The short answer is -- no. Most of these basic low end entry wheelset around 1800g are good, but not going to give you any substantial return in terms of aerodynamic performance or hill climbing ability. You need to shave off say another 200g to even worth looking. Neuvation wheels offer good light wheels for not much money.
To take advantage of aero, which means semi-deep dish, you need to be cruising at or above 20mph or around 32km/h by yourself with no drafting. Anything lower than that, the improvement is not going to be much or give you the best bang for the buck.
As far as hill climbing is concerned, light wheels mean good acceleration, but that means you'll be always on the 53T or 50T chain ring to appreciate any significant effect. Just look at pro or strong riders; they push big gears on climbs. If you're grinding away on a 39T and spin on 34T or perhaps 30T on a triple, light wheels helps little but not going to give you the substantial improvement compared to a strong rider looking for pure acceleration on hill attacks.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by pacificcyclist; 07-28-11 at 02:48 PM.
I say it strongly depends on how much you pay for the Aksiums. MSRP-- no, this is a poor upgrade.
under $200, yeah, I would do it. The Aksium is a pretty durable wheel and not overly light. It should be fine for hybrid duty. If you go with lighter road wheels, I wouldn't suggest any offroad/trail use at all.
Another thing possibly being overlooked here is the hub and the quality of bearings in it. Most likely the Aksium has a significantly better hub. This wheel is hated on by roadies, but it's a big upgrade for hybrids that are used primarily/exclusively on the road.