Best Road Bike Wheels Review And Buying Guide | BikesRider

There is a famous saying about bicycle parts which goes something like this: “Strong. Light. Cheap. Two”. You might scoff at this adage but when it comes to the best road bike wheels, the saying proves its usefulness.

Apart from being the means to keep you rolling, the best road bike wheels must offer a smooth and dependable ride, must provide the maximum area for efficient braking, and should also have the ability to maintain the tire at optimum pressure. Also, they should be lightweight.

With these “facts” in mind, we have decided to acclimatize you with the best road wheels in the market. Not all of them would suit you but there’s a chance – a pretty good one, that from the list, you’d be able to find the wheels which are tailor made for your bike.

Road Bike Wheels Review:

Now that we have addressed various points regarding the road bike wheels, we will turn our attention to the road bike wheels review. Stay with us.

Our Favorite:

Although the choice of this bike as our favorite might infuriate some of you – as it is very pricey, a mere glance at its features should justify our selection to you. Take a Look.

#1: ICAN 50mm 700C Carbon Wheelset Road Bike Clincher Rim Shimano or Sram 10/11 Speeds

ICAN 50mm 700C Carbon Wheelset Road Bike Clincher Rim Shimano or Sram 10/11 Speeds

If you think that it would be easier for you to explain price once rather than the quality forever, ICAN 50mm 700c Carbon Wheelset provides you with an opportunity.

Being the most expensive wheelset of this article, here is a wheel set which would take some saving for you to buy it but provided you dish the money up front, you can revel at the marvel of these wheels forever.

Starting with the wheel, the 50mm rim is the widest you can get. Not only it imparts comfort to the wheels but it also provides the whole bicycle with a brilliant crosswind stability.

As for the aero-bladed spokes, not only do they increase the wheels’ strength but also improves the aerodynamic speed of the bike.

Finally, moving ahead of others, these wheels come with 2-year manufacturer defects and lifetime crash replacement warranty.

​What We Like:

  • Stable in crosswinds
  • ​Comfortable for long distance flat rides
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Good aerodynamic speed

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive

FINAL VERDICT

As stated earlier, this wheel set would require some money from you. But provided that you are willing to click on the bait, you’ll never regret it.


Runner-up:

Yes, we want our wheels to be lightweight but not to an extent where a perfunctory crosswind could make them unstable. This is the reason why this wheel-set earned runner-up medal from us.

#2: Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 700C Clincher Wheelset 50mm Matte 23 width

Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 700C Clincher Wheelset 50mm Matte 23 width

When you take a look at the competition, the 23mmwidth is more than just about many other road bike wheels you could get in the market. And, despite the fact that the wheelset is 50mm, the weight of the wheels is at a surprising 1565g, excluding skewers.

Hence, while they are designed and recommended for road bikes, these wheels – thanks to their weight and width, can be used for racing bikes as well.

What’s more noticeable is how the wider rim profile will respond to a higher tire pressure. For example, at 23mm, they will allow the tires at just 60psi to offer heaps of comfort, superb traction, and a brilliant air volume sufficient to cope with hours of riding.

​What We Like:

  • Stiff
  • ​A good braking surface
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Comfortable

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lightweight might be an issue when you are traveling against the wind.

FINAL VERDICT

Although expensive, these wheels have all the qualities to include them in the list of best road bike wheels.


also great:

If it was not for one thing – the heaviness of these wheels, this wheelset would have earned the Winners Medal from us.

#3: Mavic / Shimano Road Bike Wheel Set Mavic CXP22 700c Rims + FREE Continental Tires

Mavic / Shimano Road Bike Wheel Set Mavic CXP22 700c Rims + FREE Continental Tires

All of us know that wider rims are more dynamic because the air flows more smoothly between the rim and the tire provided both of them are of the same size. With this wheel, Mavic has this concept to its logical conclusion.

Offering clincher rims, a separate inner tube will be used to hold the air if you use these wheels. If you were wondering, there is a FREE pair of tires and tubes coming with the wheels so you won’t have to purchase them separately.

Once again, the alloy has been used but when it comes to brakes, rest assured as aluminum pads provide an efficient, reliable, and safe braking system.

​What We Like:

  • Compatible with a wide range of tires
  • ​Can be converted into single speed as well
  • ​Have a double wall
  • ​Sturdy

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy

FINAL VERDICT

With all due respect to Mavic, it seems that the manufacturer has missed the trick by failing to make these wheels lighter.


#4: Aeromax Alloy Wheelset Road Bike Comp 700c Wheels

Aeromax Alloy Wheelset Road Bike Comp 700c Wheels

If you are looking for a wheelset that is hardwearing tubeless-ready and offers equal comfort both on the general road as well as gravel, these wheels merit your attention.

When out on the road, they put in an excellent performance, offering plenty of durability and stiffness and while they are not aluminum, their braking is as reliable and firm as you can expect from any aluminum wheelset.

One thing which these wheels cannot claim is being lightweight. For, while the front weighs 1020g with the rear one standing at 1190g, they are anything but lightweight.

​What We Like:

  • Equal comfort on road as well as gravel
  • ​Beautiful black satin finish
  • ​Great width

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Anything but lightweight

FINAL VERDICT

If you are looking for a wheel which is not lightweight, they merit your attention.


#5: Vuelta ZeroLite Road Comp 10sp Wheelset

Vuelta ZeroLite Road Comp 10sp Wheelset

Let’s break the pattern and start with negative points, shall we? As is becoming the pattern, many road bikes reviews which I read rated them a bit on the heavier side. When I looked at them, they were miles away from being lightweight.

While the company says that the rear and front wheels are rated at 813g and 1040g respectively, my own calculations listed them at 1185g and 1240g respectively. Thus, they are NOT lightweight.

Other than that, these wheels are a good choice for anyone who is looking for a pair of training wheels. In addition to the spokes which won’t rust, the heavier weight makes them durable and the hub will hold up very well too.

​What We Like:

  • Brilliant training wheels
  • ​Hub holds very well
  • ​Flat spokes allow you to install the cyclometer magnet
  • ​Rigid

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Spokes might rust if you live by the sea due to moisture.

FINAL VERDICT

As long as you don’t live by the sea, these wheels are a very good and inexpensive option for training.


#6: Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 Road Wheelset - Clincher

Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 Road Wheelset - Clincher

One thing which most bike users demand – and which most wheels do not provide is versatility. However, if you are the one looking for versatile wheels, the Shimano Ultegra might just be the one for you.

First, they are compatible with both the tubeless as well as clincher tires. So you don’t need to sweat over checking the compatibility. Also, whether you are using 7, 8, 9, or 10-speed bike, the wheels would serve their purpose with aplomb.

Spokes are another area which deserves your attention. By straightening them, Shimano has imparted both the front as well as the rear spokes with greater life.

​What We Like:

  • Quiet operation
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Wide rim to provide a smooth ride
  • ​Durable

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Spoke count is low

FINAL VERDICT

If you are looking for a wheelset that could pass the test of time, the highly durable – and recommended – Ultegra wheels deserve your money.


#7: Vuelta Zerolite Pro 700c Road Bike Wheelset

Vuelta Zerolite Pro 700c Road Bike Wheelset

Not the most lightweight wheels in the market – nor does it have a long history under its belt, the Pro 700C wheelset from Vuelta is known for one thing: speed.

Be it the sealed bearing hubs – which keep the wheel in its place to allow it to ride on the wind, or the aerodynamic stainless steel spokes – which translate your leg power to speed with aplomb, everything associated with these wheels is to make it speedier than others.

That said, it has its shortcomings one of which is that it cannot accept an 11-speed cassette. Another negative point is the width of rims which at 19mm, is far from being the most comfortable.

​What We Like:

  • Made for speed
  • ​Aerodynamic spokes will transfer your leg power to speed with aplomb
  • ​Disc brake compatible while also working with rim brakes

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Width of the rims is far less that what is considered comfortable

FINAL VERDICT

If all you are looking for in wheels is speed, Vuelta might have ended your search here and now.


#8: Superteam 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c 23mm Width Cycling Racing Road Carbon Wheel Decal

Superteam 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c 23mm Width Cycling Racing Road Carbon Wheel Decal

When it comes to stiffness, not many wheels offers as much or as good stiffness as these beauties. But, their real skills lies in schmoozing through the air at high speeds while remaining stable at the same time.

This is surprising given the fact that these wheels are anything but heavy. For, both the wheels stand at a combined weight of 1565g.

Also, if you have a tire which gets punctured very often, these wheels are a must have. Since they are clinchers, you can change tires in minutes. Their acceleration is also very impressive and given the fact that they don’t fall in the superlight category, it impressed me even further.

​What We Like:

  • No flex in the rim even under hard climbing
  • ​Provide brilliant acceleration
  • ​Good braking performance

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not that stable in crosswinds

FINAL VERDICT

If you live in an area where crosswinds aren’t the norm, you can take full advantage of these wheels.


#9: Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c Racing Bike Wheel

Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c Racing Bike Wheel

There are a handful of carbon clinchers which you can clinch under the $500 mark and this is one of them. Boasting a full carbon rim and a carbon braking surface, they are one of the most lightweight ones that you can get in the market.

That said, carbon clinchers like this one are slightly heavier than their equivalent tubular because to compensate for their lightweight – the rim has to be stronger to cope with the braking pressure.

Despite their low weight, the rim depth will offer you an aero benefit, particularly if you don’t want to be pushed around by cross winds.

Also, since these wheels have utilized an open cross section tire – which is held in its place thanks to a bead, you can replace the tire very easily in case of a puncture.

​What We Like:

  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • ​Circular cross section allows punctured tire to be replaced with ease
  • ​You won’t be pushed around by cross winds.

​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavier than their tubular counterparts

FINAL VERDICT

If you want to enjoy the lightweight of clincher with the braking efficiency of a tubular one, these wheels merit your attention.


Anatomy of a Road Bike Wheel

If you want to understand a thing as a whole, you need to first break it down into parts and know its constituents. Road bike wheels are no different. Unless you don’t know what makes them, you won’t be able to utilize them in the best possible way. Take a look.

Hub

Located between the drive axle and the brake drums, hub allows the wheel to spin around its axis. It also contains the axle with the help of which wheel is attached to the bike.

Spokes

Located between the wheel and the axle, spokes are little metal toothpicks that save all hell from breaking loose. For, in addition to imparting strength to the rim, they translate the leg power via the hub to the wheel and support the rider’s weight on the wheel.

Nipples

Spokes are supported by a special nut which is known as nipple. If you want to straighten your wheel, you would have to do it by adjusting the nipple to regulate the spoke tension.

Rim

That shiny part outside the wheel – which most people mistake as the wheel itself – is actually a rim. Not only do rims hold the tire in its place but they also provide a braking surface for those bikes which have rim-brakes.


Road Bike Wheels Available in the Market

There are many types of road wheels and knowing which suits your riding style would make your ride ever the more pleasant. Take a look.

Mid-section aerodynamic wheels

Judging from the road bike wheels reviews and mid-section wheels are very famous. They give you a “pro look” thanks to a deep section rim and a rim depth which stands at around 30mm.

More importantly, updates in their design in the recent years have made these wheels to provide a good balance between lightweight, ride quality and a better performance riding against the wind.

Taking a look at their price and the most lightweight of them are made up of carbon fiber so they are a bit expensive. If your budget is tight, you can go for a heavier option in aluminum.

Deep-section Wheels

If you are taking part in fast sprint or time trial course and speed is the top priority for you, the 50mm deep-section wheels might merit your attention. That said, the additional depth has added some weight so they are NOT usually used outside the races.

Hence, for people who use deep section wheels in the match, they usually prefer the aforementioned training wheels for training.

Training Wheels

If you want such wheels which can take a beating, training wheels are the go-to area for you. They might not be low on weight and high on speed, but they are the ones which are the most durable. Since training wheels use alloys in place of rims, there is no danger of rim being wearing out with time.

Having said that, their weight is a bit over the odds. For example, if you have deep pockets, you can get a training wheel in the 1500-1800g range. If you like to go for a budget wheelset, brace yourself to welcome a wheel in the upper range of 1900g.

Adventure/Touring Wheels

They aren’t high speed but when it comes to off the road or gravel riding, they are most in demand. They are easily serviceable and one glance at them will tell you that they are over-built. A high spoke count (28-32) is also on the cards if you are using these wheels.


Best Road Bike Wheels – Buyer’s Guide

Axle Attachment

Axle attachment depicts how your wheel is going to be attached to the frame. There are mainly two types: quick release skewer and thru axle.

As its name shows, the quick release skewer allows you quick removal of the wheel without using any tools. They are recommended to be used against disc brakes because they withstand the braking forces. That said, they aren’t recommended for track bicycles.

As for the thru axles, they are stronger and stiffer than quick release skewers. Their thickness allows the bike to respond better and instead of having a slot at the bottom of the fork, they have holes on both ends to remove the wheel.

Brake Types

There are two types of brakes: Rim Brakes and Disc Brakes.

Rim Brakes

Of the two, rim brakes have been in use for long. They are mechanically simple, inexpensive, powerful, and easy to maintain. They are also lightweight which makes them ideal for covering long distances.

That said, they do have their shortcomings. For, since rim brakes are more prone to pick the debris from the ground, they can clog with snow or mud more often than disc brakes. Also, they require regular maintenance without which they will wear out completely.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are made up of metal disks which are attached to the wheel hub – the part which rotates with the wheel. Just like rim brakes, they do have their advantages and shortcomings.

As for their advantages, they are less prone to accumulating debris from the ground because they are placed at a greater height. Even if they do accumulate debris, there are holes in their rotor – allowing the water and debris to get out.

Their shortcomings are mostly associated with their price as they are typically more expensive and heavier than rim brakes.

Rear Hub Type

That part of your wheel which determines how the rear wheel engages with cogs in the bike’s drivetrain is known as a rear hub. They are two main types.

Freehub

Fitting precisely into the center of the rear cassette via a spline, they must be compatible with the cassette where they are located.

Threaded Hub

If you look at the older 5,6, 7-speed bikes, you will find the threaded hubs on its freewheel cluster. It is in the form of a set of cogs which are attached to the rear wheel.


Conclusion

Choosing the best road bike wheels for your bicycle is a formidable job. Not only do you have to take the various features of the bike in your consideration – such as the road bike wheels size, spokes, hubs, and rims to name a few, but you’d also have to read what road bike wheels review to know what other people are saying about them.

Hence, now that we have done our job of reviewing the road bike wheels, the onus is on you to select the best wheel set for your road bike.

Good Luck!

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