Guides

Top 10 Best Carbon Road Bike Wheels

Top 10 Best Carbon Road Bike Wheels

It’s often said that a new set of carbon wheels are the best upgrade you can make to a road bicycle. To be totally honest, it’s tough to disagree. Whether you’re a seasoned racer, dedicated sportive rider or just want to turn heads at the café, a new carbon road wheelset is a great way to improve the performance and look of your machine.  Indeed, being lighter, stiffer and typically more aerodynamic than alloy wheelsets, you’ll notice the benefits provided by a new set of hoops immediately.

Zipp 302 are some of the best all-round carbon wheels money can buy

With these points and benefits considered, in our opinion, these are the best carbon road bike wheels money can buy, ranging from the reasonably priced to the downright silly (keep reading for a closer look at each of them) –  

  1. Campagnolo Bora One 50 Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset 
  2. Reynolds 80 Aero Carbon Road Wheelset 
  3. Fast Forward Tyro Carbon Clincher Wheelset
  4. Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless Road Wheelset
  5. Enve Foundation Collection 45 Carbon Tubeless Wheelset
  6. Reynolds AR 41x DB Carbon Road Wheelset
  7. FFWD F9 DT240 DB Carbon Road Wheelset
  8. Campagnolo Bullet Ultra Road Wheelset
  9. Token Konax Pro Zenith Tubeless Carbon Road Wheelset 
  10. Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Road Wheelset 

After you’ve read this, all you’ll need to do is convince your partner why you need a fresh set of carbon wheels, instead of a romantic get-away. If you don’t manage to make your case quite convincingly enough, take a look at the article below for some great wheelsets under £400.

Top 5 - Road Bike Training Wheels

Guides

Top 5 - Road Bike Training Wheels

It's essential to replace your expensive, flash carbon race wheels with a set of sturdy, reliable training wheels when you're not racing. We've put together a top 5 to help you pick the best training wheels for you.

2017-10-16 15:32:53By Johnny Bowles

  1. Campagnolo Bora One 50 Clincher Wheelset 2018
    £1,363.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Campagnolo Bora One 50 Clincher Wheelset 2018

    If you want a pro-level carbon wheelset without the pro-level price tag, then a Campagnolo Bora One 50 wheelset could be for you. Using the same carbon mould as pro-level Bora Ultra wheelsets, these wheels balance aerodynamics and weight exceptionally well and excel at pretty much any type of road riding – from hill climbs to criteriums. Thankfully, this updated version comes with a slightly wider rim to help seat bigger tyres for increased comfort, grip and speed. 

    ✓   Full carbon fibre rim 

    ✓   Same rim construction as pro-level Bora Ultra wheelsets 

    ✓   Well suited to both hilly and flat terrain

    ✓   Weigh 1485-grams per pair

    ✓   Wider rim for larger tyres 

    ✓   Available in a disc brake compatible version

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Reynolds 80 Aero Carbon Clincher Wheelset 2019
    £2,050.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Reynolds 80 Aero Carbon Clincher Wheelset 2019

    Centred around a colossal 80-mm carbon rim, the Reynolds 80 Aero carbon wheelset are built for one unequivocal purpose. Pure, unadulterated straight-line speed. Thankfully, due to the DET (Dispersive Effect Terminator) rim constructionthese wheels are noticeably more stable in crosswinds than other deeper wheelsetsAt their core lie an Industry 9 i9 hub set, which we rate very highly. As a point of comparison, an i9 hub set has a similar build quality to a set of Chris King R45 hubs, at a fraction of the cost. If all these features weren’t enough, they even come with a lifetime warranty.  

        Full carbon fibre rim

    ✓    80-mm rim construction maximises aero performance 

    ✓    DET rim improves handling during crosswinds 

    ✓    Tubeless-compatible 

    ✓    High-quality Industry 9 i9 hubs 

    ✓    Lifetime warranty 

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. Fast Forward Tyro Carbon Clincher Disc Brake Wheelset
    £699.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Fast Forward Tyro Carbon Clincher Disc Brake Wheelset

    If you want a no-nonsense carbon wheelset that won’t break the bank, then a set of FFWD Tyro carbon wheels could be a great option. Thanks to the lightweight, full-carbon rim, this wheelset feels responsive, agile and fast when climbing. They’re immensely versatile too. Accommodating both road tyres and gravel tyres, this wheelset equally excels on smooth tarmac and gravel tracks. In fact, they’re so capable that we’d have no hesitation swapping these wheels between our road bike and gravel bike. Importantly, this wheelset is also tubeless-compatible to maximise comfort, grip and puncture protection out on the road. This wheelset has even been built with 24 spokes in the front and 24 spokes in the rear, to maximise durability and strength.

        Full carbon rim 

    ✓   Tubeless compatible

    ✓   40mm rim keeps weight low while maximising aerodynamics 

        Highly versatile 

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset
    £886.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset

    Benefiting from trickle-down technology, Zipp 303 S carbon wheels balance aerodynamic performance and precise handling to perfection. Being disc brake compatible, you can run this wheelset year-round, and benefit from incredible braking performance whether you’re riding in the wet or dry. Thankfully, they’re certainly no heavyweights either, weighing just 1530-grams.

    Updated for 2020, the new Zipp 303 now features a wider, tubeless-ready rim to accommodate tubeless tyres which enhance comfort, puncture protection and grip out on the road. While the updated graphics won’t be to everyone’s taste, we think that they’d look great on any modern, performance-orientated road bike.  

        Full-carbon rim construction 

        Tubeless compatible 

    ✓    Aerodynamic performance

    ✓    High crosswind stability

        Weigh 1530-grams 

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. ENVE Foundation Collection 45 Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset
    £1,850.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    ENVE Foundation Collection 45 Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset

    Enve wheels used to be the preserve for professional riders and those with bottomless pockets. However, thanks to their new foundation collection, now almost any road rider can get a world-class carbon wheelset without going completely broke.  With a broader, tubeless compatible, hookless rim, the Enve Foundation 45 wheelset supports tyres which provide higher levels of comfort and puncture protection. Additionally, designed with a mid-depth rim, this wheelset balances weight and aerodynamics to perfection. Built using Enve Foundation hubs which offer exceptional durability, low drag and high engagement, this carbon wheelset offers incredible performance that lasts.

    ✓    Full carbon rim 

        1541-grams per pair 

        Wide, tubeless compatible rim 

        45mm rim balances weight and aerodynamics 

    ✓    Enve hubs provide high durability and performance 

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. Reynolds AR 41X Carbon Clincher Disc Wheelset 2019
    £1,170.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Reynolds AR 41X Carbon Clincher Disc Wheelset 2019

    Weighing 1630-grams and equipped with a wider, tubeless-compatible rim, the Reynolds AR 41x DB wheelset is built for climbing performance over rougher surfaces, and would complement any disc-brake equipped endurance road or gravel bike. While there are more aerodynamic wheels in the Reynolds range, we found the shallower 42-mm rim construction afforded considerably more compliance and comfort over rough roads. If you’re looking for the lightest set up possible, Reynolds also has a rim-brake compatible version of this wheelset too. 

    ✓   Full carbon fibre rim  

    ✓   1520-grams per pair

    ✓   Wide, tubeless-ready rim

    ✓   Shallower rim offers better compliance and comfort over rough terrain.  

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. Fast Forward F9 DT240 Disc Brake Clincher Wheelset
    £1,256.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Fast Forward F9 DT240 Disc Brake Clincher Wheelset

    Equipped with a 90-mm deep carbon rim, a FFWD F9 carbon wheelset are a perfect match for any triathlon-specific disc brake bike. Following industry trends, they’ve been designed with a 26.6mm-wide tubeless-compatible rim allowing you to seat larger tyres to improve comfort, grip and speed. They even come with wheel bags so you can protect your wheelset during the off-season. 

    ✓   90-mm deep full carbon rim construction 

    ✓   Disc brake compatible 

    ✓   Wider, tubeless compatible design  

    ✓   Includes wheel bags 

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. Campagnolo Bullet Ultra 50 Clincher Wheelset
    £1,086.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    Campagnolo Bullet Ultra 50 Clincher Wheelset

    If you want to improve the performance of your Campagnolo-equipped race bike, but you’re on a budget, then the Campagnolo Bullet Ultra wheelset could be a perfect choice. Designed with a carbon fairing and an alloy brake track, this wheelset offers similar aerodynamic performance of full carbon Bora wheels, but with the added braking performance of an alloy rim. Complete with sealed ceramic bearing hubs (a rare feature at this price-point), this wheelset really makes you question whether you need a full carbon wheelset at all. 

    ✓   50-mm carbon fairing provides aero gains of wheelsets twice the price

    ✓   Alloy brake track provides consistent braking performance

    ✓   Weigh 1590-grams

    ✓   Hubs equipped with CULT ceramic bearings

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. Token Konax Pro Zenith Carbon Tubeless Ready Wheelset - Shimano
    £958.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    Token Konax Pro Zenith Carbon Tubeless Ready Wheelset - Shimano

    Thanks to the 52-mm-deep carbon rim, the Token Konax Pro Zenith carbon road wheelset offers incredible aerodynamic performance without being so deep, as to hinder handling. Designed with an exceptionally wide, tubeless-compatible rim, you can run wider tyres at much lower pressures for increased comfort and grip on rough terrain too. Weighing just 1452-grams, they’re certainly no slouch on climbs either. With both rim brake and disc brake compatible versions available, these wheels are incredibly hard to fault, especially at such a competitive price. 

    ✓   Full carbon rim construction 

    ✓   52-mm rim for improved aerodynamic performance and handling 

    ✓   Wider, tubeless-compatible rim design

    ✓   Weigh 1452-grams 

    ✓   Considerably cheaper than many wheelsets of comparable quality 

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon UST Wheelset - 2020
    £989.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon UST Wheelset - 2020

    With a pedigree of excelling over fast, rolling terrain, Mavic sought to reduce the weight of their new Cosmic Pro Carbon wheelset to improve climbing performance and versatility.  Now weighing 1650-grams per pair, and constructed with a stiffer spoke pattern, this wheelset is incredibly stiff and responsive, whether you’re laying down the watts on the flat or up a climb.  Like many wheelsets on this list, this wheelset is tubeless-compatible for improved puncture protection on rougher roads, and even come supplied with a set of Mavic Yksion tubeless-ready tyres, so you’re ready to roll right out the box. 

    ✓  Full carbon rim construction 

    ✓  1650-grams per pair 

    ✓  Tubeless compatible 

    ✓  Come supplied with Mavic Yksion tubeless-ready tyres  

    Buy now with free delivery

Shop all road wheelsets at ProBikeKit.



Thomas Flynn

Thomas Flynn

Writer and expert

With almost a decade of riding under his belt, Tom has dabbled in almost every major cycling discipline. These days, he's usually found aboard his fixed-gear gravel bike tackling the best trails and towpaths around Manchester and the Peak District.