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Road Bike wheelset suggestion

Old 01-30-24, 02:37 PM
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Road Bike wheelset suggestion

Hello there !

Iam about to spend 1k for wheels. It is worth to improve performance ? How much faster i will climb a 5km 7% segment? 5 mins? 2mins? Some say expensive wheels are durable (With 1k i can buy 5 wheelsets with 200 euro and have longer life). Can you share your experiences?

I prefer a shallow rim for uphills. Or 40mm-50mm does the job too?

I see Fulcrum Racing Zero DB (alu) - Mavic ksyrium - Drive40D .

My opinion is you dont see much differencies at speed. You may pay the brand - durability - stiffness . But downsides are there too : harsher ride cause stiffness , poor durability ( or grease and service a lot) , bad carbon spokes , ceramic hubs doesnt make any noticable increasing speed , "fragile" carbon rims , harsher ride at turns with 40mm-50mm wheels, 400 grams lighter wheels makes you only few secs faster at 1 hour climb etc etc. I dont know nothing about that and all i see is on internet and reviews.

My current wheelset is a stock M series fulcrum 600db. SO far i like the design - modern hubs - brass nipples - 20mm inner width - 1780 weigh . Iam running 28mm tyres ( clincher) .


Whats your experiences in action ? Because the only thing i know based on theory and personal opinion .

Thx in advance !
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Old 01-30-24, 07:24 PM
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I am a big Chinese Direct to consumer wheel guy. Winspace Hypers, Elite Wheels Drive Series, and 9Velo LV 2.0 and CD 2.0 Series are some of my favorite. Hypers are $1500 but have a 10% coupon but are some of the most aero wheels while being pretty stiff with carbon spokes and have ceramic bearings. The 2023 Hyper D45 is 1420g with a 46mm front and 54mm rear depth wheel with 21mm internal but also are offered in a 33mm and 67mm. The Elite Wheels Drive series starts at $1189 but I believe they have a 15% coupon floating around. 50mm wheel are 1300g and 40mm are 1290g and all have 21mm internal, but they do offer mixed depth wheels now. Hybrid ceramic bearings and carbon spokes, the Drive series isn't as stiff nor aero as the Hypers but they are pretty darn close. 9VELO are some of the most affordable. They aren't as flashy like the Hypers with their butterfly weave or the Drives with their glossy crushed carbon swirl look, but they are simply solid wheels. LV series offered as small as a 35mm and all wheel have 21mm internal. New 2.0 gens have non drilled rim beds so no rim tape is needed. The LV and CD use a 36T ratchet hub that is frankly a DT Swiss 240 dupe. The LV series is Sapim CX-Ray spokes and steel bearings and the CD has carbon spokes and ceramic bearings. The LV 35 start at a crazy 1209g and is offered in a 45mm and 55mm and are $939 but have a 15% code but no mixed depth options. The CD series are only offered in a 45mm which starts at an insane 1199g but a 58mm is offered at 1342g but not mixed depth options and the CD series starts at $1289 with 15% code.

All of these wheel offer tremendous value and I had zero issues with shipping or customs. I did however have my rear Hyper Wheel have a semi common problem with the carbon layup popping when lightly compressed, but Winspace replaced the wheel and the new wheel has been flawless. The Drive wheels have been with zero problems. My 1st gen 9Velo LV35 might have developed a crack due to some gravel use and 9Velo sent me a free replacement wheel. I don't have a ton of miles on them but I have had zero issues with the 2nd gen LV and CD wheels. This is all to say the big issue with Chinese wheels isn't quality it's just ease of customer service, but if you are willing to bypass big name brands and are okay dealing with a foreign brand than I would say these are amazing wheels no matter which ones you pick

Last edited by Jrasero; 01-30-24 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-30-24, 07:33 PM
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I like hunt wheels.
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Old 01-31-24, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Intake
Iam about to spend 1k for wheels.
1. What currency? US$1,000?
2. Rim brakes or disc brakes?
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Old 01-31-24, 02:48 AM
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SoSmellyAir DIsk brakes
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Old 01-31-24, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
I like hunt wheels.
Seems like one of the ''best bang for the buck'' wheel manufacturer company out there. I would ride them for sure if I had a 1-1.5k budget for a wheelset.

OP: Shallower wheels are lighter and will technically climb better. Most climbers will use 30mm, more or less. 40-50mm is the balance between aero and light.

Physics also needs to be factored in, and weight is not the only important thing. The sailing effect is greater on deeper wheels. Some tests have concluded that deeper wheels were more efficient on climbs than shallower wheels before of this effect.

Regardless, I would still have shallower wheels if I had a dedicated climbing bike because it looks better and I could brag about how light my bicycle is.

Last edited by eduskator; 01-31-24 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 01-31-24, 05:46 AM
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If the 1k is for a set of off the shelf wheels, I'd consider spending a little more for custom built or save a few dollars & go with a more readily available deal.

What is often an issue for the former that I've found is that if one of the wheels need replacement, the retailer wants both back. If its not under warranty, then you can't buy just the one at a reasonable price.

Custom builds tend to not be impacted by the above. . Buy a pair or buy individually, price is usually fixed. Expensive..... but fixed.
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Old 01-31-24, 07:50 AM
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I use ICAN Cycling Alpha carbon wheels on my 3 bikes. The price is very affordable and they perform well.
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Old 01-31-24, 09:14 AM
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LightBicycle wheels with DT Swiss 240 hubs. Right in your price range. They are custom built, but have some premade ones too for less.

Only downside was that shipping took a couple of months.
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Old 01-31-24, 09:17 AM
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Look for a good used set on eBay....I wanted Enve 4.5's to go with my 3.4's but didn't want to spend $3K....found a perfect used set with Chris King hubs for $1200 all in....there's a ton of people out there with wheel ADD
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Old 01-31-24, 10:27 AM
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Just curious if you are running your Fulcrum wheels in tubeless or tubed mode and how would you rate the performance of the tires that are on there?
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Old 01-31-24, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Intake
SoSmellyAir DIsk brakes
Damn, you missed out on a deal; BikeTiresDirect had Ultegra wheelset for $1,050; you could have chosen 36 mm, 50 mm, or 60 mm deep wheels.
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Old 01-31-24, 03:54 PM
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masi61 i run only clinchers. i try michelin power cup and feel the better rolling resistance on uphills when i push hard. but they last 3.000km (the rear) . I reall dont like that. now iam running gatorskin for longer life span .

SoSmellyAir Bike DIscound has best prices . Ultegra Wheelset has 889 euro right now .
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Old 02-01-24, 08:10 AM
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Rim or disk brakes? If you said, I missed it.

I have rim and found limited choices for new wheels. For example. Chris King and Industry 9 no longer make those. Others do, but you'll have to put a little time into investigating. The width is different.
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Old 02-01-24, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Intake
Iam about to spend 1k for wheels. It is worth to improve performance ?

My opinion is you dont see much differencies at speed. You may pay the brand - durability - stiffness . But downsides are there too : harsher ride cause stiffness , poor durability ( or grease and service a lot) , bad carbon spokes , ceramic hubs doesnt make any noticable increasing speed , "fragile" carbon rims , harsher ride at turns with 40mm-50mm wheels, 400 grams lighter wheels makes you only few secs faster at 1 hour climb etc etc. I dont know nothing about that and all i see is on internet and reviews.
Given your opinions, I'm wondering why you want to buy new wheels?
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Old 02-01-24, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Given your opinions, I'm wondering why you want to buy new wheels?
To see what happened in action. It is worth to improve performance?
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Old 02-01-24, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Intake
To see what happened in action. It is worth to improve performance?
You don't make sense.

Your stated opinion, in your opening post, is that the $1k wheels will not be faster, and that they will give a harsher ride and be less reliable. So why are you considering purchasing them?
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Old 02-01-24, 09:43 AM
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Koyote My opinion is subjective ! I dont know what happened in reality ! So thats iam asking here .
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Old 02-01-24, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61
Just curious if you are running your Fulcrum wheels in tubeless or tubed mode and how would you rate the performance of the tires that are on there?
Originally Posted by Intake
Koyote My opinion is subjective ! I dont know what happened in reality ! So thats iam asking here .
Your experience will be too! Try it!
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Old 02-01-24, 10:14 AM
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eduskator i will !
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Old 02-01-24, 10:50 AM
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you probably will notice more difference between tires than wheels. I have a set of Fulcrum 5 DB and set of Fulcrum 900 DB and seem like decent wheels for the money.
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Old 02-01-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Intake
masi61 i run only clinchers. i try michelin power cup and feel the better rolling resistance on uphills when i push hard. but they last 3.000km (the rear) . I reall dont like that. now iam running gatorskin for longer life span .

SoSmellyAir Bike DIscound has best prices . Ultegra Wheelset has 889 euro right now .
‘I just looked up the Fulcrum 600db wheelset on the Merlin UK website & it appears they are for tubes only and not the “2 Way Fit” tubeless variant. If you like the lower rolling resistance of the Michelin Power Cup and your goal is to go faster, I would say you might need to accept the trade off of shorter rear tire life span in order to enjoy the sportier performance of the Power Cup. Plenty of bikeforums threads have discussed using Gatorskins for flat prevention/higher mileage but for many here, they will be of the opinion that the dull ride you get with a Gatorskin tire makes it a no go. If you are running butyl inner tubes with your Fulcrum wheelset now, you might try switching to latex inner tubes in order to lower the rolling resistance even more in order to see if you enjoy the smoother ride. Latex tubes are an inexpensive upgrade & when installed properly my experience is that they don’t get flats any more often than standard butyl inner tubes.

If you do go with a lighter more modern tubeless ready wheelset, if it were me I would not hesitate to set them up with some nice lightweight road tubeless tires of your choice. The newer wheels will most likely also have more internal volume (wider width) to accept 28mm or wider tires so long as your frame has clearance for this. To me a properly set up road tubeless wheelset is going to give you the sweet spot of all the attributes you could want: low rolling resistance, self sealing (potentially) for flat prevention, great grip in corners and on rough pavement and more comfort since they don’t have to be inflated rock hard.

Last edited by masi61; 02-01-24 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 02-01-24, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Intake
To see what happened in action. It is worth to improve performance?
I believe there are plenty of online calculators which will give you an estimate on how much faster you will go up a hill or on a flat surface based on changes in weight and/or wheel depth.

The truth is that newer fancier wheels will likely save you some time, but honestly the amout it will buy you is QUITE modest, especially with the type of riding most of us "recreational" riders do.

That said, it's your money and you can buy yourself a small advantage. Your choice.
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Old 02-01-24, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Intake
Ultegra Wheelset has 889 euro right now .
I'm running Ultegra C50s on my gravel bike. They are nice, but not exciting. There are wheels that are lighter, at the same rim depth. However, they have proven to be very durable, even with the pounding I put them though on my gravel rides, which includes a good amount of mildly-technical singletrack. Another thing I like is that the hubs roll really well.

I have Enve 3.4s on my road bike. They are a balance between aero and light, and make an excellent all-around wheelset. At your budget, however, you would need to find them on the used market.
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Old 02-01-24, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Intake
How much faster i will climb a 5km 7% segment? 5 mins? 2mins?
There are way too many variables involved for anyone to provide an exact answer on this. Also, nothing will improve your time up that climb more than improved fitness and less body weight.
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