We’ve delved into Chain Reaction Cycle’s huge road wheel selection to hand-pick some of the best road wheel upgrades, whether you’re a sportive rider, racer, or just looking for top value.
[Original article updated to reflect current availability of wheels]
Why upgrade your wheels?
A new wheelset is one of the best performance upgrades you can give a road bike, and will make an incredible difference to your riding experience.
Lightweight, strong, and stiff wheels reduce rotational weight to provide more speed for less effort and improving climbing, acceleration, and handling abilities.
The Campagnolo Zonda C17 Road Clincher Wheelset is competitively priced and features a completely redesigned aluminium rim, taking its design inspiration from the growing trend for increasingly wide tyres. Its wider profile and differentiated rim height makes the set perfect for 25s or even 28s, providing comfort and performance.
The Campagnolo Scirocco is another wallet friendly choice, featuring dashing good looks and aerodynamics, fully prepared to handle 25mm or 28mm tyres. Its 16 spoke front wheel and 24 spoke rear profile adds to its pro-styling and its drag-reducing design.
The Prime Race Disc Road Wheelset features a super light build and will be the perfect wheelset for everything from daylong rides to cyclocross racing. The rim is tubeless ready and features an asymmetric design, which builds into a stronger wheel due to spokes of equal length and tension.
Shimano’s top-of-the-range clinchers are competitively priced for the upper end of the market. Elbow-less spokes, double-contact sealing, digital click bearing adjustment, 8, 9, 10 and 11-speed compatible, and just 1,485 grams, these wheels will be at home on the steed of any top rider.
When good isn’t good enough, the Campagnolo Bora Ultras deliver sheer excellence. With maximum aerodynamics, extreme lightness, lightning quick reactivity and incredible smoothness, these clinchers are among the elite clinchers currently available on the planet.
Everything about Fulcrum’s SPEED 40C C17 Carbon Road Wheelset is high end, including the price. With carbon fibre finishing and weighing an incredible 1420g, these beautiful and extreme performance wheels list in the ‘to die for’ category for every cyclist that wants to win.
A much more budget friendly version of their pro level carbon clincher wheel sets, these Fulcrum Racing 4 models still look incredible. This wheelset is still designed with precision control and aerodynamics in mind, and features a 35mm deep rim that handles high speeds with exceptional stability. An entry-level mid-depth profile wheelset, these are ideal for hill climbs and sprints.
They may be eye-catching, but the Pro-Lite Revo A21Ws have substance to back up their their style. Their features include a centre lock hub mount for disc rotors and stylish low profile sleeved rims. Exceptional all-rounders, this is the perfect wheelset for versatile riders who like to push the limits of their bike.
The Zonda name is synonymous with quality, and these wheels are full of it. The asymmetric rim profile (26mm – 28mm) is just one of the weight-saving and performance focused features that includes cup and cone bearings, rim dynamic balance, G3 technology spokes, micro setting hub adjustment, and much more.
Tested and raced by the Vitus Pro Cycling team, the 50mm deep rim profile ups the aerodynamics of the wheelset, while a stiffer and steadier wheel is provided thanks to the R010 CNC machined 7075 hubset and DT Swiss straight pull spokes.
Campagnolo’s elite tubular wheelset is built to win. The Bora Ultra 50 features CULT ceramic bearings which provide unrivalled levels of smoothness and the lowest friction coefficient thanks to oil lubrication. This makes the bearings nine times more efficient than standard bearings with the ability to spin for up to 47 minutes when being run at 500rpms. This wheelset is also compatible with wider tyre profiles and weighs just 1215g.
Light, strong and reliable, the Kinesis Crosslight Tubular Disc CX wheelset is among the most advanced aluminium Cyclocross wheels on the market. Capable of running an 11-speed Shimano cassette they can also be fitted after market with a SRAM XD driver.