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Giant SLR carbon road bike wheels

Best Carbon Road Bike Wheels

One of the best upgrades you could ever buy for your bike is a new pair of wheels. And no doubt the best to look for are a pair of carbon fibre wheels. They are lightweight to help climbing and sprinting, while their stiffness is unparalleled. This helps with getting up to speed and transferring power to the road.

Carbon wheels transform the ride feel and make the bike faster, lighter and more responsive. Carbon fibre road bike wheels are often designed to improve climbing or aero performance. Aero wheels usually have deep dish rims for better aerodynamics. While this may increase the weight of the wheels, the aerodynamic advantage far outweighs this minor disadvantage. For climbing, a shallower dished rim keeps the weight as low as possible while also improving handling in cross winds.

Tubular wheels have a shallow dip in the rim and the tyre is glued onto it. Tubular tyres feature a built in tube and are the lightest option, but punctures are not as easy to repair.

Tubeless wheels have been around on mountain bikes for ages and this puncture reducing technology is now becoming popular on road bikes. The rims are the same as clincher wheels, but are sealed from the spokes (often with special tape) and require tubeless tyres that allow for an airtight seal.

We review a selection of the best carbon fibre road wheels we offer from brands: Mavic, Zipp, Reynolds, Campagnolo and Enve to help you choose your next carbon wheel upgrade.


Zipp 303 NSW Carbon Clincher

Zipp 303 NSW Carbon Clincher
Zipp Logo

£2,139 (pair)



Quick look

Rim material Carbon


Rim type Rim brake, clincher


Spokes Sapim CX-Ray


Hubs Zipp Cognition


Weight 1425g / pair


Best for Racing / Climbing


Review

A contender for the most sought after road bike wheels in the world, the Zipp 303 NSW wheelset has all the features you could ever want. The new ‘Axial Clutch’ rear hub uses a magnetic ratchet mechanism instead of the usual spring pawl mechanism that disengages when coasting to reduce drag helping you keep your speed.

The 45mm deep rims have a dimpled surface to reduce deflection from crosswinds and Zipp's Showstopper braking surface to increase modulation and braking performance. Sapim CX-Ray spokes hold it all together to make for one of the most technology packed wheelsets in the world. With all this, the wheels still come in at a super lightweight 1425g.

Rear wheel featured, Zipp 303 NSW front wheel also available



Lightweight and packed with technology for ultimate performance..


Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C Disc Clincher

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C Disc Clincher wheel
Mavic Logo

£1,530 (pair)



Quick look

Rim material 3k Carbon Fibre


Rim type Disc brake, clincher


Spokes Steel, straight pull, bladed, double butted


Hubs Aluminium


Weight 1,520g/pair


Best for Climbing


Review

The Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C Disc takes the classic alloy version to the next level, incorporating beautifully crafted carbon fibre rims and disc brake capability. Stiff and super lightweight, these disc specific carbon rims  are real a highlight of these wheels. Mavic’s Instant Drive 360 freewheel system gives super light and fast engagement for an immediate response.

The wheels come with matching Yksion Pro 25c tyres for high grip and low rolling resistance. The Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL wheels are also available in a rim brake version and tubular versions for both rim and disc brakes to offer an option for every tyre and braking style.

Clincher wheels featured, Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbone SL Tubular wheels also available.




A classic carbon wheelset to compliment almost any road bike..


Reynolds Strike SLG Clincher Tubeless

Reynolds Strike SLG Clincher Tubeless wheels
Reynolds

£1,214.99 (pair)



Quick look

Rim material Carbon


Rim type Rim brake, tubeless


Spokes DT Swiss Aero Comp


Hubs Reynolds Cycling Racing


Weight 1,635g/pair


Best for Time trial, triathlon or criterium


Review

Reynolds are known for their exceptional quality wheels. The Strike SLG road wheels are clincher style wheels made for tubeless tyres to maintain traction and rolling speed even at low pressures. Tubeless tyres will also reduce the risk of race-ruining punctures.

Technologies like the Cryogenic Glass Transition system matches specially designed polymer brake pads to the hybrid carbon-fibre laminate braking surface for optimum braking performance. Reynolds’ Swirl Lip Generator (SLG) increases aerodynamic performance by up to 35% making you all the faster.




Fast, reliable and technology packed, the Reynolds Strike SLG road wheels have you covered.


Enve 2.2 SES Clincher

Enve 2.2 SES Clincher
Enve Logo

£3,300.00 (pair)



Quick look

Rim material Carbon


Rim type Clincher


Spokes Sapim


Hubs Enve Carbon


Weight 1,309g/ pair


Best for Climbing


Review

The name says it all. Enve are possibly the most desired wheels of any cycling discipline, making everyone envious of those who have them. The Enve 2.2 SES Clincher road wheels are the lightest wheels that Enve offers, with the tubular versions of these coming in at an astonishing 1,110g for the pair.

Enve has this reputation for a reason. They make some of the best wheels in the world and have a distractive yet subtle styling that makes them even more desirable. The Enve 2.2 SES Clincher road wheels are climbing specialists, and their weight will make you feel as if they’re pulling you to the top.




Ridiculously light wheels for floating up climbs – Bike Radar.


Campagnolo Bora Ultra 50 Dark Label Tubulars

Campagnolo Bora Ultra 50 Dark Label Tubulars
Campagnolo Logo

£1,838.99 (pair)



Quick look

Rim material Carbon


Rim type Aero tubular


Spokes Campagnolo Aero


Hubs Carbon Fibre


Weight 1,215 g/pair


Best for Racing


Review

Italian style is hard to beat and the Campagnolo Bora Ultra 50 road wheels are stunning. With their exclusive G3 spoke pattern, Campagnolo have claimed that rigidity is increased while improving energy transfer. The Bora Ultra 50’s feature 50mm deep rim profiles and are 24.5mm wide for extra aero performance. They roll on super smooth CULT Ceramic bearings, which are said to avoid wear entirely.

Being incredibly lightweight, especially for aero wheels, Campagnolo have struck a great balance between price and performance.




Classic Italian styling matched with high performance for a near unbeatable package..