The Hub has ridden headlong into this season’s latest hoops and pulled out the best road wheel upgrades we could find for under £600.
It’s no exaggeration to say a set of quality road wheels can completely transform your bike. An upgraded wheelset will not only improve your speed, but your handling, response, and comfort, making it one of the most important enhancements you can make.
The improvements to your bike’s weight, and therefore the acceleration, braking and general agility, will make it feel like a completely new bike, while you’ll get the most out of your frame and components.
This is especially true if you’re still riding on the stock wheels that came with your road bike, which we suggest you change immediately.
A new set of hoops can, however, be pretty expensive, with a top of the line deep section set of aero wheels costing anywhere up to £4,000. Yes, that’s right, we said £4,000. Yes, we know it’s a lot, but you can’t put a price on first place.
Anyway, if you’re not an international business mogul or entry level politician and haven’t got four grand in your other jeans, then you’ll be surprised at how far £600 will get you.
Yes, really. OK, full carbon deep-section wheels look, feel, and even sound awesome, but decent aluminium hoops remain very competitive and provide a huge boost in performance way beyond your expectation levels.
For a sportive, club race, or long miles with friends at the weekend, quality aluminium wheels will improve your performance and the enjoyment of your ride. You can put a price on that if you want to, but it’ll be more than £600.
So, with all that said, here’s our top eight wheelsets for under £600 that’ll make you fall in love with your bike all over again.
By the way, if you need some extra guidance on which type of wheels you need for your bike, click on our Bike Wheels buying guide below.
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.
If you’re looking for an all rounder wheel for those training rides, the Fulcrum Racing 3 is pretty much the last word. Perfect for long-distance endurance riding, it’s a wheel rich in quality and performance. Reliable over long distance and versatile enough for less-than-desirable terrain, its the perfect companion when you’re putting in the work.
Polyagonal geometry and asymmetrical drilling may sound impenetrably Greek to most, but it translates as super lightweight on inclines and exceptionally reliable. Responsive and comfortable against hard pavement, even after hours in the saddle, Campy’s Neutron Ultra wheels are great all-rounders and packed with features and tech far beyond their modest price.
Nothing says ‘Special Edition’ quite like two razer-sharp 50mm-deep aero-rimmed wheels from Prime, fit to take your cyclo-cross racer or TT record-breaker to the next level. Each rim features a UD carbon fibre construction, creating a stiff, aerodynamic performance that enhances your forward momentum while keeping your bike stable against tough crosswinds. Additionally, the 27.5mm width of each rim also keeps rolling resistance low and heightens your overall stability.
Campagnolo’s latest Zonda C17 road clinchers feature a new rim, redesigned to work more effectively with wider tyres. If you’re planning on enjoying the advantages of a bigger contact point, then the wider rim profile and differentiated height of the C17 clinchers is the way to do it.
The Ultegras offer a lightweight carbon inner rim with different rim profiles front and rear for efficient acceleration and power transfer. However these wheels are also -packed with higher-tier features, such as quality contact seals and smooth rolling cup and cone bearings for consistent performance. The rear wheel also uses Shimano’s OPTBAL 2:1 spoke lacing, where the drive side has twice as many spokes as the non-drive side for better stiffness and rigidity when putting the power down.
Campy’s Scirocco wheelset is focused on drag reduction and crosswind stability for all-out speed. The 35mm rim profile makes for impressive efficiency but at around the £200, don’t expect to get everything. If you’re looking for super-lightweight climbers, look elsewhere. If you want blazing speed at high velocity km/h training or racing on relative flat, you’ll get nothing faster at this price.
With 10 and 11-speed compatibility, a wide 17C tubeless, carbon laminate rim, and Centerlock rotor mounting the WH-RX830 is optimized for miles and miles of reliable, lightweight performance. A competitively priced road disc wheel, it offers excellent features for the enthusiast. It is disc only so there is no braking surface in the outer carbon fiber laminate shell. But there still exists an aluminum skeleton for strength and solid tubeless compatibility.