wheel has been designed for clincher tires and the 50mm deep rim design will be great for multiple different tires. The entire wheel is made from carbon fiber and you will also be able to customize your spokes for an additional amount. Furthermore, you will receive an added quick release skewer to make tire changes much easier and this will also be great for repairing punctures on the road.

We highly recommend this wheel for more professional riders and it will also help improve the climbing experience for top climbers. The reduced drag and aerodynamic design will also be great for heavier riders, thus making it great for riding time trials and sprints.

Check the price on Amazon

Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels

Queen Bike carbon fiber road bike wheelset

Weight: 7lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: lightweight, great for racing, 50mm deep rim design, made from carbon fiber, thicker rim with stylish matte finish, passed EN quality and standard test

The Queen Bike carbon fiber road bike wheelset should be great for climbers and also heavier riders. With a smoother riding experience and increased velocity on the tires, the rider should be capable of reaching new top speeds.

The wheel shave also passed quality tests and they are suitable for racing on flat roads. The lifetime of these wheels are extremely long and they might outlive multiple different tires. They are also specifically designed for clincher tires and the 50mm deep design should give you a lot of versatility when it comes to choosing tires.

The wheel has also been constructed from carbon fiber and this will help reduce the weight, while the 24 aerodynamic spokes will help propel you over mountains with higher elevation. You will be able to save a lot of energy during mountain races with these wheels, but you will be limited to choosing a 23mm tire and this could allow you to get some punctures.

We highly recommend these wheels for climbers, but they will be great for racing as well. They are capable of lasting for a long time and under normal usage, you will also receive a great 1-year warranty.

Check the price on Amazon

FASTEAM 700C 50mm 3k Matt Carbon Clincher Wheelset Road Bike Racing Wheels

FASTEAM 700C 50mm 3k Matt Carbon Clincher Wheelset

Weight:  7.1lbs

Tire compatibility: Clincher

Special features: Lightweight, special design, 100% carbon fiber, 20 durable and aerodynamic spokes, added quick release skewer, 2 and 4 sealed bearing for more durability, 50mm deep rim design

The Fasteam 700c Matte carbon clincher wheels have been specifically designed to bring style as well as performance to your bike. The wheels are extremely lightweight and this can be attributed to the carbon fiber construction in all part of the wheel.

The wheel also features only 20 spokes to help with durability and they are also extremely aerodynamic to get you over steep climbs in a jiffy. The wheels will also improve the overall velocity of the tire and the 50mm deep rim design will keep you spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a tire.

Furthermore, with 2 sealed bearings at the front and 4 at the back, you can be sure that this wheel will help you achieve new speeds, no matter your weight. We highly recommend this wheel type for climbers and racers. The lightweight will ensure that you reach the top with minimal effort, thus allowing you to save energy for a potential breakaway.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

We would like to thank you for reading this article and we hope that you understand the value of having a top bike wheel. We would like to encourage some of the bike experts out there to let us know what your opinions are on these wheels and if you have any great testimonies to share about their performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Lou Smith

    ICAN 50mm 700C is a must buy in my opinion. I bought these wheels a couple of months ago and I really like them. It is comparable to many other brands that are way more expensive. These wheels spin up really quick. I had no issues since I started using them.

  • Jamie Howard

    I have Pure Fix 700C and so far, they are awesome. I like that it is available in various colors so one can choose depending on preference. They look fantastic and the attention to detail is great. It is quite affrodable too. Most importantly, it has nylon rim strips for added protection.

  • Daniel Carraway

    The nylon rim is a nice touch! Glad you like it!

  • Daniel Carraway

    Saving money is always good! Thanks for your positive comments on the ICAN!

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